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In 1997 his trademark black and white makeup and black baseball bat helped draw one of the largest Pay-Per-View audiences in history. Even though millions know who Sting is, some people still confuse him with a certain famous rock star.
SCOTT ROSS: First of all, I want to get this out of the way – I love your [the rock star Sting] music.
STEVE BORDEN (professional wrestler "Sting"): Did you enjoy the years that I was with the Police, or do you like me better solo?
SCOTT ROSS: I understood you were with the police.
STEVE BORDEN: I was with the police a couple of times.
SCOTT ROSS: Were you? You want to talk about it?
STEVE BORDEN: Not right now. (laughs)
SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Steve grew up in southern California. He was strong and athletic and eventually developed a passion for bodybuilding. That’s where Steve’s pro wrestling career began. A stranger walked into the gym one day and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
STEVE BORDEN: He had these three big guys. They were trying to break into pro wrestling, and they were looking for a fourth guy. They tried to recruit for a couple of weeks, couldn’t come up with anybody, and finally said, 'What about you?'
SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Steve said yes, and after ten punishing weeks at training camp, he hit the wrestling circuit.
STEVE BORDEN: My original character when I first started was 'Flash Borden.'
SCOTT ROSS: Flash Borden?
STEVE BORDEN: Flash Borden! (laughs)
SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Steve also married his longtime girlfriend, Sue, at the start of his career. It was tough for the young couple, but despite years of travel and measly paychecks with no big breaks, Sue believed it was just a matter of time before her husband hit it big.
SUE BORDEN: I knew he was so close to being successful. The fans -- it was undeniable. We’d go to the matches, and I could see their response to him. His charisma was so apparent. I just knew he was this close to making it.
SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Then in 1988, Sue’s faith in Steve paid off. Steve had changed his name to Sting. In his first big match, Sting wrestled Rick Flair live on television. He became popular on the world championship wrestling circuit, but his career shot through the roof in 1997 when Sting wrestled Hulk Hogan on Pay-Per-View. Although things were great for them financially, Steve’s constant traveling put a strain on the marriage.
STEVE BORDEN: I had made it to the top, but now my marriage was really starting to fail. Sue and I were like two ships passing in the night. She had a life, I had a life. But now we had two boys, two young boys. I was losing control over every part of my life.
SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Steve coped with his struggles by turning to pills and alcohol.
STEVE BORDEN: I told her I was taking prescription drugs. I was taking pain killers, I was taking muscle relaxers, and I was drinking alcohol. She said, 'How long you been doing this?' And I told her, 'It’s been a couple of years now.'
SUE BORDEN: I thought that he should go into rehab, and he just vehemently said, 'No, no. I don’t need that. I don’t need to go into rehab.'
STEVE BORDEN: I begged and pleaded with her. I said, 'Look. I’ll stop. I’ll stop.' And I couldn’t do it. About 30 days went by, and things really started to go downhill.
SUE BORDEN: I thought, I don’t know what else to do. He won’t go to rehab. He’s not stopping. I can’t live like this.
SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Steve was desperate for a change. For years his brother had been telling him about God’s love for him. Steve finally decided it was time to listen. One August evening in 1998, he gave up running and turned to God for help.
STEVE BORDEN: I said, 'I cannot do this on my own. I need You to come save my life, save my marriage, because it’s out of control.' And I invited Him to come and live in me. I told Him, 'I’m going to live my life for You from this day forward.'
SUE BORDEN: All of a sudden, he was just a 180-degree, completely different man from that moment of confessing to me the life that he had led all those years.
SCOTT ROSS (reporting): As Sue witnessed the dramatic changes in Steve, she knew she needed to change, too.
SUE BORDEN: Just seeing what happened to my husband, I wanted that so desperately. It was a couple of months after he had given his life to the Lord that I truly surrendered. I had grown up in the church, but I never had a relationship with Jesus Christ. It wasn’t the miracle that he experienced, the overnight, but I’ve had a slow and steady growth and it’s been just unbelievable for our marriage, for our children. We have harmony in our home. Our children see it in us. The tension isn’t there anymore. It has just been wonderful.
SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Steve’s marriage was better than it had ever been. But the job he’d lived and breathed for more than a decade was getting too raunchy for Steve and he wanted out. When promoter Vince McMahon bought the company Steve worked for, God provided his way out.
STEVE BORDEN: Vince bought our company, and wrestling ended for me like that. I had a contract that was not assumable to anyone other than another Ted Turner entity.
SCOTT ROSS: And that was it? You walked away?
STEVE BORDEN: I walked away.
SCOTT ROSS: And now there’s a movie?
STEVE BORDEN: Now there’s a movie.
SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Sting: Moment of Truth is Steve’s story -- his struggles with despair and addiction despite all his fame and wealth, but ultimately, it’s the story of how God saved his family.
STEVE BORDEN: Man, I’ll tell you what. We’ve experienced miracles one after another, the first one being Gracie. She’s 4 now.
SCOTT ROSS: Your daughter?
BORDEN: Yeah. When we thought that maybe the time clock had ticked
too many times, the biological one, or God said, no, you know what? If
I want you to have a baby, if you want one, I’ll give you one. And
He says, 'You follow me and I’ll give you the desires of your heart.'
And, man, before we knew it, we had Gracie. So that was one of the first
miracles that we had. He’s done so many things in our life and in
our marriage. We’re raising our children now in the Lord, all three
of our kids, and restoration and reconciliation has taken place.
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