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Rebooking the WCW/ECW Invasion Storyline: Part 1

Paul Benson
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The invasion was the most botched storyline in WWE history
The invasion was the most botched storyline in WWE history

During the height of the 1995-2001 Monday Night War, between the WWF and WCW, fans openly debated who would win inter-brand matches between the company's biggest stars.

Fans salivated at the prospect of The Undertaker vs Sting, Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Goldberg, Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair and The Rock vs Hulk Hogan.

Some of those matches we got to see eventually; others we didn't.

In March 2001, Eric Bischoff's Fusient Media Ventures company withdrew from their purchase of WCW, after Time Warner executive, Jamie Kellner refused to air the company's programming regardless of who was in charge. As Bischoff would later declare in interviews; "without the TV time, WCW wasn't worth anything."

That allowed WWF head honcho, Vince McMahon to swoop in and purchase WCW and the contracts of many of its mid card wrestlers for a paltry sum of $2 million.

Wrestling fans the world over salivated at the prospect of a WWF booked WWF vs WCW war. However, the invasion didn't work out as the fan-base hoped and is considered one of the most botched storylines in wrestling history.

The appetite was clearly there, when the July 22nd, 2001 pay per view, Invasion pulled a whopping 770,000 pay per view buys. In 2018, more than 17 years later, that remains a record for a non-WrestleMania event. Invasion pulled more orders than any Royal Rumble, SummerSlam or Survivor Series event in history. Consider that for a second.

The mind boggles at how many buys a card featuring the likes of Sting, Ric Flair or Goldberg could have drawn.

So, why didn't the invasion work?


Aside from the obvious lack of star power on the invaders' side; the only main event talent to participate from WCW were Booker T and Diamond Dallas Page, the focal reason for the failure of the storyline was the WWF's inability to bring itself to book its former sworn enemies as the equal of the WWF superstars.

As a result, the "invasion" became a battle between two squads of WWF superstars and the storyline was terminated rather abruptly four months after it ostensibly began at Survivor Series in November 2001.

In the following slideshow, SK will outline the rules for rebooking the invasion and begin in re-booking the birth of the storyline.

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