Thursday 22 December 2016

WCW Souled Out 1997 Review

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Welcome one and all to another vomit-inducing edition of the only wrestling review series on the internet that tells Droz to puke: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews. Life can be filled with what-ifs? What if I did not come up with that terrible opening? What if I tried for a different career? What if Shawn Michaels faced off against The Rock? The questions, possibilities and outcomes are endless. Today’s what if comes in the form of What if I did not review pay per views from the past? The answer: Well, I would miss out on infamous pay per views like WCW/NWO’s Souled Out 1997! I will be blunt: one of the dumbest ideas ever where WCW are made to look like chumps while the biggest heel group in the company presents a pay per view complete with its own announcers, referees and theme. This could be one of the worst shows I ever cover on this site so I am thoroughly ready to have my mind blown by what I am about to see, sit back and grab a cold one for this NWO’s Souled Out 1997!

Opening Promo

We have black and white footage of an escort going through town, we see The NWO hanging out of the back of a garbage truck? They have NWO flags but is this meant to be cool? This is beyond cheesy and enters the realm of cringy. Bischoff and the NWO enter the arena with The Dallas Cowboys. It keeps going and going like when a sex scene is on in your sitting room and you are there with your parents. Classic NWO style vignette promotes the pay per view, lots of WCW sucks and soundbytes from all the wrestlers. Not bad, much better than the opening of the convoy.

Stage is unique, we have NWO on the ring, on the stage and Eric Bischoff stands atop a podium in the middle of the stage. Bischoff goes to Hogan, Hall and Nash on three separate cinema-like screens. They do not say much or say long so I am not sure of the point of this segment. It seems we are going to have Eric Bischoff and Ted Dibiase as the commentators for the evening (They might be better than Dusty Rhodes but that is still a huge maybe).

Chris Jericho vs Masahiro Chono

Jericho and the rest of the WCW stars will have phoney introductions and no music for the evening while NWO members will have the NWO B-Theme which depending on who you ask, it is a good or bad thing. Chono comes out looking pimptastic, Chono was a huge star in New Japan Pro Wrestling, one of the three musketeers alongside Keiji Mutoh (Great Muta) & Shinya Hashimoto. Chono was the leader of NWO Japan which was more successful in Japan as it would be the lead angle in the company well into 2000. That is not really important in terms of this match but it is about The NWO.

Anyways, the match begins with Chono tossing Jericho to the floor, we cut to WCW stars coming to watch the match. Chono and Jericho continue to talk trash to one another, test of strength with Chono kicking Jericho low to take control, there is a bunch of women on motorcycles by ringside who look good if you are drunk. Russian legsweep by Chono, Chono begins climbing the top rope and nails a diving shoulder block. Jericho blocks a suplex and nails a spinning heel kick, springboard plancha by Jericho. Chono is on laying against the ringpost and Jericho misses a huge spinkick which results in Chono working the leg of the injured Jericho. Side headlock by Chono, Jericho survives a shoulder block so Chono chop blocks Jericho. The crowd chant USA at Chono yet Jericho is from Canada. Enzuigiri by Jericho which Bischoff calls a jump back flipkick.

Chono fires back with a dragon screw, STF is blocked by Jericho. Spinning back elbow by Jericho, German suplex for a two count. Lariat by Jericho, two count for Jericho. Falling reverse DDT by Chono, Chono climbs to the top and dives but Jericho kind of just hugs Chono, it looks awful. Chono nails an inverted atomic drop and Chono has a table? Chono looks for an apron suplex to the floor, Jericho suplexes Chono into the ring. Missile dropkick by Jericho, cover and Chono gets the foot on the ropes. Fisherman Buster by Jericho and a Lionsault, cover and it’s another two count. Jericho climbs to the top rope, Chono crotches Jericho. Massive Yakuza Kick and shove through the table for Jericho, Chono finishes Jericho with The Yakuza Kick.

