WWF Invasion (July 22, 2001)

Invasion

It’s time for the Invasion. I somehow missed out on this when it happened and haven’t seen it since, but I know its reputation. Everyone does. Does the Invasion deserve the amount of shit that’s been heaped upon it? Let’s find out!

Franklin Delano Roosevelt kicks things off for us, talking about war as clips of WCW and ECW dudes invading WWF are shown. This is really a weird way to kick off a PPV. Fireworks happen. JR welcomes to the Gund Arena as we get down to the ring for action.

Match 1: Edge & Christian vs. Lance Storm & Mike Awesome

Storm and Awesome are out first. Storm gets on the mic to be boring, but before he can really get going, Edge and Christian come out. Christian is carrying a giant trophy with him. Edge is apparently King of the Ring, maybe the trophy is his. I don’t know. Anyway this is being billed as WWF going against ECW even though Awesome and Storm were both in WCW when they went out of business.

Christian and Awesome start out. The WWF guys have the early advantage and send Awesome and Storm out to the floor. Christian goes for some sort of move off Edge’s back, but botches and gets caught on the top rope before he fall to the floor.

The ECW/WCW guys take control here and wreck Christian’s shit for a long time. Christian bumps like a goddamn hero taking an insane bump on the ring post at one point. Storm and Awesome make quick tags and keep Christian isolated. Mike Awesome hits a massive frog splash.

Eventually Christian makes the HOT TAG! and Edge comes in to wreck house for awhile. All four men end up in the ring. Christian gets bumped off the apron. Storm shoves Edge into Awesome, causing Awesome to stagger into the ropes. Storm gets Edge in a small package but the ref is jawing with Mike Awesome for some reason and doesn’t see it. Christian slides in and reverses the small package. The ref sees this pin attempt and counts, but Storm kicks out at two.

Edge eats a superkick and Awesome goes for a running Awesome Bomb but gets hit with a spear by Christian which causes Edge to fall on top of Awesome for the win.

Winners: Edge & Christian (WWF: 1  WCW/ECW: 0)

Big botch not withstanding this match was a lot of fun and holy shit was the crowd hot for this. There were a bunch of pin attempts when Christian was getting beat down and each time he kicked out the crowd went wild. Anyway, a solid match and a decent start to the show.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Vince McMahon is watching TV and dancing to celebrate WWF’s victory in the opening bout. William “Steven” Regal shows up in wrestling trunks and a polo shirt to tell McMahon that Steve Austin and Debra have arrived.

“Is it old Steve Austin with the beers and the punching?” McMahon asks.

“Indeed. Shall I fetch him?” inquires William “Steven” Regal.

“No, that won’t be necessary. Focus on your match with Raven. You need to be like George Washington when he ruined the Red Coats’ shit…uh…bad example, but you know what you have to do.”

Video Package!

Michael Cole tells us that even the referees are feuding over this entire invasion thing and then informs us that the next match will be Earl Hebner and Nick Patrick going one on one. The helpful video package shows how this match came to be. Basically Earl Hebner was a dick and told the WCW refs that they couldn’t hang up their clothes in the locker room. That’s it. That’s why this match is happening.

Match 2: Earl Hebner vs. Nick Patrick

Mick Foley is the special guest referee for this, which I guess makes as much sense as anyone since he worked for all three of the companies involved in this invasion. Hebner and Patrick both come out with the other refs from their respective companies. Brian Hebner was apparently a WCW referee. That must have happened circa WCW 2000 when I stopped watching.

Anyway this match is crap. They exchange punches with Nick Patrick getting the worse of it much to the delight of the crowd who are still hot as fuck. Patrick hits a baseball slide(!) that sends Hebner out of the ring. The WCW guys beat down Hebner which causes the WWF refs to start brawling. One of the WWF dudes hits a legitimately decent flying forearm.

