So THE INVASION has begun! At least in my world it has… Now, hopefully you reading this will have read my previous post where I explained the ground rules and idea for this series of blogs. But in short I’m re-booking the WCW invasion of WWF, with a few differences namely the Time Warner guaranteed deals (that kept the big WCW stars at home collecting paychecks) not being a factor. At the end of Part 1 I explained what would happen on the Raw after WrestleMania X7, with the main stuff all coming at the end; in the main event we had a cage match between new WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin (alongside his new associate Vince McMahon) against former champion The Rock in a rematch from the night before at WrestleMania. The match, in my world, would go very much as it was in real life, until the finish… when Triple H comes out he doesn’t side with Austin, he instead stops Vince from ringing the bell and allowing Austin the win in a ‘screwjob’ type deal. HHH then goes after Vince when he has just broken up a pin attempt by The Rock. This leads to a pull apart brawl between Triple H and Vince, that sees a tonne of WWF officials and referees having to lead Triple H to the back. With this all going on The Rock is jumped in the cage by three masked men, who reveal themselves as the nWo. Hall, Nash and Hogan beat down The Rock, even hitting him with a pipe, and Austin crawls over to pick up the pieces and retain his title. Shortly after with a beaten down Austin and Vince still toasting the win, WCW legend Goldberg comes out and hits a huge Spear to Austin to close the show. Now… in Part 2 I’ll let you know what would go down in my world from then onwards as we look towards the next PPV event Backlash.
WWF SmackDown (5/4/2001) – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
On the next SmackDown in Oklahoma (no burial of JR on this show, because that long-running joke was the driveling SHITS), we open up with Vince. He explains to us all that Austin IS here tonight, despite the ‘viscous and criminal’ attack by Goldberg on Raw, and tonight he will take part in an interview with ‘Oklahoma’s own’ Good ‘Ol JR Jim Ross. He goes out of his way not to mention WCW by name during his promo, and says that HIS company are one of champions and winners. He says that should there be any interference at all during the show tonight from any ‘non WWF champions or anyone that isn’t a WWF contracted performer’ then he will have them arrested and he will proceed with filing criminal charges against them. He says his sole priority is the WWF and ‘the most prestigious championship in the world’, and that is the one currently held by Stone Cold Steve Austin. He says tonight we will find out who will Mr Austin will defend his championship against at Backlash. He says he is a fair man and holds no biased or prejudice towards anyone, because he simply doesn’t have time for negativity. He says The Undertaker will face Triple H with the winner facing Austin at Backlash for the WWF title.
Vince is then joined in the ring by his wife Linda. She tells Vince that she doesn’t know how he can say he doesn’t hold any biased or prejudice towards anyone whilst keeping a straight face. She says the WWF was built on hard work and fairness, and rewarding those who had earned their spot, whilst always looking to progress and welcoming new ideas and new talent. She says with that in mind I would like to welcome out…
Shane McMahon comes out and addresses his father from the top of the entrance ramp. He exclaims how he’s not going to be as kind or as PC as mom and I’m here to tell you that “quite frankly Vince, you’re full of BS”. “Mark my words, you will face a Backlash alright, or my name isn’t Shane McMahon, the owner of WCW”… a FURIOUS Vince looks on and says he’s had enough of this crap… “dammit I’m Vincent Kennedy McMahon and this is MY company, the WWF… Shane, why don’t you sit back and watch the CHAMPIONS that are MY WWF superstars”… and with this the pyro of Kane goes off as he comes out for the opening match where he will defend his Hardcore Championship…
Now after the ad break Kane is in the ring awaiting his challenger, which turns out to be the debuting former ECW star Rob Van Dam. He gets a huge pop from the crowd. Kane and RVD have a pretty decent match (mid-way through we see Shane McMahon backstage watching the match on a monitor whilst he is on the phone, he is heard telling someone to get here right away and that he has a plan but you need to be quick), with both utilizing steel chairs, and RVD eventually setting up Kane for a huge five star frog splash through the announce table… with both men down that is when former WCW and ECW star Mike Awesome comes out and pins a lifeless Kane and claims the Hardcore title (which was defended under 24/7 rules of course). This plays off the real life angle where Awesome interrupted another Hardcore Title match and won the belt for himself. Awesome runs to the back amid the confusion. Backstage it is chaos with a furious Vince confronting Awesome and screaming ‘who do you think you are, this is my company, I’ll have you put in jail’… Shane then comes out and says ‘you said it Vince, he’s a champion now so he’s not going anywhere (referring to what Vince said about anyone not a champion or WWF performer etc. that gets involved during the show being sent to jail)’… Both Linda and Stephanie come out to try and calm things down and eventually a furious Vince is lead away as Shane and the new Hardcore Champion, WCW’s Mike Awesome, celebrate.
