Interview Highlights: NWO Sting Jeff Farmer updates what he’s been up to since his career ended, WCW locker room politics, time in Japan, did TNA contact him


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Jeff Farmer, who wrestled most famously as NWO Sting (the “imposter Sting” on WCW Monday Nitro), spoke with James Walsh of Wrestling Epicenter this week about his time on WCW TV and what he’s done since. The following are highlights as transcribed by the show’s producers and provided to PWTorch.com. You can listen now at www.WrestlingEpicenter.com.


•On what he’s been up to since leaving wrestling: “I retired a number of years ago and went back to school and got my Masters from the University of Miami. Now, I work for the University. I make a few (wrestling) appearances every now and then but not very many. My roots are in Japan and I actually was back there I wrestled there last year for (The Great) Muta and I think I’m going over there this year as well. But, other than that, I pretty much have hung the boots up.”

•On doing wrestling conventions: “You know, I haven’t done too many of those. Scott (Norton), I’m good buddies with Scott. He’s invited me to a few. But, I really haven’t done too many. But, when I was in Tokyo last year, I got to meet a lot of the fans. The Japanese fans are amazing and it was a thrill to get back in the ring after 15 years.”

•On the Cobra character and if it was based on G.I. Joe or the Sylvester Stallone movie: “(Laughs) Great question! I started off in a tag team called Thunder and Lightning with my good friend Clark Haynes. The Cobra character, it wasn’t really based on the Stallone movie. It was kind of a covert military kind of thing. I didn’t really flush it out that well. But, I thought it was interesting. I would give a dog tag off to a kid in the crowd and then give a salute so it had some interactive components to it. So, I thought it was an OK character. But, again, I didn’t really think about the future or even the back story. Of course, they did a little (back story) with (Craig “Pitbull”) Pittman later. But, I thought it was an Ok character. I think it had potential. But, it was tough with the talent in WCW. Where do you put them? How much TV time do they get? But, again, it was a decent character. But, they didn’t do that much with it.”

•On his feud with Craig Pittman having cool entrances: “Yeah, I was under the ring one night and came up from behind him. It was fun. But, you had to have the right kind of backing for those things to really work.”

•On looking a lot like Sting physically before he played the NWO Sting: “That is exactly, probably, the reason Eric Bischoff asked me to do the NWO Sting. Steve (Borden, Sting) and I were similar sized and looked relatively close.”

•On the prosthetics used to make him look more like Sting for the Lex Luger limo segment: “They had an AFX guy, I think his name was Andre. He was working in Hollywood but he was doing side stuff for WCW. He took a mold of Steve’s head, like of his facial features, and then they took a mold of my head. His forehead brows, like on his forehead, were bigger. Then, of course, I had lighter eyes and he had dark eyes. I had this prosthetic thing on my face to make it more like his face. It looked really close! But, after a while, we dropped the prosthetics because we didn’t need it because of the paint. No one was looking at our skills to see if they were a match. And then, the contacts. The contects were terrible! I remember when I put those on, I had never worn contacts before. It was really difficult for me to see with those on! I remember when I went to attack Lex, it kind of moved and I couldn’t see him. But, no one knew that part!”

•On the original NWO really sparking the Monday Night Wars and “Attitude Era” as it is known now: “You know, I agree with you. It was amazing to be apart of. And, coming out as Sting at Fall Brawl and everyone thinkint it was Sting and the swerve, it was just a great time in wrestling to be a part of. The amount of attention, from the fans, that the nWo was able to generate! It was amazing! Credit to Hogan, Hall, Nash, and (Eric) Bischoff for the success of the group. It was really an amazing feat to see it make wrestling so popular.”

•On the NWO Sting character having more legs in the U.S. than it was given: “The character was great because it could have been like an evil twin like Batman or a Spider Man with Black Spiderman or whatever you want to call it, like a dark super hero and Sting was like a super hero. Of course, this was not any of my idea. Eric Bischoff told me if it leaks or gets out, they’re going to squash it. Again, this was above my pay grade but the character could have been a pain for Sting and a thorn in hsi side for the long haul. Maybe, down the road, they could end up on the same side and there could have been a Sting tag team and they fight together. But, there were so many things they could have done with it, you know?”

