Just like the man himself, this feature has eventually returned and reared it’s ugly head! This time our focus will revolve around a historical situation, and one of the most debated and discussed angles in the history of professional wrestling : The Invasion.
In March 2001, the WWF as it was at the time finally won the Monday Night Wars. The wars were ended when WWF bought out the WCW for a reported $3m. With this Vince McMahon monopolised the industry, leaving no other major promotions in the world given that ECW had just went though its’ own financial meltdown and was also bought out by the WWF. With this should’ve seen the biggest angle of all time, with the WWF going head to head in dream matches against the WCW guys.
Ultimately, this never happened. The angle lasted from just after Wrestlemania X-Seven to Survivor Series with a grand total of two ECW/WCW guys in the blow off match to the angle. WCW was led by Shane McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin, who everyone knows is one of the greatest WWF superstars of all time. They never spent the extra money to bring in the real WCW: guys like Ric Flair, Sting, Scott Steiner & Goldberg were not brought in. While the reasons are understandable (money), if the WWF was serious about doing it properly (making the most money they could have as well as producing the best product they were able to) they should have brought in the main guys and really portrayed the WCW as a serious threat to the WWF.
In this series of articles, we’ll be touching on how the WWF could have done the Invasion. I figure that no matter how bad this is, it can’t be any worse than what the WWF decided to do with it! This re-imagination of the invasion is going to run a year. In my opinion, given that this should’ve been the culmination of the biggest angle in history it should have culminated on the grandest stage of them all: Wrestlemania. So, the timeline for this is from just after Wrestlemania X-Seven straight through to Wrestlemania X8.
It should be noted that unless otherwise stated, I’m not focusing on side-angles or any other storylines. I’m using The Two Man Power trip very briefly at the start, but it would diverge because of where I’m taking the angle. One thing that should be noted: Steve Austin holds the belt till Wrestlemania X8, making it a reign spanning two Wrestlemania’s over the best part of a year. And he’s also be keeping to the heel turn he made at WM 17.
Things begin just after the WM 17. Fresh off his victory at WM, Shane would be taunting Vince relentlessly over the Mania match and his acquisition of WCW. Shane eventually announces that WCW will debut at Backlash, the first PPV after Mania. At Backlash, Vince would cut a promo going apoplectic about the whole WCW situation, and basically calling them out. Shane would then come out, and would say he had decided to sell the company to a man who really understood the promotion.
Shane would then debut the WCW “owner” as being none other than Ric Flair. Flair would go down to the ring, saying that he wanted WCW because he was the man that made it. Vince would attempt to attack Flair, but Flair would easily get the better before locking in the Figure Four Leglock. Vince would be tapping out, before Triple H and Austin (Two Man Power Trip) run in chasing Flair off. Flair says that the WWF hasn’t seen anything yet, setting the scene for what’s to come.
The Raw after Backlash would open with Ric Flair. Flair would be cutting a promo on Vince and the WWF in general, before Austin and Triple H would jump Flair. Flair holds them off via stalling until Scott Steiner, Diamond Dallas Page (DDP), Jeff Jarrett, Booker T and Lance Storm run in for the save. The five men take the ring, stating that they are here to change the landscape of the WWF.
For the next two months until “King Of The Ring,” the five guys cause chaos in the WWF. Interrupting matches, attacking people…the whole works. Eventually, Vince decides that enough is enough. First of all he declares that it’s time for WCW to die. He says King Of The Ring will be a tournament between 2 WWF guys, and two WCW guys. He says that if WCW manage to win the tournament they can stay. In addition to that, Vince says that Nitro will be revived in place of Smackdown. However, if WCW doesn’t win…then they leave the WWF. They are banned and will never be seen on TV again. Flair agrees. Vince then proceeds to place bounties on the WCW guys heads. Steiner, Double J, Booker T and Storm are all taken out. A damaged, battered and bruised DDP is the only guy still in contention with Ric Flair pulling the strings.
