Well, this wasn't the Cheap Heat I've had half done for the last week, but it was too timely to pass up.
The WWF got you all again.
You know who I'm talking to. All you "Internet Smarts" out there… or, as Hyatte lovingly refers to you, "Internet Douchebags." You know who are. All of you out there who have been condemning the early days of the WCW Invasion angle as a failure, like that horse in the race who stumbles coming out of the gate.
"It's on…." and the reaction is mixed, to say the least. The initials "WCW" were uttered more times on Monday night's RAW than in the entire combined history of WWF programming prior to that date,
– Rick Scaia (6.27.01)
And Tazz kept commentating Smackdown and Heat… and even started up a little something with Austin.
The Invasion started slowly… with a moonsault here and a kick there. People said mid-carders weren't the way to start a feud. It wasn't going to draw any interest. The WWF was flubbing with the ball. They were being handed an angle that should write itself, and they were WCWing it up.
Booker's anticipated arrival ended up happening last Sunday. Booker T's attack on Stonecold Steve Austin at King of the Ring should have been the kick-off of the invasion. Instead, it was like serving Filet Mignon to someone after feeding them two Big Macs.
– Dusty (6.26.01)
And the Dudley's moved on with their title reign. Getting involved in a tiff with Spike and Molly, and keeping on giving him the "Tough Love."
The WCW Invasion moved along. Booker attacked Austin and Austin attacked Booker. Buff Bagwell and Booker T had the first WCW match on WWF television. It sucked… everyone agreed. They were blowing this WHOLE Invasion thing. We could see it, why couldn't they?
The WWF is potentially damaging something that has been handed to
them on a silver platter and it's really pissing me off as not only a
columnist, but having been a wrestling fan for the last decade.
– Josh Nason (6.27.01)
And Justin Credible seemed to be getting a little annoyed at X-Factor… but not nearly as much as Edge was getting with Christian. No biggie.
Go around some of the message boards. See what the general consensus has been. Everyone knew the WCW Invasion was becoming a failure. And everyone knew how to fix it.
And Raven stayed in the APA's group of thugs, attacking any WCW-ites who got in the ring.
WCW started putting better matches on television. We got a decent World Title match when Bagwell wasn't involved. We got a hell of a WCW Tag Title match on Heat. And we got a cruiserweight match that, of course, didn't fail to impress. Still, though, this was just putting WCW mid-carders on WWF television and trying to get the fans to care. They weren't caring. They were popping for moves, but not for the wrestlers.
I'm guilty of it, too. Well, I guess it wasn't too bad a show, but the WCW takeover left me a bit underwhelmed. I think they should have done it somewhere in the south… if they have one coming up on their card.
– Me (7.02.01)
And Mike Awesome and Lance Storm made their one time appearances… but never showed up on WWF television for a second time… staying behind the scenes in Shane's WCW.
We knew the Invasion was a failure. Dammit, we called it! We had no idea how the WWF could be screwing this up.
So Vince went and did what he does best. He changed the rules.
Enter a twist that NO ONE was expecting. The ECW guys were nowhere to be seen. The Dudley's have become, practically, a WWF trademark. Raven hid in the APA's group. Justin Credible… well… still kinda sucked, but he was there. Then, from nowhere… with no one predicting it… shock the HELL out of everyone watching. Throw a monkey wrench into the Invasion everyone was expecting, and REALLY put an underdog into the mix. An Underdog that contains ALL the biggest names from the company's history. Hell, you even have the CEO of the company doing your commentary. These are Underdogs who people know. These are Underdogs who have been fan favorites in the WWF. This little move puts established faces on the other side… and gives the WWF fans something to get behind.
And then say "nyah nyah nyah" to everyone who said you didn't have any tricks left up your sleeve.
The ECW Invasion has been rumored on the Internet since the original invasion of Raw in 1996. People have been waiting for it almost as much as the WCW vs WWF idea. Now, it's in the mix. My only complaints, and they aren't big ones, is that there has to be another McMahon involved, and that ECW is on WCW's side. I'd like ECW on it's own side… against the big boys. Someone was saying on the 'Net that WCW lacked that babyface underdog thing they needed. ECW doesn't. ECW has been the de facto babyface underdog since they started the climb as the "third national federation."
But, the Invasion has now turned into an all out war. All three sides will end up at odds with each other… as I don't think the WCW/ECW alliance will last. And every Internet writer who said they can't pull something good out of this… that they were dropping the ball with the whole invasion thing… will be rushing to cover their asses come tomorrow. The WWF went and did something damn cool. They went and did something no one was expecting. And the few of us who didn't condemn it off the bat will sit and laugh at them.
Anyone who bets horses and watches races knows one true fact. The horse in the lead out of the gate is never the one who wins. If it staggers or is behind when the bell goes off, the game isn't over yet. Just because something hasn't worked out early, doesn't mean it's a failure. It isn't the opening bell that counts. It's the club house turn and the home stretch. THAT's what you remember. THAT's what counts.
Don't ever count Vince out. Especially when his ass is against the wall.
Because he changes the rules.