WCW legend and now WWE star Sting officially retired from the squared circle during the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in Dallas last night.
"I just want you to know that this isn’t goodbye," Sting said during his induction speech. "It's see you later."
The Icon was the face of WCW right up until it closed it's doors in 2001. The vast majority of that company's stars made their way to Vince McMahon and the WWE eventually, but it looked like Sting would be the one die-hard company man that would always hold out.
The 57-year-old would head to TNA in 2003 and was the centerpiece of a burgeoning company that was held in much higher regard than today's incarnation. He spent 11 years there - once again showcasing his loyalty - before he finally made the jump to WWE.
Sting made his debut at Survivor Series 2014 and immediately entered into a feud with Triple H and The Authority, which built towards a singles match at WrestleMania.
The Stinger would go on to lose that match, but put on a decent showing against the King of Kings in a match that featured plenty of nostalgia for fans of the Attitude Era.
The NWO and D-Generation-X - probably the two most popular factions in wrestling history - both interfered in the match and added extra intrigue to Sting's inaugural appearance at the 'grand daddy of them all'.
He would then re-appear during the summer to stand up to The Authority once more and challenge WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins, for his title at Night of Champions.
Fans began salivating at the prospect of Sting finally becoming the world champion in WWE. That would have been a true justification of his career and a real acknowledgement of his legacy.
Unfortunately, the Icon suffered a serious neck injury during the encounter and it looks as if that will be Sting's final dance.
Prior to his announcement during his Hall of Fame speech, Sting had intimated that he still had one goal left to accomplish during his storied career.
"I have a dream match that I want with the Undertaker," Sting said. "If I have my way, it's going to happen
"It started with the fans. I was always the WCW guy and he was always the WWE guy. Now I'm the WWE guy, and it's merged and wrestling fans have always wanted to see that."
As incredible as that spectacle would be for the fans, it's hard to imagine how two guys in their 50's, on limited schedules with reported health issues, could truly put on the match their respective legacy's deserves.
It might be better left alone, but on the other hand, if there was a chance for that match to happen, nobody would turn it down. That would still draw major money.
Sting's announcement is somewhat ambiguous. "This ain't goodbye" leaves everyone to wonder if we'll see the Stinger once again down the road.
Either way, the Icon has taken his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and his fans can take solace in that fact despite the heartbreaking announcement.
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