WCW Nitro Jan 1997 – DDP declines N.W.O, We Want Sting, Main event in Commercials

 

 

At the start of 1997 WCW was on a roll as far as ratings were concerned. The N.W.O storyline had gained so much momentum it had changed the way Nitro was broadcast. We will get to that a little later.

 

The headline feud for January was Hogan Vs the Giant for what would be a brand new WCW N.W.O PPV entitled Souled Out. Nitro teased that Hogan feared the Giant so much that he had weaseled out of his match. Then it was announced that not only would Hogan have to face the Giant at Souled Out but the two would square off on Nitro that night 13th January 1997.

 

TNT aired only a minute of the match. The rest of the main event was to be aired in the commercial slots to their new Robin Hood serial. It was a clever ploy by TNT to try and boost ratings for their other programs. Wrestling fans got a main event and TNT got better ratings for the program afterwards. However in a world before DVR it probably peeved wrestling fans just a little.

 

The N.W.O strongly suggested that Diamond Dallas Page had joined the group. On the same Nitro 13th January the N.W.O passed him an N.W.O shirt. Page wore the shirt and it looked to the viewers as though he had joined the N.W.O. Then he fought against them knocking Nash to the outside of the ring.

 

Closely related to the N.W.O story was Sting. He continued attacking wrestlers that criticized or questioned him regardless of whether they were faces or heels. He was not wrestling on Nitro but used in backstage attacks like this. He was a character that create questions and his slow build from the end of last year was working well.

 

Also noteworthy this month is television champion Steven Regal. WCW showcased the TV title perfectly at this point keeping it in front of fans on Nitro each week and Brit wrestler Regal really made the championship reign something special.

 

The Souled Out PPV arrived and in one contest the N.W.O were for once not totally successful. Hall and Nash the outsiders dropped the tag titles to the Stiener Brothers or so it would seem. The titles were returned the following due to the count being made by a non N.W.O referee. Styxx and Eddie Guerrero wrestled in a US title ladder match that impressed retaining his US championship. This put all eyes on the main event between Hogan and the Giant for the world Title.

 

The Giant was dominant in the match. However he had not taken a good look at the referee.

Remember N.W.O referee Nick Patrick? He refused to count the pin fall.

Then reminiscent of many Nitro events other members of the N.W.O ran in to interfere on Hogan’s behalf. The PPV closes with the Giant being spray painted by the evil faction. The crowd chanted “we want Sting.”