Vintage Best And Worst: WCW Souled Out 1997

Hi guys…

We’re back with another Vintage B and Dub. I’m sorry it’s taken so long but this has been without a doubt one of the most insane/sad/happy/depressing/I don’t know last six weeks of my life. Sorry. I’ll do better.

As always, catch me on the Tweeters @DaviddTSS and wherever tapes are sold. Anyway, on to one of the worst pay-per-views I’ve ever seen.

Worst: Measuring Eric Bischoff’s Wiener

Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon are egomaniacs. However, Vince McMahon is a much smarter egomaniac than Eric Bischoff could ever be. When Vince wants to whip his wiener out and shows it to the world, we get something like the new ECW or a botched Invasion angle – disasters that still have some morsel of benefit we can latch on to no matter how minute.

When Eric Bichoff wants to pull out the tape measure, we get shitty pay-per-views in front of bored biker guys and an opening montage to a crappy pay-per-view that. takes. forever. All just to show how much money he has and how cool his cutting edge show is. The more I look back at the NWO, the more I see a bunch of White guys (and Virgil) trying their hardest to imitate late-90s gangster rap and looking really corny doing it. I know Hulk Hogan keeps his skin at a nice mahogany complexion, but he looks like an idiot trying to throw up the “westside.” YOU GUYS AREN’T EVEN FROM THE WESTSIDE OF ANYWHERE.

Also, look at how many people are on the NWO now. Just last month, there were maybe six guys in the group but now there are enough guys to hang off of three garbage trucks. Why garbage trucks? Why not.

This whole pay-per-view is essentially Eric Bischoff jerking off for three hours. This is going to be great, guys.

Best: The Set Is Pretty Sweet Though

I did, though, dig the set. It had a very post-apocalyptic, Lost Boys type of feel that fit perfectly with what the NWO was going with. There’s the bikes and the cars and the entire thing there. It really felt like a pay-per-view that took place in a darker place. Kudos.

Worst: Nick Patrick Is Here, Naturally

I’m going to consolidate all of my Nick Patrick rage from this show into one Worst because I, unlike WCW, know that nobody wants Nick Patrick storylines in their faces all day. Basically, Nick Patrick is refereeing most of the matches here and whenever they can’t figure out an ending, they just make him the story. The premise of the pay-per-view is “WCW guys have no chance because this is an NWO pay-per-view.” I get it. But how about setting up different obstacles each match? Instead, we get the same screwy referee finish for three hours. Any time a WCW guy is in line for a pin, Nick Patrick stops and the announcers go crazy. So, why even have the matches? And why is Nick Patrick even cheating for a match between Scotty Riggs and Buff Bagwell? What happens if an NWO guy wins? There isn’t even a stipulation, so what’s the point? Shouldn’t it be about beating the hell out of your opponent? So if P.K. Wallstreet gets his ass handed to him and his leg broken against Jeff Jarrett and Nick Patrick cheats so Wallstreet can get a roll up win, then who really came out of the match better?

Imagine if American Ninja Warrior was three hours long and had the contestants get to the very last obstacle only for the whole stage to collapse and then lose at the very end, every single time. How many rounds are you watching before you say f*ck it? Now imagine if all of those rounds were absolutely terrible leading up to that stage collapse. That’s what we have here.

Best: Chris Jericho Takes A Beating

The pay-per-view starts off strong once you finally get to the actual first match. Masahiro Chono basically beat the hell out Chris Jericho and it was about as New Japan as things are going to get here. Here’s one thing that Jericho did in WCW that was so undervalued: he knew how to take a sympathetic beat down. He spent so much of his time in WCW beating up smaller guys that he was never really given a chance to be much of an underdog babyface. But I distinctly remember him wrestling Scott Steiner on his way out of the company and I felt like he’d taken the worst ass beating I’d ever scene.

Here, he’s finally in the ring with a big powerhouse in Chono and I’m hooked. Jericho doesn’t sell like Dolph in the way that he’s flying across the ring like he got shot. He’s just acting like the things happening to him hurt really, really badly. He drags his arm like it’s dislocated. He keeps a look of despair on his face. He just plays the underdog perfectly and it’s his most underrated trait. It doesn’t hurt that Chono is kicking as hard as Tajiri’s kicks sound.