Meh, that’s my feelings towards it. I like Chono and I like Jericho, I did not like this match, it was slow and dull. They were a few moments in there too which looked sloppy like the table spot and the shoulder block that came off all wrong, not good stuff.

Winner: Masahiro Chono over Chris Jericho via Kick!

Ms. NWO Contest

Sweet Jesus, pictures of women that range from beautiful to oh my god I would rather be gay, they are sitting on motorcycles while an awkward host asks a few women some awkward questions. This segment is dying a slow, slow death and I can’t tell if they are trying to be ironic or not, it will continue throughout the night.

(Mexican Death Match) Hugh Morrus W/ Jimmy Hart vs Big Bubba Rogers

Why is it a Mexican Death Match? Honestly, I have no answer for you. Why is Big Bossman in the NWO? Thin out the ranks but really Bossman? Why is Dungeon of Doom still a thing? Screw you that’s why! Morrus is dressed like a reject from The Dudley Boyz. They lock-up, Bubba pushes back Morrus and tells Morrus to kiss his fat ass. More lock-ups with Morrus shoving down Bubba, clothesline by Morrus. Bubba eats the steel steps after a huge Irish whip, low blow by Bubba (Not sure if illegal or Patrick is allowing it, both are possible). Huge clothesline by Morrus which sends Bubba to the floor, Jimmy Hart attacks Bubba. Bubba is whipped into the corner and pulls a chain out of his coat, Morrus eats it to the face and Bubba proceeds to whip Morrus until Morrus dodges and pays Bubba back for the chain shots.

No Laughing Matter Moonsault hits the mark and Nick Patrick begins to count. You see to win this match, you have to keep your opponent down for a count of ten. Nick Patrick does everything to delay the count and Bubba rises to his feet. Morrus nails two clotheslines and asks Patrick to begin counting. Bubba is nailed with some object that Morrus has in his hands. Eye rake by Bubba and Bubba begins teeing off on Morrus. Flying forearm by Bubba, right hands to the heart and face. Bubba rakes the eyes of Morrus, low blow by Morrus. Make it two and Bubba is hurled to the floor. Bubba is slammed on the stage and Morrus is looking for a Moonsault. Morrus does not go for an actual moonsault, more like a twisting splash. Bubba grabs a motorcycle and runs over Hugh Morrus. Morrus does not answer the count.

Thank god it was brief, I shall tell you that much. It was slow, plodding and goofy-looking at times. The finish and setup for the finish looked so corny and Bischoff, the heel is screaming the whole time that Bubba should not run over Morrus because that’s illegal and not allowed. I do not think Bischoff understands what it means to be a heel. Two matches in and this is all garbage.

Winner: Big Bubba Rogers over Hugh Morrus via Vehicular Homicide!

Jeff Jarrett vs M. WallStreet

Double J battling IRS, somebody hates me (I am sure of it). Collar and elbow tie-up, knee by Wallstreet who runs to the ropes like a true heel. Another lock-up, Nick Patrick pulls away Jarrett before Jarrett nails Wallstreet with a right hand. Side headlock by Jarrett, shoulder block and a hiptoss. Right hand by Jarrett, Jarrett ascends to the top rope and nails a crossbody. Cover and a slow two count from Patrick, roll-up by Wallstreet with a noticeably faster count. Wallstreet is rammed face first into the mat before Jarrett chokes Wallstreet using the ropes. Jarrett looks to nail a knee across the ropes but Patrick drags Wallstreet out of the way. Jarrett is clotheslined into the barricade. Wallstreet drops Jarrett across the guard rail. Jarrett tries to fight back but Jarrett is sent flying into the crowd. Sleeper by Wallstreet, it looks Debra is asking Mongo to help Jarrett. Sleeper by Jarrett, Patrick makes Jarrett break the hold. Wallstreet takes over with a kick to the head and an elbow drop.