After this we see Triple H arrive at the building. He soon bumps into Shane McMahon and the new Hardcore Champion Mike Awesome. Awesome and HHH go nose to nose and HHH looks down at his WCW shirt, with a look of disgust. He then turns to Shane (who is smirking), and Shane wishes him luck in his match later in the night. And then HHH walks off as Shane has that smug-McMahon look on his face…
I’m cutting out a large point form this show where Vince gives a long promo. For a few reasons but mainly because the focus doesn’t need to be on Vince at this point. The story I want to tell is Vince’s empire falling around him, and we only here him speak at length when we are on the other side, and this is because we want to keep ‘heel’ Vince to a minimum to make it easier to… well, you’ll see…
Instead after this we have Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley backstage, with a concerned Stephanie and an agitated-looking HHH waiting for Vince. When Vince comes in and HHH goes nose-to-nose with him, HHH asks Vince if he’s gonna screw him tonight?, Stephanie interrupts saying absolutely not ‘he’s my Dad, he wouldn’t do that to you, TO US…’. After more tense looking at one another, Vince calmly explains to Triple H that I will personally ensure tonight that your match with The Undertaker will be totally and completely fair, ‘I will not in anyway help or hinder The Undertaker, and I will not help or hinder you in your attempts to become the number one contender for the WWF Championship… because quite frankly, it wont matter who wins tonight, because… whoever that is, will just end up losing to Stone Cold Steve Austin anyway’… and then Vince (with a grin on his face as he’s saying this) walks off screen with a huge smile as a furious HHH looks on.
Now on this show (being in Oklahoma) they had JR conduct a pretty good interview with his former friend Steve Austin, and then as became custom in his hometown JR got humiliated and beat up. I’d keep the interview as a thing, but change the angle massively… Firstly here we have a troubled -looking Jim Ross walking backstage. He’s met by backstage interviewer of the time Lilian Garcia, she asks Jim if he’s ok to which eh shakes his head. She asks what do you think is gonna happen tonight with you and Steve? JR says ‘I just don’t know Lilian, I really don’t. I just wanna find out where Steve is at, and why, just… ‘ Jim walks off just shaking his head and nearly in tears. My idea is to use Jim Ross as the metaphor of the fan watching at home. Heartbroken that their hero, their working-man guy, had sold out to the devil, and become everything he fought against. No need to humiliate Jim Ross AT ALL.
Next we had Johnathan Coachman interviewing the new Women’s Champion Chyna. She cut a really good babyface promo here about being an example for women, and men, and being your own person. And how she is proud to be Women’s Champion. Keep this as it was. We can sort a challenger for her later.
Next they did a couple of backstage spots where William Regal was backstage, Firstly he confronted The Hardys about being seen with Shane McMahon, and he warns them against being associated with a rival. His ‘punishment’ for there to be a singles matches tonight, Jeff vs Big Show.
