Jeff Hardy thanks infamous Sting match for changing his life path

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Jeff Hardy is back with the WWE after his previous run was derailed by drug abuse and questionable decisions.

That kind of lifestyle spilled into his time with TNA, with everything coming to a head when he faced Sting at the 2011 Victory Road pay-per-view. The match is now a part of wrestling infamy, with Hardy being so out of it they had Sting squash him in seconds. 

Hardy went through a 120-day rehab stint following the incident and, years later, is once again a WWE tag team champion with his brother Matt. Jeff explained how that single match with Sting was the wake-up call he needed to get his life back in order. 

"2011, with Sting, I was taking somas and I went out there f***** up, and, man, I couldn't even wrestle. For the first time in my life, I went too far. I couldn't wrestle my idol, basically, Sting, and he had to do the right thing and shut me down and pin me, Hardy The Art of Wrestling Podcast, as transcribed by Wrestling Inc.

It's easy to see from the match itself that Jeff was in no shape to be anywhere near a wrestling ring. Observers note that TNA realized this after his entrance, with the ref throwing up an X with his arms to signal something was off. 

You can see the full match unfold in the video below, with the ref signaling for help at the 2:53 mark:

"That was my eye-opener, for the rest of my life, it was that night with Sting. And, man, I love him so much. He was so great after that and coming back in the best shape of my life in 2012, whenever that was when I won [TNA's] world title again or whatever," Hardy said.

"Basically, in a way, in a sick way, that was kind of an eye-opener for me to see that and to feel pitiful for myself."

Addiction has been a rampant problem in professional wrestling for years and has prompted the WWE to focus on improving the wellness of its talent increasingly over the years. Hardy had two wellness violations with the WWE before he departed the company. 

The dangers in professional wrestling are deeper than they seem, and it's good to hear that Hardy was able to use one of the lowest points of his career as a way to dig himself out of a very scary hole. 

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