DDP manages to make King Of The Ring, but he’s pretty beaten up on the numerous attempts to put him out of action. Vince announces that WWF’s two competitors will be The Big Show (who would cut a promo saying that no-one wants to see WCW die more than him given how much he hated being part of the company) and The Undertaker. Given that WCW only have one competitor, Vince would brag over how that the WWF is bound to win given the state that DDP is in and how much abuse he’s taken over the past few weeks and that they have no-one else.
Ric Flair says that he has faith in DDP, and also that the WCW have a second man. He would tease himself as a competitor, but he says that their other guy will be there King Of The Ring. On the show before the event, the draw would be made for King Of The Ring. DDP draws Undertaker, while Big Show’s opponent will remain a mystery. If there is no second man, it’s revealed Big Show will go straight into the final of the tournament, making the odds against DDP even greater as if he manages to scrape past Taker then he has to face a fresh Big Show.
Just as things are getting good, we’re going to have to leave it there. In our next installment, we’ll be picking things up at “King Of The Ring” where we’ll reveal who WCW’s second man is and whether they’re successful in regaining Nitro, not to mention where things will be going from WCW’s success or failure at the King Of The Ring PPV. I hope this has served as a good introduction and grabbed your attention!
Ta Ta For Now
You can follow Michael on twitter @MichaelBrown_91
An enjoyable read.
Thanks man, I’m glad you enjoyed the first part! Hopefully this will go down well as it develops cos I’m pretty happy with what I’ve come up with and I think it would’ve played out well on TV.
It’s not as “out-there” as the NWO one was either I’m sure people will be glad to note!
I remember the crowd going nuts for DDP when he made his debut.
The sad thing is that one pop showed that the guys coming from WCW were stars in the eyes of the WWF fan despite how a lot of them ended up in the dying days of WCW. In the context of the situation they would’ve still been over as hell in my humble opinion.
For those who haven’t seen it, here you go (it also features William Regal telling Tajiri to “fuck off” right at the start): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI_6FI6FZ0Q
I’m nearly sure he says ”bugger off”. That pop was incredible.
Dumb idea to have him “debut” as a heel.
Yeah. Stupid way to introduce us to him.
Wrong. ECW went under and was bought before WCW…also the “Big Name” stars chose to sit at home and earn the remainder of their guaranteed Time Warner contracts instead of working for money. Research my friend, it helps.
Good point, didn’t know that about their contract status.
Yeah, So it pretty much boils down to all the big names were lazy and were fine leeching off past accomplishments instead of giving back to the business that earned them that money in the 1st place.
That’s probably the biggest reasonwhy they lost the ratings war in the first place, all they cared for was their biggest stars and wouldn’t use them to push up and coming ones.
There’s some truth in that. However, for instance, Scott Steiner’s deal expired in November 2001 (he started working for World Wrestling All Stars). Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were at Wrestlemania X8 less than a year later, only a mere 6 months after the angle ended. Sting is on record as saying the reason he refused to join is because he didn’t trust how he would be used (The Rock not knowing who Booker T was was what he cited I believe). Ric Flair, the living embodiment of WCW and the NWA in the eyes of many, debuted the night after the angle ended!
Are you genuinely trying to tell me these guys would’ve been hard to business with to get them in?
The only guy who I think who would’ve been difficult to negotiate with was Goldberg, and even then it’s wouldn’t’ve been impossible to bring him in given that people would’ve payed to see him against the main WWF guys at that time so whatever deal you give him is going to pay for itself.
Regarding ECW…yeah. My bad. Will be edited appropriately and apologies for the slip up.
The best part of the whole storyline(after the Shane bombshell) was when all these guys who were in WWE joined the WCW/ECW group.
I wanted Jericho to join the ECW group, he had every reason too. He was welcomed in ECW from the start, but in WW(F) he was treated as a joke and stripped of a rightful Heavyweight title win.