WCW NWO Souled Out 1997

As you can read it by the name NWO Souled Out, a WCW show fully nuanced by the NWO. This is interesting, since no matter how popular a current fighter, gimmick or faction is, today their personality never determines the name of a PPV. For example, there is no PPV called “The Table of Roman Reigns” or “The House Of Horrors”, or anything like that. But at this time, both WCW and WWE itself occasionally fell into that practice.

The grace of the PPV dominated by the NWO, is that the fighters had to play with the rules of the faction: in each combat, the referee was Nick Patrick, someone who belonged to the NWO and who even refereed with one of their shirts. I have read people who consider this PPV as candidate for worst in WCW history. I disagree: from what I have seen since we started the project, it seems to me that there are others even worse. But to say that it’s bad enough, arguments are not lacking.

To get started, most of the fights are a mess. In part because they took out some of the best names in WCW in favor of other more mediocre ones, or also, because there was some filler that replaced rivalry matches that had been justified in the weekly ones. Another issue is that, due to technical errors, one of the recording cameras has a terrible distortion that can be seen several times.

Gross. Souled Out 1997.
Gross. Souled Out 1997.

Point aside the PPV contest called “Miss NWO”. They took out several fans (Or contracted actresses? I never knew), to choose among them the Miss N.W.O.. Normal women, who said in brief interviews what they were doing. These things are done on a game show… but this is a wrestling PPV. How come they wasted time on stupid things like this? The worst was the ending: the winner was chosen by Eric Bischoff and then the promoter kissed her. How disastrous is all that.

Chris Jericho vs. Masahiro Chono

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A priori what could be the meeting of the night due to the quality of the names. It was “acceptable” but I think it did not meet expectations at all. Here Chono is the tough guy, while Jericho has a very underdog role. The NJPW wrestler solidified his dominance by hitting the Canadian hard outside the ring, where he damaged his leg against the post.

Then back in the ring, Jericho manages to turn the match around and reaches the level of getting the Lion Sault. But his knee was very hurt and that is what prevented him from covering in time, before Chono got away. Later, Y2J tried to jump from the corner, but the Japanese pushed him and made him fall on the table they had installed at ringside. Later and back in the ring, Jericho no longer has anything to do and is finished with the Yakuza Kick of the NJPW man.

Assessment: 3 jumbos 1/4.

Big Bubba Rogers vs. Hugh Morrus, Mexican Death Match

We started the match debacle with no clear justification in kayfabe and no great workers. The stipulation makes you think of a hardcore match where they’re going to tear each other apart, but it’s very “light” really. With saying that the only really hardcore thing is when Bubba (Big Boss Man) uses a motorcycle to run over Morrus and leave him unconscious, causing him to win the match. But without that spot, it was a normal singles match. As I mentioned, those involved were not up to something very good.

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Assessment: 1 jumbo and a half.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Michael Wallstreet

Jarrett’s victory against an absolute nos. What happened to the rivalry with the Four Horsemen who are not on the PPV?

Assessment: 1 jumbo 1/4.

Buff Bagwell vs Scotty Riggs

13 minutes into a Bagwell bout. Who could this happen to? He won more over.

Assessment: 1/4 jumbo.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott Norton

We raised the in-ring level a bit and it was still an entertaining fight, between the resources of Page who is already totally babyface and the innate brutality of Norton. The NWO breaks in, but when in theory the Diamond Cutter was already coming to finish off Scott. Therefore, I could not say that it is such a disastrous closing of the combat. I am not praising the meeting, but I must admit that sneaks in among the least bad of the night.

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Assessment: 2 jumbos 3/4.

The post-match is better than the match itself. This delegation of NWO members led by the aforementioned Bagwell arrived. Interesting, how despite being below the leaders, this nefarious one could be said to be some kind of minor boss among the secondary.

The point is that Bagwell and his cabal once again tempted DDP to join the NWO. And so, Page accepts and puts on the shirt, sealing the deal. Everyone celebrates, but as he shakes hands with Norton, Page took out the Diamond Cutter. Afterwards, he beat up a few and sneaked into the crowd to destroy his NWO jersey. The only thing that doesn’t make this so remarkable is that in a previous Nitro we had already seen DDP reject the same offer from the Outsiders.

The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) (c) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner), WCW Tag Team Championships

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Good match and confirms to me that the Outsiders (at least at this point) worked well as a team. Both tags were big, tough guys, even though the Outsiders had a more Powerhouse touch and the Steiner Brothers a technical wrestling bent. But luckily, It doesn’t feel like a really slow match.

Early in the match, the Steiners made the NWO guys quite difficult with their various Suplex variations. The tables turn when Nash and Hall catch Rick, and give him long punishments preventing him from taking over. Referee Patrick was purposely distracted by Scott so that the heels could do their thing and that’s where a good moment comes from, when Rick takes advantage of giving Nash a low blow. Hence the hot-tag occurs to Scott and We’re on our way to the final minutes.

The Outsiders legally should have won, as Hall manages to Crucifix Powerbomb Scott and has him for the pin. But Patrick had been knocked unconscious and that gives Rick time to surprise with the Steiner Drop. Then another referee with no NWO connections came along and pinned Scott, for which the Steiners won the titles. The ending and other passages could perhaps have been worked better, but it’s still a good fight.

Assessment: 3 jumbos and a half.

Eddie Guerrero (c) vs Sixx, USA Championship, Ladder match

It is strange to admit that Sixx (X-Pac) was in the fight of the evening. Although well, the bar was very low and we are talking about an individual ladder match between two guys who could adapt well to the corresponding spots.

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There are some good shots back and forth with the ladder, and against the ladder as well. There were also classic falls, such as when Sixx takes out an Enzuigiri from the top of the ladder and they both fall accordingly. The ending is still very dramatic and I also liked its originality. They both climbed to the top and after throwing some fists, they take out the title at the same time. But Eddie manages to take down X-Pac and since he is the man left standing with the USA, They declare him the winner.

Despite the virtues of the meeting, it is not up to the classics of the stipulation. It lacked in particular intensity or, to put it another way: “that they hit hard”. Here they both went for the title and didn’t consider destroying each other in the process, which puts this match WAY behind Jericho vs. Michaels at No Mercy 2008 and so many other great ladder matches in history.

Assessment: 3 jumbos and a half.

Hollywood Hogan (c) vs. The Giant, World Heavyweight Championship

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Very predictable. Mediocre combat where The Giant (Big Show) hits Hogan with the Chokeslam and the referee Patrick refuses to make an account in favor of the face. The Giant chokeslams Patrick and to end the match, the entire NWO arrives to attack the giant and leave him lying on the ground.

Rating: 1 jumbito 1/4.

We already saw Royal Rumble 1997, WWE’s January PPV. The normal combats of the same, are not much next to those of this PPV and there were still ugly falls. But, the Royal Rumble match is far superior to everything seen in this PPV and due to time, it covers a lot of the WWE PPV of the same name. So, I think it’s an indisputable victory. This is how the competition would look:

WWE: 9. WCW: 6.

In the weekly shows meanwhile, at the moment Nitro wins:

RAW: 30. Nitro: 37.

All the RAW vs Nitro here.

WCW NWO Souled Out 1997