Eric Bischoff Doesn't Understand Why TNA Got Rid Of This Iteration Of Sting

Most wrestling fans know and loves Sting's iconic Crow-inspired persona. It's the act that positioned him as one of the most enduring, beloved performers in history, and is the basis for the look he still sports over 25 years after its debut. However, on a recent "83 Weeks," former WCW President Eric Bischoff talked about his personal preference for Sting's Joker-inspired persona from TNA.

"I, for the life of me, can't figure out [...] why the hell did we let that go? Why did we let it die? There had to be a reason. I don't know what it was. But there had to be a reason because it was a much more interesting character than even Crow Sting. It had more room to move because he had the use of dialogue," Bischoff said, "In Sting's interviews prior to the Joker character, they were still good, [...] but they were kind of one-dimensional for the most part. This Joker character version of the Crow character, I think was just way more interesting because it had more room to move."

Sting's Joker persona, or the "Insane Icon," came to screens in summer 2011 after the legendary wrestler lost the TNA World Championship to Mr. Anderson. Although this persona maintained much of the same look as his Crow character, the whole thing received a Heath Ledger's Joker-themed touch-up. This included Sting beginning to act much more manic and unhinged in promos and matches. The gimmick ultimately came to an end mere months after its debut, when Sting defeated Hulk Hogan at TNA's 2011 Bound for Glory pay-per-view.

The Insane Icon

The "Insane Icon" character was a drastic shift from Sting's previous, much more stoic persona. Sting's Joker iteration hasn't lived kindly in the heads of many fans since its end, but it would seem Bischoff's opinion lines up with Sting's own on the character. In a "Table for 3" for WWE, Sting spoke fondly of his time unleashing his wilder side.

Although some view Sting's time as the "Insane Icon" as a blemish on an otherwiselegendary career, that hasn't affected his enduring popularity within professional wrestling. Bischoff mused that Sting will go down as one of the best performers to ever grace the industry.

"I think Sting will go down as one of the more diverse and still popular characters. When I say that, you look at Chris Jericho and he's reinvented himself so many different times, and he's been very successful," Bischoff said, "But if you look at the level of success that Sting's had during certain aspects of his career [...] he's doing what he's doing to be able to entertain millions and millions and millions of people over decades. It's just one hell of an accomplishment."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "83 Weeks" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.