I’ve had a brainwave… I’ve decided to combine some of my favourite things related to pro wrestling… fantasy booking and invasion angles. Now we all know the 2001 invasion angle had all the potential in the world, without the limitations that were in place via guaranteed Time Warner contracts held by former WCW stars such as Hollywood Hogan, Bill Goldberg and co. These deals meant they could sit at home and not have to come over to the WWF. Instead they were still being paid out on ludicrous contracts from the now deceased promotion. Instead what could have been the greatest angle in wrestling was a sham of what it should/could have been. Instead we got a miss-mash of ECW-WWF-WCW jobbers and mid-carders along with a heel Steve Austin (the WWF Champion by the way) and of course… it was all about the McMahons… URGH… BUT… what if… there was no such things as guaranteed deals from WCW… what if nothing was off limits… Well, I’ve seen many people talk about and give their own takes on what The Inavsion should have been (you should all watch the great ideas of Adam Blampied for a great set of ideas on just this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plIu3lh0w2w and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6Q5mKsIEac)… But I’m going to combine for fun, a mixture of fact and fiction… with no limitations that were in place at the time that handcuffed Vince McMahon and the creative heads of the victorious WWF in booking this angle… I am going to book from start to finish my very own WCW invasion of the WWF.
Now… let me lay the ground rules for my fantasy WWF/WCW Invasion angle…
– It will began from the Raw episode of 2nd April 2001, the day after WrestleMania X7. That in turn was of course a week after the famous simulcast of Raw with the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro.
– Everything that took place prior to that Raw (including everything at WrestleMania X7) will therefore be left exactly as it was… so Shane is still the ‘owner’ of WCW, and he still beat Vince at Mania, and everything else that happened is still totally left as it was (including the Austin heel turn and the handshake with Vince). I’ll explain how I’ll factor all that in to my ideas as I go.
– As mentioned… the guaranteed contracts from Time Warner are a non factor (basically a host of top stars in WCW had signed long term deals that, under the terms of the deals, were guaranteed. This meant that the parent company Time Warner were still liable to pay out the deals for as long as the contracts had left to run, despite WCW ceasing to exist). This is just going to make this a lot more fun. And as some have pointed out, the WWF could have just paid up the deals of who they wanted and brought them in right away. For the record the names under those deals were: Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Hulk Hogan, Bill Goldberg, Rey Mysterio, Scott Steiner, Ric Flair and Sting.
– My CURRENT plan is to book up until Survivor Series 2001 (when the invasion angle ended and The Alliance was put to bed). If I enjoy it and I have fun I may well keep it going until the next year’s WrestleMania 18 (headlined by Rock v Hogan in real life).
– There will be NO ECW in my invasion angle. In the real world it ended up being ‘The Alliance’ vs WWF, mainly because the ‘WCW’ didn’t have the depth to take on WWF. This war didn’t need ECW and it just took away from the whole thing and all involved in my opinion. So this will be strictly WCW vs WWF.
So with the ground rules in place. Let’s just quickly recap where we are at come the April 2nd 2001 Monday Night Raw…
Of course the week prior was the famous simulcast of Raw (featuring the boastful Vince) and Nitro (which was a ‘night of champions’ show meant as a celebration of WCW… and of course ended with Shane and his shocking reveal as the ‘owner’ of WCW).
In an amazing coincidence Vince McMahon purchased his biggest competitor in the same week as his companies biggest show of the year, WrestleMania X7. X7 is many people’s GOAT Mania shows and featured (among others): the famous TLC tag match with Edge spearing Jeff Hardy from the belts, Shane beating Vince with help from Mum Linda, and of course in the main event Stone Cold Steve Austin won the WWF title from The Rock with help from mortal enemy Vince McMahon. And they tried to turn the biggest babyface in the company since Hulkamania Heel in the main event of the biggest show, winning the title… in his home state of Texas… which was met with… thunderous cheers… wrestling…
So now in my fantasy land there are two things… what will be the fallout from WrestleMania X7? and, to quote Vince himself, ‘what shall I do with WCW’? Well… lets get WCW sorted first…
Of the WCW roster at the time (those both on guaranteed deals and those who did actually come over to WWF), these are the names who I WILL definitely be signing to deals with WWF:
- WCW World Heavyweight & United States Champion: Booker T
- Ric Flair
- Scott Steiner
- Rey Mysterio
- Billy Kidman
- Dustin Rhodes
- Arn Anderson (not applicable for in-ring competition)
- REFEREES: Nick Patrick, Charles Robinson, Brian Hebner & Billy Silverman
- ‘3 Count’ (WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Shane Helms, Shannon Moore & Evan Koragias)
- Chavo Guerrero
- WCW Tag Team Champions: Sean O’Haire & Chuck Palumbo
- Kevin Nash
- Scott Hall
- Hollywood Hogan
- Lance Storm
- Mike Awesome
- Shawn Stasiak
- Stacey Keibler
- Buff Bagwell
- Torrie Wilson
- Mark Jindrak
- Lash Leroux
- Jamie Noble
- ‘Kronik’ (Brian Adams (Crush) & Bryan Clark (Wrath))
- Kaz Hayashi & Yang
- Bam Bam Bigelow
- Hugh Morris
- Chris Kanyon
- David Flair
The following WONT be joining my WWF… for various reasons, mainly due to the heat or negative opinion held by those in WWF of the talents…
- Randy Savage
- Jeff Jarrett
- Lex Luger
- Shane Douglas
- Rick Steiner
- The Wall
- Disco Inferno
- Ernest Miller
- I also wont be bringing over the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship. I feel it’d get lost in the shuffle and become an afterthought.
