In today’s cable television world that consists of ratings power and corporate dominancy, I salute the fans at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia for making a statement. The WWFE big wigs did what they had to do to get the WCW over. They brought them home. They brought them to the birthplace of corporate WCW. They brought them to the site of the 1996 Olympics and the site of Goldberg’s earth-shattering victory over Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan in one night to claim the WCW title. The WCW came home to Atlanta…and they got booed out of the place.
The main problem with the WCW InVasion lies in the demographics. It lies in the fact that the entire WCW roster consists of heels (except Billy Kidman). Think about it. Booker T. uses trickery to win, Shane McMahon uses the same trickery to help his performers get a ruse up on a WWF legend – The Undertaker. At the same time, Torrie Wilson and Stacey Kiebler have definitely gotten off to a rocky start with the hardcore WWF fans now that they are taking on Lita and Trish Stratus, arguable the two hottest WWF women in history. But all of that means nothing right now…because the ECW just invaded the world!
I’ll be honest, I truly intended this article to focus on beating down the WCW InVasion and why it sucked so far, but I am also writing this as RAW is War is being broadcast…and I swear to God I just saw a host of WWF wrestlers exit the locker room to beat the piss out of Mike Awesome and Lance Storm. But as they were standing there something went through my head. It went something like this: “Hey, that’s Tazz – he’ll probably want a piece of Awesome. Oh and look, the Impact Playaz are in the same ring again. And how funny is it that Dreamer and Raven are standing next to each other? Come to think of it…I wonder if RVD wants a piece of Rhyno to get that ECW Television Title…hey, wait a minute. (In a Joey Styles voice) Oh my God, it’s on!”
And with that thought in my mind I watched as Tazz, The Dudley Boyz, Justin Credible, Raven, and Rhyno turned in such an eerie body movement that something HAD to be up. And lo and behold…BAM! In Heyman’s own words: “This InVasion has just been taken to the extreme!”
Now, as I stated earlier, I meant for this article to bash the WCW InVasion, and that is still quite possible. All you have to do is look at the players on both sides. How can you compare Palumbo and O’Haire to the Acolytes? How can you compare Vince McMahon to Shane McMahon? I’m not “marking out,” but going by sheer star power alone, there is no competition, at all. Oh wait, I AM writing this as RAW is playing…and I’ll be damned if Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley doesn’t own the ECW. The same ECW that just merged with the WCW!
I think it’s hilarious! I start this column to publicly bash this invasion crap for the first time and it seems like I am going to wind up praising it! The addition of Paul Heyman and his ECW group to the WCW roster gives the angle a few things that it sorely needed.
First, I don’t know about the rest of you fans out there in internet world, but I really was starting to catch on to Paul Heyman and his ECW style announcing. It was really getting good between him and Jim Ross. But there was a certain twinge in the whole invasion angle. Something just wasn’t right with him defending the WWF after – for years – he bashed the corporate image with his ECW. With him defecting to his “home” so to speak, it just seems to put a bit of reality in the whole invasion thing. Finally, he gave a promo that was worth the price of admission (or the price of my cable bill for the day). Anyone for Heyman as the WCW Commissioner? And bringing Heyman over to the WCW/ECW side does another thing…
Second, Heyman will undoubtedly be able to take the place of “Double A” Arn Anderson as far as commentating goes. I have no qualms with Arn Anderson, since he is a living legend himself, but when it comes to color commentary…he just doesn’t cut it.
Third, along the lines of the first point, I really thing that having guys like Tazz and Raven and Justin Credible sticking up for the WWF really didn’t make sense. Yeah, they are all “WWF Superstars” and yeah Tazz has been with the WWF for over a year and change, but there is something about having men that JUST made the crossover to the WWF stick up for them like they are the company that they truly believe in. Although, with these ECW icons finally going “home” with Heyman – that brings up a fourth point that this merger has brought to the forefront…
Finally, this merger and coming home of superstars puts guys like Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and especially Jerry Lynn and Tajiri in the spotlight (if only the internet spotlight) as far as where they stand on the whole invasion. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Jerry Lynn “go home” and become the star that he can become in the WCW/ECW, but for guys like Dean Malenko and Tajiri, I think it might be better to have them stay with the WWF. Tajiri because he is a great foil to Regal and Malenko because when he retires, he’d be able to get a great position for the WWF as far as booking the Light Heavyweight division.
The last thing that this merger does is bring some meat to the WCW fold. The Dudley Boyz, Tazz, Raven, Rhyno (who I feel is the biggest loss), and Justin Credible will do great for the WCW. Where does this leave X-Factor? Where does it leave Michael Cole on Smackdown? Or better yet…where does this leave Jim Ross on Mondays?
So with that all being said, my column that proposed to bash the WCW InVasion has turned into the opposite of what I thought it would be. So I go from wanting to bash the WCW to praising the WCW/ECW merger. Excellent storyline!
Thanks again for reading,