Mick Foley has had enough of this shit and kicks the WCW refs out. Nick Patrick starts jawing with him about it which gives Hebner an opening. Hebner tackles Nick Patrick and gets the win. Afterwards Nick Patrick argues with Mick Foley about the results so Foley pulls out Mr. Socko for some mandible claw action.

Winner: Earl Hebner (WWF: 2  WCW/ECW: 0)

A rubbish match that shouldn’t have been on the card at all or relegated to the pre-show (aka Sunday Night Heat). I guess the only highlight for me would be JR talking about how loyal Hebner is to WWF and then saying, “The same is true for Nick Patrick and WCW!” No JR! Do you not remember the nWo referee?

Nick PatrickHe’s got a bicthickle ski mask…

Beneath that mask was Nick Patrick! He was about as loyal to WCW as a guy who wasn’t particularly loyal to WCW. It should have been Randy Anderson or Charles Robinson.  Charles Robinson was right there at ringside.  If this match had to take place, why wasn’t it Charles Robinson vs. The WWF Ref Who Did a Pretty Good Flying Forearm?

Highlights For Children!

We see highlights of DDP abducting Debra McMichael and getting chased down by Steve Austin in a limo from Smackdown.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Debra cannot make coffee because she’s stressed out about DDP. Apparently he abandoned her at the side of the road right outside the arena during that chase we just saw. A homely looking woman is like, “Tell me about it. DDP is a real sex pervert and a jagoff. When Mark gets done with him there won’t be anything left.” Oh shit! That’s Mrs. Undertaker! Undertaker really upgraded when he got with Michelle McCool.

Video Package!

We get a video package for the next match which will pit the APA against Sean O’Haire and Chuck Palumbo. Why are these two teams feuding? Why not! The video doesn’t really explain beyond JBL being a dick and not wanting any WCW guys to work in the WWF and then Palumbo and O’Haire sneak attacking the APA because of it. Shrug. From here on out I’m going to assume every feud is based on guys wanting a peg to hang their Zubaz and fanny packs up on and being told, “No!” by JBL or Undertaker.

Match 3: The APA vs. Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire

Both teams are tag team champions, but JR informs us that this match is for something far more important than tag team gold it’s about…um? Pride maybe? Honor? A place to hang one’s Zubaz? Probably the third one.

The match starts off with some brawling. The APA totally fuck up Chuck Palumbo’s shit. The crowd doesn’t seem that into this match, but to be fair neither do either team. O’Haire lariats JBL, so Bradshaw ruins his shit with a suplex.

Farooq comes in and gets laid out with a knee lift. O’Haire makes the tag. Chuck comes in and starts throwing bombs. Bradshaw is a douchelord and stiff him. Palumbo gets laid out with a Widowmaker. O’Haire comes in and gets put down with a spinebuster from Farooq that looked ugly as hell.

Bradshaw’s in but gets hit with a superkick while going for a fall away slam. O’Haire and Palumbo do some weird ass double team move where Palumbo dropkicked JBL into a stun gun in the corner by Sean.

Palumbo misses a superkick to Faaooq but Farooq sells like he just got blasted all the same. Bradshaw is like, “Fuck you for fucking up you fuck!” and lays him out with a Clothesline From Hell to pick up the win.

Winners: The APA (WWF: 3  WCW/ECW: 0)

This was boring. APA are boring and sloppy looking here. Palumbo and O’Haire are not the greatest, but were a decent enough midcard tag team that they probably should have gotten the win. No one involved in this match or watching it seemed to give a fuck.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Vince McMahon is with Chris Jericho to rap with him about the Inaugural Brawl. Jericho’s like, “I worked for ECW and WCW before. You don’t need to worry about WCW. They had no leadership at all, but ECW? They have a goddamn lunatic leading them in Paul E. Heyman. The E stands for ‘Ewwwww….disgusting!'”

Meanwhile Somewhere Else Backstage…

Shane, Stephanie and Kidman are watching Vince and Jericho’s backstage segment. Stephanie HATES Chris Jericho…like a lot. Shane gives Billy Kidman a pep talk and then Paul Heyman shows up outta of nowhere and screams, “WE ARE LOOOOOOOOOOOOOSING!” Kidman is like, “I got this. I’m going to show why everyone says X-Pac sucks.”

