What If Sting Slammed Yokuzuna in 1993 Instead of Lex Luger?

I was always a fan of the Marvel Comics series What If?, where they would take classic stories, give them a twist, and give us readers a look at what might have been. I’m doing the same thing here with a classic moment in wrestling history.

Let me set the stage for you. In 1993, Yokuzuna was the WWF champion and portrayed as an evil Japanese bad guy. He was dominating the competition, and at over 500 lbs. he was a massive wrestler. In celebration of Independence Day, the WWF brought Yokuzuna to the U.S.S. Intrepid that was harboured in New York City for a body slam challenge. They invited several celebrities to come and try slamming the big man, as well as several good guys from the WWF. No one was able to get Yokozuna off his feet and slam him.

Just when it looked as if no one could pull it off and the challenge was over, a helicopter came into sight and landed on the deck of the intrepid. Off stepped Lex Luger, who up until this very moment was a bad guy in the WWF, but had a history of being a very popular good guy. He came off the helicopter decked out in an American flag pattern shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. He climbed into the ring, gave Yokozuna a shot and then lifted him into the air and slammed him to become the WWF’s #1 good guy and all-American hero.

What followed that event was a summer tour on a bus to drum up support for his title match against Yokozuna at that year’s Summerslam event. The push didn’t go as anticipated, and Luger never really captured the imagination of fans across the country the way the WWF was hoping, and the whole thing fizzled out when he didn’t win the title at the end of the summer.

But let me give you an alternate version of events that I think might have went a little better for everyone involved…

By 1993, Sting was solidly the face of World Championship Wrestling, the WWF’s chief rival. While he had a contract with WCW, it was not impossible to get out of them at the time, and if the WWF had shelled out a buyout payment, they could have probably gotten Sting’s services for their company. Imagine if when the helicopter landed, instead of Luger getting off, it was Sting wearing his American flag ring coat and American flag face paint like he wore at Great American Bash ’90. It would have been patriotic as hell.

The shock of the crowd in attendance would have been off the chart as they would have just watched WWF alumni and celebrities alike try and fail to slam Yokozuna. Then there would come the most popular wrestler from another company, give one of the passionate promos that Sting was known for, and then be the one to give Yokozuna the slam for all of America.

Sting would have been on a wave of popularity, unlike anything he had seen up to this point. If he had gotten the bus tour, he likely would have gotten over much better with the people all around the country and probably would have been popular enough to get the title win over the evil sumo wrestler at the end of the summer.

Who knows what the future would hold from that point forward, but certainly a feud with former best friend and still bad guy Lex Luger would have been very likely. It may have even led to a showdown at Wrestlemania the following March.

We’ll never know, but I like to sit around and wonder, What If?