Reverse chinlock by Wallstreet, Wallstreet uses the ropes for leverage which Patrick sees and compliments Wallstreet for his brilliance. Jarrett fires up, inverted atomic drop but Jarrett cannot take control as Jarrett misses a fist drop from the middle rope. Jarrett drops two elbows on Wallstreet’s knee and applies The Figure Four, Patrick drags Wallstreet to the ropes and it seems Mongo has enough of the blatant cheating. Abdominal stretch by Jarrett which is reversed by Wallstreet, Mongo cracks Wallstreet with his briefcase and forces Patrick to count the pin for Jarrett.

Better than the other two matches but it is not a great achievement by any means, I was entertained by the antics of Patrick as the slimy, heel referee but that would be all I have liked about this match. It was as average as a match could be so let’s keep on motoring through this snorefest.

Winner: Jeff Jarrett over Michael Wallstreet via Briefcase Shot!

Buff Bagwell vs Scotty Riggs

The announcers continue to bury WCW talent while they enter the ring (Smart move guys, that won’t come back to bite you in the ass at all). There is a bit of a story to this match though, Buff and Scotty were The American Males with the one of the worst themes in the world. Anyways, Bagwell stabbed his friend in the back and joined the ranks of The NWO. We not have a match between these two former friends, Buff is entertained with his own looks which allows Riggs to beat up his former partner. Huge clotheslines and a back body drop make Buff powder to the floor, kick to the ribs by Buff and a clubbing blow to Scotty. Side headlock by Buff, shoulder block by Buff but Riggs fires back with a dropkick. Patrick distracts Riggs which allows Buff to beat down Riggs, belly to belly suplex by Riggs. Buff has a tantrum and slaps Riggs, Riggs smashes Buff to return the favour, Riggs hiptosses Buff to the floor. Plancha by Riggs, Buff recovers quickly to Irish whip Riggs into a guard rail. Buff smacks Riggs with a huge forearm and a pose for good measure.

Riggs hotshots Buff and nails a crossbody, Buff blocks a suplex and drapes Riggs across the top rope. Buff drives Riggs to the floor with a knee. Riggs takes some big punishment from Buff. Riggs eats an inverted atomic drop and some nasty elbows to the back of the head. Cover and a two count for Buff, Buff makes Riggs do The American Males Dance before Riggs attacks Buff with his ass. Riggs does not have buns of steel as Buff powerbombs Riggs for a two count. Sunset flip by Riggs, exposing Buff’s thong (Oh god I am blind). Buff drills Riggs with a right hand and applies a camel clutch. Riggs counters the camel clutch into an electric chair drop, small package by Riggs brings a two count. Atomic drop and an enzuigiri by Riggs, Buff walks into two boots from Riggs. Riggs drills Buff with a tornado DDT.

Two dropkicks floor Buff, crossbody by Buff out of nowhere brings a two count. Riggs counters a neckbreaker for a backslide, two count. Riggs nails a powerbomb, Buff kicks out at two count. Riggs prepares for a superplex but Buff fights off his former partner. Blockbuster by Buff and we have a winner. Decent match, I see potential in Buff as a slimy, self-loving heel. Crowd did not care much for the match though, they have been silent throughout the night and while the match was not bad, I am wishing and hoping for something to entertain me.

Winner: Buff Bagwell over Scotty Riggs via Buff Blockbuster!

More NWO Women Crap

I cannot believe this I still going, they actually find one hot woman among all the older women and she says she would flash with Scott Norton. I am a fan of this woman but this contest is dog shite. They are women supposed to be dancing in an attractive way, surprise, they are not good dancers.

