A Look at nWo Souled Out ’97

Not much news to report since the Clash of the Champions 34 took place only days before this:

  • Don Frye is claiming Ric Flair and him are discussing bringing Frye into the Four Horsemen to replace Mongo.

Souled Out 1997

We see a parade of dump trucks, cop cars and ambulances coming down a snow covered road. The amount of money they spent renting all those things, and closing a road probably could have funded ECW for a few months.

nWo Souled Out ’97

They have a new set built with three big screens and a large wall of lights that spells out “NWO”. The baby faces all have snarky comments shouted at them over the P.A. during their entrances instead of music. Eric Bischoff and Ted Dibiase call the action.

Chris Jericho vs. Masahiro Chono 
Harlem Heat, Brian Nobbs, Arn Anderson, Mongo, Sherri Martel and the Faces of Fear come in to watch the action in the audience.  Chono works a deliberate pace as Bischoff cackles over spending Ted Turner’s money on the new set. Chono wears away at Jericho’s leg to try and prep him for the STF. Jericho fight back with a nice German suplex, but Nick Patrick isn’t interested in counting a pin against his employer’s man. They botch a top rope crossbody attempt. Chono sets up a table but Jericho prevents him from using it by delivering a variety of suplexes to try and finish his opponent. Jericho tries a top rope attack but Chono catches him up there. Instead of bumping from the top rope, Jericho sort of hangs half-way down until Chono can toss him through the table. A mafia kick ends the dullness at 11:16. Next…

Eric shows some of the middle aged women who are trying to be named “Miss nWo” and a few of the women are asked questions by Jeff Katz. The crowd chants boring.

Mexican Death Match: Hugh Morrus vs. Big Bubba
No truth to the rumor that Donald Trump booked this stipulation. They brawl with some standard punch and kick stuff before Bubba tries to use a pair of handcuffs, only to be sent over the top rope with a big clothesline. A large chain is next introduced and Morrus downs Bubba. A moonsault puts Bubba down forever but Nick Patrick can’t make a ten count, which is apparently how you win. Bischoff doesn’t even know how this thing is suppose to end. They slow the pace to a slow crawl. Eventually they stumble to the floor and down the aisle. Morrus misses a moonsault and splats on the cement. Bubba hops on a Harley and runs into Morrus, which allows Nick Patrick to count to 10 at 9:03. Absolutely dreadful.

More time wasting with the “Miss nWo” girls. Fat women dance on the stage.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Michael Wallstreet
Two competent to really good workers, neither of which ever got over to the level of their potential. This is pretty much a nothing match, and this show has already used up all the good will that I may have been willing to use. Jarrett gets some early control but Nick Patrick cheats to give Wallstreet the advantage. Double J takes a big bump over the railing. Mongo and Debra argue over her lust for Jarrett. Wallstreet starts with the rest holds as I look at the timer and realize I have two hours of this garbage left. Jarrett locks on a figure-four and Patrick drags Wallstreet to the ropes. Debra pulls Mongo to ringside and forces him to hit Wallstreet with his steel briefcase. He then threatens Patrick to make the pin at 9:37. This was fine, minus being completely vanilla.

They find some old women in biker outfits for the “Miss nWo” competition. One lady says her feet are her best quality and the other lady couldn’t hear Katz’ questions and just kept smiling and basically asking “WHAAAAAAAAT?”  OK, the show was redeemed with that unintentional comedy.

Scotty Riggs vs. Buff Bagwell
If an unover team splits up, why assume anyone will want to see their matches? Riggs controls the early portion as Buff is too busy posing. This goes on for over fourteen minutes and things just drag throughout as Buff has about three moves in his arsenal and the crowd is dead. Even the WCW stars at ringside are shown looking bored. Bischoff has the gall to talk about Buff’s “technical skills” while he has Riggs locked in a chinlock. Bischoff mentions for the second straight match that the crowd is “restless” aka BORED. Bagwell releases the chinlock, poses, then locks it back on. I start to legit nod off. The Blockbuster mercy kills this at 14:15. I surrender. Done. Network shut off. I hate everything.

24 hours later in my life I return to this crap. Has an artist ever suffered greater for his craft?