•On the character not being a clone of Sting: “You know, initially, it was designed to fool everybody. But, after a while, you know, I never wore the singlets that he wore. I always had my own tights. On the face paint, I put in a few more lines so it would be obvious that I wasn’t trying to be Sting, I was trying to mock Sting and be a bad version of Sting.”

•On the success of the character in Japan: “In Japan, I was the nWo Sting and I did that character for years, like two or three years. I had hundreds of matches as nWo Sting. The Japanese fans knew that I was not trying to be Sting and it was its own character. In the US, it wasn’t really presented that way at all.”

•On his likeness making it to the back cover of a Sting DVD because WWE couldn’t tell the difference: “(laughs) No, no royalties! I heard about that. That picture, I think, was taken when I was in Japan. I think I had Hiro Saito in a little grip there.”

•On the NWO’s popularity in traditionally WWE markets: “You know, there was a war goign on! It was a great time. It was almost like a race because you had the ratings war, the buys war. And, you know, it was a great time for the boys too because if you were unhappy, you had a little leverage to go to the other side, maybe? I think that was kind of lost after the sale of WCW. You know? You have McDonalds and Burger King! You don’t want to have just one choice.”

•On comparing his experience in the NWO in WCW and in Japan: “For sure. In WCW, there were a lot of little clicks and nepotism and you never really knew who was on whose side. In Japan, it was just straight forward wrestling. I would get there, my name would be on the board, I thrived in that environment much more than in WCW. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. It was just that there was a lot of talent in WCW and everybody was fighting for TV time and we (WCW) didn’t really have space for it all. It was just a different time.”

•On if he ever was contacted to reprise the “Sting” persona in TNA: “If it was ever discussed, no one ever contacted me about it.”

•On AEW bringing wrestling back to TNT: “I think it is great! I started a long tme ago and there were still territories… Wrestling was a lot different. More old school and I hate to say that because I know a lot of guys are like, “Oh yeah, it was old school when we did this and were on the road.” I think you have a tremendous opportunity today with social media to reach so many people. If you think about it, you only had the time you were on TV to connect, get over, get noticed, or whatever you want to call it. Now, with social media, you could follow somebody when they go home, when they’re at the gym, when they’re doing something else. That allows you a celebrity status that you couldn’t attain when you were only on television for a certain amount of time and that is all you had. Now, with social media, it is a completely different era for wrestling. I think that is a plus!”

•On if he watches the current product: “You know, I really don’t. I did for a while when I first got out of it but I found it really frustrating me! (laughs) Becausse, when you know the business, it frusterates you to see things. You know? I didn’t enjoy watching it so I don’t watch it anymore.”

•On the Bullet Club and New Japan’s success now: “You know, I think it is amazing. I say I don’t watch it but that means I don’t watch it regularly. I wrestled Tanahashi when he was just a young kid and I saw he just won the Heavyweight belt. He’s an amazing talent. Chris Jericho, he’s a friend of mine who I’ve known from WCW, I know he goes back there. It really is a resurgance of New Japan. Scott and I talk about it back when we were there with Muta and Chono… We really thought we were the pinacle, and for us I guess it was the pinacle, of New Japan. But, they have an amazing crop of young talent. We were, as you said, kind of doing it in isolation. Unless you bought a tape or bootlegged it somehow… Now it is a lot easier for everyone to see these guys and that is great because there is a lot of great talent to watch over there.”

•On final thoughts on the NWO and their induction in the WWE Hall of Fame: “You know, I just want to thank everyone who came out and see me or watched me. It was a lot of fun getting to perform in fromt of them and trick them and have them hate me or whatever that was. (laughs) It was an amazing thing to be even a small part of. And, congratulations to those guys (Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Syxx) going into the WWE Hall of Fame! It was something I was, again, just glad to be a part of!”


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