TNA Superstar Sting on Battling Aces and Eights, Hulk Hogan's Sex Tape Drama, and the Possibility of Someday Jumping to WWE

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TNA has been on something of a hot streak lately with storylines, characters, and in-ring action. Conversely, the WWE has been struggling and recently demoted their head writer. What's your opinion about the differences between the two companies right now? That's encouraging to hear those words. It means a lot. I have not really watched their product for some time now, occasionally I'll flip though and I'll see little bits and pieces here and there, but I really don't know what's going on up there. And for 27 years I've been doing this now, and I have never -- hardly ever -- watched our product. Watched anything that I've ever done. So I'm more of a hands-on guy while I'm there in the thick of it and it's happening. But watching it happen on TV after it's already been done? You know, I just never have done that.

I'm glad that the storylines are what they are, I don't agree with everything happening, but, again, whatever is put before me, I will always just try to enhance or tweak or make changes that I think will make it better for everybody. And I'm not just talking about for myself, I'm talking about for everybody.

Would you ever work in India for TNA's sister company Ring Ka King? You know, if it comes about, I wouldn't say no to it. I'd like to say I did that at least once. So yeah, I'd be willing to do something like that.

How much longer do you think you'll be in the business as an active wrestler? You know, this is an honest answer. That question comes [up] about once a year and its a legitimate question. Every year I think, "How long am I going to do this?" And its one of those play it by ear and see what happens kind of things. The last year was a lot of fun for me. I had fun changing my character up again. Some people liked it, some people didn't. But the bottom line is, I had fun doing it. Just trying something different. To step way out of my comfort zone and try to change and tweak and move with the times and be new and refreshing. As long as there's little glimpses of that happening every now and then, I'll hang out as long as they'll have me, I guess.

On the day you do finally hang it up, is it going to be really hard to walk away from the huge crowds and the big pops? Who wouldn't miss that? Anyone that says they couldn't care less about it is lying, because it does mean something. I was out of wrestling for close to five years, from March 2001 until like '06 when I came in here. And those five years I think I had a few moments here and there where I thought, "You know, it didn't end right after all those years and all the sacrifice." That kind of bothered me and I did have some kind of desire to maybe want to come back and do something somewhere somehow. But for the most part those five years I was busy with my family and kids and I was fine. I wasn't going through withdrawals or anything.

Back in 1988, Ric Flair helped make you during that 45-minute classic at the first Clash of Champions. Is there anyone on TNA's current roster of talent that you'd like to do the same: Help make them into the next big star? Yeah, I thought, it seems like two years ago now, I wrestled AJ [Styles and we had a great match and I thought it was good. I gave him a lot. And I poured a lot into Bobby Roode in the last year and I want to keep on doing that. I see fruit coming from it. So yeah, I do. I want to be a part of enhancing and elevating the younger guys.

Is there anyone else you'd love to work with and help make in the wrestling business? Yeah, there are. There's some great talents here. Magnus is somebody who I'm watching and going, "Man, there's definitely that could be done with him." He just needs to find his niche. There are few others that I'm interested in working with and I want to do that.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.