I know you will disagree with me, but Candle reminded me of some things that swayed me toward Sting.
Both are two phenomenal wrestlers who are simply amazing in the ring and both have accomplished so much in their career. I can understand why people say Shawn Michaels has accomplished more and is the bigger icon because of all his memorable accomplishments and accolades. Shawn Michaels has always been known as the Showstopper and one of the greatest of all time. Shawn Michaels is definitely a great wrestler and he's one of the first wrestlers to utilize high flying along with mat wrestling. Shawn Michaels has had many great matches with numerous opponents regardless of who the wrestler was. Shawn Michaels had great wrestling matches against Bret Hart, Triple H, Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, and many others. He was also in one of the biggest tag teams of all time called The Rockers. Shawn Michaels also has great mic skills and he's always been a great talker on the mic. His character is believable on the mic and is a reason why he is so successful. HBK is an icon, but icons aren't always about who is the better wrestler.
Sting is an icon and many people seem to overlook his entire career based on his recent performances in the ring. Have fans forgotten Sting from the 80s and his matches against Ric Flair? Sting has accomplished so much in his career and has always been one of the biggest talents in the wrestling business. Sting was a great wrestler in the past and he shouldn't be overlooked. Shawn Michaels was always pushed highly as the showstopper and he has always been loved by WWE and all its fans. Sting had a much rougher road because while he was in WCW, wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash tried to ruin and tarnish Sting's career and legacy. Sting had to fight back from possible career ruining moments and he still survived to have his legacy intact. Sting is one of the biggest if not THE biggest names to never step into the WWE. Sting didn't join the world wide known promotion and he's still recognized as one of the greatest of all time. That is amazing because most wrestler careers have elevated by being in the WWE. Sting is a legend regardless of his current status. Sting helped sell out arenas on his name and he is the one that raised TNA ratings next to Christian Cage. Sting has been helped TNA on his name alone.
Both are huge icons of this business and both are two phenomenal athletes, but being an icon isn't all about who's the better wrestler or who has had more phenomenal matches at times. Sting has fought for his legacy and he has helped change wrestling itself. Shawn Michaels had WWE to support him, but Sting had a dying WCW and a fresh promotion named TNA to further his career. Both are true icons, but i would say that Sting is the icon between the two.