NWO Sting Jeff Farmer recalls Eric Bischoff warning him what would cause him to scrap the character, using the gimmick in Japan
World Wrestling Insanity interview with Jeff Farmer
Host: James Guttman
Interview available at WorldWrestlingInsanity.com via ClubWWI.
Any fan of pro wrestling in the late 1990s knows the story of Sting's turn from surfer dude to dark night crawler. But none of it would have been possible without Jeff Farmer. The man dubbed "N.W.O. Sting" played the doppelganger role and helped the popular star find his new identity by realizing his friends didn't full trust him. Today, Farmer is far removed from the wrestling business. When James Guttman caught up with Jeff for his all new 35-minute interview, the former Fake Stinger filled him in on life today...
"I work for the University of Miami and I head up a research project on - of all things - genetics and exercise. Kind of a stretch from pro wrestler to working in science."
That doesn't mean he doesn't still love wrestling. As Jeff explains to ClubWWI.com members, it's something he still holds near and dear to his heart today.
"I have a lot of fond memories from wrestling. I was just watching something on TV the other day about Randy Savage on Netflix. It made me feel nostalgic. It was sad to hear about Randy and what happened. But, watching the show, it was fun to go back and watch the matches.
Although Jeff had been in WCW for years under the "Cobra" gimmick, his time with the company really became something special when he became the New World Order's imposter Sting.
"As James Guttman mentions, the gimmick was at the perfect time because 1996 was still years before the Internet would become as mainstream as it was. There was less chance the story would get out and people were genuinely shocked to realize that he wasn't the actual Stinger when it was revealed at Fall Brawl '96. Jeff agrees and points out that if the story had gotten out, he would never have had the chance to play it. He was informed early on by WCW's Vice President and former ClubWWI.com guest, Eric Bischoff.
"Eric Bischoff came up and told me that if this leaks out, he wasn't going to do it. He really wanted to make sure it was something that people were fooled by. So I said sure and we really kept it pretty hush-hush. Not a lot of people knew about it. I even think some guys in the dressing room were shocked and maybe thought it was Sting. So it was a well kept secret which ended up working out very well. I just wish they had done more with the angle but there were many other issues behind that."
Jeff discusses the gimmick in detail on why he was asked to play it including thoughts on the longevity initially, the long term potential for the N.W.O., politics in WCW, and more. But ultimately, he wasn't around for much of the New World Order's demise. By then, he had gone to Japan and lead the N.W.O. Japan stable. Finding success in New Japan under the Sting gimmick and "Super J", Jeff Farmer genuinely felt at home and loved the environment. He and JG talk about the differences between cultures and how, when Jeff learned of WCW's buyout by Vince McMahon, he knew he wasn't going anywhere. James asks how he found out World Championship Wrestling had died. Farmer laughed and told ClubWWI.com members the bizarre tale of how it affected his New Japan situation…
"That's a great question because I have an interesting story about that. I was working for Masa Saito - he had an exchange thing with WCW. Masa is one of those old school guys where everything is done on a handshake or his word. And it meant something, you know. That's one of the things I really respected about Masa himself and the Japanese culture. So I got a call from JJ Dillon at the WCW and he said, 'Hey, you know, this is going on and we're not going to renew your contract with WCW. We're having these issues.'
"And I said, 'Oh. OK.' I had already been working full time basically for New Japan. So I remember I had gotten the call that day from JJ Dillon and I called Masa immediately and said, 'Masa, I just want to let you know that I'm not working for WCW anymore.' And he said, 'Please, Jeff, don't go to WWF. Don't go anywhere. Just promise you'll keep working for me and we'll keep everything the same.' I said, 'Of course, I would be glad to.' So, I got fired and hired by the New Japan company in the same day. So it was an interesting thing. I ended up popping some champagne at the time and thinking, this is great."
It doesn't end there. Hear the whole thing right now at ClubWWI.com. Remember, Jeff Farmer is just one of hundreds of wrestling stars in uncut shoots with James Guttman available the moment you sign up. Check him out along with Kevin Nash, Eric Bischoff, Diamond Dallas Page, The Steiner Brothers, Tully Blanchard, Ole Anderson, and tons more right now!
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