Match 4: X-Pac vs. Billy Kidman

Another champion vs. champion match in which no championships are on the line. X-Pac comes out to his stupid Uncle Kracker X-Factor theme song and promptly gets booed. Kidman comes out and is the first Alliance guy to get a pop. JR acts like people were cheering X-Pac which really wasn’t the case and as if to prove it even further a massive “X-Pac sucks!” chant begins as the bell rings. X-Pac Heat in full effect tonight!

Kidman and Pac work a quick back and forth match. Thirty seconds in and this is the best match of the night. The crowd totally hates X-Pac here. Kidman sends X-Pac to the floor and does some baseball slide into a face buster thing the likes of which I’ve never seen before.

They head back into the ring only for Kidman to take a flying bump over the top rope that X-Pac follows with a springboard dive.

They go back in the ring so Kidman can take his patented “go fucking flying over the top rope” bump. Pac follows it with a springboard dive. It’s a pretty great dive to the outside but nonetheless gets showered with boos. Ross and Cole actually talk about how hated X-Pac is.

In an effort to try to get the crowd back on his side X-Pac locks on a sleeper hold because that’s exactly what people want in a cruiserweight match. JR actually does a decent job of putting this move over in the context of a high flying match, saying that the high flier who can ground his opponent usually ends up with the advantage in the match.

X-Pac goes for a pin attempt and uses the ropes because he’s an asshole, but Kidman kicks out. X-Pac tries for a senton in the ring but misses, because X-Pac sucks. Kidman comes alive and hits a BK Bomb.

X-Pac is an idiot and tries to powerbomb Billy Kidman, which everyone knows is impossible. Kidman, of course, reverses it into a facebuster. Kidman goes to the top rope for a flying something or other but pretty much just ends up diving into an X-Factor. One! Two! Three…NO KIDMAN GOT THE SHOULDER UP! The crowd roars like a lion!

Pac send him to the corner. It’s time for a Bronco Buster. X-Pac runs up, but Kidman gets his foot up to boot X-Pac right in the junk. X-Pac goes down and Kidman goes up to the top rope and nails his adequate Shooting Star Press to pick up the victory. The crowd goes wild!

Winner: Billy Kidman (WWF: 3  WCW/ECW: 1)

This was a solid match. Best match on the card thus far. It was a competitive back and forth match that could have gone either way which is what every match on this card should have been if they wanted to make WCW and ECW guys seem like credible threats.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Shane, Stephanie, and Paul Heyman are celebrating Kidman’s victory. DDP shows up and is like, “You know what’s awesome? Sara Undertaker…way better than Debra McMichael.” Stephanie McMahon is creeped the fuck out. Shane is like, “DDP! Get your head in the game man, we’ve got Inaugural Brawl tonight!” DDP’s like, “Don’t even trip Shane O Mac, I’m totally in Austin and Taker’s heads now.”

Meanwhile Somewhere Else Backstage…

Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler talk about their upcoming bra and panties match and how it’s a shame they’re going to win and deprive the audience of seeing their ass and titties. After the match they are going to fuck the Hardy Boys. DELIGHTFUL!

As they leave the back stage area, Torrie slaps Stacy’s ass and declares, “Stacy, you do have a firm ass,” to which Stacy Keibler replies, “I know.” Attitude Era everyone…so much better than what we’ve got now right?

Match 5: Raven vs. William “Steven” Regal

This is a really weird clash of styles made even weirder by the fact that Regal’s a babyface here I guess. The crowd’s not that into this which makes sense since the entire thing is pretty awkward. Raven gets slingshotted into the ropes at one point and just kind of hits them. There’s a weird series of rollups and kick outs and then Raven and Regal kind of collide in the corner and Raven rolls to the outside of the ring. For whatever reason the ref goes out to check on him and Taz/Tazz/The Tazmaniac runs down and T-Bone Suplexes Regal. Raven gets back in the ring and hits the Evenflow DDT and goes for the pin, bringing this match to an end.

