Ringside Cinema

Sting: Moment of Truth (2004)

Hopefully, the recently released WWE DVD The Best of Sting gives Steve Borden the career retrospective he deserves because this movie certainly didn’t. At least they didn’t accidentally use footage of nWo Sting thinking it was the real Sting. C’mon WWE, get your shit together. Although I’m sure the new DVD doesn’t beat you over the head with strong Christian overtones like you were Mankind at the 1999 Royal Rumble. Surprisingly, under the list of producers Pat Robertson isn’t mentioned at all. Makes sense though. If this film had some of that sweet 700 Club money it wouldn’t have looked like some film school kid’s thesis project.

The Storyline
Sting’s life is pretty much captured through a collection of music video montages. In between the wrestling fame and glory he occasionally drinks and pops prescription pills. His marriage is also in shambles which we learn from a “Dear Sting” letter that his wife snuck into his baggage that suggests he’s cheating on her. It’s clear he needs help. And by help I mean God, as does the “movie” with its sporadic not-so-subtle hinting. They might as well have hired Keenan Ivory Wayans to play a postman and pop up every now and then.

At first, it’s hard to believe that an actual news reporter has been sent out to interview Sting in order to profile him in the next day’s paper. Especially as it seems that the Sting being interviewed is TNA Sting, considering the movie was released in 2004. What newspaper could possibly be interested in profiling non-WWE wrestlers in 2004? Some wrestling fanzine? It would’ve been more believable if the guy conducting the interview was working for RF Video.

As bad as the acting is don’t expect much dialogue. This straight-to-DVD video project doesn’t go more than three minutes before breaking out into another musical montage. Whether it’s Sting wrestling or popping pills it’s all done in musical montages. And they keep it basic in terms of story structure: Wrestle. Struggle Internally. Repeat.

One thing you learn about Sting is you never can tell when he’s joking. Well, if you’re a reporter you never can tell. He likes to come off as a hard ass or something. When talking to the first reporter Sting just dives into the story of his life with no prompting whatsoever. If anything, it seemed like the reporter was just there to get information regarding the upcoming wrestling event. The biggest twist is finding out that the interview actually takes place right before Sting’s WCW World Title match against Abyss. You read that right. But more on that later.

IMG_2392The “movie” definitely takes some liberties with the life and career of Sting. Abyss/WCW World Title match aside, we also get a rare glimpse of Sting contemplating rappelling from the rafters. I thought maybe this had to do with Owen’s death seeing as we’re in the midst of full-on Crow Sting mania. Actually, it was showing us Sting’s reservation about rappelling for the first time, despite having just seen Sting defend the WCW World Title against Diamond Dallas Page, Kevin Nash, and Goldberg in 1999. Two years after he had already started dropping down from the rafters. Still, these liberties weren’t as bad as those taken in the The Jesse Ventura Story where Jesse Ventura, Raven, and a wrestler named Captain Nice were all heavily involved in The Montreal Screwjob.

Sting finally confronts his demons via a trippy re-enactment of the movie The Crow. If The Crow had horrible production quality and was set against light techno trance music. The nightmare serves as Sting’s wake up call. Meaning he actually wakes up crying, vowing to give his life to Jesus. And if you ever plan on talking/typing shit about how horrible Brie Bella is at pretending to cry, do yourself a favor and fast forward to the one hour and twenty-two minute mark of this movie. It’s something you’ll wish you could unsee.

The Wrestling
They couldn’t even bother to film the matches from Sting’s past during TNA Impact tapings. Instead they shot his “UWF” and “WCW” matches in an empty studio and then cut away to actual footage of wrestling fans reacting during a taped episode of TNA Impact. Despite the fact that they’re nowhere to be seen during the actual in-ring action.

Then, all of a sudden, we get actual footage from Sting’s career. Like, his first WCW World Title win against Ric Flair from The Great American Bash ’89. And other archival footage from WCW that WWE now owns and owned at the time the “movie” was made. I guess the majority of the production budget went into securing the rights to that footage.

I already mentioned Sting wrestling Abyss for the WCW title, but he also faces Braden Walker “Wildcat” Chris Harris and Lance Hoyt in a handicap steel cage match, in which he uses ninja smoke to disappear like he’s The Ultimate Warrior circa 1998. All these matches supposedly take place during Sting’s WCW tenure. You’re telling me the producers couldn’t pony up an extra $50 to get Buff Bagwell or Bryan Clark to show up? You know, actual former WCW wrestlers?

At least the wrestling was believable.

The Wrestlers
As mentioned, lots of former WCW wrestlers show up via archival footage. As for wrestlers used in real-time filming, we get Sting, Chris Harris, Lance Hoyt and Abyss. Jeff Jarrett also makes a contractually obligated cameo in the beginning. Young Surfer Sting is actually some production assistant who lucked out with the role of a lifetime. I’m not sure who the jabroni who cut a promo on Sting was.

Star Rating: *

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