By Julian Cannon
Eleven Years ago, The WWF bought WCW and people thought the dream scenarios and matches would become a reality. But unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Instead WWF crushed the Atlanta groups name, buried most of the stars and moved on with business as usual. I thought a fun column would be me re-booking the Invasion and seeing if it could be more fun. So lets take a fantasy trip back to 2001. On TV, Shane McMahon had bought WCW. Fans all over the world were anxiously awaiting the Invasion they thought they’d never see. So let’s say Vince McMahon had bought out Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Ric Flair, Goldberg, Sting and Scott Steiner’s contracts in addition to the stars they had. Maybe the invasion would have been different and fans would have gotten some of the dream matches they wanted. I’m going to book this from April 2001. Shane McMahon has bought WCW, Austin has turned heel and The Rock has left. So with all those pieces set in place, here’s what could have happened……..
April 23rd 2001 – Monday Night RAW
The show starts with Mr McMahon coming to the ring to talk about this Sunday’s epic main event where the WWF Tag Team Champions Undertaker and Kane take on IC Champ Triple H and WWF Champ Stone Cold. Vince says its winner take all and he has decided to make things fair. He will be in the corner of HHH/Stone Cold at Backlash. Later on that night, there’s a huge brawl in the ring with The Brothers of Destruction and the Two Man Power Trip. Vince gets in the ring with a chair ready to take out the Undertaker when Shane McMahon’s music hits and Shane, Taker and Kane chase Austin, HHH and Vince out of the ring. Shane announces that he spoke with Linda McMahon and she feels the fans would want to see things equal this Sunday so Shane will be in the Brothers of Destruction’s corner at Backlash.
Backlash 2001 – April 29th 2001
The main event match for all the WWF titles went around 20 minutes. Vince tries to get involved in the match when Shane grabs a chair and smacks Vince in the head with the chair knocking him out. Triple H and Kane start brawling into the stands, leaving Stone Cold and Undertaker in the ring. Austin goes for the stunner, when Taker counters it and smashes Austin with a chokeslam. The deadman sets up Stone Cold for the last ride. Taker has the belt won, when Shane McMahon sneaks up behind Taker and cracks a chair over the back of his head while the referee is attending to Vince. Austin stuns Taker and covers him for the three count. Stone Cold and Triple H are the new WWF Tag Team Champions and Shane McMahon has reunited with his father as the pay per view goes off the air.
RAW – May 21st 2001
Over the past few weeks, Shane and Vince have been abusing their power all over WWF TV with Austin and Triple H triumphing every week. The first match on this show is the Hardy Boyz against X-Factor. The Hardyz win and as they celebrate the camera cuts backstage to a limo pulling up and out steps Linda McMahon. Linda comes out to the ring and before she can make her announcement, Shane and Vince come out and cockily tell Linda she should go home and bake cookies and leave business to them. As they leave, Linda says that, as they know, she has just as much power around the WWF as they do. She heard about their plans for WCW, to drive it into the ground and make sure everyone on the WCW payroll is put out of business for good. Linda says she couldn’t let Vince and Shane do this to the people of WCW, so since the company is the property of the WWF, she sold WCW earlier on today. Vince and Shane are going crazy in the ring. Linda assures them that she isn’t going to leave them out of the deal. They will all get a third of the price from the sale. Linda then hands Shane and Vince one dollar each and points out that later that night Austin and HHH must defend their tag title against Jericho and Benoit. As Linda leaves, fans wonder who bought WCW and Vince and Shane are irate that WCW was sold for $3 just to stick it to them.
King of the Ring – June 24th 2001
Triple H tore his quad on the May 21st RAW. The Undertaker’s wife stalker angle never happened. At K.O.T.R, The main event is Jericho one on one with Austin for the WWF title. The match is nearing its end when there is a referee bump and Austin hits the Stunner. As this happens you see Vince laid out cold backstage with a pair of boots standing beside him. But the camera doesn’t pan up to who it is. You hear backstage agents like Michael Hayes and Brisco shouting for security. Austin will look very confused in the ring. Then as Austin turns to attend to Jericho, all you hear is the fans going insane as Goldberg runs into the ring in street clothes. Austin turns round and Goldberg gives him a brutal spear that takes Austin out and Goldberg jumps the guard rail and fleets the arena as all the WWF talent and security run to the ring. In the ring, Jericho puts his arm over Austin and the ref counts to three and Chris Jericho becomes the WWF Champion as the pay per view goes off the air with mayhem!
