Alternative Universe 10 - The InVasion
by, 03-29-2013 at 01:33 PM (5229 Views)
It looked like one of the biggest events in american wrestling history. In 2001 Vince McMahon’s WWF had bought out long time rival WCW. It was an exciting time as fans began to speculate over dream matches that were now a possibility. But after the dust settled and everyone looked back, the WWF, WCW and ECW battle came across as a bit disappointing. While some people hated it, some may have enjoyed it mostly everyone can agree, it could have been so much better.
So what went wrong? What could they done differently to have improved the InVasion?
First off, The McMahons needed to open the check book a lot more than they did. One of the first things a lot of people will bring up about the Invasion is the lack of the big WCW names that appeared during it. They had Booker T and Diamond Dallas Page who were established WCWers, but there was no NWO, Goldberg, Flair or Steiner. A lot of those guys were prepared to sit at home and allow their Time Warner/AOL contracts to play out, essentially getting paid to do nothing. The WWF should have realised the old saying ‘you gotta spend money to make money,’ and paid several of those guys what it took to get them onboard for the invasion story. They had the money so it shouldn’t have been a problem.
So which ones should they have picked up? The first person they should have got would have to be Eric Bischoff. Not a wrestler but he was the man who was seen both in kayfabe and real life (to a certain extent) as WCW’s Vince McMahon. Bischoff should have been the leader and the voice from the WCW side, as opposed to using Shane McMahon. If Shane must be used, then let him stand either along side Bischoff or slightly behind but under no circumstances should he be seen as above Bischoff (I’ll discuss this further down).
The next person (who strangly appeared on WWF as soon as the Invasion storyline concluded) would have to be Ric Flair. Although Flair did have a stint in the WWF from late 1991 to very early 1993 (picking up one Rumble and 2 WWF title wins) he was seen very much as the WCW guy. In fact along with Sting, there probably isn’t another wrestler more associated with the WCW name.
Once we have Bischoff and Flair aboard, the invading group already very much looks like WCW as opposed to a group of wrestlers who used to be in WCW and now working for the WWF. This can be topped up by hiring Scott and Rick Steiner, who like Flair had spent time in WWF but were more associated with being WCW wrestlers.
As well as trying to sign up guys who were in WCW at the time of the take over, they could try and acquire ex WCW wrestlers. For example, Big Van Vader could have been picked up. Even though he wrestled in WWF as Vader, he had the most success in WCW.
(Of course, this all depends on people willing to accept buy outs as well as being prepared to work with people who they didn’t get on with in WCW. Flair and Biscoff didn't get on at all and Scott Steiner rubbed a few people the wrong way, but money can help people forget).
Then of course there’s the big name of Goldberg who was the face of WCW through the Monday Night Wars in the late 90s. Goldberg would be best used if he was introduced not initially at the start of the story but maybe during the middle. This would prevent a case of ‘shooting your load all in one go’ and keep the story alive and interesting with a whole ‘anything can happen’ vibe. Can you imagine during the story, just as the WWF are seen to get an advantage over WCW, then boom, Bischoff announces “Goldberg is here”, who then spears and jackhammers a top WWF star.
The NWO I actually would hold off and use after the invasion story has played out. Hogan, Nash and Hall returning as the NWO would be a big acquisition and possibly with the excitement of the Invasion going on, may not be as epic as it should. Also Hogan although having been in WCW for many years, would still be seen as a WWF man.
Secondly, we needed to make it more about WCW vs WWF and less about the McMahon family feud which it turned out to be. If you look at the poster for Invasion PPV you’ll see its half of Shane McMahon’s face on one side and Vince McMahon’s on the other. If you really want to sell this as a true invasion, then Shane’s face would be better replaced by somebody from WCW i.e. Eric Bischoff.
Granted, having Shane purchasing WCW and Stephanie purchasing ECW might be a quick and easy explanation on how these rivals are able to just turn up on a WWF show. However, nobody wants to see another McMahon family feud again and really Shane and Stephanie need to stand back and allow Eric Bishoff and Paul Heyman to take centre stage to represent their side.
As for ECW, they should still appear as they did but more of a separate entity who would occasionally work along side with WCW but still a little untrusting (perhaps a Megatron/Starscream from Transformers relationship). They would be the wildcard faction led by the loud Paul Heyman (and made up with RVD, Rhyno, Raven, Justin Credible, Taz, Tommy Dreamer and the Dudly Boyz) who would have the audience guessing which way would they go.
