WWE News: Former nWo Member talks Eric Bischoff creating his character, Hulk Hogan extending it, missed opportunity in WCW
The nWo was one of the most popular stables in pro wrestling history, and he was a major component of the storyline.
Former nWo member Jeff Farmer, a.k.a ‘NWO Sting’, was the latest guest on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show. Jeff had much to share about his 15-year career in the wrestling business. While Farmer made his television exposure as a part of a tag team named "Thunder and Lightning", he gained popularity by becoming a fan favorite named "Cobra", opposing Sgt. Craig "Pitbull" Pitman. While he received moderate success as Cobra, the change of tone in WCW left the character by the wayside, as the company was focusing on edgier content.
"I liked [Cobra]," said Farmer. "It had a lot of potential and it was an interesting time in WCW. There was a lot of pressure for television time. A lot of guys were coming in from the [WWE], and so it was a lot of talent, but not enough air time for everybody to get on television. So there were some good characters at that time who just didn't get a lot of chance to really get a push."
As the Cobra character dissolved, Farmer was looking for another opportunity to make a name for himself in WCW. Then, the opportunity came. At the time, people began to doubt Sting, due to some signs that he was going to join the nWo. As a result, he underwent some soul searching, and returned with a completely different look. Farmer, resembling Sting at the time, also appeared on television with similar gear and paint, with the intent to lure the fans in believing that Sting had gone to the dark side.
"I think the major part was [Bischoff] thought that [Sting] and I were similar in size and stature. I that that was part of it, that I could fool them because we looked similar enough. I wasn't 6'9'' or anything like that, so I think it was definitely part of the match-up in size. I was probably a little heavier than [Sting] back then, but it was definitely close enough. Eric came up and told me, hey, this is a big deal. If this gets out, I'm going to squash it. So even some of the boys didn't know what was going on." He added, "it was something that he definitely kept guarded, so that it was kind of a shock to everyone when I came out of the limo and attacked Lex Luger."
Farmer credits Hulk Hogan with keeping the character in WCW for longer than expected. "I don't think it was going to be a continuing character. I think Hogan liked it, and he said hey, this is good! We can use this 'bad Sting' character to cause a lot of havoc and work with the nWo."
As the fake Sting, Farmer added a very important dynamic to the Sting vs. nWo storyline, as Sting was undoubtedly the faction's biggest foe. When the real Sting started to become more exposed in the black and white attire, the nWo Sting started to fade out. However, he did manage to land a prominent spot in Japan, being a member of their nWo incarnation. Farmer achieved great success there, even stating that he became more popular than Sting himself.
He also felt that WCW missed an opportunity to cross promote with New Japan Pro Wrestling and book a Sting vs. Sting match. "My character was more popular than Sting in Japan, and I always thought we could have a huge match with the real Sting and the nWo Sting. We could have taken the house down in Tokyo, if we would have ever done that match." He added, "it was just a missed opportunity, really in the US too. Think about what you could have done. You could have had [us] wrestle each other, but what if somehow we joined up as a tag team, and then you have two Stings? That would have been awesome too. There could have been a lot of scenarios that could've played out. That was something that never got a chance to happen, but I think it would have been cool."
Farmer went to achieve more success in Japan as the masked "Super J" character, before retiring in 2005. He is now busy in exercise research in Miami but still admits that he gets tempted to put on his wrestling boots one more time.
Follow Chris Featherstone @cravewrestling