When the New World Order (nWo) tried to trick World Championship Wrestling (WCW) into thinking one of its top stars had defected when the group debuted a fake Sting, everyone bought it. That included Lex Luger, a longtime friend of Sting's, both on screen and in real life.
At Fall Brawl 1996, a War Games match between the two sides ended up proving Sting to be innocent, as he showed everyone once and for all that he had remained loyal. The same could not be said for those who doubted him, which again included Luger.
That sent Sting over the edge.
The next night on Nitro, which occurred on this date in history (Sept. 16), Sting made his way out unannounced with no entrance music, symbolically turned his back to the hard camera, and cut a promo letting everyone know exactly how he felt about how quickly everyone had turned on him.
"I've carried the WCW banner. I have given my blood, my sweat, and my tears for WCW. So for all of those fans out there and all those wrestlers and people that never doubted the Stinger, I'll stand by you if you stand by me. But for all of the people, all of the commentators, all of the wrestlers, and all of the best friends who did doubt me, you can stick it. From now on, I consider myself a free agent. But that doesn't mean that you won't see the Stinger. From time to time, I'm going to pop in when you least expect it."
He would reappear a month later wearing all black with a trench coat and face paint, teasing that he would join the nWo before saying, "the only thing that's for sure about Sting is nothing's for sure." Those would end up being his last words for just over one year until Jan. 1998.
And it was the start of one of the greatest gimmicks and slow build storylines in wrestling history.
Watch Sting's promo below: