WWE: Sting Says He Needs Neck Surgery; In-Ring Career Likely Over

The legendary Sting main evented the September WWE Night of Champions PPV against former WWE Champion Seth Rollins and nearly won the WWE Title for the first time. During that match he also suffered a severe neck injury that was caused when Rollins delivered a Buckle Bomb (powerbomb into a turnbuckle). In the most recent edition of Ric Flair’s WOOOO! Nation podcast, Sting revealed that he needs surgery on his neck and that he’ll likely never wrestle again.

Here are Sting’s comments on the neck injury after Flair asked him if he’s doing alright.

“Yes and no. Obviously that night I had some problems. Both buckle bombs — not Seth’s fault, completely mine, I have no idea what I did, I have no idea — but my neck whiplashed on both of them. On the second one, he picked me up and I’m having a casual conversation in my own mind as I’m hoisted up on his shoulders thinking ‘okay, Steve, tuck your chin. Do what you know how to do. This is ridiculous.’ I wasn’t worried at all, even though the first one I had a shock going down the left and right thigh down both down to the fingertips. And I thought ‘oh man’ you can see me in the ring trying to shake my hands out and get feeling back in my hands. And then the second time, again, having the casual conversation, and then for whatever reason I clicked out, checked out, I don’t know what happened but I did the same thing. This time, it affected my legs. Yeah, there was just no strength. The power in my legs was just kinda going away and I felt like I didn’t have control over them, and I didn’t. I had a temporary paralysis. For a few minutes I thought ‘I don’t think I can continue, I think I’m done. But I can’t do this, the stakes are so high, and I can’t do this to Seth.’ Anyway, then the crowd starts chanting and everything else. Somehow or another it just kinda came back enough where ‘okay, I can do another minute or two here and get out of this thing.'”

Later in the interview, Sting mentioned that he needed neck surgery.

“Yeah, MRI’s and neurologists have been looking at it, Dr. Maroon out of Pittsburgh, he’s looked at it. He’s telling me that I’ll have to have a surgery. The dust only in the last couple weeks has kind of started to settle a little bit for me, just trying to get so much done in life but now it’s time to go get this thing taken care of. No, I’m hoping (they don’t have to do a fusion surgery). I know that’s one of the techniques that they use and I’m not sure if Dr. Maroon will have to do that or not. I’ve got two spots in my neck that are troublesome. I guess it’s called cervical spinal stenosis. That’s what it is. I have two areas in my neck where the spinal canal, which holds the spinal cord, it’s kind of choked off in two different locations. Lucky that a catastrophe didn’t happen that night, long story short. I’ve gotta go get it fixed. I guess John Cena had something very similar, he had his fixed, and Dr. Maroon has done several of the WWE guys up there and all with great success.”

Thanks to Cageside Seats for the quotes. Once again you can listen to Ric Flair’s podcast to hear it for yourself.


TJR Thoughts: It’s unfortunate, but it’s not that much of a surprise considering what happened. Sting is 56 years old and the body just isn’t going to recover from injuries at that age compared to if he was 20 years younger.

There are some people who blame Rollins for it. However, in an interview after the incident, Sting thanks Rollins for working for him and didn’t blame him for it. This was just one of those accidents that happens in the wrestling ring sometime.

I can’t imagine WWE ever allowing him to wrestle again. A cervical spinal stenosis injury is very serious and even after surgery, at his age there’s just too much risk. Plus, he’s likely a millionaire many times over thanks to a 30 year career in the wrestling business where he was very well paid, so why risk it? He should never wrestle again. His last match was a WWE Title match where he looked pretty good, so that’s something to be proud of.

The next step for Sting will be the WWE Hall of Fame. It could be WrestleMania 32 in the Dallas area because he lives in Texas. If WWE doesn’t induct big names like The Rock or The Undertaker this year then it could be Sting that is the headline act. He certainly deserves top billing.

While he made no mention of when the surgery is, he did say that it was likely going to happen soon. On behalf of everybody at TJRWrestling, we wish him the best with it.