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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Invasion, Part II (Climax At InVasion)
December 3, 2007 by Steven M.


Editor's Note: The author of this column can be contacted via the OWW Forums, where this submission was first posted. Feedback can be posted automatically by clicking here - but remember you must sign up for the forums to post feedback on a column. Thanks you!


Before reading this, be sure to read The Invasion, Part 1.

A Street Fight was on the horizon at WrestleMania 17 between the owner of the WWF Vince McMahon and his son - the owner of WCW - Shane McMahon with the special referee for the match, Mick Foley. Vince was accompanied to ringside by his daughter Stephanie McMahon. Shane bragged that WCW wrestlers were in the arena with the sole purpose of watching the match progress. It was a pretty violent match with Shane looking to put Vince away early. Shane placed Vince on the Spanish announce table and jumped into the ring. Shane stood on the top rope and went for the flying elbow but Stephanie pulled Vince off the table and Shane went through. Vince was still down and Shane appeared to be out cold. Trish Stratus the brought out Linda McMahon in her wheelchair. Linda was in a medicated state so she basically sat there like a vegetable. Trish attempted to help up Vince before slapping him across the face repeatedly as a result of Vince embarrassing her several weeks before. Trish got in a fight with Stephanie and the two would no longer be a factor. Vince would get the upper hand and laid out both Shane and Foley. Vince then places Linda in the ring to watch what would happen to Shane. Vince picked up a garbage can and was going to hit Shane with it. Linda stood up from her chair and Shane pointed behind Vince. Vince held the can above his head and turned around to see Linda. Linda kicked Vince low and Foley got back up to put a beating on him. Foley placed Vince in one corner and Shane put a garbage can in front of Vince's face. Shane then hit a modified Van Terminator on Vince to get the win. Later that night, Vince helped log time rival Steve Austin defeat The Rock to win the WWF title. Why was this important? Vince wanted the fans to think WCW were the good guys to start off the invasion. The next night on RAW, Triple H helped Steve Austin put The Rock on the shelf and the trio of Vince, Austin and Triple H went straight to the top.

For a while, the talk of the wrestling world was Triple H and Steve Austin's alliance. Triple H would go on to pin Chris Jericho to win the Intercontinental title meaning that Austin and Triple H held the WWF title and the Intercontinental title. The duo targeted The Hardy Boys and Lita for a few weeks. This mini feud actually saw Jeff Hardy upset Triple H for the Intercontinental title, but Triple H would regain the title the next week. Meanwhile, Backlash was approaching and the New WWF Tag Team Champions were The Undertaker and Kane and the duo took exception to Triple H insinuating that he and Austin were the most dominant force in wrestling history. The two teams went at it until the match was made at Backlash. Vince McMahon told Steve Austin and Triple H that they would face The Undertaker and Kane at Backlash. Vince looked worried and said the "belts are on the line." Austin said sure the Tag titles are on the line, McMahon said that wasn't the only one and Triple H was irate that his was also on the line. Then we found out that Austin's was on the line as well. For the first time the WWF Championship, the Intercontinental Championship and the WWF Tag Team Championship were on the line in the same match. As far as Shane McMahon was concerned, Vince McMahon placed him in a Last Man Standing match against The Big Show. Show's mission was to destroy the owner of WCW. When Backlash came, Test helped Shane McMahon defeat The Big Show in the match, holding Show down as Shane jumped of the TitanTron, which was at least 30 feet high. In the main event, Triple H pinned Kane to win the Tag Team Championship for himself and Austin. Austin and Triple H held the Tag titles, the Intercontinental title and the Tag Team titles. As the feud between Austin & Triple H against Kane and The Undertaker continued, The Undertaker's wife Sara was brought into the scene. Austin and Triple H challenged Kane & The Undertaker to a Tag Team Championship match on Raw. After the challenge was accepted, The Undertaker grabbed his bags and ran out of the arena. We soon found out that his wife was in a "car accident." Kane was shown leaving with his bags a few minutes later and William Regal made Kane compete against Triple H and Steve Austin otherwise he and The Undertaker would never get another chance for any of the titles. Kane won by disqualification but Triple H and Steve Austin left him battered and beaten. Then we found out on SmackDown that Austin and Triple H were behind the Sara storyline and that she was fine. At Judgment Day, several matches would serve as huge points for the future. There was Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit in a Two out of Three Falls match for Kurt Angle's gold medals. There was a Tag Team Turmoil with the winning team getting a Tag Title shot, Kane took on Triple H for the Intercontinental title in a Chain Match and Steve Austin took on The Undertaker with Austin's WWF Championship on the line in a No Holds Barred Match. Angle regained his medals, Benoit joined forces with long time adversary Chris Jericho to win the Tag Team Turmoil Match, Steve Austin inadvertently helped Kane win the Intercontinental title from Triple H. Triple H however helped Steve Austin retain the WWF title from The Undertaker. Austin was still champion and the duo still had the tag titles. Triple H was upset however because he thought that Austin could have done more to help him retain the Intercontinental title at Judgment Day. The next night on RAW, Jericho and Benoit cashed in their shot and that would main-event the program. During the broadcast, Kurt Angle arranged to have a rendition of his Olympic gold medal victory of 1996. During this rendition, Shane McMahon, who was slowly leaking WCW superstars such as Lance Storm into the arenas, decided to poke some fun at Kurt Angle. When Shane called Angle a "wussy," Angle hit Shane with an Angle Slam off the platform and applied the Ankle Lock for a few seconds before breaking the hold. Angle apologized to Vince later for attacking his son and Vince told Angle to break Shane's ankle next time. Later in the evening, Shane got a measure of revenge, costing Angle a shot at winning the Intercontinental title against Kane. The main event was coming up and in a huge upset Benoit and Jericho won the Tag Titles from Austin and Triple H. In the match, Triple H severely injured his quadriceps but somehow finished his match. Triple H would be out of action until January of the next year and the alliance between himself, Austin and Vince McMahon lost two of their three titles in two nights.

