Sting – When WCW Needed A Hero

A new threat had arrived in WCW, one Sting was becoming aware of. In the summer of 1996, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, fresh off successful WWF careers, had invaded WCW Monday Night Nitro.

They called themselves the Outsiders. WCW fans truly believed the Razor Ramon and Diesel had declared war on WCW for WWF.

It was the masterpiece storyline that made WCW into a powerhouse. At Bash at the Beach, Sting, Luger, and Macho Man Randy Savage stood up for WCW against Hall, Nash, and an un-named third man.

The Birth of the nWo - 07/7/96

nWo – They were taking Over

As we all know, that third man was Hulk Hogan. Hogan turned his back on WCW. He was now the leader of the New World Order (nWo). Hogan may have pledged his loyalty to the NWO 4 Life but also made an enemy in Sting 4 Life.

Due to this New World Order threat, WCW needed to put their differences aside. Sting and Luger teamed up with Ric Flair and AA at Fall Brawl War Games 1996 against the nWo.

Again, the NWO played mind games, claiming that it would be Hall, Nash, Hogan, and an unnamed 4th member. The nWo also claimed that the fourth member was one of WCW’s own.

On the Nitro before War Games, the nWo claimed it was Sting. They showed footage of Luger being attacked in the parking lot by a man dressed as Sting. Sting tried to convince Luger it was not him.

Luger accused Sting of being a traitor. In War Games, two men start, and another man is added every few minutes. The match takes place in two rings in a steel cage. The team left standing is the winner.

When it was time for the nWo to announce their fourth a man dressed as Sting walked down the aisle, everyone was confused. Had Sting joined the nWo? The answer was no.

The real Sting joined his teammates in attacking nWo Sting, Hogan, and the Outsiders. He then turned to Luger and asked if that was proof enough.

Then Sting walked off, leaving his team. The nWo defeated the WCW. Sting was a man without an affiliation. He was a vigilante.

The next night on Nitro, Sting tried to explain his actions. He had no pyro or music. It was just Steve Borden facing WCW. Sting said his friends doubted him.

He now considered himself a free agent. It looked as if Sting was saying goodbye to WCW. They were now ripe for the picking. The nWo got rid of WCW’s hero. Nothing would stop the New World Order from taking over.

Sting stayed off Nitro until October 21, 1996. In a match that had the imposter Sting vs Jerry Lynn MR.JL, Sting attacked the nWo Sting.

He was now wearing a black trenchcoat with long black hair. He put the imposter Sting in the scorpion deathlock as the rest of the nWo assembled at ringside.

Impressed by Sting’s new attitude, Kevin Nash offered him a spot in the NWO. Sting did not say yes; instead, he left the arena.

Sting would now be silent whenever he appeared for almost a year. He also began to carry a baseball bat randomly showing up in the rafters at WCW events.

Ironically, a member of the nWo, Scott Hall, gave Sting the idea for the vigilante persona. Hall remembered seeing a movie called The Crow.

The character was so enigmatic people were drawn to him. Unquestionably, Scott Hall was a wrestling genius.

[Photo: 411Mania]

“I don’t need any credit from it. It was great when Sting put me over and thanked me but it was just the right thing to do. To me, once you give a guy an idea that works, you have a connection with that guy.”

– Scott Hall

Sting vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan 

The nWo was gaining momentum. Week after week, they were adding new members. This was war. Sting knew he needed an army.

He began to show up at Nitro’s, testing other WCW competitors’ loyalty. Sting would act as if he was going to hit them with the bat. Instead, he would stop, give the bat to them, and turn his back.

When the wrestler did not attack Sting with his back turned, he just nodded and walked away. One of those tests was with The Macho Man Randy Savage. Macho hated Hogan. Eric Bischoff, who was also an nWo member, told Savage he would only be allowed back in if he joined the New World Order. Savage refused and aligned himself with Sting.

At Superbrawl VII, Rowdy Rowdy Piper challenged Hogan for the WCW championship. At the end of the match, Sting and Savage appeared at ringside.

Little did Sting know that Savage would turn his back on Sting. Macho Man helped Hogan defeat Rowdy Roddy Piper. Sting began to appear in the rafters whenever the NWO was in the ring. The nWo claimed Sting had joined. Sting remained silent.