After the break Regal meets with Kurt Angle. The two discuss a tag match tonight with Benoit and Jericho. As was in real life Angle thanks Regal for the match, asking that he get the win by putting Benoit in the Anklelock. Regal then disagrees, saying that his Regal Stretch could get the job done as well and Angle laughs, until he realizes Regal was being serious.
There was not a lot of wrestling on this show up to this point, so I’d put the tag match of the 4 IC title contenders on here. Angle and Regal vs Benoit and Jericho. Have them go 15-20 minutes and just put on a really great match… and then as we had seen Shane watching on backstage on a monitor nodding to the match in approval… so I’d go with Benoit beating Regal to win this match (Regal can take it)… and then Shane goes to the top of the ramp, and just stands and applauds. I’d then have Lance Storm come through the crowd and assault Benoit from behind. And he escapes again before Jericho can get to him. Another WCW star makes an impact on this show, despite Vince’s earlier proclamation. (We see Shane at the top of the ramp holding a WWF contract with Lance’s name on… and it is signed too. The WWF employee that has signed off on the deal… Vince McMahon. It later comes out that Vince had singed Lance Storm for the WWF, under a water-tight contract that ensures his employment, but that Shane had offered Storm a significantly larger amount of money to work for him as a representative of WCW).
Rhyno won a squash against K-Kwik here. Yeah sure keep that, have Rhyno as a monster still. Keep the angle after where Crash Holly tried to get one over Rhyno, but got Gored for his troubles.
We see Vince on the phone here, he suddenly looks shocked and then angry ‘WELL DAMMIT, GET THE US ARMY IF YOU NEED TO, THEY DO NOT GET INTO MY BUILDING, CALL THE POLICE’…
A annoyed Crash bumps into Shane backstage, who mockingly looks at his WWF Light Heavyweight title belt and says ‘You wanna get yourself a real championship’ before he walks off…
Keep exactly the interview Kevin Kelly did with Debra. Essentially she was not happy with what had happened to The Rock as his former manager, but as Steve Austin’s wife refused to discuss her personal life, and walks off when asked about his professional actions.
Then was the Big Show vs Jeff Hardy match. and with Matt and Lita at ringside we don’t have it go 3 minutes but closer to 8. We basically have Matt and Lita get involved when they can without the ref seeing, but Big Show being a dick all match and pushing them away and launching Matt beforehand, so he had it coming and despite being a heel it feels justified that he gets outnumbered somehow. Jeff would get the win, but Big Show would be angry with the ref afterwards and give him a chokeslam (he would later be fined for assaulting a referee, and be furious at ‘this place’…).
Instead of the 6 man tag between X-Pac, Albert & Justin Credible vs Grandmaster Sexay, Steve Blackman & Billy Gunn (I’d rather have fewer matches that go longer and mean more), here I’d do a huge angle… essentially we see Vince shouting and screaming backstage and then the camera cuts to outside the arena… the nWo do their won version of the DX invasion of WCW from the 90s. Instead of a tank it’s a big nWo black monster truck. Hogan, Hall and Nash quickly realize they can’t get in to the building, so just beat up anyone they can see (officials, security guards etc.) and they cause havoc to the cars in the car park, and anything with WWF logos on they spray over with nWo. Kevin Nash steals the camera form the man following them, and says into it ‘hey old man, we’re here, we just wanna talk (he then laughs to Hall and Hogan)’, Hogan takes it then and says ‘look, if you don’t want to speak to us, we can take our business elsewhere brother’ . Hall then says ‘for now… until we get a deal we like, and we don’t take no cheap pay off bruh, for now, the ONLY 3 letter that matter…’… Hall then sprays a WWF production truck with the letters nWo… Hogan takes the camera again and says ‘consider this the first shot Jack, the nWo wants a fight, and we’re ready when you are brother’. The nWo all laugh to one another as they get back in their truck and speed away, as another camera runs over to look over some of the damage they have left behind. Vince is absolutely furious and is on his phone saying he wants those men arrested. Shane is seen elsewhere nodding in approval, and getting on his phone with a smile on his face…
After an ad break a smug-looking Shane bumps into The Undertaker. Taker quickly says ‘No. Never ever. Don’t even ask’. The American Badass pinning his flag firmly to the mast of WWF.
