Eric Bischoff believes there was one glaring problem with the Invasion angle of 2001.
When the then-WWF purchased WCW in March 2001, it opened up the possibility of an onscreen war between the two companies the likes of which had never been seen before.
Unfortunately, while the ‘Invasion’ did happen, it was a convoluted and underwhelming angle that even the addition of ECW wrestlers couldn’t salvage. Ultimately, it lasted until that year’s Survivor Series when a team of WWF’s top stars defeated the combined forces of WCW and ECW in a ‘Winner Takes All’ Elimination Tag Match.
Since the storyline ended, many have pointed to the lack of big stars from the WCW side of things for the lackluster reception to what could have been a historic battle between two of the biggest pro wrestling companies to have ever existed.
While notable stars like Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, and Buff Bagwell accepted buyouts of their WCW contracts to join WWF the same year, many others such as Goldberg, Sting, Kevin Nash, and many others were content to wait out their guaranteed deals.
Eric Bischoff explains the “flaw” in the Invasion angle
During the latest edition of his 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff agreed that the lack of top stars was an issue for storyline.
“You’ve got your core WCW talent,” Bischoff said. “Luger, The Steiner Brothers, so many you could just run down the top 15 people at the top of the roster. All of those people represented the WCW brand, myself included, to a lesser extent. They didn’t have any of those people.”
He went on to say that, although WWF owned the brand itself, it lacked the stars that “represented” WCW. This was a critical flaw that meant much of the company’s audience didn’t make the leap to their longtime rival.
“So, you’ve got the brand, and if there was a critical flaw, it would be assuming that just because you had the three letters, WCW, that the audience would follow, and the audience is not gonna follow. Obviously, they didn’t follow because they didn’t have the talent that represented the brand so that the audience could relate to it.”
Over the following years, many of WCW’s top stars did end up making appearances in WWE, with Ric Flair joining soon after the Invasion ended, while Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall reformed the nWo in the promotion the following year and Bischoff himself joined them soon after.
The last holdout was Sting, who eventually made his way to the company in 2014 and made his in-ring debut at WrestleMania 31 where he was defeated by Triple H.
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