10 shocking moments from WWF (WWE) 2001
No year divides the opinion of pro-wrestling fans like 2001. In some ways, the year produced moments we thought we'd never see, with WCW and ECW favourites battling it out with WWF's best on RAW and Smackdown. In other ways, it signalled the end to one of the industry's most popular ever periods.
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2001 was dominated by the Invasion Angle which had more than its fair share of shocking moments, but other high-profile feuds and storylines also made this an enjoyable year from a pure entertainment perspective.
In order to get to grips with this chaotic year of Sports Entertainment, here are 10 shocking moments from WWF 2001:
#1 Booker T debuts and kicks off the Invasion Angle
The WWF Invasion Angle still stands as one of the most controversial and widely discussed storylines in the entire wrestling business. Some see it as a triumph that allowed WWF to show its dominance over what was ultimately a weaker competitor, while others view it as a wasted opportunity that marked the beginning of the downfall of WWF/E which it is yet to recover from.
As will be discussed later on, WWF's purchase of WCW left many of the latter's cohorts in limbo, unsure of how they would be utilised under the McMahons. In order to satisfy the desire of wrestling fans to see some kind of ultimate showdown between the two companies they had previously been forced to choose from, an angle was booked in which WCW would 'invade' WWF.
The angle started with a couple of appearances by former WCW characters such as Hugh Morris and Lance Storm on WWF TV. However, it all began in earnest with the debut of Booker T at that year's King of the Ring PPV.
The former WCW Champion interfered in the Triple Threat main event match, slamming Steve Austin through an announce table. On the next night's episode of RAW, Booker would appear again, this time attacking Vince McMahon before a group of WWF Superstars came to the boss's aid.
In order to symbolically announce the beginning of the feud, commentator Jim Ross would close out the show by saying: "the battle lines have been drawn."