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WCW Raw - Booker T vs. Buff Bagwell


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5 minutes ago, Your Fight Site said:

Sting was out of his contract by 2003, when he started appearing for TNA and that Australian Workd Wrestling Allstars promotion.

it must have been earlier as well, as I’m sure I read he was slated to be Kurt’s opponent at WrestleMania X8 before Kane filled the spot.

That's the best explanation I've read for Kurt ending up with the big red short straw after the year he'd had in the ring.

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I’ve always thought they could have stretched the Invasion out while waiting for contracts to expire. Just as it looks like the WWF is about to win once and for all another big name shows up to give WCW a shot in the arm. 

Makes more sense than introducing them all at once anyway. It would have added an extra layer to defections as well. Jericho switches to WCW, but then fucks that off and goes back to WWF when Goldberg shows up etc 

Edited by UK Kat Von D
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1 hour ago, Loki said:

They didn't fork out for the big names because they'd have had to buy out their Time Warner contracts.  IIRC the top guys had contracts with the parent company and those would have cost a fortune to break, plus those guys were on guaranteed money so made top dollar just sitting at home.  Once those contracts expired, they started trickling into WWE.

The only guy to rip up his Time Warner contract and take a lower pay was DDP, and look how they used him...

Goldberg was the only really costly one. Flair came in in November and the nWo in February. It was a relatively small amount compared to the money they left on the table. Sting probably wasn't coming now way, no how so I'm excluding him from this thought.

Had they paid up the time warner deals for Goldberg, Flair, Hogan and Nash and drip fed them into the story, it would have generated Invasion buyrates several times over IMO.

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All I remember of these WCW-on-WWF matches was Helms vs. Kidman in the middle of a SmackDown. I recall not caring because I'd never heard of either of them and the lights looked different and the commentary was different so I went outside for a bit instead of watching.

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Bruce Pritchard has discussed the contracts on several occasions.

 

Hogan, Nash, Hall, Sting and Goldberg were on a $1 Million + a year contracts so for wwe (Then f) to get them to sign they would not only have to match their Time Warner deals but better them.

 

Bruce estimates it would have cost 12-15 million to get those guys on board and no story line is worth forking out that much for (bear in mind also this was 20 years ago and they had just given $2 million for wcw).

 

The recent something to wrestle about the Invasion PPV covers this period in great detail

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As mentioned earlier, they needed SOMEONE with WCW name recognition to make the angle work. I tend to agree that it was a non-starter to expect your Nashes and Hogans to walk away from millions of dollars for doing nothing, so that was never going to happen in time for the start of the angle.

DDP was placed near enough the top of the card in WCW to be useful but I'd argue that having someone like Flair involved could have given it a certain credibility at least.

But if it was a case of having to wait until November for Ric Flair to come in, so be it (and I think he was actually signed much sooner than then and was sat on his arse at home waiting for the call to come to TV).

I don't believe for a second that the company couldn't have handed over one of its B or C shows to 'WCW' and taped a few blocks at Centre Stage, Atlanta or something like that, even if just to keep the promotion alive for 6 months or so until they could start an 'Invasion' in earnest. 

McMahon really is pig headed enough to leave potentially millions of dollars on the table just to make his competition look pathetic though.

 

 

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I get the feeling if they'd brought Flair in during the Invasion he  would have been received so warmly it may have undermined Vince's attempt to retain the babyface role in the feud. It's hard to make your opponents the villains when your fans are whooooooing and popping big every time one of the so-called antagonists turns up.

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15 minutes ago, Silky Kisser said:

How long left did Nash and Co. have on their fat stay at home Turner contracts?

Just letting WCW idle for a few months and then starting it proper with some heavy hitters seems like the way they should have gone in hindsight.

 

If it wasn't too long I agree with this and UK kat von d said something similar, WWE was going to keep running anyway, they should have made the purchase, slowly sown the seeds then have the big boys turn up for a big well planned invasion.

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1 hour ago, jazzygeofferz said:

I get the feeling if they'd brought Flair in during the Invasion he  would have been received so warmly it may have undermined Vince's attempt to retain the babyface role in the feud. It's hard to make your opponents the villains when your fans are whooooooing and popping big every time one of the so-called antagonists turns up.