At WCW Uncensored, The nWo won a battle royal, which guaranteed them title shots whenever they wanted. As they were celebrating in the ring, Sting rappelled down from the rafters. Sting attacked the nWo. Sting was WCW.

He would not let the company he helped build go down like this. In the following weeks, Sting turned NWOS’s game plan against them. He would randomly attack from either the rafters or under the ring.

He would employ Sting decoys to frustrate the nWo. He would also help those who passed his loyalty tests. Sting was fighting for WCW, but he had yet to sign a contract.

JJ Dillion offered Sting many opponents if he would just sign with WCW. Sting kept refusing. He wanted Hogan. Finally, JJ Dillion agreed. Sting was set to face Hollywood Hulk Hogan at Starrcade 1997.

Sting and Hogan did not touch for months. The build was phenomenal. This was going to be WCW’s finest hour. Unfortunately, the match itself was confusing. Bret “Hitman ” Hart just arrived in WCW.

A month prior Hart was the then WWF Champion. He was double-crossed in reality by WWF Owner Vince McMahon in the infamous Montreal Screwjob. He was a special enforcer earlier in the night.

WCW Referee Nick Patrick Recalls Bret Hart's Involvement In Botched Starrcade 1997 Finish -
[Photo: eWrestlingNews]
The match was supposed to be like WCW’s answer to the screwjob. Nick Patrick was supposed to fast-count Sting. Then this would make Hart go to the ring, claiming he can’t let what happened to him happen to anyone else.

Bret, justifiably so, was still angry. It wasn’t something to be in a storyline. Patrick failed to make the fast count and counted a normal three count. The match was restarted, and Sting took the WCW Title.

Hollywood Hogan appealed the decision and was granted a rematch. In the rematch, two different referees choose a winner. Nothing was decided. JJ Dillion vacated the WCW title.

At Superbrawl, a match was signed between Sting and Hogan. With an assist from Macho Man, Sting defeated Hogan re-gaining the title. The nWo began falling apart. Unquestionably, Hogan and Savage were the two most iconic names in the group.

They were also the most combustible, as always. Kevin Nash also began to gravitate away from the nWo. He helped Macho defeat Sting at Spring Stampede for the Championship. Nash and Savage formed the nWo Wolfpack.

The Wolfpack was very popular and became faces while Hollywood Hogans nWo remained heels. You could see where WCW was going with this. The idea was for nWo to have its own show.

Sting was torn as his friends belonged to both factions. However, based on history, Sting would never join Hogan. Sting became a member of the red and black Wolfpack.

His Tag team partner at the time was The Giant, aka Big Show. They were the WCW tag champions. However, The Giant was on nWo Hollywood while Sting was with the wolfpack.

Due to this dissension, the Tag Titles were vacated. Sting vs The Giant winner take all. Sting won and chose Nash.

Sting vs Bret Hart:WCW Championship Part 1 - YouTube
[Photo: YouTube]

Sting vs. Bret Hart – Scorpion Death Lock against the Sharpshooter

During this time, a dream rivalry was happening. Sting began a feud with Bret “Hitman” Hart. For years wrestling fans had wondered what if these two squared off.

Both stars are very similar in their rise to the top. Both were former World Heavyweight Champions. Both had very similar finishing moves. Bret had the Sharpshooter. Sting had the Scorpion Deathlock.

Arguably, this wasn’t the rivalry that the fans nor the two superstars wanted. This should have been on a much larger scale. A lot of it was because of WCW’s inability to book The Hitman correctly.

Vince McMahon always said WCW wouldn’t know what to do with Bret Hart. He wasn’t wrong. The feud started when Hart cost Sting the WCW tag titles.

This led to the Hitman vs Sting For the Us Championship at Halloween Havoc. During the Match, Bret attacked Sting with a baseball bat. This attack put Sting out for a few months.

Eleven months later, Sting returned and defeated Hart with the help of a Baseball bat. Years later, Both Bret Hart and Sting agree this was a missed opportunity to have a great story.

Honestly, it should have been two faces fighting out of mutual respect. The two have shared mutual respect on social media. In Bret’s Autobiography My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, Bret spoke highly of working with Sting.

“Sting is a class guy, just a first-rate guy. Great guy to work with. A real friend I never saw an ounce of ego. Just a team player all the way. I always had respect for him, “….

– Bret Hart.

