Okay, I give in. I have tried to stay away from fantasy booking invasion angles because they are normally just so far removed from reality. However, given the current WWE playground and its introduction of the “New Era,” an idea made a nest in my brain. So, with apologies to Vinnie Vincent (whose Invasion logo I knicked for the feature image here), let’s see what kind of egg it has created…
As we know now, WWE Raw is being run by Shane and Stephanie McMahon. While they are displaying an uneasy truce on-air, I think we all are expecting them to blow up at some point. Even Jim Ross is predicting a Shane-O versus Triple H match to come out of all this. But in the meantime, it is still same old, same old being masqueraded as new. But what if there was something going on that we weren’t yet aware? What if we were actually in the midst of an actual revolution in the wrestling world?
The WWE just finished Payback and has Extreme Rules coming up in 3 weeks. Then Money in the Bank, Battleground, and Summerslam. Given the short time between now and Extreme Rules, things will stay the course. The major feuds will stay the same. Roman Reigns versus AJ Styles will be the main event and the Intercontinental Title will be decided between The Miz, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn. We may get a three-way match for the Tag Team titles between New Day, Enzo and Big Cass, and the Vaudvillains. Charlotte and Nattie Neidhart will go again for the Woman’s Title. The battle of the talk shows will continue. I’m sure we’ll get Baron Corbin destroying someone. And Rusev will challenge Kalisto for the US Title. All that is well and good, because…
Everything will change at Extreme Rules. At the beginning of the show, Stephanie and Shane will come out and hype the crowd for the show. They will run down the card and then Triple H’s music will hit. Triple H will come out in a suit and all smiles. He will kiss Stephanie and hug Shane and say he is glad to see the two of them getting along. He then says the card looks stacked and he is so pleased that he can see such good come from this company. Then he says he has only one more thing to say and looks directly into the hard camera. “Rise.”
Extreme Rules will begin with a four-way Intercontinental title match. It would be an amazing match as we would expect. The end would come down to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens fighting in the middle of the ring while Cesaro and Miz fought outside the ring. Cesaro would nail Miz with a Neutralizer through the Spanish announce table when in the ring Zayn would catch Owens with the Helluva kick. Zayn would go for the pin, but Owens would get his leg on the ropes. Zayn would then dive outside the ring onto Cesaro, taking him out. He would then slide back into the ring all psyched up, and Owens would roll him up in a small package for the surprise victory. Kevin Owens would clutch the belt and get out of the ringside area as soon as possible.
The United States title would be next and Kalisto would defeat Rusev with a top rope hurricanrana. But almost as soon as the referee’s hand hit a third time, the lights would go out. When they came back on, the Wyatts would be in the ring where they would beat down both Kalisto and Rusev. Bray Wyatt would pick up the US Title, laugh, and leave.
The Woman’s title would be on the line with Natalia and Charlotte going one-on-one in a Submission Match. The two women would have a very physical battle and Charlotte retains with the Figure 8. After the match, Charlotte collapses in exhaustion, and the referee just places the title belt on her waist. The image is Charlotte laying flat in the ring with her title belt on her stomach and no one around, no one congratulating her, no one checking on her, etc.
Backstage, Renee Young catches up to Triple H and asks him why he is back tonight. Triple H just looks at her, stares, and says “Next question.” Renee is a bit shaken by this response and just asks if there is anything he wants to say. Triple H again says, “Rise,” first to Renee directly, and then directly into the camera.
Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho seem destined for another match at Extreme Rules, so let’s make it a Chairs-Allowed match. Ambrose and Jericho would go after each other for a while until Seth Rollins’ music hits. Rollins comes out to a chorus of boos, but places a finger to his lips and climbs into the ring with a chair. Ambrose and Jericho stop fighting for a minute and all three men stand in the ring together. Ambrose starts getting really worked up and Jericho starts to smile. Rollins takes a step towards Ambrose and then spins and nails Jericho in the gut with the chair. Then Rollins hits the Pedigree on the chair and rolls out of the ring, gesturing to Ambrose to make the pin. Ambrose falls onto Jericho and gets the victory, all the while staring at Rollins with a bewildered look in his eyes.
The three-way Texas Tornado match for the Tag Team Titles would be next. We would spend almost fifteen to twenty minutes with New Day giving a promo in the ring. Then Enzo and Big Cass would come out and spend about ten minutes on a promo. Then the Vaudevillains would come out and attack immediately to start the match. All three teams would get time to shine, with New Day looking every bit the strong champions. Big E would appear to have Simon Gotch beat in the ring when Aiden English would swipe the trombone from Xavier Woods and crack Kofi Kingston over the head with it. At the same time Enzo would break up the pinfall attempt on Gotch and Big Cass would hit a big boot to Big E’s face. English would pin Kofi and Enzo would pin Big E. The referee would count to three with both Enzo and Cass and the Vaudevillains pinning members of New Day. Stephanie and Shane would come out and argue over who should be the new Tag Team champions. Triple H would then come out and remind them that they were wasting time and they had to move the PPV along. So Stephanie and Shane would agree that the Tag Team titles would be held up and Enzo and Cass would take on the Vaudevillains the next night on Raw to determine the new champs.
