When the nWo tried to trick WCW into thinking one of its top stars had defected when the group debuted a fake Sting, everyone involved bought it nearly without question. That included Lex Luger, his longtime friend and tag team partner.
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, 1996), 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 little faith anyone had in him when the chips were down:
"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 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 the last words he spoke on television until early in 1998.
And it was the start of one of the greatest gimmicks and slow build storylines in wrestling history, at least to yours truly.
Check out everything else that happened on this date in history here.