The following names I won’t be picking up their contracts from WCW. Most of these were picked up by WWF and sent to the developmental territories, and none of them went on to be big successes, so I don’t see the point to be frank…
- Elix Skipper
- Kid Romeo
- Johhny The Bull
- Mike Sanders
- Kwee Wee
- Jason Jett
Of course this is wrestling and fantasy booking, so I can bring in people or get rid of people at whatever time, should I need/not need them for storylines etc. but for now these are the WCW guys and girls that I’m getting singed on the dotted line as roster members of the WWF. As for the final WCW commentators of Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson, I would get them signed to a deal, as I may or may not need them in the future…
So now that’s WCW sorted, I guess I should crack on with getting this fantasy world underway. So here is what will go down on the April 2nd 2001 Monday Night Raw, the night after WrestleMania X7:
WWF Monday Night Raw (2/4/2001) – Fort Worth, Texas
So… you may be shocked but I AM NOT going to have the first show after one of the most shocking heel turns in the history of the business begin with… Stephanie McMahon… no, instead, shockingly, I’m going to have the show open with… Vince McMahon and Steve Austin funny enough… Rocket science I know… So largely this will be a replica of the same segment that was put in the middle of this show, where Vince comes out (disregarding anything of WCW, even banning mentioning of its name from commentary), and he has with him the WWF Championship belt. Eventually he welcomes out Austin, who doesn’t get booed but more a… well the fans are kind of confused as to how to react to their former hero who they still love, but has joined up with the devil. Heyman and JR on commentary are also crucial here, as was in real life we need Heyman to call it straight with JR just in a stunned, disgusted silence at how his friend Steve Austin sold his soul. Austin explains how now Vince helped him get what he wants… ‘if you want Stone Cold to stun Vince McMahon give me a hell yeah…’ Austin asks the excited crowd… ‘well it aint gonna happen tonight’… and just like that Austin puts the pin in the balloon of the atmosphere inside the Convention Center Arena… Austin then goes into his first heel promo, where he calls him ‘Mr McMahon’ and not ‘Vince’ and hammers the fans for disrespecting his boss. Vince goes to finish the promo segment saying ‘and that’s the bottom line, because Mr McMahon says…’
and THEN… This (in my world) brings out The Rock, who cuts a scathing promo on both Austin and Vince, with lots of S.O.B calling and monkeycrap and all his usual phrases. he challenges Austin to a rematch, but wants no interference and suggest a Steel Cage match (as actually took place), and before Vince can reply it is Austin who accepts. Rock finishes by telling Austin ‘JUST BRING IT, BITCH!’. Huge pop. Huge main event set up.
Next after the opening segment was a 6 man tag between new European Champion Eddie Guerrero, and fellow Radicalz Perri Saturn (with Terri) and Dean Malenko. They would face the man Eddie beat for the European title at Mania X7 Test, and The A.P.A (Bradshaw & Faarooq). I would keep this exactly as it was with the babyfaces going over.
Next we had Commissioner William Regal in his office, where Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley came in. She would complain to Regal about Trish Stratus and her involvement in the match between Vince and Shane the night before. And as was the case a Strap Match is made for later in the show… because… Attitude Era… Vince meets with Regal after an ad break to discuss the Trish – Stephanie stuff, so definitely no more awful Trish – Vince make-out sessions in my world. Here Vince asks Regal to make sure he does ‘the right thing’ with regards to the Strap match later in the night…
Next we have Michael Cole interviewing Triple H backstage. HHH as he did in real life explained he had respect for The Undertaker, but that he caught him on his ONE bad day a year during their match at WrestleMania X7. He is asked about Austin and Vince’s new alliance, and says he had no idea about it and that he never finds out anything that’s going on around here. So here we tease the discontent between Triple H and Vince.
Here I’d have a big video package recapping WrestleMania, with JR and Heyman putting it over, but focusing on the triangle TLC match for the tag titles. Have them say something like all 6 guys are hospitalized of something along those lines and therefore not here tonight, just to sell the brutality of the match. But really do everything we can to make this match get as much credit as it deserved.