Winner: Raven (WWF: 3  WCW/ECW: 2)

This was an oddly bad match. I really like both Regal and Raven, and think both of them generally have really good matches but for whatever reason their styles didn’t really mesh well at all and they never really got out of first gear. I was also surprised that this was the only time these two guys ever wrestled one another. They were both mid-card WCW guys at the same time for a few years so I would have expected them to have battled in the main event of a half dozen episodes of WCW Saturday Night or WCW Worldwide prior to this match, but that never apparently happened.

Meanwhile Backstage…

The Taker Brothers are with Mrs. Taker getting ready for their upcoming match. Undertaker is wearing a headband and a “This Is My Yard” t-shirt and punching the air slowly. Kane is standing slightly behind him motionless.

Vince shows up and is like, “You gotta get your heads in the game! Kane! Remember when ECW jumped you? Time to get even! Taker, remember what that creep DDP did? Those creepy videos? Best of Sara? I need Best of Undertaker!”

Taker chokes Vince and slams him into a wall and then the Takers roll out. Vince grins like a doofus.

Match 6: Big Show, Billy Gunn & Albert vs. Shawn Stasiak, Kanyon & Hugh Morris

Show, Gunn, and Albert are out first. Albert’s the Intercontinental Champion for some damn reason. Billy Gunn is “The One” right now which is like the worst version of Billy Gunn of all. The WCW guys come out as a unit to Shawn Stasiak’s bootleg Mr. Perfect music. Michael Cole refers to them as “these three young studs.”

The match gets underway with a triple gorilla press slam by the WWF guys. I’ll admit, I marked out a bit for this. I like when tag teams hit stereo moves, but when a trio hits the same move simultaneously, it’s even more awesome. The actually match gets going with Kanyon and Billy Gunn starting off. Kanyon gets an electric chair but he makes a comeback and hits a Russian leg sweep that he follows up immediately with the Stroke.

Stasiak comes in and is met with chants of “MEAT! MEAT! MEAT!” Albert comes in and gets his shit in, overcoming a Hugh Morris sneak attack. Things break down with guys fighting in and out of the ring.

Billy Gunn and Hugh Morris are the legal men. Billy hits a Fameasser on Morris, but before he can go for the pin, Stasiak hits a reverse DDT and drapes Hugh Morris’ arm over Billy Gunn for the one, two, three.

After the match the Big Show chokeslams Stasiak and Morris and then looks like he’s going to jackknife powerbomb Kanyon, but instead tosses him backwards over his head. Apparently this is called the Alley Oop and was at one point one of his signature maneuvers. I have zero recollection of it.

Winners: Shawn Stasiak, Kanyon, Hugh Morrus (WWF: 3  WCW/ECW: 3)

This was an alright match, but seem like it should have taken place on Sunday Night Heat, also I probably wouldn’t have had WCW jobbers beat a team consisting of the current IC champ and a former WWF World Heavyweight champ.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Shane and Booker T are pumping each other up. Booker’s got the WCW World Heavyweight and United States Championship belts. The Heavyweight belt looks kind of off. Nothing really happens here except for Shane saying that because Chavo Guerrero Jr. beat his opponent on Heat WCW/ECW is actually up by one.

Meanwhile In William “Steven” Regal’s Office…

Tajiri is hanging out when Regal shows up. “You want a match with that suckbag, Tazz?” Regal shouts. Tajiri nods and grumbles, “Ahhh…so desu!” or something and Regal makes the match official and then bellows for Tajiri to show that ne’er-do-well, Tazz, what for!

Match 7: Tazz vs. Tajiri

Almost two years ago to the day, these two met at Heatwave ’99 in one of the best ECW matches of all times. Here it’s mostly serviceable. Tazz is out first and Tajiri, maybe spurred on by his buddy, William “Steven” Regal rushes down to the ring and slides in on his stomach, head first. Tazz wrecks his shit with a Tazzplex.