RAW – June 25th 2001, Madison Square Garden
The show starts with Vince, Austin, Steph and Shane coming out to the ring. Austin rips into Goldberg and says he’s not stupid, it’s obvious Goldberg is part of WCW and he cost Austin his title! Vince takes the mic and says whoever is behind WCW, he’s ordering them to meet him in the ring later on the show, live to deal with this face to face. Jericho defend his belt in a 30 minute classic with Benoit live. Vince is in the ring and he says he wants the man that bought WCW to show his face right now! Eric Bischoff walks out to the stage as the crowd boo the crap out of Easy E. Vince laughs and said he knew it would be Bischoff, it’s so obvious. Bischoff goes from smiling to confused. Bischoff tells McMahon that he isn’t behind WCW. He’s here to tell Vince he’s looking for a job. Vince tells Bischoff that he can think of nothing better than to have RAW announced by Jim Ross, Paul Heyman and ERIC BISCHOFF! He tells Eric to take his seat at the commentary table. JR and Heyman look outraged that they’ll have to work with Bischoff. As Bischoff takes his seat at the announce table, fans in the crowd start going wild as WCW Start walkng down the stands towards ringside led by Ric Flair. He leads down Booker T, Sting,DDP, Goldberg, Buff Bagwell, Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire and Rey Mysterio. Vince looks in shock as Flair starts Woooo’ing and the WWF stars flock to the ring to be with Vince. You have Austin, Jericho, Benoit, Taker, Kane, APA, Edge, Christian. Flair jumps the guardrail at the announce table and grabs a mic. Vince yells “Let him speak” Flair tells Vince, that he should thank his wife for selling WCW back to Flair because now Flair intends to make Vince regret every single time he talked down about WCW and threatened to put them out of business. Security come out and it looks like everyone’s gonna face off as Raw goes off the air. The fans have no clue what’s going to happen.
RAW – July 23rd
After last month’s RAW, Vince promised we wouldn’t see the WCW wrasslers anymore. Over the weeks, WCW wrestlers would attack WWF stars in various ways. DDP, Booker T etc. Sting would turn up in the rafters twice only during the Undertaker’s matches. In July there’s a Fully Loaded pay per view where Austin wins back the WWF Championship from Jericho. The next night on RAW, Vince McMahon comes out to the ring for a celebration of Stone Cold winning back his title. Linda McMahon appears on the titantron saying she has great news. She just came from a Board of Directors meeting and during the WCW invasions and WCW stars being on TV, ratings have skyrocketed and the board want this to be dealt with accordingly. The Board have decided that for one month, WCW stars will be allowed to come to RAW and SmackDown for the fans to see their favourite WCW stars. They will NOT be allowed to wrestle or interfere in matches. In one month at SummerSlam, Vince McMahon will see active competition and on the line will be the SmackDown show. If Vince wins, no WCW star will ever be allowed near a WWF event, however, if Vince’s opponent wins, SmackDown will be no longer and after SummerSlam, every Thursday night on UPN we will see two hours of WCW NITRO! Linda passingly remarks “Oh and Vince, I’d suggest you start training because your opponent is a 16 time World Heavyweight Champion and his name’s Ric Flair!” Flair comes out to his music with Vince going ape in the ring. Flair makes his way down to the ring as Austin’s music hits. Austin and Vince corner Flair when Goldberg’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. Goldberg and Austin square off face to face before WCW and WWF undercard stars come out and separate the two. Flair promises Vince that at SummerSlam he’ll kick his ass and take his show.
SummerSlam – August 19th 2001
During the end of July, The Rock returned, setting up SummerSlam’s main event as Rock challenged Austin for the WWF title. After the first match on the show, Vince is in the back and promises, no matter what, tomorrow night on RAW he will make an announcement that will shake down the foundation of the WWF to its very core. The Flair and Vince match is brutal with Vince blading and after several interferences from both WWF and WCW competitors, Flair figure four’s Vince and he taps as WCW Nitro is back.
RAW – August 20th 2001
Austin retained the WWF Championship at SummerSlam and starts a feud with Kurt Angle on RAW. Vince comes out at the end of the show and says he never thought he’d have to do what he’s about to do. WCW is a cancer to Titan Sports. For now they run the show on Thursday nights and there’s nothing he can do about it, but if he knows anything about WCW, he knows what killed it and he’s going to inject some poison into WCW. He announces the men he’s about to bring out can appear on WWF and WCW television. He brings out Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. The nWo are back as Vince hopes they’ll kill WCW.
WCW Nitro – Thursday 23rd 2001
Ric Flair opens the show and says WCW Is back and for the main event he’s gonna have the WCW Championship be decided as Booker T defends against Diamond Dallas Page. Jeff Jarrett comes out on the show and smashes Goldberg over the head with a guitar after a match. The new World order come out and promise they’re here to make WCW prosper and not here for Vince McMahon.
What we’ve done here is see in a 4 month period of how the WWF could have booked the Invasion to be monumental. The rosters would have been very strong on both shows.
WWF would have Angle, Austin, Jericho, Kane, Rock, Taker, Edge. Christian etc
WCW would have Goldberg, Sting, DDP, Steiners, Jarrett, Rey Mysterio, and others.
Vince and Flair would keep their feud going and you have Hogan, Hall and Nash playing it safe before picking whos side they’re on. This invasion could have brought back past stars who have been in both companies like the Road Warriors, Dustin Rhodes and Lex Luger to play a part in this picture. Mick Foley may have returned if he had felt creatively stimulated. Triple H would have returned at the beginning of 2002 after his quad tear. WrestleMania X-8 could have been headlined by Sting and Undertaker, Rock and Hogan and Goldberg and Austin. The possibilities are endless. You may have booked it differently. If so, I’d love to hear your ideas.
I hope you enjoyed it!