WCW 2000 Feuds 

In March 1999, The nWo disbanded. Sting was involved in a four corners match for the WCW World Championship at Spring Stampede. It was Sting vs Hogan vs DDP vs Ric Flair.

To add to this, the special guest referee was Macho Man Randy Savage. Savage proved to be the deciding factor in this match as after an elbow by Macho, Diamond Dallas Page won the WCW Championship.

This Is Sting √ - WCW World Heavyweight Championship (6 of 6) September 12, 1999 - October 25, 1999 WON FROM: Hollywood Hogan LOST TO: (Sting is stripped of the title after
[Photo: Facebook]
Sting did regain the WCW title from Page on April 26, 1999, on Nitro. However, later that night, he defended it in another four way with Nash, DDP, and Goldberg. DDP pinned Nash, regaining the WCW title.

Sting’s fifth title reign was only 90 min long. Sting then began to feud with Rick Steiner, Sid Viscous, and Goldberg. He also teamed with Nash against Savage and Viscous, where Savage won the WCW title in a special tag team World Heavyweight Championship Match.

Sting renewed his rivalry with Ric Flair defeating him on Nitro to become WCW president. Sting only stayed president for one week.

Hulk Hogan returned to WCW. Gone were the colors of the NWO. The Red and Yellow of the icon Hulk Hogan were back. Soon, Hogan became WCW Champion. Sting started questioning Hogan’s motives.

At Fall Brawl 2000, Sting used a baseball bat to defeat Hogan. It was the first time Sting was ever a heel in WCW. Fans were not sure how to react. Sting was again champion, but at what price? The fans refused to boo Sting.

At Halloween Havoc 2000, Sting defended the title against Hulk Hogan. Uncharacteristically, Hogan entered the ring in street clothes and laid down for Sting. Sting was angry. He laid out an open challenge that night.

Goldberg accepted the challenge, but it was an unsanctioned match. After the match, Sting attacked referee Charles Robinson. WCW stripped Sting of the title.

Excellence of Execution on Tumblr: Sting vs Bret Hart WCW Mayhem '99
[Photo: Tumblr]

WCW Mayhem 

A 32-man tournament was set up to declare a new WCW Champion. Sting made it to the semi-finals. At the PPV WCW Mayhem held in Toronto, CA, Sting faced Bret Hart. This match is one that lived up to expectations. It blew away their Halloween Havoc encounter.

It was two of the best fighting for the WCW title. Bret Hart was awarded the match due to interference from Luger. However, Hart did not want to win that way. The match restarted.

In the finish, The Hitman won with the Sharpshooter. Sting and Bret shook hands as a mutual sign of respect. This was the match the fans wanted. Bret Hart went on to the finals, winning the WCW Championship.

After Mayhem, Sting went after his best buddy, Lex Luger. He fought Luger at Starrcade but was attacked by the total package and Elizabeth with a chair. When Sting recovered, he defeated Luger in a Lumberjack with Casts Match at Uncensored.

Final Episode of WCW Nitro: Sting vs. Ric Flair
[Photo: YouTube]

End of WCW

WCW began going through turmoil. Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo were hired to reboot all the storylines. They declared all the titles vacant. Sting participated in a US Title Tournament. He went to the finals, but Vampiro interfered.

As a result, Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner won. Sting began to feud with Vampiro. It ended at the Great American Bash in a Human Torch Match, where Sting was set on fire and thrown off a video screen.

When he returned, Sting feuded with Steiner as well as the Chosen One, Jeff Jarrett. Once Again, Sting was injured, but this time, it was at the hands of Steiner. Sting stayed off WCW TV until that fateful night, March 26, 2001, the very last WCW Nitro.

Vince McMahon had purchased WCW. Sting had the honor of competing in the final match that night against Ric Flair. As was said earlier those two also had the very first match ever in Nitro history. Sting defeated Flair. The two hugged as WCW closed its doors for good.

“I’ve never mentioned this to the press or dressing room but real men cry. I’ve been emotional full of tears two times in my career.

First was Panama City, when Ric and I had the last WCW match on Nitro. Second was Dynamite. Rics started with me now he’s going to finish with me….”

– Sting

WWE chose not to buy out Stings’ contract. Sting would not show up in WWE until 13 years later. But that is a tale for another day. Instead, he decided to Tour with WWA internationally.

Lex Luger had already gone there and was the current champion. Sting defeated Luger to become the WWA Champion on December 13, 2001.