DDP vs Scott Norton

DDP had rejected previous offers from The NWO so Norton is here to teach DDP a lesson, you do not mess with The NWO. Norton outpowers DDP on multiple occasions before DDP grabs a side headlock. Swinging neckbreaker by DDP, DDP grabs a front chancery to keep Norton down but Norton is too strong. Big chops by Norton but DDP reverses the big man and drops Norton with a facebuster. Norton nails a jawbreaker and a huge clothesline, Sting is here in the crowd. Shoulderbreaker by Norton, DDP rolls out to the floor. Norton flings DDP into the guard rail and ringpost, DDP’s arm is the focus for the main gaijin of New Japan. Headbutt by Norton, DDP dodges a short-arm clothesline and drills Norton with a discuss clothesline. DDP attempts a sunset flip but Norton punches DDP in the nose, Norton looks for a hip splash but DDP dodges being squished.

DDP is on the top rope, clothesline and a cover which brings a two count. Irish whip by Norton does not end well as DDP DDTs Norton. Buff Bagwell and the B Squad come down to the ring, they want to induct DDP into The NWO. DDP says he is joining before dropping Norton with a Diamond Cutter and bailing into the crowd. Good angle because the fans were buying into DDP at this stage and it looks like WCW might be on the verge of making a new star. Good angle but as for the match….

The theme of the night is average, nothing of note, nothing memorable and now we have a no finish to a match on a card that sorely needs something, anything at this stage. I cannot believe there are no cruiserweights on this show, they are needed.

(WCW Tag Team Championship Match) The Steiner Brothers vs The Outsiders ©

The Outsiders have had one of the most boring runs as tag team champions, they have had multi-man matches and heel vs heel matches. In the Steiner Brothers, we have a popular face team that hopefully, can get a good match out of these two. By this point in the show, I am sick of Bischoff and Dibiase on commentary, they are up there with Mike Adamle and Josh Matthews.

Hall and Scott tie-up, Scott pushes back Hall. Hall throws his toothpick at Scott, shoulder block and series of shots to the arm by Hall. Hall slaps the head of Scott before Scott firemen carries Hall to the ground. Hall cuts off Scott with a few knees to the ribs and an abdominal stretch. Scott reverses the stretch and powers down Hall, overhead belly to belly suplex by Scott on Hall. Nash runs in and Rick DDTs Nash which leads to The Steiners standing tall in the ring. Hall and Rick begin a slugfest, Rick peppers Hall and slams Hall hard. Elbow drop by Rick, Rick looks for a double axe handle but Hall catches Rick and nails a fallaway slam. Hall wrenches the arm but Rick escapes and in comes Scott Steiner. Scott walks into a chokeslam from Hall, tag to Nash and Nash tees off on Scott. Trademark knees and elbows by Nash in the corner.

Corner clothesline by Nash, Scott blocks the second clothesline. Belly to belly by Scott for a two count, Scott makes the tag to Rick. Bearhug by Rick goes awry as Nash clubs Rick. Rick battles back and powerslams Nash, Hall clubs Rick from the apron and eats a big boot from Big Sexy. Hall clotheslines Rick hard on the floor, Nash goes for the cover and gets a two count for his efforts. Tag to Hall who stomps all over Rick, big knockdown by Hall. Nash is in, snake eyes and cheap shot from Hall. Nash misses an elbow but tags to Hall, Hall works on Rick in the corner. Hall smacks Scott and the referee holds back Scott as Nash drops Rick on the ring apron. Sidewalk slam by Hall, sidewalk slam by Nash for a two count. Nash chokes Rick across the second rope and Nash nails Rick with a running knee. Scott has had enough, Scott clubs Hall who is seeing stars. Nash plants Rick with a clothesline, Nash talks trash and wastes time instead of jumping on Rick.

Rick low blows Nash behind the referee’s back, we could have a hot tag. Tag to Scott, Scott mows down Hall and Nash with clotheslines and suplexes. Rick and Scott take down Hall and Nash, Rick and Scott motion for their bulldog. Nash low blows Rick and Nick Patrick is knocked down, Hall nails The Outsider’s Edge on Scott. Rick flattens Nash and Rick nails a bulldog on Hall, referee Randy Anderson comes into the ring and makes the count, we have new tag team champions.

