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Random Thoughts III.


PowerButchi
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Long term, he's right. WCW as a brand was run into the ground. It was toxic. ECW had a romanticism that made it valuable. WWE fucked that over but you could argue they'd gotten the value out of it already. WCW didn't have any value beyond Invasion without spending big money. I think that's been well proven.

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WCW never had the brand identity that ECW did, either. It would be difficult to say, categorically, what WCW was whereas ECW always had enough buzz around it as counter-culture, hardcore, and so on. 

As for the Invasion, it was never going to work out with the amount of egos in the WWF locker room, people scared for their spot when there's a sudden huge influx of talent, and people resentful that some of the WCW guys were coming straight in on big money and major storylines and TV spots. That would only be exacerbated if they were bringing in the likes of Goldberg, Sting et al on even more money, probably more than all but one or two WWF talents were getting paid.

The problem with The Alliance set-up is that it marginalised WCW and ECW into a generic heel stable/invading force, which overly relied on the audience having a ton of goodwill for the WWF to the extent that they would support the company as a whole against an outside threat. When the Invasion should have been about dream matches - with the roster they had they were few and far between, but they could have better utilised DDP and Booker T better, at least, and been more logical about which WWF talent were moved over to the WCW side to better bolster their ranks.

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I think they were fucked from the start once they decided the shelve any idea of WCW being a separate entity after that Booker/Bagwell match. Invasion was never going to work due to Vince's ego and his reluctance to push something he didn't create, locker room politics, and the fact that WWE had spend the best part of decade of television training their audience to treat WCW like the devil. Only hope  to revive WCW  was keeping it separate from WWE altogether and appeal to WCW's old fan base, then gradually rehire big names when they became available. Once the Invasion was initiated that was it, no hope of it surviving.

Even then, I don't know how you'd keep WCW going on its own when the top available stars initially open to working for WWE were DDP, Booker T, and Bagwell. Maybe have to shelve it for 6 or 9 months and then start it back.

Edited by DCW
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2 hours ago, Vamp said:

The Undertaker clearly felt threatened by DDP and Kronik taking up spots, imagine how he would have reacted to the others. 

Pretty sure Kronik were brought in on Taker's recommendation

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I always thought it was a damn tough thing to book. You've got 2/3 companies with their own individual faces and heels. How exactly do you book that successfully while keeping them as separate entities/factions?

DDP for example. Absolutely loved him in WCW as the plucky face that you always wanted to get behind. But being in WCW made him an automatic heel.

I don't think it could ever succeed in the way it was approached.

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1 hour ago, DavidB6937 said:

 

I always thought it was a damn tough thing to book. You've got 2/3 companies with their own individual faces and heels. How exactly do you book that successfully while keeping them as separate entities/factions?

DDP for example. Absolutely loved him in WCW as the plucky face that you always wanted to get behind. But being in WCW made him an automatic heel.

 

Yeah it would have been a tough thing to book, but they should have been able to work it out. In theory they have collected all the best minds in the business together into one place. All three promotions having face/heel divides just opens them up for loads of possibilities and intriguing dynamics. I remember RVD being the only face member of the Alliance as being really cool. Having a few heels in WWF and a few faces in WCW shouldn’t have been that confusing 

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2 hours ago, DavidB6937 said:

I always thought it was a damn tough thing to book. You've got 2/3 companies with their own individual faces and heels. How exactly do you book that successfully while keeping them as separate entities/factions?

You’re on to something here, I’d say. The smarter thing to do would probably have been to bring in the small number of top guys they could get as individuals in a staggered way through 2001/02, and book them in big ‘Dream Matches’. Could’ve started with Austin vs Booker at SummerSlam to unify the two world titles. The unification element would’ve popped a big buyrate. DDP vs Rock at Survivor Series could’ve done a number in the battle of the People’s Champs. Flair vs Taker (or whoever) could’ve headlined the Rumble.

The “WWF vs WCW” part of the angle could’ve been pitched as a personal feud between Vince and either Bischoff or Flair, depending on who was willing to come in first. Without everyone in one company turning heel and the other all turning face.

The likes of DDP, Austin, Booker etc for the most part could just chase the gold with their face/heel alignments developing naturally in the conventional way. Maybe you could have the story build to a one night ‘winner take all’ thing at Mania X8; where everyone has to pick a side for the night to determine which company survives. A ‘Best of Seven’ set of single matches at Mania X8 pitting Flair, Booker, Hogan, Hall, Nash, Bagwell and DDP against Rock, Austin, Angle, Triple H, Taker, Kane and Jericho would’ve drawn big at that point. 

Edited by Pinc
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44 minutes ago, Pinc said:

You’re on to something here, I’d say. The smarter thing to do would probably have been to bring in the small number of top guys they could get as individuals in a staggered way through 2001/02, and book them in big ‘Dream Matches’

Well, that’s kinda what they did anyway. It’s just a case of if the invasion story would work with staggered debuts. 

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8 minutes ago, UK Kat Von D said:

Well, that’s kinda what they did anyway. It’s just a case of if the invasion story would work with staggered debuts. 

Aye. But I suppose doing it from the start would save budget on your Mike Awesomes and Tommy Dreamers who were non-entities in the Invasion.

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9 hours ago, Pinc said:

Aye. But I suppose doing it from the start would save budget on your Mike Awesomes and Tommy Dreamers who were non-entities in the Invasion.

If Dreamer never got the contract though, he’d have murdered Heyman and himself, and the whole invasion would’ve been dropped like the Vince limo explosion.

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13 hours ago, Pinc said:

Aye. But I suppose doing it from the start would save budget on your Mike Awesomes and Tommy Dreamers who were non-entities in the Invasion.

Mike Awesome was the first WCW guy to win a belt though so quite important. 

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Yeah, you're right, should have saved the budget.

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WCW didn't have a star during the invasion, and they wasted their biggest one on the stalker stuff. When it centred around Austin and Vince again, it was dead in the water. 

Instead of the Austin double-turn, they could have held off on either DDP or Booker, and had one of them be the difference-maker in the main event as their debut with a run-in.

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I know they couldn't help themselves with shit like this at the time, and was wholly predictable, but I always thought it was a mistake to frame the invasion from wholly within the McMahon prism.

Let's be honest, did anyone really want Stephanie to lead ECW? Is there a company less suited for her to buy than ECW? Shane leading WCW was understandable, but throwing her into the mix just turned it into a regular WWF storyline of the time.

It wasn't ideal but I did think that DDP and Booker T etc were just about big enough names to get away with, had they booked them properly. The proper stars weren't going to walk away from guaranteed money for doing nothing, who sane actually would? (Hi Page). Booked right (and that's quite an ask) they could have held off until more WCW stars turned up and spiced things up.

But moving over Austin (of all people!) to WCW did more to dilute than promote the brand, and just turned it into a glorified stable war.

Ric Flair turned up the night after the Survivor Series ffs, they obviously had him tied up at least weeks prior to that. Bischoff had fuck all to do and would probably have come in sooner if asked etc.

I can't help but think that ego's got in the way here and they couldn't wait to crown the WWF champions of the promotions wars before going back to business as usual. Serious money was left on the table and it was all downhill from here, business wise

Edited by garynysmon
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Was it ever mentioned or rumoured who Batista was gonna face at Wrestlemania 22 before he got injured?

In January he was World Champion on Smackdown til he tore his tricep, looking at how it played out at Mania I would guess Randy Orton would've been the plan but can't remember hearing about what was planned.

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