What if WWE never bought WCW?
There’s little question that when WWE bought WCW, it was one of the biggest business moves in wrestling history. It was the biggest wrestling company in the world buying out the second biggest one and its chief competitor, and included bringing a boatload of new talent like Booker T and Diamond Dallas Page, and intellectual property like the New World Order, not to mention the WCW tape library—an asset few people realized the full value of back in 2001.
But what if the deal had never gone down?
Eric Bischoff has explained in numerous interviews, documentaries, and his book that he was assembling a deal to buy the company itself, and surely there were other business people or folks from wrestling itself who would have shared that interest. This article speculates regarding five possibilities of what might have been if someone else got a hold of WCW, or if WWE simply hadn’t been interested in this historic acquisition.
#5 No Invasion
After buying WCW, and after having more quietly acquired ECW as well, WWE launched the Invasion angle—a storyline that dominated the second half of 2001. One of the central premises was casting WWE as a united friends, and mostly as faces (at least in the short term) against the heel insurgency from the Alliance, composed chiefly of guys from rival companies.
The Invasion is one of the most famous failures in mainstream wrestling history--Between not having top tier talents like Goldberg, Sting, Hulk Hogan, or Ric Flair off the bat, and a bias toward featuring guys who’d defected to WWE early, or in some cases hadn’t ever even been a part of a competing promotion.
Eliminate the Invasion, and wrestling history looks differently. Many regard WrestleMania 17 as the end of the Attitude Era, not only for a change in culture, but for some of WWE’s best storylines abruptly stopping in favor of a widely panned all-encompassing angle. Maybe without the Invasion Steve Austin gets over as a solo heel. Maybe Booker T signs and comes in as an individual face; same for Diamond Dallas Page. Regardless, while the Invasion wasn’t good, it was undeniably important for its scope, and for all the potential ideas it cut off.