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Albert B. Ching




There were a couple of interesting on Monday night's RAW. It wasn't just the eerie parallels between (at least in actual presentation) Diamond Dallas Page's new gimmick and Tiger Ali Singh's old act. It wasn't just the comically amusing way the Hurricane comically amusingly tries to do power moves on people who are Bigger than him (by all logic, that shouldn't even work! And it doesn't.) It was, of course, the "Winner take all" match announced for Survivor Series, to be contested between the Alliance and the WWF. As with many things in wrestling, it was intriguing not only on concept but because of the extremely vague manner in which it was presented. We don't know who is going to be involved in the match, exactly what is at stake, et cetera. These kinds of scenarios are exciting, because the less colored in an idea is, the more wild theories that could be possible, and thus the more "Ken Shamrock comes back to put Scott Steiner in the ankle lock and win Excess for the NWA" theories that seem maybe a little bit less ludicrous.

First of all, it's encouraging that the WWF at least recognizes that something needs to be done with the grown-stagnant "InVasion" angle. The Alliance themselves have basically turned into a larger and less credible version of the nWo, and every show (with the ascent of Rob Van Dam aside) has been virtually identical for the last three months. Well, every show except like, Sunday Night Heat, that's crappier than the other shows. Anyway, it took WCW about three and a half years before they were finally (seemingly) finished with the nWo, and it stuck around for way longer than necessary, and their "Invasion" never seemed to really have much upward moment, either, except for "nWo Nitro." It makes sense that Vince McMahon would want to try to do something to get these WCW, ECW, and WWF guys off his television program. Sure, it doesn't make sense that he would disappear for three months, that all of a sudden he's magically reunited with his wife that he tortured, and that he can't just ban these guys from the building for whatever reason, but people who think about those kinds of details too much are generally considered "nerds," and hey, you don't want to be nerd, do you?

I really have no recollection of how the nWo angle ended, because I think it just kind of petered out. I remember the Wolfpack/Black & White split, the (actually not I would assume even though I didn't watch it) awesome street fight between Vincent and Stevie Ray, the nWo 2000 with Bret Hart, and then the nWo just being Jeff Jarrett and the Harris Brothers and a bunch of whores for a while. In any event, the point is that it just got too complicated and lame, so it's refreshing that the WWF realizes that the Alliance angle is already in danger of heading that direction, so it's time to finish it - at least finish the way it's been. Because, let's face it, otherwise in a few months the Alliance will just be Tommy Dreamer, the Dudley Boyz, and a bunch of whores, and no one wants that, except for maybe (but doubtfully) Tommy Dreamer. The fact that the latest rumors have nWo founders Kevin Nash and Scott Hall heading to the WWF in a matter of a few scant months adds to the bad vibe that I'm getting.

There are three logical finishes to the match (the match we know nothing about, yes): the WWF wins and the Alliance angle ends, and most of their names just get dissolved into the WWF roster; the Alliance wins, in a last-ditch attempt to get some mileage out of the WCW purchase; or there's some sort of non-conclusive finish that leads to more of the same for a while. The first two options both have their pros and cons. There is a certain amount of classiness, I think, in acknowledging that WCW basically sucks and it's not worth the effort to try to ever convince people otherwise. If things get back to a relative normality, the fans might respond more strongly. I don't even think that people consider Booker T to be "that Alliance guy" so much as he's "that heel that wrestles and looks at his hand a lot while nodding his head." I may be incorrect, but I seriously doubt that the Alliance angle is strong enough that too many fans see strong ties between the angle and the wrestlers involved. Therefore, if the Alliance roster really is dissolved, I don't see the wrestlers involved carrying too much of a "stigma" if the dissolution is played out well.

Conversely, having the Alliance win and possibly taking over RAW and SmackDown! for a week or so is a risky gambit (not Remy LeBeau), but it could pay off. If the Alliance could at least end up with Excess, or something similar to the original talks, it would, at the very least, give some guys needed exposure before the eventual cancellation of their show. Well, I suppose it could do well, but it would definitely take a lot of work and bigger names, I'd think. It's complicated and I personally can't really think of a way to make it work (or at the very least, make it work and have it be preferable to simply running RAW/SmackDown!) but I've been wrong before, so who knows. It might be the last chance for me to see some guys I really liked on television, like Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and Kanyon.

The match itself is, obviously, still a mystery. I've heard speculation that the whole show should just be one match - with one WWF wrestler against one Alliance wrestler and once one gets eliminated, they're replaced by someone on their team, and so on. I think that this would be mighty cool, especially if the match was littered with cameos from old friends. Picture Test in the ring, just after disposing of Matt Hardy, and OMG You're Lookin' At The Real Deal Now! And let's say that some Alliance guy, RVD maybe, is in the ring, pretty confident after getting rid of someone like Chris Jericho, and all of a sudden it's TIME TO PLAY THE GAME.

I have to admit to having a little bit of a special place in my heart for WCW. For a long time, it was the only wrestling federation I could watch, because I didn't get USA (or TNT, for that matter) and I only got TBS so I watched Thunder and WCW Saturday Night routinely (and Shotgun Saturday Night on syndication, of course). Thankfully, that phase of my life has been over a while, but I really became hooked on WCW during that time period, even though I realized a lot of things were wrong with it. I can't say that I still have those same kinds of feelings, because virtually all of the WCW guys I liked had already made their way to the WWF by the time this whole InVasion started. Of course, there are guys like Booker T, Kidman, and others that I would still love to see succeed, but I think eliminating this whole InVasion angle might be their best chance.

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