According to a report by The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Sting was not at the TNA TV tapings last week in Orlando following the Hard Justice PPV. He didn't come to TV due to the company talking with Sting about a new contract. This is why they taped the backstage footage of Sting with Kevin Nash at Hard Justice.
The feeling at this point is that they must have a deal finalized for 2009 with Sting in the next few weeks and both sides have to be in agreement or they can't move on and script key parts of the angle they are doing now without knowing how long they have him for. Sting, who turns 50 early next year, was believed to be earning in the $600,000 range this last year for working basically a part-time schedule.
TNA President Dixie Carter wanted Sting back this year when others within the company felt his price wasn't worth what he brought to the table. Carter's belief was that having Sting with the company gives them prestige and helps them make business deals, even though his pay rightfully isn't justified based on the effect he has had on ratings and PPV buyrates. Some have noted that his pay really shouldn't be an issue anymore though considering the company can afford him now than in the past.
Sting is financially secure at this point in his career and having made lots of money during his WCW days he has used it to invest in real estate holdings in Southern California among other things. He doesn't need to wrestle at this point in his life, but given the money he was offered and the light schedule with TNA, many have described his situation as having the best of both worlds where he can have lots of free time and still remain active in the business. The belief right now is that if Sting doesn't agree to another deal with TNA then they obviously won't go any farther with the role they appear to be teasing right now, especially turning him heel and going out in that fashion. If he does stay it is possible they will go forth with plans for him as a heel since they will have more time to develop it. Of course, he has to agree to these plans in the first place as noted a few weeks ago.
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