Of course, there’s Nick Patrick-ing and a convoluted table spot but this is probably the best match you’ll see all night. OK THAT’S IT. SHOW’S OVER.


Worst: Death By Motorcycle

Let’s not forget this: one of the men in this match is hugely responsible for training a lot of the wrestlers you love today. Sixteen years ago, he was in a Botchmania main event against Big Bubba. If you’re keeping track, this is Big Bubba’s, like, sixth gimmick in two years.

A couple of minutes in to this last man standing match, Bugga tries to handcuff Hugh Morris to the ropes, but Morris breaks free and Bubba is maybe now by default handcuffed to the ropes. So he holds on to the cuffs and doesn’t move. I have no clue, either.

The shame of it all is that Big Bubba is one of the underrated, agile and great wrestlers who just kept having good to great hoss fights his whole career. Hugh Morris, um, does moonsaults. Except for when he tries one off the stage steps and ends up just turning sideways and falling really hard. This match should have at least been decent.

Insead, we get a match that ends with Big Bubba running over Hugh Morris with a motorcycle and Morris selling it like Rikishi sells clotheslines. Then, Bubba signals to Nick Patrick and they run to the ring so that Nick Patrick can make the 10 count. Because Bubba suddenly thought he was in a regular match and won by countout. Don’t worry, I lost track of what was going on, too.

Worst: Bitches, Amiright?

Stroud is usually the resident vegan gay guy who thinks women deserve equal rights or whatever. (*throws coffee at Brandon while calling him some sort of slur while making underarm fart noises*) But I’m going to say that this Miss NWO pageant is on the Mt. Rushmore of misogynist things to happen on a wrestling show. Basically, they take breaks between matches to go up to women and say “HEY TOOTS YOUR TITS ARE WHOAAAA.” It’s not even comical. Jerry Lawler wouldn’t be caught dead doing these skits. The joke is they end up picking the fat woman because who saw that coming, right? I can’t even say this was a one-segment moment. It happened between every match and it was the same joke over and over. Boobs. Dirty Joke. Nobody laughing.

I want to take this time to thank my mom and dad for raising me to respect women a little bit despite the fact I watched wrestling as a kid. Because I was like 11 when this pay-per-view aired and the only thing to learn from this is that women need to shut the hell up unless they have lots of cleavage. Hug your parents.

Worst: Michael Wallstreet vs. Jeff Jarrett And The Restholds To Nowhere

This match is built around two things:

1) The tension between Jeff Jarrett, Debra and Mongo.

2) A chin lock. The longest, most uneventful chin lock of all time.

The problem with this match is that Michael Wallstreet literally had zero story, motivation or character and Jeff Jarrett was a tweener that the crowd wasn’t really buying into. So the match had an uphill climb. So how do they climb that insurmountable hill? They have the chin lock that time forgot. These two were really honing in on Yokozuna/Luger WM 10 tape to study. The match builds to a dramatic abdominal stretch (mid-sections haven’t been worked all match) until Mongo hits Wallstreet and threatens to kick Patrick’s ass if he doesn’t make the count.

That last sentence was the first logical thing that’s happened all damn night. Just say “hey, ref, I’ll kill you if you don’t make the count” and call it a day.

Worst: Scotty Riggs And Titus O’Neil Fan Fiction

Maybe. Maybe Titus O’Neil isn’t a member of Omega Psi Phi, thus him throwing up the sign with his hands. Maybe we’ve been fooled all along and he’s just paying homage to Scotty Riggs. Maybe that sign, which Scotty has just deemed to mean “WCW Forever” is Titus O’Neil subtly calling for a second WCW invasion. Maybe it’s a rallying cry for something major.

Or maybe Scotty Riggs just shouldn’t be allowed to speak. He’s talking to the camera and I have no clue what’s going on. Hey, Scotty, you’re supposed to take your bumps in the ring. Not before the match.