The Baron Corbin show will be next. And by “the Baron Corbin show,” I mean Corbin will get to destroy Dolph Ziggler again, this time in a tables match. Nothing fancy here, just Corbin beating on Ziggler before powerbombing him through a table. After the match, Corbin would send Ziggler through two more tables before being pulled away by a lot of backstage personnel.
The main event is AJ Styles versus Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Title in a No-DQ match. Things break down early with a lot of brawling around ringside. After a while and a few near falls for Reigns, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows make their way down to ringside. The Usos charge down after them and they brawl for a while against each other. Eventually, Anderson and Gallows put the Usos down and turn their attention to Reigns. They beat down Reigns until Styles steps in front of them and tells them to stop. They look at Styles a bit confused, but Styles keeps saying for them to stop. Reigns gets up behind Styles and takes a step towards him, but Styles leaps and hits a Pele kick. Styles then gets up and tells Anderson and Gallows to get him while Styles leaps outside the ring onto the Usos. Anderson and Gallows hit the Magic Killer on Reigns and then return to the floor to go after the Usos again. Styles slides into the ring and covers Reigns but only gets a two count. Styles is mad now and he goes up top to try the Spiral Tap. He hits Reigns’ knees on the way down and Reigns rolls him up with a handful of tights for the three count. And that is how we end Extreme Rules.
(So far, so good?) The next night on Raw, Stephanie and Shane come to the ring to talk up how great Extreme Rules was. They are interrupted by Styles, flanked by Anderson and Gallows. He insists on getting another shot at Reigns. Of course Reigns comes out flanked by the Usos to counter Styles. With all six men in the ring, Shane and Stephanie bicker a bit on how to handle things and then make a 6-man tag match. Then Triple H’s music hits and he comes out to the stage. He actually mocks Shane and Stephanie, criticizing their solution to schedule a six-man match that we’ve all seen many times before. He says that the “New Era” they are claiming is nothing more than the same old BS. Then he says, “It’s time for real change here. It’s time for new stars to light up that ring. It’s time for us to rise.” And with that, a number of people come out from backstage with hoods covering their faces, lining up behind Triple H.
Meanwhile, Anderson and Gallows attack the Usos and they spill out into the crowd. As everyone looks to that battle, one man charges up the ramp to the ring and pulls off his hood in front of AJ Styles. He reveals himself as Finn Balor and Balor and Styles start brawling. They tumble outside the ring and Balor puts Styles into the steps. He goes to follow up and Reigns goes towards the corner to watch what is happening, and maybe help Styles. All of a sudden, Samoa Joe appears from behind Reigns and splashes him into the corner. Then he slaps the Coquina Clutch on Reigns and refuses to let go. Shane and Stephanie try to pry Joe off of the champ, but he refuses to let go. Triple H walks down to the ring and tells Joe to release the hold. Balor gets off a beaten Styles and climbs in the ring as well. Triple H stares at Shane and Stephanie and says, “There is no stopping us. We’ve risen. NXT is here.”
Throughout that Raw, Stephanie and Shane are seen backstage trying to figure out what Triple H is doing with Joe and Balor. Everything else continues on as scheduled. The tag team championship match goes on and Enzo and Cass take the victory. Both teams shake hands after the match though and Triple H congratulates everyone backstage. We also see Triple H talking to Baron Corbin when the Usos come in demanding to know what he is up to tonight. Before Triple H can answer, the Vaudevillains charge in still angry about their loss earlier and take out the Usos. Triple H ends the segment by telling Corbin to go “take care of business.”
Corbin destroys Zack Ryder, as expected. The rest of the matches on Raw were mostly uneventful, including a couple women’s division matches. The main event turns into just the Usos versus Anderson and Gallows when Styles and Reigns are not medically cleared to wrestle. Triple H stands at the top of the ramp watching the match. Anderson and Gallows pick up the victory and then stare down Triple H. And with that Raw ends…
That is how the new invasion begins. Next week, part two of this fantasy invasion angle. What exactly is Triple H doing? Is he working with Stephanie in an attempt to take Shane out of the picture? Where is Vince McMahon in all this? Is Finn Balor working with Anderson and Gallows to start a new Bullet Club? Is Samoa Joe offended by the reminders of Roman Reigns’ Samoan heritage? Why did the Vaudevillains attack the Usos backstage? Will the New Day get their tag team championship rematch? Why did Seth Rollins attack Chris Jericho and help Dean Ambrose? Will the Hyatts return the US title to Kalisto? All this and more. Stay tuned…
Tags: AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Enzo and Cass, Finn Balor, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Luke Gallows, Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, The Vaudevillains, Triple H, usos