Last night, Sting wrestled in the Greensboro Coliseum, the venue in which his superstardom was launched due to his Clash of the Champions match against “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. AEW has done a good job of treating Sting matches as celebrations of the places that mattered to his career, and last night’s Dynamite was no different, as he and his art school dropout son Darby Allin teamed with CM Punk to take on MJF and FTR of the Pinnacle.
I can’t claim to have seen the match, which was on at the same time I was watching The Matrix Resurrections, but here’s the thing: people know that I like Sting, people know that I like CM Punk, and people know that the pairing of these two—which I won’t call a dream, since in wrestling that implies plausibility despite unlikelihood—was something very, very much for me. Booked for everyone, sure, but Booked For Colette Arrand, a woman who thirsts for freak Sting bookings the way a dog thirsts for water.
Suffice to say, I got more than a few DMs on Twitter that were just these words: “CM Punk’s facepaint.”
And, y’all—CM Punk’s facepaint. Surfer. Sting. C. M. Punk. A rounded design in the colors of the Chicago flag, not at all complimentary to his face shape (I would have gone with the jagged lines the Stinger was favoring by the time he put a scorpion on his tights) but it was beautiful, a lovely tribute to the Greatest Wrestler of All Time by the Greatest Wrestler of All Time.
Then I started getting messages about Sting’s facepaint that were like “Wait until you see Sting’s facepaint” and “Sting’s facepaint.”
I beheld Sting’s facepaint, and, y’all, Sting’s facepaint. He’s been rocking some pretty complex designs for special matches, but for this he ditched anything recognizably Sting and wore a full-on tribute to CM Punk, something so masterful that I’m not even a little upset that he continued his upsetting trend of not popping his top to wrestle. It’s pretty simple to say that Sting did his face like the design of one of Sting’s shirts, but the fact that Punk’s crossed fists, which begin tastefully above the eyebrow and push out towards his hairline, forcing the white base to go all the way up as if someone knows the value of blending, are as well-drawn as the ones on his shirt is a straight up masterclass of applied Power ‘n Paint, something half-Bowie, half-CM Punk, and yet all-Sting.
It was beautiful, friends, and yes, I cried a little in the warm glow of their beauty.
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- Nobody DMed me to say “Look at Darby’s facepaint,” which was also a Sting motif, the sad rafter skateboarder.
- Fun to imagine CM Punk in the NWA hollerin’ about all his Little Punkers.
- The CM Punk return tour’s good vibes and happy smiles may have gotten a little tired, but it’s still fun to see him have fun.
- Revived the WCW tradition of a bunch of babyfaces painting up like Sting to go to war against a faction that’s frankly a little more annoying than truly hatable.
- CM Punk opened the doors to a new career as Fake Sting 2.0. He’s got the chops. Well, not literally Sting’s chops, but that’s something they teach at the Sting Institute For Sting Fakery, which is an accredited college with an excellent two year associate’s degree program.
- Punk didn’t put a Sting backpatch on his hoodie to reciprocate Sting advertising his t-shirts for the full duration of the match, which matters because facepaint is the accessory to the rest of the look.
- Both Sting and Punk’s facepaint rubbed off rather than peeled, which is hardly either of their faults, but it was pretty great when Sting’s facepaint used to peel off in strips.
- Sting and Punk didn’t do the Doink the Clown mirror routine.
- There’s a Michaels missing all of its Snazaroo.
- MJF is currently googling “Surfer Sting” so he can hit Punk with a couple of bon mots, which is terrifying.