“Diamond” Dallas Page vs. Scott Norton
The announcers put over Page hard as being an ace player but one who will pay for spurning the nWo’s offer. Page forces Norton to MOVE early on and chucks Norton around, culminating with a front-face piledriver. Norton shakes that off and starts mauling DDP. Sting arrives since the jobber matches are finally over. Page endures a shoulder breaker and then makes several trips into the ring post and stairs. Bischoff talks about Norton’s past being a bouncer in a Minnesota “establishment” and for some reason he avoids saying “bar”. Page mounts a comeback as the nWo B-team come down and invite Page to join the nWo. Page puts on the shirt, then Diamond Cuts Norton and wipes out all the jabronis before running off at 10:18. Match was fine. Doing the same angle with Page and the nWo within a matter of weeks was a bit of overkill. Trying to use the B-team to recruit Page after he turned down his “friends” Hall and Nash is baffling.

WCW Tag Team Champions Scott Hall and Kevin Nash vs. The Steiner Brothers 
Scott falls into the face in peril role early, but he makes his own comeback as Hall is willing to bump around. Scott’s already in bloated muscle mode and nearing the end of being any kind of dynamic worker. Rick tags in after the Outsiders regroup but Rick quickly eats some big moves from Hall and tags out. Hall wipes Scott out and tags in Nash. The Steiner Brothers attempt to match up with Big Sexy but he grinds them both down in one-on-one action. Rick is ultimately stuck in the role of Dog Face in peril.

Scott gets sick of waiting for Rick to fight his way out of trouble and just attacks Hall. Rick low blows Nash and makes the tag. Scott suplexes both heels with ease and Hall is set up for the top rope DDT before Nash breaks it up. Nick Patrick takes a convoluted bump to the floor in the process. Scott is downed with the Outsiders Edge as Nash is posted. Hall is bulldogged as ref Randy Anderson jumps out of the audience and counts the pin at 14:39. Bischoff immediately shouts that the pin and title change won’t count and I can’t blame him for that logic. The match was watchable but unremarkable. Not playing the Steiner’s music somewhat hurt the victory pop.

Ladder Match: US Champion Eddy Guerrero vs. Syxx 
The ring announcer calls Eddy a “Mexican jumping bean” and Syxx as the “true U.S. champion of the World.” I’m pretty much sick of listening to the nWo B-team music by this point. Syxx kicks off with a fast-paced martial arts assault. The champion sends him to the floor and greets him with a flying plancha. Bischoff discusses how both of these guys are in danger of long term concussion related damage from their high-risk style. Syxx suplexes Eddy off the apron and Guerrero lands hip first on the cement. OUCH. Syxx lays him out with another flying attack before going to retrieve the ladder.

Syxx is battered with the ladder, stopped only when he reverses an Irish whip and sends Guerrero into the ladder. Guerrero is dumped chest first on the downed ladder and that sets off a series of ladder based high spots. Syxx and Eddy meet one another on top of the ladder by the belt, and Syxx delivers a dropkick from WAY up high. They climb back up and Guerrero is knocked off again, but he accidently tips the ladder over from the impact of landing and Syxx takes a big bump too.  They climb up together a third time and Eddy and Syxx struggle for the belt. Guerrero smacks Syxx in the face with the gold and then secures the win at 13:56. This was a good match, which seemed like a great match when it was preceded by two hours of dreck.

The Miss nWo contest continues on with the women delivering half-hearted dances as their hobbies are listed as involving bowling shirts, pick up trucks, flannel and such. This is like one of those RAW skits where Vince and two others in the back are laughing their asses off as millions sit at home staring blankly. The winner sits on a giant black toilet that doubles as her throne.

World Champion Hollywood Hogan vs. The Giant 
The Giant no sells Hogan’s opening blows so Hogan runs for his life. This leads to Hogan suckering the Giant in and Hollywood gets in some effective punches. The Giant roars back and fends off some interference from Vincent before battering Hogan with forearms. Hogan resorts to tossing powder in his eyes to take control back. This doesn’t last for long as Hogan is again taken down. The Giant tries a top rope flying elbow (!) but misses. Hogan takes over with rest holds before slamming the Giant. A leg drop is no sold. A chokeslam downs the Hulk and Patrick refuses to count the pin. The Giant chokeslams Patrick at 12:03 for the presumed DQ. The b-team runs in again and the Giant chokeslams everyone. Hogan produces a guitar and KO’s the Giant. Hall and Nash then come in to join the beat down. They spray paint the Giant and pose as the crowd chants for “Sting”. Match was garbage.

Final thoughts: I dreaded watching this card because I knew it was horrible. Having two heels announcers made for an annoying dynamic, especially when stretched out over 2 1/2 hours. The matches were largely without consequence and the heel ref gimmick was PILEDRIVEN into the ground. Blah. This was the one and only nWo PPV for a reason.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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