Looking Back at the Impact of Sting’s TNA Debut

Sting TNA

Sting‘s AEW debut sent shockwaves through the wrestling world. Although his AEW debut was a surprise to many, it wasn’t his first run outside of WCW or WWE. Sting’s TNA debut in the early 2000s and Final Resolution match/subsequent run turned a few heads towards the promotion. Let’s take a look back at how the Icon made his debut and first run in TNA.

Early Sporadic Appearances: Sting’s TNA Debut

Sting’s first appearance was at the TNA one year anniversary show in 2003. He teamed with future rival Jeff Jarrett to defeat the team of AJ Styles and Syxx Pac (Sean Waltman). Sting then clashed with Jeff Jarrett in a match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship that ended in disqualification for Jarrett. He met Jarrett in a tag team match teaming up with AJ Styles to take on Jarrett and Lex Luger. Sting ended his 2003 run in TNA by defeating Jeff Jarrett in a non-title match.

Final Resolution: Sting’s 2nd TNA Debut

The Prelude

Although he had sporadic appearances in TNA in 2003 and 2004, his first full run with the company didn’t start until 2006. At the end of the 2005 Turning Point event, Jeff Jarrett retained his NWA World Heavyweight Championship against Rhino. As he celebrated the arena lights went out and the signature scorpion logo of the Icon appeared on the screen. The date January 15th, 2006, the date for Final Resolution appeared alongside the logo. A spotlight illuminated the ring with Sting’s signature trench coat and black baseball bat in the center of the ring. This was the calling card that setup for this return match at Final Resolution.

Sting’s Final Resolution Match

Sting made his in-ring return to TNA on January 15th, 2006. The sold-out Impact Zone in Orlando eagerly awaited the return of the Icon for his main event match. Sting teamed up with Christian Cage to take on Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown for his first match back in TNA.

Sting entered the match about two minutes in, to square off with Jarrett to an enormous crowd reaction. After firing off on Jarrett, Christian Cage tagged back in to take control of the match for the team. A distraction from Gail Kim and a low blow from Jarret turned the tables on Christian Cage. It would be another five minutes before he was able to hot tag out to the Icon thanks to a failed double team chair attempt from Jarret and Brown.

After the fresh Sting tagged in, he attacked both Jarrett and Brown with a flurry of strikes before hitting his signature “Stinger Splash” in the corner. He would then lock Jarrett in the Scorpion Death Lock and force him to tap but a downed referee didn’t see the tap. Team Canada would then get involved to try and assist Jarret only to be on the receiving end of a Scorpion Death Drop.

Things looked bleak for the Icon after a shot to the head with the title belt caused a near fall.  Sting then used his signature baseball bat to block the use of Jarrett’s signature guitar shot that was aimed at Christian Cage. This set up Sting for one more Scorpion Death Drop to pin Jarrett and win the match.

Aftermath

Two weeks after his Final Resolution match, Sting made his Spike TV TNA Impact debut. He cut a promo where he announced his retirement from professional wrestling. This setup a storyline involving Alex Shelly being sent to California and spy on Sting as Jarrett didn’t believe he was actually retired. Sting approached Shelly as he was videoing and announced that Steve Borden (Sting’s real name) would come to Destination X to confront Jarrett. He was then attacked by Jarrett’s army at the event. Sting and Jarrett continued to feud for the majority of 2006. The feud ended with Sting defeating Jarrett in a title vs career match at Bound for Glory.

Sting’s run with the company lasted until 2014 and included multiple championship runs and major storylines in the promotion. His Final Resolution match is a staple match from the early 2000s era of TNA and laid the groundwork for his run with the company.

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