What Does the Title of “Icon” Even Mean Anymore?

There has been a lot of talk about where or not Sting is an icon.  Wrestlezone’s own and also member of the bleacher report Justin LaBar has gone as far as to say that Sting is not an icon and that somehow indicates that the fact that Sting has not been part of the WWE is what is keeping him from truly being one.  You know before WCW went under, there was a point where WCW was good and was watchable.  There was a time when a 3 Hour WCW show wasn’t called Monday Nitro, it was called Clash of the Champions and it was done once a month except on the months when a PPV was taking place. At the time, that was the closest thing to WCW having monthly PPVs and they were doing it before WWE/WWF did.  And long before Hulk Hogan showed up in WCW, there were two things that were always at the top of the mountain top in WCW and that was Ric Flair and Sting.

Sting was the top baby face in WCW and was the considered by many to be franchise and the flagship of WCW.  The difference between Sting and Hogan was that Hogan had his spot in WCW handed to him on a silver platter while Sting worked his way up to earn it and had no problems holding the title belts that were below the World Title picture such as the tag team titles, TV Title and the U.S. Title. When did you ever see Hogan where either of those belts during his time in WCW? Sting didn’t have a problem with that because he was about doing what was best for that company.  Sting carried that company on his back to the end and when WCW was bought out,  the WWE acquired a lot of the names from WCW but the only one that they couldn’t acquire no matter how much money they tossed to him was Sting. Yeah, Sting ended up going to TNA eventually, but prior to that, the guy was happy with having a life outside of wrestling.

Last year there was all the talk about whether Sting would go to the WWE and be the one to take on The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.  Sting didn’t do that and ended up re-joining TNA.  Now, here’s the big question. Since WHEN does going to the WWE have to the deciding factor of whether or not a certain wrestler is an icon? Jerry Lawler is still hailed as the icon and pretty much a god in Memphis for his contributions to the sport.  Bret Hart is still considered an icon for his contributions to technical wrestling as many compare technical wrestlers to him. So why is Sting not worthy of being called an icon?  Much like Tommy Dreamer was called the Heart and Soul of ECW or Bryan Danielson was called the Heart and Soul of Ring of Honor, Sting was the Heart and Soul and everything else that there was for WCW.

You’re not called an icon in wrestling just because of where you were. You’re called that because of what you’ve contributed to the name of pro wrestling.  In WCW, you had 3 names that came to mind when it was in it’s purest state. Those three names were Ric Flair, The Four Horsemen and Sting.  Hulk Hogan for better or worse is called an icon but people remember most when he was WWE/WWF and not WCW. For the most part, a lot of people have and myself included linked Hogan’s stint in WCW being one of the things that lead to its downfall. Bottom line is, Sting did more for that one company all the way until the end than anyone else did.  That alone is what makes him an icon.  Is he THE icon as in the one that is at the top of the mountain? Probably not, but his contributions to wrestling are more than enough to make him an icon.

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