Sting vs. Diamond Dallas Page
April 26, 1999
WCW Monday Night NITRO
Fargodome, Fargo, North Dakota

Reviewed by Liam Jones (VOW Author Page / You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me)

Gifted by Dave Ryan (VOW Author Page / Days of Thunder)

If you’ve ever heard me talk, you know that I have barely seen any WCW. It might be my biggest shame as someone who discusses pro wrestling regularly for an audience. I don’t know if one day I’ll invest the time and effort into digging deep through ’93 – ’01 WCW. I do know that if I do, I will have to be paid to do it.

The first thing you’ll notice when watching this match is how quintessentially American pro wrestling both looks and feels. Something about these two workers’ aesthetics; whether it be their size, DDP’s wild mane and demeanor or Sting’s entire presentation. It just screams American television pro wrestling.

In the same way that someone might picture the handsome Japanese ace toppling the snarling American wild man when imagining Japanese pro-wrestling. I similarly look at Sting and Diamond Dallas Page as two people who perfectly encapsulate both an era and the presentation of what it means to be a professional wrestler in the late 90s in the United States.

The match itself similarly feels like a perfect representation of this idea. DDP is all character work in the beginning third of the match, selling his frustration at being unable to get any momentum against the force of nature that is Sting.

Sting is able to cut off DDP at every corner, dragging DDP around the arena floor to the delight of the WCW faithful. DDP tries to shift the momentum with a low blow but isn’t able to remain in control long before Sting shoots up and fires back before exhausting himself and landing face first into DDP’s crotch. A part of what makes Sting so great in this role is his ability to wield the elements of goofiness from his character positively, without breaking immersion. He isn’t afraid to incorporate some comedic stylistic choices into his work. DDP, of course, plays along perfectly with this as an over the top cocky heel.

DDP gets back in control with a neck breaker before repeatedly elbowing Sting in the balls. The referee tries to play this off by gesturing to his abdomen, I’m not buying it.

Sting counters the Diamond Cutter by simply holding on to the top-rope. This is genius. Now we are in full babyface comeback mode from the Stinger. A great looking top-rope splash by Sting. That perfect mixture of flying and failing that can make a move really pop. Mike Tenay does confirm my working theory that this is indeed a variant of a regular Stinger Splash.

The final sequence actually starts to get pretty wild. Sting hits an awesome looking piledriver for a two count. DDP and Sting then do a classic piledriver reversal sequence that ends with Sting hitting a tombstone for another two. DDP comes back briefly with a flying DDT and a low blow but as he desperately fights for the Diamond Cutter, Sting manages to hold onto the top-rope again and drag him into the Scorpion Death Drop for the win.

Awesome looking finish.

Sting wins and becomes your NEW WCW World Heavyweight champion.

Honestly, if I was confident that more of this era of WCW had simple and effective storytelling that concluded with satisfying endings like this match did, I’d be more likely to dive into the product. However, I do not believe that to be the case.

Still I’m glad Santa gave me something that was both a little familiar and also new to me. I will guess that this was gifted to me by… Dave Ryan because WCW? Sure.