Jeff Hardy and Sting have had a chequered past in the world of wrestling. In his interview with Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards on AEW Unrestricted, Jeff Hardy revealed it was Sting, whom he saw as a child wrestling in North Carolina, who inspired him both to become a wrestler and to wear his iconic face paint in the ring.
In the interview, Jeff Hardy revealed “I reached out when I was 12 years old and touched Sting on the shoulder in Fayetteville, North Carolina at the Cumberland County Civic Center – and I want to make somebody feel the way he made me feel.”
Jeff Hardy was inspired by Sting and along with his brother soon formed their own wrestling promotion and began wrestling. The pair wrestled under a number of gimmicks in their own promotion OMEGA (Organisation of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts), which was where Jeff Hardy’s “Willow” gimmick was born.
Jeff Hardy and Sting finally wrestled each other years later, in TNA. In one of the most infamous matches of all time, Sting took on Jeff Hardy at TNA Victory Road 2009. Jeff Hardy turned up to the match high on drugs and was pinned by Sting within seconds as fans chanted “this is bullshit”, which Sting responded to by shouting back “I agree”.
In recent years, the pair have hashed out their differences and began teaming up in AEW. In Jeff Hardy’s AEW debut, he helped protect Sting and Darby Allin from an attack from the Andrade Family Office, and teamed with the pair in multiple matches afterwards.
In a recent interview with Chris Jericho on Talk is Jericho, Jeff Hardy and his brother Matt Hardy talked about Sting and the insane spots he wanted to do in the various matches the stars had together. On the podcast, the pair talked about the great time they had working with The Stinger and the crazy ideas had for the their matches in AEW.
“It was a thrill when we got to have that six-man tag at Revolution with Sting in it,” Matt Hardy said. “It was his idea, he was like, ‘I really need to do something to really highlight myself.’”
“And he did the thing where he jumped off the balcony and through the four tables, which was so great. I got to work with him a lot in that match, and I actually got to work with him in TNA back in the day, back in 2011 a little bit.”
“He’s the best, man. It’s weird, Sting falls kind of almost a generation ahead of you and me in some ways. And he’s still out there and he’s so committed to performing.”
“He’ll take chances, and he’s there to help with the talent, and he’ll give input. He just goes about it with the best attitude of all time. He’s so amazing to be around. It’s truly been a thrill to work with him.”
Sting’s stunts in AEW have rivalled even Jeff Hardy in his prime. He has jumped off varying heights through an increasing number of tables, and all of it at the rip old age of 62.
Sting has proven that age is just a number and that he is one of the greatest wrestles of all time. He has wrestled for over 40 years and still has the same drive and passion he did at 22. Do not be surprised if we see Sting and Darby Allin win the AEW Tag Team Championships and start a feud with the Hardy Boys some time in the near future.
Both men could be nearing retirement, however. Sting is 62 and is playing with borrowed time, while Jeff Hardy’s injuries are becoming too much and could signal the end of his career soon. Whenever their careers do end, they will be revered as some of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.