More WCW superstars were appearing on WWF television including Hugh Morris and Stacy Keibler. One of the more intriguing storylines involved some very serious scenarios as someone was stalking The Undertaker's wife Sara and recording her for the world to see. This would go on for weeks with the mystery man threatening her and The Undertaker. The Undertaker was getting worried and would threaten Jim Ross who received the tape at first and physically assaulting Paul Heyman as yet another tape aired of the man in The Undertaker's house while Sara was gone. Shane McMahon, in the midst of a battle with Kurt Angle, bumped into Kane. It was Kane who saved Shane McMahon the week prior from The Undertaker as he hunted down his wife's stalker. Shane talked with Kane about the videos and Kane asked him if he knew anything. Shane said no but reminded Kane that Kurt Angle tried to break up the marriage between Triple H and Stephanie. While Angle was in the ring, The Undertaker walked into the ring determined. Angle said he didn't even think Sara was attractive and received a Last Ride for his opinion. As another tape aired, The Undertaker left and Shane McMahon nails Angle with his own Angle Slam. Finally the mystery man was soon to be revealed and it would prove to be one of the bigger surprises of the short lived Invasion.

The Undertaker was not in attendance on this night but his music played. A masked man completely dressed in black drove a motorcycle to the ring. The man stood in the ring with a microphone in his hand. Then the man took his mask off and revealed himself as WCW wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. Page cut a promo and said that he was begging The Undertaker to "make him famous." As all of this was going on, Steve Austin was fighting to keep his WWF title against both Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, who were making life miserable for the "Rattlesnake." Now we went on to the King of the Ring. At the King of the Ring, Kurt Angle, with assistance from Shane McMahon of all people, defeated Christian to move into the finals of the King of the Ring tournament. Throughout the night, personal footage of Diamond Dallas Page aired at he sat ringside, as if he had been stalked. In the King of the Ring Finals, Shane McMahon helped Edge defeat Kurt Angle and win the prestigious tournament. Later in the night as more footage aired of Diamond Dallas Page, he demanded it stop. Sara was revealed as the person taping the footage and The Undertaker waked slowly to ringside, putting his gloves on. A brawl ensued between DDP and The Undertaker which ended with DDP running away. In the Street Fight, Kurt Angle and Shane McMahon beat the hell out of each other. Angle won the match after Angle Slamming Shane off the top rope in tremendous match. Finally in the main event of the evening Steve Austin was able to fend off Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit to retain the WWF Title. Chris Benoit was severely injured in the match and would be out of action until the next year. However, this match marked the WWF debut of Booker T who slammed Steve Austin through the announcers table. The next night, the Invasion continued. I was in attendance to watch Mike Awesome make his debut and pin Rhyno for the Hardcore Championship. During the show, The A.P.A. gathered up members of the WWF locker room and told them to stand up against WCW. Steve Austin and Kurt Angle were backstage and Austin was getting upset by the idea that Booker T and WCW were coming back. Shane McMahon and Booker T then walked into WWF New York and challenged Vince to come down there. Vince instead sent Austin and Angle after them. At the end of the night, Vince stood in the ring and was ready to see what Austin and Angle were going to do to Booker and Shane. When Austin and Angle walked into WWF New York, they were told that Shane and Booker left. Booker and Shane then jumped into the ring and Booker laid out Vince with the Scissors Kick. The WWF locker room emptied and chased off Booker and Shane. At this time, to lay your hands on Perry Saturn and Edge wasn't a huge deal. Laying your hands on Steve Austin is making an impact but taking out the owner of the WWF meant that the Invasion was on.

