When Sting faced Jeff Hardy in the main event for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Victory Road 2011, it was supposed to go down as one of the most memorable matches in the company's history.
Unfortunately, the match happened during a stage where Hardy was battling alcohol addictions. Before the match even started, it was evident that Hardy was heavily intoxicated, and in no shape to perform. Officials and Eric Bischoff alerted Sting to end the match quickly, doing so in less than 90 seconds.
Fans started chanting expletive words, with Sting apologizing to the fans immediately. Hardy was sent home and suspended for a brief period, while the company gave pay-per-view buyers six free months of TNAonDemand.
Sting was questioned about this controversy at the Wales Comic Con last Saturday, and shared his experience of going through the incident:
"Jeff was in a bad way, he was deteriorating as the day went on, by the time our match rolled around it became clear that he couldn't compete so I had to take him down quickly. He has since turned it all around, I love Jeff, I love his work, I hold nothing against him and wish him all the best."
Hardy has battled drug and alcohol addictions in the past, culminating in a 2009 arrest that saw him spend 10 days in prison. In 2008, Hardy violated the WWE's wellness policy and was suspended 60 days, missing out on the WrestleMania XXIV Money in the Bank ladder match.
Thankfully, Hardy has since been able to clean up his act and has stayed out of trouble with the law. He and Matt have had a successful return to the WWE, though Jeff is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Sting was given full praise for being able to end the match in a quick matter while being professional about the whole incident. The controversy isn't long forgotten, but it's well in the past of these two wrestling legends.