Tazz controls the early going of the match, thanks in part to his “low center of gravity” which is a nice way of saying his “fat ass.” Tazz goes for some submission maneuvers, locking in a cross armbreaker, but Tajiri manages to get to the ropes.

Tajiri makes a bit of a comeback and gets his shit in. He hits the handspring elbow and the Tarantula and the seated dropkick. He goes for a pin, but Tazz kicks out. Tazz gets Tajiri with a Cradle Tazzplex and heads toward Tajiri.

“GET OUTTA MY WAY!” he bellows as he pushes Referee Tim White out of the way.

GREEN MIST! BUZZSAW KICK! ONE! TWO! THREE!

Winner: Tajiri (WWF: 4  WCW/ECW: 3)

This was too short, but otherwise an alright match. Tazz and Tajiri work well together and here they kept the pace brisk and the flow of the match was pretty good. Everyone got their shit in. Neither guy looked like a chump.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Jeff Hardy is stretching while Matt Hardy looks on. Matt’s like, “Jeff, you gotta end this thing quick. This sort of match is RVD’s thing mang…”

RVD appears and waffles Matt with a chair and then menaces Jeff Hardy while Jeff looks over his knocked out brother.

Meanwhile at WWF New York…

Hardcore Holly is signing autographs. A guy in a WCW shirt walks up to get an autograph, Holly flips the fuck out and rips the guy’s shirt off and kicks him out shouting, “Get outta here before you get your ASS kicked!”

A small child in shorts and a backwards baseball cap then walks up to get an autograph and is like, “Hardcore Holly, big fan…”

Match 8: RVD vs. Jeff Hardy

This is for the WWF Hardcore Championship and is the sole championship match on this card. How insane is that? The opening bit of the match has guys dodging and escaping from each other’s moves and holds before the pause and stare each other down and the audience applauds. It probably infuriated Vader.

RVD is getting cheer for so he turns and looks at the fans and smiles. Hardy dropkicks him in the back sending him to the floor. Hardy follows him and heads up to the guardrail to do his spot there. RVD knows what’s up though and cuts him off knocking him into the crowd.

They brawl out in the audience. RVD does a moonsault off some sort of barrier while out in the crowd. He and Hardy fight back towards the ring. RVD hangs Hardy over the guardrail and hits a leg drop from the ring apron.

Jeff Hardy takes control after reversing an RVD attack into a sunset bomb from the ring apron onto the floor. There’s a pretty sick thud when RVD hits and afterwards, Hardy finally breaks out a weapon, pulling the Jeff Hardy Twenty Foot Ladder® out from under the ring.

He sets it up and goes up top, but RVD is back to his feet and heads back into the ring, away from anywhere Jeff Hardy could have leaped to. RVD pushes the ladder, sending Jeff Hardy crashing to the entrance ramp.

RVD snags a chair and he and Hardy head up the ramp to the stage. Jeff Hardy gets the chair from RVD, but fuck that…Van Daminator! Jeff Hardy goes flying into the pit that was in the center of the stage. The cameraman totally misses it though so we just see Hardy lying in the bottom of the pit. RVD goes for a pin in the pit, but Jeff Hardy kicks out.

They head back into the ring where RVD gets his shit in. He hits a chair assisted basement dropkick but gets caught with a DDT. Hardy goes up to the top rope for the Swanton Bomb, but misses. RVD puts the championship belt on Hardy’s chest and goes up to the top rope and nails the Five Star Frog Splash to become the new Hardcore Champion.

Winner: Rob Van Dam (WWF: 4  WCW/ECW: 4)

This was easily the best match of the night and probably one of the best Hardcore Championship matches in the history of that illustrious title. Yeah the stuff with Crash Holly and the Headbangers fighting in an indoor playground was fun and Raven getting wrecked by giant men was more brutal, but this was a really well done match that used the weapons and falls count anywhere stipulations sparingly, thus making them more exciting when they did come into play.