There was some dissention in the ranks among the WCW guys, feeling that Shane McMahon was still aiding the WWF wrestlers, saving The Undertaker from an assault. The WCW wrestlers attacked Shane McMahon and Booker T, who tried to stop them. At one point, Booker T had tried to calm down the WCW wrestlers but Mike Awesome would have none of it and led a beat down on the WCW Champion. The WCW crew got back on board however and their allegiance seemed stronger than ever after a brilliant plan to open up the July 9th episode of RAW. Shane McMahon was ready to go one on one with Diamond Dallas Page in a Street Fight. Shane McMahon hit the ring first with a kendo stick in hand. The Undertaker then joined him in the ring and told Shane that he wanted DDP. Shane accepted and left. A few minutes into the match, Shane attacked The Undertaker. It was all a set-up and Sara tried to get involved but took a Diamond Cutter for her troubles. Also on the show, Kurt Angle challenged, unsuccessfully, Booker T for the WCW title. Angle had the match won but WCW referee Nick Patrick refused to acknowledge it. After a bunch of referees began to fight one another, Shane tossed Booker the title and Booker nailed Angle with it to get the victory. As the Invasion carried on the idea of WCW vs. WWF was instilled in everyone's minds as the greatest moment in sports entertainment history. As with every great thing, there seemed to have been something missing. So when every wrestling fan saw the highlight package of Raw on July 9th, 2001 being Kane & Chris Jericho vs. Mike Awesome & Lance Storm, we really should have expected something huge, which we did. The match progressed as any ordinary match would have when the camera panned on the crowd. Rob Van Dam and Tommy Dreamer ran into the ring and put a beating on Kane and Jericho until several WWF wrestlers hit the ring. These wrestlers included The Dudley Boys, Tazz, Justin Credible and Rhyno among others. They stared down Dreamer and Van Dam and created a divider for Kane and Jericho. Then the WWF wrestlers turned around slowly and attacked Kane and Jericho. Jim Ross was wondering exactly what he was seeing and Paul Heyman said he thought JR deserved some answers. Heyman left the broadcast position and grabbed a microphone. Heyman cut a promo finishing it off saying "This Invasion just got taken to the EXTREME!" The electricity was phenomenal as ECW was back. Now it was what it should have been, The WWF led by Vince McMahon vs. WCW led by Shane McMahon vs. ECW led by Paul Heyman. It didn't stay that way for long as Shane approached Vince with an idea. Shane told Vince that ECW is too dangerous to contend with and said he couldn't afford to lose any more guys. Shane then said that he and Vince should send five guys from WWF and WCW to battle the ten guys from ECW in the main event. Shane and Vince were in a room with the WWF and WCW contingents. Shane said he would lead the charge. Vince said that he would be fully responsible for what happened. So as the WWF and WCW waited for ECW to appear, the two sides fought. Remember it was supposed to be the WWF and WCW vs. ECW. The ECW stars came through the crowd and battled with the WWF crew, sending them to the floor. Then the ECW stars challenged the WCW guys. WCW and ECW went face to face before shaking hands and embracing. The ECW and WCW stars continued to beat down the WWF guys and Shane McMahon announced this as a merger of WCW and ECW to kill the WWF. And the new owner of ECW was none other than Stephanie McMahon.