Next we see it relatively similar to what really happened; We see Austin head out for his interview with Jim Ross. And we see Stephanie say to Vince she has got a video tape from Linda. In the video, Linda says that now she has been off the medication that Vince and the family had her on, she has had more time to think for herself, just like she did at WrestleMania. She says that whilst she will be keeping the name McMahon, after everything that Vince has done to her she will be making some changes, as she now resumes her role as CEO of the World Wrestling Federation. Linda praises her son Shane for standing up for what he believes in, and for standing up to Vince and putting the needs of his own company WCW before himself, something that Vince has failed to do with the WWF for some time now. Linda says she will reveal her plans on Raw regarding the future of the WWF… AND of WCW… and it is of the mention of WCW that Vince looses it, smashing up and throwing things around his backstage office as he screams and shouts, a upset Stephanie looking on.
As happened next we see JR walking to the ring backstage, the interview with Austin coming up next, prior to the main event match.
After the ad break Michael Cole, on commentary with Tazz, mentions how upset JR has been recently after what Stone Cold has done, with Tazz saying he just hasn’t been himself ever since WrestleMania. JR enters to a great hometown pop, but he has his business face on. He says he always enjoys being back in Oklahoma, but tonight isn’t about him, it’s about trying to get some answers from a man I thought I knew. And a man who I just don’t know where he’s headed anymore. He says this man has a lot of questions to answer, before pausing and saying in a much more solemn voice, ‘ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome out, the world wrestling federation champion, Stone Cold Steve Austin’. Austin comes out and does his usual posing, before glaring at JR for some time after his music stops. The crowd loudly boos Austin, before they begin loud chants of “GOLDBERG, GOLDBERG…” to which Austin says ‘you better shut the hell up right now, else imma just take my ass home”… the boo him some more… To begin the interview Ross asks why Austin would align himself with the one man he despises more than anyone else? Austin said with WrestleMania being in my state of Houston I HAD to win the WWF Championship, and I would do anything to make that happen. I don’t like losing, and so Vince was there to make sure I completed the biggest comeback we have ever seen. From the hospital bed, fearing for my life to winning the Championship on the biggest stage of them all. JR asks Austin why he would turn his back on all these fans, that have supported him all these years, that helped him on his rise to become the biggest star we have? Why Steve? Austin says he couldn’t give a damn about these WWF fans, that he never wanted to be their hero and he never asked to be. He said he does everything for himself because that’s all that matters to me. Austin then goes on to say that ‘You sit there with your stupid hat, always cheering me on, but then you still tell everyone that you can’t trust Stone Cold, and you call me a Rattlesnake, you pretend to be my friend, but your no more of damn SOB to me than anyone in this stupid town and anywhere that these stupid fans come to to pretend they care about Stone Cold Steve Austin. To hell with you, and to all of you’. (More crowd boos). Austin says ‘Why are you looking at me like that JR? I’m done answering your stupid questions. Look at you with your hat and your stupid glasses, and your stupid belt buckle, LOOK AT ME, you look like you just lost your best friend’. JR replies ‘maybe I have. When you came out of surgery there was one person in that hospital from the WWF waiting for you, me. When you wanted to talk to someone on Super Bowl Sunday from the WWF on national TV, it was me. There were only two people from the WWF that you and Debbie invited to your wedding, and that was me and my wife, so yeah Steve I do feel like I’m losing my best friend. And it don’t feel good’. Austin fires back saying how it feels like ‘you don’t want to be my friend just because I turned the voltage up a notch’. Jr denies this and Austin knocks JR’s cowboy hat off, and takes off his glasses as Jr again says he never said that. JR then gets angry and says ‘YOU LISTEN TO ME NOW STEVE, MY GOD I’M OUT HERE BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT YOU, THESE FANS CARE ABOUT YOU STEVE, AFTER EVERYTHING YOU’VE DONE, AFTER EVERYTHING YOU’VE COMEBACK FROM, DON’T GO DOWN THIS PATH, YOU NEED TO WAKE UP GOD DAMMIT’. JR then slaps Steve. The crowd gasp, and Austin even takes a step back, and Ross himself is shocked at what he did. Austin then gets real angry and with one hard punch knocks JR clean out. No need for a huge beatdown and to really bloody JR up as they did in real life, just no need. Impactful and straight to the point. Jr is the voice of the people, but Steve can’t take JR saying the truth and hitting him where it hurts so fires back. This will be a key element in my future booking. As will the relationship between Steve Austin and Jim Ross.