Solid tag team match, Scott had returned from injury and looked good in the ring, The Outsiders were very over and established as a threat to all other WCW stars so they lay their shit in and the fans eat all of it up. The finish is fine but ridiculous in the sense that the referee just jumped through the crowd to make the pinfall. It was part of an angle and it would play out on Nitro but a referee without any of his gear counting the pinfall? Sorry, you cannot expect me to buy into that!

Winners: The Steiner Brothers over The Outsiders via Top rope bulldog!

(WCW United States Championship Ladder Match) Eddie Guerrero © vs Syxx

Eddie Guerrero had defeated DDP at Starrcade to win the vacant championship after Ric Flair was forced to vacate the championship. Eddie was not in possession of the belt at the time, The Giant had stolen the belt from Flair and now Syxx held onto the belt, you got all of that?

Eddie knocks down Syxx quick before Syxx reaches into his bag of tricks to kick Eddie back to El Paso, more right hands and forearms by Syxx. Eddie uppercuts Syxx and nails a headscissors and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Syxx bails to the floor and turns around as Eddie soars through the air to wipe out Syxx. Syxx recovers to nail a spinning heel kick from the second rope, chops in the corner by Syxx. Syxx nails the bronco buster and taunt over Eddie, Eddie swats Syxx with a dropkick. Syxx suplexes Eddie from the ring to the floor is a scary bump. Syxx nails a tope con hilo to keep down Eddie. Syxx reaches for a ladder, it is a good thing because I thought they forgot about the stipulation. Syxx batters Eddie with the ladder, Syxx and Eddie have a tug of war with the ladder before Eddie see-saws the ladder into Syxx’s face. Eddie smacks Syxx in the lower back to keep the challenger down. Eddie props the ladder in the corner but Eddie is Irish whipped into the ladder.

Syxx flapjacks Eddie onto the ladder, Syxx suplexes Eddie and climbs to the top of a ladder in the corner. Eddie and Syxx are on the ladder, Syxx drops Eddie and it seems the spot is over. However, Syxx looks to drop the ladder on Eddie but Eddie springs up and dropkicks the ladder into Syxx. Eddie drops Syxx with a top rope superplex, Eddie and Syxx race towards the championship and Syxx manages to dropkick Eddie off the ladder, Syxx falls in the process. The two climb the ladder again, slugfest on top of the ladder. Syxx punches Eddie off the ladder but Eddie tips over the ladder with Syxx falling onto the ropes. Eddie tries climbing but Syxx grabs Eddie’s leg. Smartly, Eddie lays waste to Syxx to give himself more time, Syxx struggles up the ladder.

Both men have the belt in their hands with Eddie smacking Syxx with the belt, Syxx falls to the mat and Eddie holds the championship high above his head. Good match, the first half was all wrestling with both men showing what they could do without the stipulation. Second half consisted of bumps involving the ladder, you have to think of the time and not what you see with today’s ladder matches. This match does not hold up well with today’s matches but at the time, you had yourself a damn, good ladder match. Ending may have been a little quick in the sense that they setup the ladder and proceeded to do two big spots in a row only to get up immediately for the finish. The tug of war for the championship was an interesting idea, I could only think of one other occasion I have seen that and that was many years later. Execution could have been better with Eddie dropping the belt in the process of hitting Syxx but I am juts nit-picking. This was the only match I could give a damn about so far on this card.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero over Syxx via Retrieval of the belt!

Ms. NWO Crap Contest

We have stats ladies and gentlemen, my favourite include detailing pickup trucks and cooking french-fries (I wish I was joking). I hope number eight wins, she is the only woman who looks attractive and not in her 40s. I think Eric Bischoff’s obsession with motorcycles had gone too far with every woman looking like a biker chick. Eric Bischoff is going to decide the winner, Bischoff talks and talks about women and their motorcycles. Apparently, there is a tie as I gasp in anticipation in what Eric’s question could be and the fans won’t hear. The winner is number seven, she kisses Bischoff and I am repulsed, mortified, embarrassed, and questioning my sanity. Miss Becky, our winner, gets a tiara, flowers and steps into the ring.

