Souled Out 1997, which took place on this date in history (Jan. 25), proved an interesting case study for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and should have given the powers that be every indication of how fans wanted to digest the storyline battle between WCW and the New World Order (nWo).
Once the invading heel stable became so ridiculously popular that the company was beating up the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the ratings war every Monday night, the idea was pitched to have an entire pay-per-view (PPV) promoted as though the nWo was its own separate entity, completely unconnected to WCW.
They went the full nine with this, ditching the WCW logo, its announce crew, its referees, everything. The whole show consisted of WCW vs. nWo matches and no WCW wrestler got to have his own entrance music. Eric Bischoff and Ted DiBiase did commentary while Nick Patrick was the referee for the evening.
It bombed at the box office.
Turns out, fans still wanted WCW in its usual form but with nWo running in trying to take over. Eventually, the story needed the predictable but satisfying finish that would see the good guys triumph in the end.
That didn't happen, not really, and the company is no longer in business. What do you know, right?
Here's the main event from the show, Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant:
Love Giant no selling Hogan's finishers but that scoop slam was awful.