With the WWF's back against the wall, Vince turned to what seemed to be his only hope. Vince approached Steve Austin and asked him to bring back the old "Stone Cold." Austin had cooled down and become much less aggressive then he used to be. Austin said that he couldn't go back and the WWF guys were left hanging. On the second to last SmackDown before Invasion, Jeff Hardy won the Hardcore title from Mike Awesome thanks in part to Edge and Christian. In the main event, Kurt Angle and The Undertaker took on Shane McMahon and Diamond Dallas Page. During the match, Angle spotted several ECW and WCW wrestlers running to the ring. Angle met them and tried to fight them all off. In the ring, DDP was down and The Undertaker had his chance to destroy him. The Undertaker was torn and watched his fellow teammate get pummeled on the outside. The Undertaker instead jumped over the top and rescued Angle, taking out the Alliance members. Unfortunately for the WWF stars who would take part in the Inaugural Brawl minus Steve Austin, they were left battered and beaten by the Alliance. Just six days away from the Invasion pay per view, the WWF was looking bad. The Alliance of WCW and ECW were getting the upper hand at every turn. Steve Austin decided that he didn't want to be in the arena and left to go to a bar. Austin was playing pool and looked conflicted. Finally "Classy" Freddie Blassie addressed the WWF locker room. In an emotional moment, the Hall of Famer stood up from his wheelchair and told them to fight back. Austin smashed the pool cue and left the bar. The WWF and the Alliance would engage in another brawl at the end of the show and the numbers were too great for the Alliance. Suddenly, Austin drove to the arena and used whatever was left of his pool cue to take out several Alliance members en route to the ring. Austin's music hit and the crowd exploded. Austin ran to the ring and hit any Alliance wrestler in his way with a Stunner. Austin delivered about eight Stunners and the "Old Stone Cold" was back at the time the WWF needed. Just three days before InVasion, Steve Austin proved that the "Old Stone Cold" was back, breaking his guitar over Vince's head. In the main event, Austin and Angle went against Booker T and Rhyno. Within the first minute of the match, Austin nailed both Booker and Rhyno with back to back Stunners. Then DDP appeared on the TitanTron and he had Debra abducted. Austin went after him and the entire parking lot would soon fill with WWF, WCW and ECW stars. In the ring, Team Alliance took out Angle with a 3D through a table. InVasion started with a bang for the WWF as they won the first three matches. Edge & Christian defeated Mike Awesome & Lance Storm, Earl Hebner defeated Nick Patrick in a Battle of the Referees with Mick Foley as the referee and The A.P.A. defeated Sean O'Haire & Chuck Palumbo in a Champions vs. Champions Match. Shane, Stephanie and Paul Heyman confronted Billy Kidman and told him that they needed this victory. Kidman delivered by defeating X-Pac in a Champion vs. Champion match, which was followed by two more wins from the Alliance. Raven defeated William Regal and the team of Chris Kanyon, Hugh Morris and Shawn Stasiak defeated The Big Show, Billy Gunn and Albert, though they took a beating for it. The WWF regained the advantage when Tajiri, one of the few ECW wrestlers that stayed loyal to the WWF rather than his former place of employment defeated Tazz. Next on the card was the only match of the night where a Title was on the line. Jeff Hardy defended the Hardcore title against Rob Van Dam. The match was a true hardcore classic with RVD getting the win with his Five Star Frog Splash on top of the Hardcore Title belt which was on the chest of Hardy. Van Dam then brought a WWF Title to the Alliance. Mick Foley was the referee for the second time on this night for a tag team Bra & Panties match. Trish Stratus and Lita easily defeated and embarrassed Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler. The next match was the main event. It was the Inaugural Brawl and although it lacked some star power on the Alliance side, it was still an awesome spectacle. For the Alliance, the team consisted of The Dudley Boys, multiple time WWF and ECW Tag Team Champions, Diamond Dallas Page, former two-time WCW Champion, Rhyno, the only man to hold the ECW Title and the ECW Television Title as the same time and Booker T, the four time WCW Champion. For the WWF, their team consisted of Chris Jericho, a great technical wrestler and multiple time Intercontinental Champion, Kane, a monster and former WWE Champion, The Undertaker, a true legend and multiple time WWE Champion, Kurt Angle, one of the best pure athletes in the WWF and of course Steve Austin, the WWF Champion. The match was a brawl to say the least. All ten men beat the hell out of each other. In the end, Angle locked Booker T in the Ankle Lock and was about to get the win while the referee was out cold on the floor. Austin, who was "injured" during the match tossed the referee in to see Booker tap. Suddenly, Austin kicked Angle in the head. Austin gave Angle the Stunner and placed Booker T on top. The referee had no choice to count and the Alliance won the Inaugural Brawl. The show came to a close with Austin, Shane, Stephanie and Paul Heyman drinking beer and holding their arms up high as the Invasion was beginning to crumble before our very eyes.

by Steven M. (View/Submit your feedback here)..




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