Rick_City Rebooks the Invasion, Part 1

Okay, so the WCW Invasion angle in WWF was pretty terrible. Some of the reasons couldn't be helped, such as the fact that most big WCW stars stayed home and sat out their contracts rather than break them and come to work for WWF. However, the angle was also just terribly booked.

Here's my attempt at doing it better.

Please see the "Timeline" post for more details, but, basically, we're working with what WWF was actually working with. We only have access to the wrestlers that WWF actually had access to, so if someone wasn't signed or was injured, we can't use them until they're signed or back in action.

We're also going to have to assume that "backstage politics" don't come into play here. I'm going to try to be as realistic as possible with who goes over who, but assume that I'm such a good negotiator that I can have any active guy willingly face any other active guy if I book it.

Anyway, here goes:

I'm starting at this on May 28, 2001. In real life, Lance Storm became the first WCW wrestler to appear in WWF when he attacked Perry Saturn during a match on Raw that had Saturn and Terri defeat Steve Blackman and Trish. I'm going to stick with Storm attacking someone, but it will be Steve Blackman instead. Saturn and Terri win the match.

Two points to make here: 1) Even though Storm isn't a "big name" at this point, I agree with him being the first WCW guy to appear. Why? Because WWF didn't exactly have a bunch of top WCW names to choose from, so some need to be elevated in importance and Lance Storm is one of those guys. 2) He attacks Blackman instead of Saturn because Steve Blackman and Trish have never been in WCW, while Saturn and Terri had. This becomes important later.

Also on the real May 28th Raw, Jericho and Benoit both attacked Steve Austin, leading to a King of the Ring triple threat match. This attack still happens in my rebooking, but more on the KOTR match later.

Anyway, on the next episode of Raw (June 4th), Vince McMahon starts off the show by insulting Shane and WCW. Shane comes out and says that "last week was just the beginning" and that WCW is going to keep attacking WWF until WWF is no more. "The Monday Night War isn't over. It's just beginning. And someone else will be attacked tonight on Raw."

Vince is shown telling various WWF wrestlers that if they see any WCW guys in the building, they "had better take care of it." He is also shown talking to security guards, etc. He ends up turning to Steve Austin and Kurt Angle help come up with a plan to protect the WWF, but they spend the whole night in Mr. McMahon's office arguing, etc.

The point is Vince is worried about WCW guys.

Anyway, later that night, Jerry Lynn is defending the Light Heavyweight Title against Tajiri, when Billy Kidman comes in through the crowd and lays out both men, ending the match.

Vince is outraged that Kidman was allowed in the arena.

Also on that show, Chris Jericho defeats Steve Austin by count out.

On Smackdown (June 7th), Buff Bagwell attacks Val Venis backstage before his match. Again, Vince flips out. He demands to know how all of these WCW guys are getting into his arenas and starts to get really paranoid, suspecting that there's a mole.

On that same show, Chris Benoit defeats Steve Austin by DQ.

On Raw (June 11th), Shane adds to Vince's paranoia by saying "You know Vince, a lot of guys on your roster used to work for WCW. They probably still have friends here. Maybe you should start wondering if guys have been talking."

Vince is losing it. He starts confronting former WCW guys (Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, William Regal, etc.). They all deny speaking to anyone and confirm that they left WCW because they hated it. Vince doesn't believe it. He fires Eddie Guerrero (without Eddie being there, since he ended up in real-life rehab in May 2001) to make an example of what could happen to former WCW guys.

Anyway, on that June 11th show, Benoit and Jericho call out Steve Austin. They say that they've both gotten the better of him on recent shows, and that they both deserve a match against him at King of the Ring. They insult him enough that Austin comes out and gives them a triple threat match for the title.

Vince McMahon comes out. He puts a stop to this saying "No way will I let two former WCW guys main event King of the Ring for the WWF Title. Not with the way things are going right now." Austin says he wants the match. Vince says "No way. Imagine if, somehow, either guy won and took the WWF title with them to WCW?"

This offends everyone. Austin is mad that Vince doesn't have faith in him and Jericho and Benoit are mad that Vince thinks they'd head back to WCW. Vince doesn't care. He announces that the main event for KOTR 2001 will be Steve Austin versus Kurt Angle. Benoit and Jericho (who are also tag team champions at this point) will defend their tag titles at the show against a "loyal WWF team" in Hardcore and Crash Holly.

No one is attacked by a WCW guy that week, but all of this manages to weaken WWF a bit with infighting and paranoia. WWF was by far a superior brand at this point, so they need to be weakened a bit so WCW looks like they could actually be a competitor to them.

On the next Raw (June 18th) a lot of former WCW guys are pissed that Vince is suspicious of them. The Big Show confronts Vince in his office and tells him that he left WCW years ago and that he is 100% loyal to WWF. WCW was terrible, etc. (See Vince? You can still bury your competition a bit!)