There was some Right To Censor promo here, but I’m taking this out. I can’t stand that group and I’ll break them up soon… if I have space… terrible terrible gimmick.
We do the Trish – Stephanie Strap Match here. It doesn’t need to go too long, each get their big spots in, but quickly enough Regal comes out to try and help Stephanie… and to counter that Chris Jericho (the man who retained his Intercontinental title against Regal at Mania X7) comes out to counter the threat of Regal… and off the distraction Trish gets the win over Stephanie. After the ad break we have Stephanie furious at Jericho, and she screams her anger at Commissioner Regal. Regal makes a handicap match between Jericho and himself and Kurt Angle for later in the night (again pretty similar to how it went in real life).
Have it promoted that we will hear from Shane McMahon later in the show.
Rhyno squashed Crash Holly here. I’ll keep this.
Kevin Kelly backstage tried to interview Debra (Austin’s wife and The Rock’s manager), but she was so upset and confused she had nothing to say. Again keep this as it was.
Next we have Kane, the new WWF Hardcore Champion, defending against Val Venis of RTC. Kane wins of course, but here we have the rest of the group come out and try and beat on Kane. Here again we have The Undertaker come and make the save, and the two properly destroy all of RTC. If this is the end of RTC then it’s not quick enough but yeah, they’re done after this for me.
After the next ad break I would have the remaining RTC member Ivory berate the beaten members of RTC. They basically can’t be doing with her moaning at them and they go their separate ways (I’ll book Val Venis, The Good(God)father and Stevie Richards if and when I need to). With Ivory furious she turns right into new Women’s Champion Chyna. Having squashed her at Mania Chyna does the same backstage here. Maybe have her literally lift her up and ‘Time to put you where everyone in RTC belongs… IN THE TRASH’ and then have her dump Ivory in a nearby dumpster. So yeah, I’m not even sorry for burying RTC. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Triple H is then seen backstage furious looking for Regal and then Vince. Keep this as well as it was, with Hunter furious at being left in the dark over the Austin-Vince new alliance. Even have Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley come in and try and stop it getting physical.
I’d keep the same both the Jericho vs Angle & Regal handicap match, where Chris Benoit made the save for Jericho and have a 4 way feud for the IC title set. I like that mix of guys.
I’d also keep the Billy Gunn vs X-Pac match. I’m really not sure what I’ll do with either of these going forward, but we’ll see…
I’d have broadcast the Shane McMahon address from WWF New York. This would be exactly as it was in real life, where he spoke about his match against his father, hoping his mum Linda takes his Dad to the cleaners, and talks briefly about WCW, telling people to stay tuned…
I’d have the same pre-match promo from The Rock, as it was really good and he was PISSED.
And so now is time for the main event.
And again I’d keep much of this the same as it was. Rock coming out first looking angry, but getting a big babyface pop from the crowd. And second out comes Austin, introduced by Vince who walks with him down to the cage. And keep this largely as it was with it being a wild cage match brawl between the two biggest stars of the WWF in the middle of a blood feud. And as the finish comes in that’s when I’d ring the changes…
NO HHH-Austin alliance. That SUCKED. Instead I’d still have Triple H come out towards the end, just as Austin locks in the Million Dollar Dream submission he used to frequently use in a former gimmick, and he even tried during the WrestleMania match the night before. Vince, on the outside of the cage, goes to ring the bell, Montreal Screwjob style, but it’s a furious Triple H that stops him. He argues with his father in law as this is enough to distract Austin, who turns around into a Rock Bottom. At this stage Vince (having earlier opened the cage door to try and interfere, but Rock soon batted him away, but the door was left open), he comes into the cage and jumps on the ref to take him out. Triple H then comes into the cage to take his anger out on Vince, and these two brawl with officials having to come out to pull Triple H off and lead him to the back. With The Rock looking on, suddenly three masked me dressed in black jump the barricade and rush into the ring. They attack The Rock brutally, even hitting him with a lead pipe… the three men unmask and… well…
Hogan, Hall and Nash then run back over the barricade as the ref comes to, Vince is looking on in absolute shock, and then a bloodied Steve Austin crawls over to cover a beat down and bloodied Rock, and Stone Cold retains the title. I’d have Rock do the full stretcher job and really sell the nWo beatdown, as they take him out and raise the cage as Austin and Vince are shocked but happy. The story here is The Rock would take a few months off at this time to go and film The Scorpion King, so I’m making the most of it and writing him out in an effective way.
But we aren’t done there…
GOLDBERG comes out and the crowd goes absolutely fucking mental. And here we keep it simple; Goldberg comes out and does his big entrance, and then he gets in the ring and Spears Austin in half. The show would close as Vince cradles his injured champion, and the one breakout star of WCW looks on from the top of the ramp.
THE WCW INVASION HAS BEGUN!!!