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All You Need to Know About Surfer Sting: The Original Version of AEW Wrestler Sting

Published 12/23/2021, 10:30 AM EST

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WWE Hall of Famer Sting, real name Steve Borden, has wrestled in almost all the major wrestling promotions and is currently working for Tony Khan’s AEW. Sting is a legend in the world of wrestling and his dark mask is now synonymous with him.

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However, earlier in his career, Sting didn’t use this dark mask inspired by the movie Crow. Instead, the former WCW champion would rock a face paint with bright colors, almost like The Ultimate Warrior.

During his early days in WCW, Stinger never rocked the black and white face mask with black overcoats. However, suddenly on an episode of WCW Nitro, the Surfer Sting face mask was gone and the black and white mask debuted.


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During his long and illustrious career, Sting brought numerous changes to his character. One of the most intriguing gimmicks was his Surfer character, which helped him become the face of WCW.

The Surfer Sting gimmick was the one that helped him make a name in the wrestling world. During his prime time as the Surfer, the audience and many wrestling personnel believers him to be in the mix between Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior.

Why did Sting change his face paint?

Perhaps, this is the best decision that Stinger took during his run as a wrestler. After winning against opponents like Ric Flair, Vader, and other legends, Sting wanted a fresh look to revitalize his gimmick and career. His iconic feuds with Ric Flair put WCW on the map.

Eventually, Stinger took advice from WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall about donning the persona of the ‘vigilante Sting’ with having a black and white mask inspired by the movie Crow.


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And this advice from Hall worked wonders for Sting as he became potentially the top guy in wrestling worldwide. Adults, teenagers, and children all wanted to paint their faces like Sting.

This was the best era for the wrestler, as he became the actual face of WCW and revitalized fans’ interest in the product. Former WCW president Eric Bischoff confessed that Sting knew how to tell a story while wrestling.

Throughout the years, the WWE Hall of Famer donned different versions of the ‘Crow’ mask.


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At the time when Sting aligned himself with the ‘nWo Wolfpac’ he painted his face bright red to match it with the factions’ color scheme.

When Stinger made his eventual WWE debut, he donned his iconic ‘Crow’ mask, and fans were certain that the ultimate showdown with The Undertaker was set to happen.


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However, after his brutal injury against Seth Rollins in 2015, the former WCW champion retired before appearing for AEW.

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Written by:

Prithvi Mishra


One take at a time

Prithvi Mishra is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports. He graduated from Raj Kumar Goel Institute of Technology in Ghaziabad. Having started his career as a UFC writer, Prithvi has nearly 2 years worth of experience in covering combat sports.
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