Worst: Two Guys Who Do Nothing Well

Remember how Marc Mero became my least favorite wrestler of 1996 because he never had any good matches? The other guy in that pool of terrible is Buff Bagwell. I’ve watched every WCW pay-per-view from 1993 until it went out of business and I have never seen a good Buff Bagwell match. He was decent standing on the apron while 2 Cold Scorpio did flippy things.

Now here we are with Bagwell having to carry a match with Scotty Riggs, who is famous for laying still for the debut of the Van Terminator.

Remember when the Rescue Rangers used to get into fights in the middle of the cartoon? Yeah, I’d rather see those Chip N’ Dales fight than these two. Unlike the other matches on the card, this isn’t spectacularly bad, which would have made it at least entertaining. This was just a match that happens and it ends. This is the same thing that happens with Marc Mero matches. It looks like it should be a good match because the guys look like wrestlers, but it’s just a thing that happens until it ends and I couldn’t be more bored.

Worst: The Same Thing That Happened On Nitro But Less Exciting

DDP vs. Scott Norton officially ends DDP’s streak of great matches. It’s a stark reminder that Scott Norton was only good on Nintendo 64 games. Jesus, this pay-per-view is full of matches that are exactly whelming. So we’ll fast forward to the end of the match: we get the exact same angle we had on Nitro a few weeks before. Except on Nitro it was legitimately great. This was worse and featured NWO guys nobody cares about. Norton, Bagwell and other guys offer DDP NWO shirts because they think he suddenly changed his mind, and he responds by beating everyone up.

PS. The people in the ring are Buff Bagwell, Vincent, Big Bubba, Scott Norton, Nick Patrick and Michael Wallstreet. We’re only six months in on this gimmick, fellas.

Best: The PA Guy Sort Of Owns

Sorry, I needed a best. But the PA guy is legitimately funny as he introduces WCW guys with insults, calling them losers and lying about their stats. That’s the best I got.

Worst: The Steiner Brothers Phone It In

The Steiners are probably my favorite tag team of all time. By 1997, WCW had ripped their souls from their bodies and they didn’t bother putting on great matches anymore. Scott Steiner is getting to Big Poppa Pump size and is losing the ability to bend his limbs and Rick is thinking about selling that four-bedroom house in Smyrna.

To their credit, Hall and Nash are bouncing around the ring trying their best to sell but they left all the f*cks they have to give in 1996.

I think that this is where we start to see the cracks in the WCW foundation. They’ve been beating the WWF for the last few months. They’re in the middle of the hottest angle ever. So why even bother trying? They’re coasting and it started at the top of the card.

Worst: “Let’s Keep Talking About The Better Ladder Matches”

Okay, this hurts my heart. But Eddie Guerrero vs. Syxx ladder match just doesn’t hold up and it’t not their faults at all.

1) DiBiase and Bischoff spend the whole match talking about HBK and Razor Ramon’s ladder matches which absolutely accomplishes nothing in the context of this match. “Hey, Syxx grabbed a ladder just like Shawn Michaels did in that five-star classic.” Except they don’t want to mention the actual WWF match, so they say “OHHH THIS IS FAMILIAR REMINDS ME OF TWO OTHER CLASSICS THAT HAPPENED.”

2) This match was 13 minutes long. We’re in the third ladder match in major company history and it’s already treated like a filler match.

There’s no way Guerrero and Syxx could overcome those odds. I feel like the match was just getting into its stride when it ended in a overbooked mess. WCW really had a chance to make this match special and they didn’t give it the chance it deserved.

Worst: Do You Think Hogan Had A Good Match Here?


Worst: The Giant Is A Moron

Surprise. Surf*ckingprise. Giant gets the visual pin and Nick Patrick doesn’t count. Now, if he’s afraid of Mongo McMichael beating him up, why is he refusing to count Hogan’s shoulders down for the Giant? And how are wrestlers even having these matches thinking Nick Patrick is going to count, then acting surprised when he doesn’t? Wasn’t Giant in NWO? Didn’t he know how these things went in the planning meetings?

Also, last time Giant was in a match with Hogan he got hit with a belt that murdered him to death for the last 10 minutes of the match. Now, he got hit with a guitar that holds absolute carnage and cocaine and he lay in the ring immobile for the rest of the 90s.