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    The Wrasslin' Top 5 #1: Invasion Angles


    Obviously, I got bored writing The Wrasslin' Fan after issue #4.  It was hard coming up with ideas of what to base the issue around that wasn't already hammered home somewhere else.  However, everyone loves list AMIRITE?  So the idea is to update on a bi-weekly schedule with a new top five list.  This will allow me the opportunity to come up with new ideas each time out be it discussing angles, wrestlers, matches, moves, etc.

    Respond below with your thoughts and lists you'd like to see!

    In the first issue, I decided to go topical.  In recent months no less than four wrestling promotions have pulled the trigger on invasion storylines.  I figure, what the heck, let's kick it off with an invasion angle-themed top five!  THUS:




    #5: The NXT Rookies Invade RAW
    The episde of RAW leading up to the invasion by the NXT rookies was poor, to say the least.  Between the Big Show beating Chris Jericho three times in a row and Santino having a dance-off with Vladmir Kozlov, the writers were setting standards for new lows in RAW programming.

    However, in retrospect, one might see either subtle brilliance or accidental fortuity.  Whatever it was, the silliness of RAW helped better provide the "blind side" set-up for the angle that capped the episode off.

    In a match pitting the Straight-edge Superstar CM Punk vs. RAW's resident superhuman, John Cena, Wade Barrett (who won NXT Season 1 the week prior) casually made his way to ringside.  It was easy to assume that since he was rewarded with a guaranteed titleshot, Wade was initiating what would be a pedestrian storyline where he would challenge (and likely and ultimately lose to) John Cena for the WWE title.

    What ended up happening was a far cry from that.  Suddenly the ringside area filled with the entire roster of NXT rookies out of season one.  They surrounded the ring and ultimately attacked John Cena.  The invasion didn't end there.  They destroyed CM Punk and his Straight-edge Society.  Jerry Lawler was brutalized.  Justin Roberts had the life choked from him by Bryan Danielson (who would be fired a week later).  They ripped apart the ring and the ringside area.

    It was, to date, completely unlike anything ever seen in WWE or the WWF.

    Like so many of the invasion storylines listed here, what would come after the initial invasion did not match the sheer intensity of the invasion itself.  That said, there's something to be said about a storyline that can get even those with the least amount of faith in the 'E imaginable to check it out the next week (if only to run them away again).

    I'm looking at you Jude.



    #4. CZW and ROH Engage in Arena Warfare

    The story began with Chris Hero, a wrestler for the ultraviolent promotion CZW, petitioning (and receiving) an ROH World Title shot against ROH's technical wrestling king, Bryan Danielson.  The groundwork laid in this match provided the root for one of 2006's best storylines.

    In March 2006, the simmering rivalry exploded into a bloody, heated feud.  ROH decided to run a show in the famed "Arena," which once was home to ECW and was then the home of CZW.  Fans split down the middle, literally.  CZW fans sat on one side, while ROH fans on the other.  The fans let each other know this throughout the night.

    After a classic three-way dance that pitted Samoa Joe against Colt Cabana and Christopher Daniels, BJ Whiter (ROH's, at the time, resident CZW Ass-Kicker) called on Joe to assist him in the war against CZW.  With Joe by his side, BJ Whitmer called out the CZW contingent.  The CZW General, Necro Butcher, led the front.  With Joe and BJ easily out-numbered, Generation Next comes out for the save but it's not enough.  With ROH overrun, CZW owner John Zandig spraypaints (in neon yellow no less) the letters "CZW" across the ROH logo on the ring canvas.  Not willing to settle there, BJ Whiter is crucifix on the ropes and mauled with a bat, staple gun, and barbed-wire crown.

    Many point to the 100th Show brawl as a defining moment in the CZW/ROH War, and while it has a truly epic turn, I still find this more appealing.


    #3: DX Take the Monday Night War to Nitro
    WCW was a dominant force on Monday nights in the late 90s, but that wouldn't last.  At Wrestlemania 14, Steve Austin won the WWF Championship and kick-started a new era in the history of professional wrestling - an era that oozed attitude.

    Alongside Austin was Triple H and his band of hooligans, D-Generation X.  The night following WM14 the DX faction was rebooted with Triple H as the leader, the arrival of X-Pac as his second-in-command, and the tag team dominance of the New Age Outlaws.

    While their outrageous acts are legendary, all pale in comparison to Triple H driving a tank to a live, WCW Nitro event that was being held in the same town as RAW that night.  The icing would be Triple H and X-Pac asking for their former Clique-compatriots Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to be freed from their shackles.

    While not an invasion in the sense as the other storylines on this list, the DX invasion of Nitro bears mentioning simply because it was amongst the many (at the time revolutionary) ideas that pushed the WWF to the forefront and made WCW the losers of the Monday Night War.


    #2: ECW Takes the Invasion to the Extreme
    In March 2001, Vince McMahon shocked the world by purchasing WCW.  The idea of a WCW vs. WWF storyline was the stuff legends were made of.  Certainly it was a storyline with can't-miss qualities.

    We all know how that turned out.

    But for one night, and really for one hour, the WWF provided one of the greatest moments in pro wrestling history.  In the midst of the WWF vs. WCW war, Chris Jericho teamed with the "Big Red Machine" Kane to take on WCW's Lance Storm and Mike Awesome.  The match proceeded innocently enough before a shocking turn of events took place with Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam storming the ring right out of the crowd.

    It was shocking and completely unexpected.  They assists Lance Storm and Mike Awesome in beating down WWF superstars Chris Jericho and Kane.  The WWF, however, was not to be taken lightly.  Out came a plethora of stars: The Dudleys, Justin Credible, Raven, Rhyno and Tazz..  As Storm, Awesome, Dam, and Dreamer backed off, slowly the image crept in.  The WWF saviors were all ECW alum.  The attack commences as the all-ECW gang destroys Chris Jericho and Kane.

    From commentary a line is spoken that to this very day always gives me goosebumps.

    "Feel it J.R.!  Feel this moment for the rest of your life!" - WWF color commentator, and former ECW owner, Paul Heyman.


    #1. Scott Hall Starts a War
    Honestly, what else could it have been?

    In a match that wasn't typical of WCW at the time, Mike Enos (as the Mauler) took on Steve Doll.  Little of interest took place during it until the end.  Clad in a full-on denim outfit, Scott Hall spoke words that reverberated through wrestling for years to come:  "You want a war?  You gonna get one."

    In North America prior to this, the closest thing any fans had seen to this type of storyline was former WWF superstars showing up as new superstars on WCW programming (or vice versa).  This was the first time that an actual invasion took place on national programming.

    Over the next few weeks, Kevin Nash would return to WCW as Hall's "big surprise" in the war against WCW.  The "outsiders" would confront Eric Bischoff on numerous occasions making many threats.  A six-man tag team match was arranged for WCW's Bash at the Beach pitting Sting, Lex Luger, and Randy Savage against "outsiders" Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, along with a mystery partner.

    That partner ended up being Hulk Hogan, turning heel for the first time in over a decade.  The rest was, of course, history.

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