Wrestling Star's New Faith
Pitches Him Against The Sport

CHARISMA, April 24, 2000
(Published with permission from Maranatha Christian Journal)

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 a Christian.

"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 News Service)


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