Meanwhile Backstage…

Vince talks with Kurt Angle about the red, white, and blue and Uncle Sam and shit. Kurt Angle’s like, “Enough of this Americana BULLSHIT! You know what I did in the DAMN 1996 Olympics? I kicked some serious ASS! CRAP! BOOBS! CRAP!” Kurt Angle is apparently ready to rock!

Video Package!

We get a video package to explain all that transpired in the past month to lead up to a this monumental bra and panties match. Basically everyone wants to fuck the Hardy Boyz, which circa 2001 I guess is a believable storyline.

Trish and Lita dislike one another but are going to work with one another because WWF vs. WCW or something. I cannot believe that hot women ripping each other’s clothes off required a video package, but the preceding title match did not.

Match 9: Stacy Keibler & Torrie Wilson vs. Lita & Trish Stratus

Mick Foley came out in his ref gear again. Apparently this was part of his contract when he agreed to referee the referee match earlier in the night. Michael Cole and JR hype that this is a historic night as this is the first tag team bra and panties match in the history of wrestling.

This was about as good as a tag team bra and panties match could be. Every one got their tops taken off. Lita and Trish carried Stacy and Torrie as best they could. JR declared “Thongs are legal.” Poetry in motion and a moonsault and the WCW women were stripped of their pants.

Post-match Lita and Trish were celebrating on the ramp leading up to the stage and almost accidentally fell into that pit in the center of the stage.

Winners: Lita & Trish Stratus

Meh. This was a waste of time. Torrie and Stacy were both really, really green and looked bad doing pretty much everything. Lita and Trish deserved so much more than this. The Attitude Era was so great yeah?

Meanwhile Backstage…

The WCW/ECW guys get one last pep talk from the McMahons and Paul Heyman before the Inaugural Brawl.

Meanwhile Somewhere Else Backstage…

Vince is sitting on a sofa with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Debra. Stone Cold is the “Old Stone Cold.” No singing. No guitars. No hugs. Just cans of whoopass, “And that’s the bottom line cuz Stone Cold said so!”

Video Package…

We get a video package for the entire Invasion from Shane appearing on Nitro to the revival of ECW and all the random backstage brawls and sneak attacks that have lead to this moment: THE INAUGURAL BRAWL! I honestly do not recall a lot of the Invasion, though I was certainly watching wrestling at the time, so this video package was a pretty helpful primer for me.

The WWE has always done a great job with hype videos on their PPVs, sure I just mocked them for having one for a bra and panties match, but the actual video itself was well done and would have explained to anyone watching this as their first WWF show why those four women wanted to rip each other’s clothes off. The one here is a bajillion times better.

Match 10: Bubba Ray Dudley, D-von Dudley, Rhyno, DDP & Booker T (w/ Shane McMahon, Stepahnie McMahon & Paul Heyman) vs. Kane, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle & Stone Cold Steve Austin (w/ Vince McMahon)

It takes like 10 minutes for everyone to come out to the ring. The entrances are really weird since they alternate: an Alliance guy comes out, then a WWF guy, then an Alliance guy. Taker attacks as DDP comes out causing a huge brawl to break out on the floor. WWF are a man down since Austin hasn’t even come out yet.

*Breaking Glass Sound Effect!*

Steve Austin hauls ass down to the ring and just starts wrecking house on WCW and ECW dudes. IT’S A SLOBBERKNOCKER! Austin rolls Rhyno into the ring and the match gets underway. Jericho tags in and keeps beating down Rhyno.

Rhyno gets Jericho into the Alliance corner and everyone in the Alliance smacks him around for awhile. Jericho makes Rhyno and Booker T look like garbage and then he gets to his corner and tags in Angle.

Angle stomps a mudhole in Booker T and walks it dry. Booker and Angle tag in D-von and Kane respectively. Kane side slams D-von. Bubba Ray comes in and helps out D-von but Taker puts a stop to it. The Dudleys are the first Alliance guys who didn’t really look like shit, but they’d been WWF guys for like a year or two by this point anyway.