(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Hulk Hogan © vs The Giant

The Giant had won World War 3, the sixty-man battle royal which meant that a championship match was in The Giant’s future. However, Giant was not happy with his NWO comrades as they would not back up Giant in his match with Luger, the arguments continued and soon, The Giant was standing against The NWO. The last time these two met it was at Hog Wild 1996 which is one of the worst matches I have ever seen. Giant is still green and Hogan is not the greatest carrier in the world. Will it be any different several months later?

Hogan punches and kicks Giant, no effect as Giant stalks his prey. Big chops by Giant and Hogan powders, Giant is lured in by Hogan. Hogan begins clubbing Giant, chops by Giant and big right hands. Huge clothesline by Hogan that wipes out Giant, Giant is back on his feet. Hogan is rammed into the turnbuckles, Hogan is out on the floor. Hogan rakes the eyes but Giant overpowers Hogan and Vincent. Hogan shoulder blocks Giant with no effect. Giant slams Hogan hard, elbow drop by Giant. Giant clubs Hogan to the apron, Hogan bails to the floor. Hogan throws powder in the eyes of Giant, back rake by Hogan. Hogan chokes Giant with wrist tape? I think so, Giant gets in the ring and backbreakers the champion. Giant decides to go to the top rope (Why?), Giant looks to deliver an elbow and misses an elbow drop. Reverse chinlock by Hogan to wear down The Giant.

Giant is slammed by Hogan, Leg Drop but Giant sits right up. Hogan taunts and Hogan taunts and Hogan taunts while Giant looks like a jabroni. Finally, Hogan turns into The Chokeslam and Patrick refuses to count three. Giant decides to kill Patrick, Buff is killed as is Vincent with Chokeslams. Bischoff hands Hogan a guitar, Hogan botches the guitar shot resulting in Hogan being smacked at least four times. Hogan breaks a chair over Giant’s back and spray-paints the lummox too.

Garbage, pure and utter garbage. The Giant is not ready for big matches that has been clear but to not try and protect The Giant is just suicide. Hogan dominates Giant and the big guy hits two moves the whole match, one backbreaker and one Chokeslam. He’s The Giant! The Giant is supposed to lay waste to everyone and everything, Hogan should be taking shortcuts to take down this big man not easily kicking the monster’s ass. What the hell was that match? Could you call it that? Hogan’s heel work is cartoony as can be yet, Hogan is not acting like a chicken-shit heel when he is dominating The Giant like he’s a chump. And the finish, sweet lord above how does that finish help anyone? It is just like another episode of Nitro, people paid to see a definitive outcome to Hogan vs Giant and you have Hogan and his buddies lay out Giant for a no-finish in the main event with no comeback or rematch in sight? The match was a joke, the finish was a joke, the booking is a joke and I think WCW are just trying to test my patience.

Winner: Nobody, Absolutely Nobody!

You know when a friend asks you about a movie and whether you have seen it or now? You know when the friend tells you do not see it, it is that bad? You never take his advice do you? You have to see for yourself because you are too full of your own crap to take someone else’s advice. Well, this is how I feel right now, Souled Out is considered one of the biggest flops in wrestling pay per view history and for good reason. There is but one shining light on this show and that is the ladder match, everything else was a nightmare and an endurance test. Matches were slow, boring and overly average. That host and the contest were cringeworthy, the whole concept is ridiculous because Bischoff and his buddies continue to bury their talent and make WCW inferior. I cannot see why anyone would support WCW but my god, this show is awful so let’s erase it from our memory and meet back here next time for another show ok? I am the Seanomaniac and there is always another night!

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