From Meltzer’s Hall Of Fame issue:
Six men make up the 2012 class of the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame: Mick McManus, the best known U.K. wrestler for more than two decades; Dr. Alfonso Morales, the television voice of wrestling and boxing in Mexico; John Cena, today’s biggest star; Hans Schmidt, one of the top heels of the 1950s; Captain Lou Albano, WWWF’s top manager from the 70s and early 80s; and Gus Sonnenberg, a football superstar turned wrestling attraction.
Outside of John Cena, and to an extent, Captain Lou Albano, the FGB crew didn’t really have an opinion on the rest of the class. We just didn’t see their work.
However, there were two wrestlers whose work we’ve seen that are not yet in the Hall of Fame (and may never get in by the way). Those two guys are Sting and Edge. Personally, I’ve seen just about all of Sting’s career, save for his UWF stuff before the UWF was bought by Crockett.
I think they are comparable guys when it comes to the Hall of Fame. Sting is probably better known among a larger amount of wrestling fans as there were simply more people watching wrestling when he was in his prime. Edge didn’t come into his own until the 2000s when the audience was cut nearly in half.
I threw it out to the FGB crew.
Who is more deserving – Sting or Edge?
Sting, no question. I never felt Edge was much more than a good hand. And I think even his ring work declined greatly in the later part of his career when the injuries started to add up. In honesty, I have never viewed Edge as a star.
He didn’t have the longevity. Sting is still, in my opinion, a pretty good wrestler today in his 50s. Edge burnt himself out a lot quicker.
Edge easily for me. This is how I see them in the three criteria.
– As a worker I thought Edge was alot better: I’d call it a wash as far as their best stuff compares (Vader/Muta/Flair matches vs. TLC/Undertaker/Cena/SD6 matches) but Edge’s average was alot better than Sting’s average, and most importantly Edge never had any spells remotely as bad as Sting’s worst stuff.
– Contribution to the business: Edge was a locker room leader in WWE when he went out. Every wrestler glows about him and how helpful he was. He’s also about as unselfish as they come. He never had issues putting over anyone and he always put guys over strong. Sting has been described as very selfish and over protective of his spot when there was no need to be.
– As a draw: I find this always an awkward thing to do direct comparisons on unless the guys are of the same environment and era. I generally just like to look at guys case by case. Edge I view as being a big part of the current WWE model where it’s for the most part the company itself that is the draw. Granted he was able to keep Smackdown relevant for years as the focal point of the show and he had that hot ratings run on Raw in 2006 which speaks to him individually. Sting on the other hand I see as a guy who drew big one time and drew poorly alot when he was given the ball. As much as I like early 90s WCW, it was dying a death at the gate and on TV until the Nitro/nWo era started.
Personally I found both characters to be rather bland, but leaning towards Edge. His character, though vanilla for most of his career, was one who could either main event PPVs or be the opener, and fight for any title.
I wasn’t a fan of Sting during his heyday in WCW, as he always seemed more forced upon us. His ringwork and persona were blasé except for the “Stinger Splash”. His blonde-haired character was too cartoonish (gee, just like John Cena today) and The Crow gimmick was too much of a knock-off.
So if I were forced to choose, I’d go with Edge. He made it over a lot more hurdles than Sting did to get to where he ended up.
My problem with Sting (and I loved him when I was growing up): his hype was always bigger than what he meant. I feel like people were still talking about how Sting had this potential when he was already in the business for 8 years. Now, the Crow thing was pretty brilliant and he’s been able to continue that for the last 15 years plus. And I enjoy him as a character now as he has much more personality than he’s ever had.
But I never felt like he fulfilled his potential. Maybe that’s where the issue is for me. Edge wasn’t expected to be a huge singles star and for the small period, he was pretty big. And Sting was expected to be the new Hogan, and didn’t come close.