Then we come to the subject of wrestlers jumping from one side to the other. Looking at it, a lot of them never made sense. There were quite a few WWFs wrestlers who had never stepped foot in WCW that were on the ‘Alliance’ side. In fairness this could be because orginaly the Alliance side was quite weak and probably needed the WWF wrestlers to make it more credible (which sort of defeats the idea of a true WCW vs WWF invasion). However, if the big names are acquired at the start (as suggested further up in this blog) then these deflections wouldn’t be as necessary. A few would happen to shake things up a little and keep people guessing but it would have to be wrestlers who were in WCW. For example Faarooq could make the jump, and go under his real name Ron Simmons (as that’s what he used in WCW). William Regal would go under the name Lord Stephen Regal and if they still wanted Austin to turn, he would be introduced as ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin.
And probably the most important thing Vince should have remembered throughout the whole storyline is to KEEP YOUR FUCKING EGO IN CHECK!
Okay, we all know at the very end WWF would have to win but the problem with the Invasion was that the WCW wrestlers were made to look like bitches. It was only when WWF wrestlers like Austin and Kurt Angle joined that it was seen as a threat. Obviously Vince wanted people to know that WCW was never as good as his fed and really diluted the WCW element in the invasion. Just look at the Allainces team in the closing battle in the war. Stone Cold Steve Austin (The WWF’s biggest superstar bar Hogan), Kurt Angle (never stepped in a WCW ring), Booker T (a WCW guy), Rob Van Dam (ECW), and Shane McMahon (part of the WWF family dynasty).
But I guess Vince never forgot the battering he took from WCW and just wanted to grind them down. A shame really because we were looking at something much bigger and epic.
Many people on the fantastic world of the internet have posted their own ideas on how the Invasion should have been booked. Each one different from the other and it just shows how much of a wasted opportunity. So much possibilites.
As for some of the things that I would have done in the invasion? Well....
First of, within the WCW group I would revive the four horsemen. The four horsemen were a very predominate stable in WCW that lasted a long time before the NWO came into the scene and became the ultimate stable.
Ric Flair would been seen as the focus and while Arn Anderson was retired and unable to compete due to a back injury, he would be still part of the team in a non wrestling, enforcer type role.
As for the other two spots, one of them could be filled by a deflecting Dean Malenko who was a member of the final line up in WCW. The last one could be taken by Lex Luger (if they can sign him) or perhaps somebody new. Maybe they could have Ric’s son, David or maybe Big Van Vader could go well in the team as the muscle man. Sid Vicious would be a top choice but unfortunately at this time he was out of action because of his very very nasty leg injury.
I'd still have Austin temporaly join WCW but start referring to himself as 'Stunning' Steve Austin. Vince McMahon would be raging, going out of his mind trying to convince Austin to return to the WWF. Then on a RAW its just him and Austin in the ring. Austin at first refuses to listen to Vince but then Vince argues that even though he's treated Austin like crap, Austin has kicked his ass more times than he can count. Which is more than he's ever done to Bischoff who fired him over the phone in WCW. And Austin has done nothing to Bishoff! Nothing! Austin let him get away with it.
"What are you going to do about it, Austin" sneers Vince.
Austin replies with nailing Vince with a stunner, picks up the mic and says
*crowd goes nuts*
"If you want to see me stomp that son of bitch. Bischoff give me a hell yeah"
*Crowd gives a hell yeah*
Bischoff appears at the ramp with a mic and laughs. He knew that Austin would stab him in the back. He can't help it, its in his rattlesnake nature. Austin leaves the ring and comes up the ramp towards Bischoff but before he gets near him, Goldberg appears from nowhere and spears Austin. He lays a beat down while Bischoff laughs. This would lead to a tag match on the next RAW with Austin and McMahon against Goldberg and Bischoff but the match ends in a no contest when there's a million run ins. WCW has the upper hand until...
"Do you Smell....What the Rock is cooking!!????"
The Rock is back (from making movies)!!!
Lets flash forward to the legendary 2001 Survivor Series which is the final battle of WWF against WCW, winner takes all. A 5 on 5 elimnations tag match. On the WWF team (with Vince in their cornor) we have Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Kurt Angle, Undertaker and Kane. And on the WCW side (with Eric Bischoff in their cornor) we have Goldberg, Ric Flair, Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page and lets say Scott Steiner. The match comes down to two final men, The Rock and Ric Flair (after Austin and Goldberg have been elimanted by a double countout). And of course the Rock wins. Vince celebrates in the ring like a demented hyperactive child, but as the show closes, the camera zooms in on Bischoff and a slight smile appears on his face and he mouths the words 'it ain't over'.
The next night on RAW we learn that the reason Shane and Stephanie got the money to purchase WCW and ECW was because they sold their stake in WWF to someone. In the orginal time line this is how Ric Flair made his appearance, but here it will be Bischoff and Flair. And so things continue as they were with the brand spilt. Although maybe as opposed to a RAW brand and Smackdown! brand the audiance would be convinced that a WWF brand and WCW brand would work (which is what the orginal plan was at the very start).
Lets hope someday in the future another company grows to threaten the WWE, and when one takes over the other, then an Invasion story is done properly.