Rebooking the WCW/ECW Invasion Part 8
Part seven saw my rebooked storyline simplify with Team ECW unifying with Team WWF, making the war exclusively between WWF and WCW forces as it was during the Monday Night Wars.
Shawn Michaels returned to WWF television around six months earlier than he did in the real world which would have been easy to achieve as Michaels was under contract in reality at the time but for the majority of the millennium up to that point had been paid to stay home.
Michaels is now part of an expanded nWo which attempted to recruit Triple H to their ranks. This was a storyline that was teased in June to July 2002 but ultimately went nowhere. I have fully embraced the storyline possibilities of that tale.
Triple H has won the Royal Rumble by last eliminating Stone Cold and is at odds with the nWo and his Kliq buddies after rejecting their assistance.
Elsewhere Chris Jericho remains Undisputed Champion, but in my universe, there is no Stephanie McMahon or pet dog in sight. Jericho is a serious act and a legitimate main eventer in this version of his first Undisputed Title reign.
His Royal Rumble challenger, Rob Van Dam, still has a big role to play in the Invasion storyline. What I have also found as I have been rebooking the Invasion is that the likes of Sting, Goldberg, et al have not been as crucial to the storylines as I would have envisaged.
So, even if the WWF had not added the marquee names - better, more engaged storylines and more evenly matched WWF and Invasion forces would still have made for a much better and well received Invasion storyline.
Champion roll call (as of January 20, 2002)
Undisputed Champion - Chris Jericho
IC Champion - William Regal
Hardcore Champion - The Undertaker
WWF Tag Team Champions - Billy & Chuck
US Champion - Raven
Cruiserweight Champion - Rey Mysterio
Women's Champion - Jazz
The road to WrestleMania is now firmly underway as we build to No Way Out 2002.
So, without any further delay, let's get to the post-Royal Rumble Raw!
Monday Night Raw - January 21, 2002
The nWo opened Raw. They advised that Triple H had made the wrong decision at the Royal Rumble and now they would have to ensure that "The Game" would not make it to WrestleMania.
The Rock gave an interview where he stated he should have won the Royal Rumble but let himself down. He said he would be taking a short break to re-evaluate his career goals.
Chris Jericho issued an open challenge to his Undisputed Title. It was answered by Rey Mysterio. Jericho pinned Mysterio to retain. Post-match, The Undertaker appeared and stated it was time to reclaim his yard. Backstage 'Taker bumped into Stone Cold who told him he had better get in line for a title shot.
Triple H took on Goldberg and was defeated after the nWo interfered. Post-match, nWo forces and Goldberg decimated "The Game". Shawn Michaels stood back, expressing concern for his former buddy.
In the main event, Rob Van Dam lifted the Intercontinental Championship from William Regal.
SmackDown - January 24, 2002
The nWo confronted Shawn Michaels about why he did not participate in the beat down of Triple H on Raw. Michaels wandered off without offering a reply.
Hogan, Hall, and Nash took out Stone Cold backstage as he was warming up for a bout with Scott Steiner.
The Undertaker faced Steiner instead and defeated him with a chokeslam.
Rob Van Dam defended the IC title versus Billy Kidman.
Finally, Billy & Chuck defeated The Hardy Boyz in a non-title bout to earn a title match at No Way Out.
Monday Night Raw - January 28, 2002
Shawn Michaels and Triple H reformed D-X as a two-man unit. Michaels stated that his blood always ran green and the nWo was in the past.
He regretted the actions of his Kliq buddies but states his best friend has always been Triple H. Michaels added that he would do everything possible to ensure that Triple H makes it to WrestleMania and wins the Undisputed Title.
Goldberg issued an open challenge to any member of Team WWF. Raven answered the call. Goldberg defeated him and requested a United States title shot on SmackDown. Raven accepted.
Chris Jericho had a sit-down interview with Jim Ross and stated he had no worries about the D-Generation X reunion and the possibility of facing Triple H at WrestleMania, explaining it wasn't 1997 anymore.
Rob Van Dam defended the IC title versus William Regal in the main event.
SmackDown - January 31, 2002
Goldberg challenged Raven for the United States Title. Raven retained when Kane interfered. An irate Goldberg told Kane that he was "next."
Stone Cold mocked Goldberg backstage.
Hulk Hogan told the crowd that Kevin Nash was injured and would be taking time off.
Booker T defeated Edge
Trish Stratus and Lita fought to a No Contest in a bout to determine the number one contender to Jazz's Women's Championship in the main event.