True, but if there was anyone on this planet who knew how to heel it up and get the crowd against him, it was Flair. The Invasion would've had to go that way, anyway - wCw couldn't stay faces forever, not if they were to eventually be subsumed into the WWF.

1 hour ago, Bellenda Carlisle said:

If it wasn't too long I agree with this and UK kat von d said something similar, WWE was going to keep running anyway, they should have made the purchase, slowly sown the seeds then have the big boys turn up for a big well planned invasion.

Yeah, that does seem to be the most sensible option. Running it like a separate promotion for a while, keeping them away from the WWF in the meantime, might have built up enough anticipation for when they finally clashed.

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I think the problem of running them as a separate promotion is that no TV network was wanting to take a WCW show, so none of them would have gone for the WWF rebranding their existing programming either (allegedly there was talk of WCW getting RAW and the WWF Smackdown at one point). They'd have almost had to sneak WCW content in through the backdoor, they were such damaged goods at the time - particularly with few of the top names on board.

Honestly, I'm not sure there's a way the Invasion angle could have been booked that wouldn't have been a disappointment, there are so many variables involved, but there are definitely things they shouldn't have done - they shouldn't have shifted the focus from "WCW" and "ECW" to "The Alliance", they shouldn't have moved so many career WWF guys over to the rival camp, they should never have had Stephanie as owner of ECW when they had Heyman under contract. 

If there is a right way to do it, it would have been a slower burn. The storyline seemed interminably long at the time, but there was only six months between the first WCW talent getting involved in a WWF match and the whole angle being wrapped up. As much as people would have been annoyed at them not going ahead with the storyline immediately, they should have held off on it for a little longer, written Shane McMahon off TV for a little while and only mentioning WCW infrequently, to slowly build anticipation before WCW talent started getting involved. 

Ric Flair showed up the night after the whole story was wrapped up, Hogan, Hall and Nash were all there three months later, so if they'd kept the story going until at least Wrestlemania X8, they'd have had four more of the biggest names available to them ready to play with - hell, make it look like the WWF have won at, say, the Royal Rumble, only for the nWo to come in and kick things off all over again by saying, "you might have finished off WCW, but you haven't killed the nWo", and you could get a few more months of it, maybe even have a few uneasy alliances where WWF talent are recruiting WCW guys to their side to unite against a common enemy in the nWo.

A couple of months after that, Bischoff was on board, later in the year Scott Steiner, the following year Goldberg. And that's not to mention other WCW alumni like Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, Curt Hennig, Roddy Piper, Dustin Rhodes, Dusty Rhodes, and so on, all joining the fold within a year or two as well. On the ECW side, they ended up bringing in Sabu, Sandman, Nova, Kid Kash, Balls Mahoney, etc in some capacity.

I'm not suggesting they should have dragged the Invasion out into a two or three year long story, but the scope was there for it to have continued longer than it did, to greater success, and then spin off into connected subsequent angles after the fact, rather than them just hitting the reset button after Survivor Series. 

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Also easy to forget that angle was slightly rushed due to dwindling ratings post Wrestlemania X7 - The war had ended, Rock was away filming and they'd just turned Austin heel and it didn't have the desired effect. From memory the ratings nosedived and the buyrates for the Backlash and Judgement Day PPVs also dropped compared to what they'd initially estimated. I definitely remember a downturn in quality from an in-ring perspective as well. Maybe rushing the Invasion was their way of trying to regain some viewership. 

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4 hours ago, Silky Kisser said:

How long left did Nash and Co. have on their fat stay at home Turner contracts?

Just letting WCW idle for a few months and then starting it proper with some heavy hitters seems like the way they should have gone in hindsight.

 

To my knowledge WWE bought nobody out of their contracts so they all signed when their contracts were finished. (and most of them signed within a couple of months of their contrcts being up). Goldberg had the longest contract hence why he was the last to sign.

 

Bruce Pritchard has argued that bringing them all in separate was considerably cheaper and allowed each one to be made a big deal of.

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