AEW News

Sting Opens Up About Battle With Addiction


Sting has opened about how a “never-ending cycle” of painkillers, muscle relaxers and alcohol, nearly derailed not only his career, but his entire life in the late 1990’s. By the Spring of 1998, Sting was one of the most famous wrestlers on the planet. From his neon beginnings as what became known as “Surfer Sting” in the late 1980’s, to his transformation into “Crow Sting” decked out in black almost a decade later, the star stood at the pinnacle of the wrestling world. Although by his own admission in a new article for the Players Tribune, things nearly turned out very differently. By March 1998, the former World Champion said that he was an addict, who was only sober when he was doing his job.

“I had every earthly thing you could ever want. And you know what? I was completely and utterly miserable. I was spiritually empty. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was an addict. The only time I was sober was when I was doing my job. The other 20-some hours of the day, it was a steady diet of painkillers, muscle relaxers and booze. A never-ending cycle. It was only a matter of time before I was dead. I knew it. But the physical and mental addiction to the opioids was so intense at that point that stopping was unthinkable.”

Sting recalled that he began using painkillers in 1996, as the weight of being a professional wrestler, a family man, a father, and a lack of sleep began to take its toll.

“And the pills were everywhere, back then. Somas, Vicodin, Lortab, muscle relaxers, whatever. They were floating around like candy. You could take them for pain, or to pass out on planes, or just to have a good time. For some reason, they were never my thing. But I just couldn’t sleep, and I had a million things going on, and so I thought…. Hey, what’s the big deal?

So when I got to my hotel room, I took a painkiller and drank two beers, and I slept like a baby for the first time in months.”

The WWE Hall of Famer added that by the time 1998 rolled around it was ” inconceivable” that he would stop taking painkillers. Furthermore, he explained that by the time he switched to using red and black face paint that Summer, there was a “complete hopelessness and despair in my eyes. It was not an act. It was not a character. I was lost.”

However, in August 1998, he said he experienced what can only be described as a miracle. He broke down to his wife and confessed the true extent of his addiction, begging God for help. It was at this moment he said he “stopped everything that day and I put my life in the hands of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” From that day 24 years ago, Sting says that he’s remained sober.

Sting signed with AEW in December 2020, going on to form a team with Darby Allin. The veteran was most recently in action at AEW Revolution where he teamed with Allin and Sammy Guevara to defeat Andrade El Idolo, Matt Hardy and Isiah Kassidy. During the match he jumped from the balcony driving Andrade through three tables despite being 62-years-old.