Wrestling Star's New
Pitches Him Against The Sport
April 24, 2000
(Published with permission from Maranatha
STAMFORD, CT-- Wrestling star Sting's
toughest battle is outside the ring-- trying to keep the increasingly
lurid sport from pushing too hard in its fight for the TV ratings. "The
envelope is being pushed way, way too far," laments one of wrestling's
most popular characters.
"It's too sexual, too raunchy.
It's just filth. At times, there's nothing there that you'd want your
children to see. And it's nothing good for adults to see, either. I'm
trying to stand up with integrity against it all," adds Steve Borden,
the man behind the famous white mask and scorpion symbol.
Considered a role model throughout
his 15-year career, even as wrestling began to get more outrageous, Borden
has found himself more and more at odds with the sport he calls "adult
entertainment with a little wrestling sprinkled on top" since becoming
"Sometimes I feel like I'm standing
alone," he tells "New Man" magazine in an exclusive interview. "Being
a Christian makes it really hard. I've been around long enough that if
I don't feel comfortable with something, I just won't do it. The moment
that it does start to go too far and it just continues and I don't see
any change, then I'll have to bow out."
The 40-year-old has spoken about
his new faith with his longtime wrestling colleagues--among them the legendary
Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. "They all know that I've changed," he says.
"For the most part, everybody has accepted it. They know me and I think
respect me for who I am and what my choices are now and the integrity
that I have in certain situations. There are really only one or two that
just don't understand it and love to talk behind my back, but that's OK.
I can deal with that."
Borden's conversion came through
the witness of his brother, Jeff, among others--and at a time when, though
his professional life was riding high, his personal life was unraveling.
"Fourteen years of being a wrestler and being away from my wife and children
took its toll," he admits. "We went through some really tough times. Everything
on the surface seemed to be great, but at one point I felt like I was
losing my family."
As well as talking with others
about Christianity and attending a Promise Keepers rally, Borden read
the autobiography of ex- wrestler Ted DiBiase. The one-time "Million Dollar
Man" and arch- villain of wrestling is now an evangelist.
Borden became a Christian in 1998.
"I felt all of a sudden, at that moment, that the Spirit was there. I
just felt forgiven and cleansed, and it was an incredible experience.
I accepted Jesus Christ into my life, and that was a long time coming.
It should have been long ago."
After some TV work and a part
in an independent movie, Borden is hoping that acting may open up after
the ring--if the roles are right. "For a long time, wrestling came first,"
he says. "But now, it's God first, and then my wife and children. They're
first, and they're always going to be first. I'm glad my life changed
the way it did, and now my life is better than it's ever been."
(© 2000 Charisma