So finally we get to the main event. It’s Triple H against The Undertaker, a rematch from WrestleMania to decide the next challenger at Backlash to Steve Austin for the WWF Championship. Now many will say that HHH having lost to Taker has no real claim to challenge Austin, but it seemed that everyone seemingly forgot about the fact that at No Way Out, the PPV prior to Mania X7, Triple H beat Stone Cold in a 3 Stages of Hell Match. So having beat the champion on PPV two straight falls not long ago, I feel he at least deserves a chance to earn a shot at Austin and the title. So the key here is Triple H and Undertaker have a fairly solid match, but just prior to coming out as Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley was about to accompany her husband out for the match, she receives word that Vince needs to see his daughter urgently. As Stephanie states to Commissioner Regal the importance of this match to her husband and how she wants to be their to cheer him on tonight, but Regal insists and Stephanie reluctantly agrees, much to Triple H’s annoyance, but he smells a rat right away. The match between Taker and HHH goes pretty solid, 10-15 minutes between two of the top stars, and for the finish there’s ref bump, and Vince walks down to try and revive him. But seeing the ref and both men down, Vince gets a steel chair and looks set to hit The Undertaker, but unbeknown to him the ref is getting back up, HHH stops Vince just in time from hitting Taker. This would have got HHH DQ’d and therefore costing him the title shot. HHH is fuming with Vince asking him what the hell is he doing? Vince tries to claim innocence and says he was only trying to help. HHH turns around and an angry Vince pushes HHH into the ref (causing him to fall down again), and Vince then gives HHH a low blow. He says ‘don’t you ever disrespect me ever again, I’m Vince McMahon dammit…’ He looks up to see an angry Undertaker looking at him, and Vince quickly runs off. HHH get sup again soon after, and we have an exchange where Taker gets out of a Pedigree attempt and hits a Last Ride for the win. Taker wins and gets the shot at Austin. The show closes with Taker having gone to the back, and Vince walking back out to look into the ring from the top of the ramp at a beaten and furious Triple H.
OK… so that’s a pretty big show in the books. The fallout from WrestleMania X7 has unfolded, The Invasion has begun, and we are set for our next PPV event. From here on I’m just going to bullet point most of my shows. My play for the layout of these blogs is to just list the main points that link to the invasion. Sure I may book in full the important weekly shows and the PPVs, but to avoid my blogs being 100000 words each and there needing to be several hundred of them, I’m going to try and summarize my booking best I can. Some Blogs will be a ‘road to’ a pay per view and then the PPV results itself, others will be just one of those (I’ll dedicate whole blogs to the bigger PPV shows). My current plan has me to get up to Survivor Series 2001 in boking terms by blog 199 at the end part of this year. And at that point if people like them or I want to go on, depending on the state of the world, COVID-19 and the current climate of professional wrestling, THEN I’ll decide if I want to keep the series going… who knows… but let me know what you think of The Invasion so far. Part 3 will outline in bullet points mainly, my booking in the three weeks that leads up to the Backlash PPV, and then what happens on the show itself… in my world at least anyway…