When Vince McMahon officially won the Monday Night Wars by purchasing World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in March 2001, it opened the door to myriad possibilities with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and the new age of professional wrestling. They kick started things by having a simulcast that featured Shane McMahon, Vince's son, showing up on Nitro and claiming he bought WCW out from underneath his father.
This was the obvious move because it set up multiple scenarios and gave the powers that be a million different options as far as storyline goes. The original plan was to have WCW come in as a babyface group opposing the domineering heel owner Vince before eventually taking over one show and maintaining some semblance of competition between the two. After all, that's what helped create the boom period of the late 90s.
Why not try to recreate it?
Almost immediately, there were problems. For starters, they couldn't secure a television deal and had issues fleshing out how exactly they would divide the rosters. That's without mentioning how weak the WCW roster was thanks to all the big names like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Goldberg and Sting simply sitting at home with big money contracts McMahon was unwilling to buy out.
What they ended up doing was building towards an episode of Raw that would see WCW take over for the final half hour. The set would change, the commentators, everything; the show would suddenly become Monday Nitro and this would give Vince and company the chance to see how an arrangement like this would work out.
It was a disaster.
We covered in detail the many problems with the infamous Raw from Tacoma, Washington, but suffice to say, it went over like a lead balloon and the idea to give WCW its own show was quickly scrapped. That meant a new direction for the storyline, which turned out to be the next logical thing -- an invasion.
It took a while to get things rolling, as WCW wrestlers slowly started showing up more and more and attacking WWF wrestlers. Booker T was the biggest name WCW had at the time, so he was used as the feature guy and the right hand man to Shane McMahon.
Booker showed up at King of the Ring to attack Stone Cold and, perhaps in a bit of foreshadowing at the ultimate failure of the entire ordeal, ended up breaking Austin's hand during his run-in.
Talk about making the wrong impression.
Because WCW had such a weak roster, the next step was for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) to be reborn and join forces with the invading heels to become known as The Alliance. Stephanie McMahon was introduced as the new owner and the McMahon family triangle was complete.
What, you thought this would be about anyone else?
Even with WCW and ECW combined, they didn't have even half the star power of the WWF. They worked towards an entire pay-per-view (PPV) event, aptly entitled InVasion, that would feature matches between The Alliance and WWF, the main event of which would feature what they called an Inaugural Brawl, a 10-man tag match. To give you an idea of how one-sided this match looked on paper, here are the two teams:
The Alliance -- Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, Rhyno, Bubba Ray Dudley, Devon Dudley
Team WWF -- Stone Cold Steve Austin, Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle
That's a landslide in favor of Team WWF and ultimately, it led to a member of the good guys turning heel and joining The Alliance.
Austin had been working a heel gimmick since winning the WWF championship at WrestleMania 17 that included his kissing up to Vince McMahon and doing goofy comedy segments backstage alongside Kurt Angle, who was also competing for the affections of Mr. McMahon.
So it was no surprise, then, that Stone Cold, being the biggest star and giving the biggest boost to The Alliance, was chosen as the man to turn, claiming he didn't feel appreciated by the WWF. He cost his team the match and would go on to become the leader of The Alliance.
The storyline involved The Rock not long after and after just a few months, reached its natural conclusion at Survivor Series when Team WWF ultimately prevailed and WCW has never been seen or heard from again.
Really, it was a waste.
Still, the Invasion PPV was heavily hyped and did awesome numbers at the box office. Watch the main event below.