It is the situation Vince McMahon has always feared. One of his own superstars taking the WWF World Heavyweight Title to another wrestling promotion. With the WWF purchase of World Championship Wrestling and the demise of Extreme Championship Wrestling, McMahon’s former competitors now work for him so there is no chance of that happening in the distant future. What better way for the WWF to celebrate then by turning McMahon’s greatest concern into a major WWF storyline. That was exactly the case last night at the first ever “interpromotional” pay-per-view when the man McMahon thought could rally the troops against the fictitious ECW-WCW Invasion turned his back on him.
In the only significant surprise of an otherwise unspectacular broadcast, WWF champ – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – switched alliances siding with Vince’s children – Shane and Stephanie McMahon, the “owners” of WCW and ECW. Borrowing a page from Hulk Hogan’s defection from WCW to the New World Order which shook the wrestling world several years ago, Austin undermined Team WWF causing them to lose the main event tag match to Team WCW-ECW.
The ponderous “Inaugural Brawl” pitting The Undertaker, Kane, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and Steve Austin (Team WWF) versus The Dudley Boys, Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T. and Rhyno (Team WCW-ECW) was slightly above average as far as matches go but concluded in a muddled brawl that any fan could have telegraphed a mile away. Portrayed as disorganized and inferior grapplers, the ECW-WCW Team had more than its fair share of mistimed moves which hurt their own team members while the “WWF squad” of course wrestled like a well-oiled machines. The weakening of the ECW-WCW dubbed superstars didn’t stop there either. The WWF faction battered their enemy tag partners off the ring apron over and over again making them appear weak and more times than not, the ECW-WCW grapplers gained an advantage only by double-teaming or employing underhanded tactics. The message sent was loud and clear. The best of ECW-WCW is not good enough to hang with the WWF.
During the match’s finale, The Undertaker and Diamond Dallas Page fought into the crowd never to be seen again. The Dudley Boys beat on Kane outside the ring until the Big Red Machine Chokeslammed D’Von Dudley through the announcers’ table. Rhyno and Buh Buh Ray Dudley double-suplexed Kane through the Spanish Announce Team’s table then Chris Jericho gave Rhyno a flying shoulder block from the ring apron knocking him through a table the Dudley Boys had set-up to use on Kane. As all of this was going on, a paramedic conferred with Austin on the arena floor as he held his knee. The legal men, Booker T. and Kurt Angle remained in the ring. Buh Buh and Booker T. tried to double-team Angle but he took them both down. Buh Buh received an Angle Slam and Booker was locked into the Angle Ankle Lock. Booker managed to kick out sending Angle into the referee knocking him out of the ring.
Vince McMahon threw the WWF World Heavyweight Title in the ring for Angle to use. Shane McMahon beat him to it and nailed his father in the head with it. Meanwhile, Angle punished Booker with his Slam and Ankle Lock. Booker tapped out but the official was still outside the ring. A seemingly uninjured Austin dove back into the squared circle, Stone Cold Stunnered Angle and then laid Booker on top of Angle for the pinfall. Flipping the crowd off, Austin chugged beers with Paul Heyman, Stephanie and Shane McMahon. Naturally, this is the prelude to another Austin and Rock confrontation with the self-proclaimed Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment helping McMahon regain the WWF World Title, possibly at SummerSlam.
Invasion was hyped as what wrestling fans have long waited for. A chance to see the WWF duke it out with ECW and WCW. Yet, there weren’t many high-profile “dream matches” on the card that would elevate it to mega event status. Besides the main event itself, the Rob Van Dam – Jeff Hardy clash was about the only one fans will fondly remember. The majority of the bouts were satisfactory though with the depth of talent the WWF now has, the match-ups should have been better than what they were. As with the whole “invasion” storyline — which they had to desperately revamp two weeks ago to incite some interest and cater to the marks who wouldn’t cheer for anyone besides their beloved WWF stars — the WWF bookers dropped the ball somewhat at Invasion. What should have been a historical pay-per-view was nothing more than a run-of-the-mill offering from the WWF.
The next WWF pay-per-view is SummerSlam on August 19th.
WWF Invasion Results
Mike Awesome, Lance Storm versus Edge, Christian
- Exactly what the doctor ordered. A energetic match to set the broadcast’s pace. As Awesome tries to power bomb Edge, Christian Spears him. Edge pins Awesome.
- Winners: Edge, Christian at 10 minutes and 8 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
- Vince McMahon is sitting in his office. He says Edge and Christian reek of awesomeness. William Regal informs McMahon that Steve Austin has entered the arena. Regal asks if he can summon him for McMahon. McMahon tells Regal to give Austin his space. McMahon’s way of inspiring Regal in his match against Raven falls flat because he uses a Revolutionary War reference which Regal doesn’t appreciate.