Vince says he understands, but this is his family's business here. This is his life. He can't take any chances. Later that night, Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire (WCW tag team champions) take out Hardcore Holly and Crash Holly from behind as they enter the ring. This is the first time a WCW champion (excluding the "Cruiserweight Tag Titles" that WWF was right to scrap) will appear on WWF TV. The WWF locker room rushes out to stop the attack, but Palumbo and O'Haire escape. Later, the Holly Cousins accuse Jericho and Benoit of being behind the attack.

At King of the Ring 2001, Jericho and Benoit retain their titles. As in real-life, Benoit is injured at this event and written out of storylines. Dean Malenko will replace Benoit in the team as the two put their differences aside after Vince threatens to strip Jericho of the titles if he doesn't find a partner right away. Malenko is upset at how Vince is treating former WCW guys.

Otherwise, Jeff Hardy wins the title in a 4-way Light Heavyweight match (including Tajiri, Scotty 2 Hotty & defending champ Jerry Lynn). Edge wins the KOTR tournament, defeating Rhyno in the finals (not Kurt Angle, who is in the show's main event in this rebooking). Steve Austin defeats Kurt Angle and Vince McMahon orders the two to shake hands at the end of the match to "show unity." They do. Just then, they're attacked by several WCW guys.

Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Kanyon, Hugh Morrus, Mike Awesome and Shane Helms all rush the ring. Shane McMahon is on the outside directing traffic. Austin, Angle and Vince are beaten down. The WWF locker room rushes out and chases the WCW guys out of the ring and through the crowd. Vince, Angle and Austin are down in the ring. Shane comes in to mock them. And then Buff Bagwell, Billy Kidman, Lance Storm, Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire run out and they continue the assault. There's no WWF guys left to help and the PPV closes with those six WCW guys and Shane mocking a beaten Vince McMahon.

The next night on Raw (June 25th - from Madison Square Garden as in real life) Vince starts off by demanding Shane come out. Shane does, smiling. Neither guy is definitely heel or face at this point. Shane was the face when he was feuding with Vince before the Invasion, but WWF fans will almost certainly side with Vince's WWF over Shane's WCW, so both men are acting heelish at this point.

Vince tells off Shane and dresses him down as a "nobody who owns a second-rate company." Shane tells Vince to prove it on pay-per-view on July 22nd, 2001. In what was supposed to be called "Fully Loaded" Shane proposes a match: WWF vs WCW. Four guys from each company battle it out (down from the five a side that happened in reality, because WCW doesn't have enough big names). Vince accepts. Shane proposes a stipulation: If WCW wins, they get control of Raw and WCW Nitro will be reborn. Vince asks if Shane is kidding. He's not going to "bet" Raw. It's the greatest show on television, etc. There's no way. Shane mocks him. Vince says no. Vince says "WCW couldn't put on two hours of entertaining television even if they did control Raw." Shane says fine, be that way. If WCW wins, he wants the first hour of Raw. Vince can keep the second. Shane isn't afraid of competition and he wants Nitro and Raw to compete with each other again. Vince eventually accepts on the condition that if WCW loses the match, Shane will sell him the company so he can finally "own his competition." Agreed.

It's later announced that the PPV will be changed from "WWF Fully Loaded" to "WWF/WCW Invasion" and it will feature all WWF versus WCW matches.

Vince then sets out to pick his team. Angle and Austin are obvious. He debates for a while and then chooses The Undertaker and Kane. Not only are they "true WWF guys" but they know how to work together and teamwork will be crucial here.

On July 9th, Buff Bagwell is quietly fired as in real life. At some point Kane will lose the Intercontinental Title to William Regal.

Throughout all of this, various former WCW guys are still upset at Vince. Over the next couple shows, Jericho, Big Show, William Regal, Perry Saturn, X-Pac and even Mick Foley question what Vince is doing. It's even pointed out that Steve Austin and even The Undertaker (yes, this is mentioned on WWF TV) were both in WCW at one point. Vince stammers and says that "that's different. They've proven their loyalty." He then demands that the former WCW guys "prove their loyalty at Invasion" and he sets up several WWF versus WCW matches for the show.

On July 22, 2001, WWF/WCW Invasion happens. It's co-branded as a PPV for both companies. WWF and WCW titles will be defended. Jim Ross and Paul Heyman will call half the show (there is no ECW resurrection yet, so Heyman is still a "WWF guy") and Scott Hudson and Arn Anderson will call the other half. WWF and WCW referees will both be used. The main event will be called by JR and Hudson with referees from both companies.