DDP wants no part of the Undertaker, but once Taker is down he wants in. He and Taker go at it, but it just seems like two guys wrestling a match not a guy who wants to murder another guy for being a sex pervert. DDT from DDP!

Angle ends up back in and is playing the part of Ricky Morton and gets his shit ruined by the Alliance. The WCW/ECW guys are making quick tags and keeping Angle cut off from his dudes. Angle gets fired up and slams DDP to get to the his corner, but before he can make the tag Bubba Ray comes in and the ref turns his attention to the illegal man and getting him out of the ring while the Alliance guys drag Angle back to the center of the ring. Steve Austin is getting hot and gives the ref a two finger salute.

The match ends up breaking down with all ten men brawling in the ring. Rhyno accidentally gores Booker T. Taker gives the Last Ride to WCW referee Charles Robinson before he and DDP fight off into the crowd.

Stone Cold is down at ringside being attended to by a paramedic. It looks like his knee is fucked.

Over near the announce location there were a trio of table spots in a row. D-Von gets chokeslammed by Kane through the announce table. A second later Kane gets double suplexed by Rhyno and Bubba Ray through the Spanish announce table. Chris Jericho then runs off the ring apron and spears Rhyno through a table the Dudleys had leaned up against the barricade earlier.

Everyone is down, including the WWF referee who’d been officiating the match. Vince gets Austin’s belt and slides it into the ring, Vince heads in, but Shane comes in and levels Vince with the championship strap. Angle’s back on his feet. He clotheslines Shane out over the top rope. Bubba Ray comes in. He gets clotheslined over the top rope also.

Angle lowers his singlet straps and gets Booker T in the Ankle Lock. Booker T is tapping out. Stone Cold is back up. He rolls the referee back into the ring and boots Angle in the head causing him to break the hold. He plants Angle with a stunner and then puts Booker T on top of him and tells the ref to count. The referee looks confused by counts anyway. One! Two! Three! The Alliance wins! Booker T’s music plays for like 10 seconds before we get the sound of shattering glass and Steve Austin’s music plays. It’s a weird version that seems to have that “OUUUUUUUU WAH AH AH AH!” circa 2000 shitrock band guy “singing” over it.

Post-match Steve Austin celebrates losing the match by having Stevewiesers with Paul Heyman, Stephanie McMahon, and Shane McMahon as JR loses his shit and screams about how Austin turned his back on the WWF fans.

Winners: Booker T, DDP, Rhyno, D-von Dudley & Bubba Ray Dudley (WWF: 5  WCW/ECW: 5…or 6 if you count that match on Sunday Night Heat)

This was an alright match until the end. The swerve was stupid and would prove to be even stupider as the Invasion carried on. Austin switching sides never really made sense in the story, but what do I know.

Final Thoughts

This was a pretty mediocre PPV. I’ve seen worse in terms of the quality of matches, but as far as squandered opportunities, none can top this one. This PPV should have been a slam dunk. Looking at it some 16 years later it’s amazing how hot the crowd is from shit like a referee vs. referee match. That’s how into the concept the people were, but for whatever reason it turned into Vince McMahon vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin Take 29.

Imagine how great it would have been if instead of Austin turning at the end he stayed down with his “knee injury” and someone like Goldberg or Sting or Ric Flair showed up and was the one who laid out Angle. Sure it would have required Vince to spend additional money to buy out their contracts but it would have been so good.

As for the PPV itself. RVD vs. Jeff Hardy was by and away the match of the night. The Kidman vs. X-Pac match was the second best. The Lance Storm & Mike Awesome vs. Edge & Christian match was probably my third favorite but a lot of that might have been because of how hot the crowd was for it. Everything else was kind of mediocre at best.

I’d say it’s worth watching just to see the beginning of the biggest wasted opportunity in the history of professional wrestling.

 

 

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