Earl Hebner versus Nick Patrick
- Mick Foley is the special guest referee. WCW and WWF officials surround the ring. When the WCW referees attack Hebner on the floor, Foley sends them back to the locker room. As Patrick debates Foley’s officiating, Hebner Spears him for the win. Foley punches Patrick and unleashes Mr. Socco on him.
- Winner: Earl Hebner at 2 minutes and 58 seconds.
- Match Rating: 0 / 10.
- Debra and Sarah share their hatred of Diamond Dallas Page while getting coffee. Sarah refers to The Undertaker by his real first name…Mark.
The APA versus O’Haire, Palumbo
- Nothing of interest here. Bradshaw’s Clothesline From Hell puts Palumbo down for the count.
- Winners: The APA at 7 minutes and 17 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Jericho chats with Vince McMahon about the main event. Jericho says the “E” in Paul E. Heyman stands for “Ewwww, gross”. McMahon steals a line from Jericho and says…ECW and WCW will never, eeeever be the same again. Stephanie, Shane and Heyman are shown in their locker room. Stephanie really hates Jericho. Stephanie, Shane and Heyman tell Kidman that it is up to him to bring ECW and WCW back on track tonight. Kidman says..No problem. There is a reason why everyone chants “X-Pac sucks!”.
X-Pac versus Billy Kidman
- Kidman is no longer wearing his T-shirt and cutoff jeans. He has actual wrestling trunks now. Even though the crowd has backed all of the WWF wrestlers in their matches, they cheer for Kidman and jeer X-Pac. It shouldn’t be long before X-Pac is relegated to the ECW-WCW alliance. Jim Ross mentions that X-Pac was given his notice by WCW when he was there by Fed-Ex. Kidman wins with the Shooting Star Press.
- Winner: Billy Kidman at 7 minutes and 10 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- Torrie and Stacey talk about how beautiful they are and how nobody is going to see them in their bra and panties. They suggest a “private viewing” for the Hardy Boys.
William Regal versus Raven
- Jim Ross says Raven dresses like a bum but has a brilliant I.Q. Tazz does a run-in and suplexes Regal. Raven gives Regal what was formerly known as his Evenflow DDT to win the match.
- Winner: Raven at 6 minutes and 33 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- Vince McMahon gives Undertaker and Kane a pep talk. When he mentions Diamond Dallas Page, The Undertaker pins him against a wall. When Undertaker and Kane leave, he smiles at a job well done.
Big Show, Billy Gunn, Albert versus Stasiak, Kanyon, Hugh Morrus
- Total filler as the WWF scrubs take to the ring. The WCW contingent beat the WWF wrestlers but Big Show choke slams Morrus and Stasiak while Kanyon receives Big Show’s new throw-over slam maneuver.
- Winners: Stasiak, Kanyon, Hugh Morrus at 4 minutes and 22 seconds .
- Match Rating: 2 / 10.
- Shane gives Booker T. some encouragement. Regal tells Tajiri to destroy Tazz.
Tajiri versus Tazz
- Tajiri blows the green mist into Tazz’s eyes and then spin kicks him to end the match.
- Winner: Tajiri at 5 minutes and 45 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- The Hardy Boys discuss Jeff’s match with Rob Van Dam. RVD hits Matt Hardy with a steel chair from behind and runs out of the backstage area saying to Jeff…You’re next! Hardcore Holly is signing autographs at the WWF restaurant. A fan wearing a WCW T-shirt approaches the table. Hardcore rips the shirt off his back and cusses him out for wearing it.
Jeff Hardy (champion) versus Rob Van Dam (challenger) (WWF Hardcore Title Match)
- A good as everyone thought it would be with most of the fans behind RVD. Some highlights include RVD getting pushed off the top rope to the security railing on the outside, Jeff climbing to the top of a huge ladder and RVD pushing it over on the floor, RVD giving the Van Daminator to Jeff causing him to fall off the entrance way and Jeff missing his Swanton Bomb. Van Dam wins the Hardcore Title with his Frog Splash.
- Winner: …and new WWF Hardcore Champion…Rob Van Dam at 12 minutes and 32 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8 / 10.
Stacey, Torrie versus Lita, Trish (Bra And Panties Match)
- Mick Foley is the special guest ref again. Stacey and Torrie try and sway Foley with their charms before Lita and Trish enter the ring. Torrie is stripped then so is Stacey. As Lita and Trish celebrate and walk backwards up the entrance platform, they almost fall off into a pit below.
- Winners: Lita and Trish at 5 minutes and 3 seconds.
- Match Rating: 0 / 10.
Team WWF (The Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho, Steve Austin and Kurt Angle) versus Team WCW – ECW (The Dudley Boys, Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T. and Rhyno)
- Winners: Team WCW – ECW (The Dudley Boys, Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T. and Rhyno) at 29 minutes and 5 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 6 / 10.