The card is:

  • Perry Saturn versus Crowbar (this will be the "Sunday Night Heat"/"Free-For-All" match) and, yes, the first WCW versus WWF match in history. I'm sorry.
  • Trish Stratus & Lita versus Torrie Wilson & Stacy Keibler
  • The Holly Cousins versus Shawn Stasiak & Mark Jindrak
  • WWF Light Heavyweight Title: Jeff Hardy (c) versus Billy Kidman
  • WCW Tag Team Titles: Palumbo & O'Haire (c) versus Edge & Christian
  • WWF Hardcore Title: The Big Show (c) versus Hugh Morrus
  • WWF Tag Team Titles: Chris Jericho & Dean Malenko (c) versus Elix Skipper & Mike Awesome
  • WWF European Title: Matt Hardy (c) versus Chavo Guerrero
  • WCW Cruiserweight: Shane Helms (c) versus X-Pac
  • WWF Intercontinental Title: William Regal (c) versus Chris Kanyon
  • Team WWF versus Team WCW

Team WWF (as mentioned) will be Steve Austin (WWF Champion), Kurt Angle, The Undertaker & Kane.
Team WCW will be Booker T (WCW Champion & WCW US Champion), Diamond Dallas Page, Lance Storm and a "mystery fourth competitor."

Having the "fourth man" unnamed is a throwback to the nWo and a way to gain more interest in this match. People might assume that a former big WCW name will be the fourth person and get excited. Yes, they'll be let down when it's not, but we're trying to pop a buyrate here. Sue me.

More importantly, there will be speculation over the weeks leading up to the show that the fourth man will be someone turning on WWF to join WCW. Vince will get even more paranoid with former WCW guys when Austin and Angle tell him they overheard Shane on the phone saying that "Vince will never see it coming" and "welcome back to WCW." This is a swerve.

Anyway, at the PPV, Shane says his fourth man will be named right before the match. When it's time, he announces that he's chosen the WCW competitor who impressed him the most tonight, and that man is.... Mike Awesome. Huh? What? Why?

Here's why. No titles will change hands at this PPV. The WWF guys will defeat WCW guys to retain and WCW guys will defeat WWF guys to retain. However, the exception is that Malenko and Jericho will lose the WWF tag titles to Elix Skipper & Mike Awesome. Yes. That will happen. (Again, we're trying to elevate some WCW guys with this angle.) Lance Storm, Chris Kanyon and Chavo Guerrero will interfere, allowing WCW to win their first WWF titles.

So team WCW is Booker T, DDP, Lance Storm and Mike Awesome.

Here are the results of the show with winners in bold:

  • Perry Saturn (WWF) versus Crowbar (WCW)
  • Trish Stratus & Lita (WWF) versus Torrie Wilson & Stacy Keibler (WCW)
  • The Holly Cousins (WWF) versus Shawn Stasiak & Mark Jindrak (WCW)
  • WWF Light Heavyweight Title: Jeff Hardy (c) (WWF) versus Billy Kidman (WCW)
  • WCW Tag Team Titles: Palumbo & O'Haire (c) (WCW) versus Edge & Christian (WWF) (This can be by count out or something in order to not bury Edge & Christian)
  • WWF Hardcore Title: The Big Show (c) (WWF) versus Hugh Morrus
  • WWF Tag Team Titles: Malenko & Jericho (c) (WWF) versus Elix Skipper & Mike Awesome (WCW) (I've explained this above.)
  • WWF European Title: Matt Hardy (c) (WWF) versus Chavo Guerrero (WCW)
  • WCW Cruiserweight: Shane Helms (c) (WCW) versus X-Pac (WWF)
  • WWF Intercontinental Title: William Regal (c) (WWF) versus Chris Kanyon (WCW)
  • Team WWF (Austin, Angle, Undertaker, Kane) versus Team WCW (Booker T, DDP, Storm, Awesome)

As you can see, WWF guys win far more than WCW guys. This makes sense, because, honestly, WWF has a much better roster.

After Jericho and Malenko lose, Vince rips them apart backstage. He threatens to fire them for letting WCW take a WWF title and he again accuses them of working for WCW. Malenko storms off and leaves the arena. Jericho breaks some stuff and walks away as well.

In the main event, WCW guys interfere a bunch and WWF guys try to counteract them. Booker T eliminates Kane first, so WWF is at a disadvantage all match long. At the end, it comes down to Steve Austin for WWF versus Booker T & DDP for WCW. Austin battles hard and manages to eliminate DDP, but he's worked over by the two before DDP leaves the ring.

That leaves Austin versus Booker T. All hell breaks lose. Neither referee wants to call the match a DQ, so it essentially a free-for-all at this point. WWF and WCW guys fill the ring, including Chris Jericho who didn't leave after Vince told him off. He fights hard for the WWF, taking out Lance Storm and Billy Kidman as they try to attack Austin. Eventually the ring is cleared of most guys and Austin hits Booker T with a Stunner. He can't get up to pin him and then DDP rushes back into the ring. Jericho runs in to save Austin (JR can say something like "Jericho is proving his loyalty here tonight!") and Jericho takes out DDP with a chair. He then looks at Steve Austin, and clocks him as well. The crowd boos as Jericho leaves the ring looking sad. Booker T crawls over and pins Austin. WCW wins the match.

Stay tuned for Part Two where WCW Nitro returns!

No comments

Powered by Blogger.