THE INVASION DOES SUCK - AND HERE ARE THE REAL REASONS WHY
Damn, with only one major wrestling company still alive nowadays, the interesting writing topic well has just dried up, huh?
When thinking of something to write for this site, I was literally stumped on a topic to write about. There must be something interesting going on I said to myself. I began to think about various possibilities: the many injuries we have been seeing lately, Tough Enough's debut, the rumor mill about future promotions starting up, maybe even the Indy scene. Anything but writing about the invasion angle, I thought, cause it seems that the various wrestling sites are looking at it and dissecting it way too much, with their pages swamped by "fantasy booking" scenarios, and the "here's how I would fix it" leads.
Now, while I have never looked at wrestling in the overly critical way that those other sites do, (possibly due to the fact of not experiencing the "insider" side of it until 1997) I actually DID have some criticism to offer up on this Invasion. So, I now will decide to wade into the overflowing pool of opinion pieces on the WCW/WWF angle myself by writing my own theory on how this whole "feuding companies" angle, and the shaky start it's getting off to. Now remember readers, this is only the opinion of a fellow wrestling fan.
Here are the only 2 reasons why the Invasion angle sucks right now:
2. The Internet.
Yes, those are the two reasons why the images and words being expressed on my television on Monday nights are not all-together entertaining at this moment. There are some smaller reasons that others have made that have contributed to the general boredom of the angle; yes Virginia, Buff Bagwell does suck, and proceeded to drag the first WCW title match on Raw down, and DDP was a really bad and decision to play the stalker, but injuries, and the internet are the big reasons why. Now, let's delve further into those reasons.
Imagine with me for a second: You're Vince McMahon, and you have just bought WCW. Along with the trademarks and name, you have signed about 25 good workers, (some with workable characters already, and others with definite main event potential) that you can build a company with. To get some of the bigger names would take some negating, but you have the leverage by being the only federation in North America. The places to go creatively with this angle are endless, with possibilities including separate companies, and the eventual company vs. company battle down the road. After weighing the options out, you decide to go with the WCW "invading" the WWF. It will be perfect - the workers will go on the WWF shows, feuds and issues will be started, and unlike the NWO angle, the WCW name has been seen as a legitimately separate company for decades. But then........
Your new top cross promotional mainstream star (The Rock) makes a movie, and will be out for months, with a reasonable possibility of him making a lot more movies, and being away a lot longer in the future.
Your top heel star (HHH) goes down with a knee injury, thus having him on the shelf for months.
One of the wrestlers you're breeding for the top (Benoit) needs to have surgery, and HE'LL be out for months.
Your recently resurgent top draw (Austin) is working with pains in his back, and cannot keep a regular in ring schedule.
Another top heel (Angle) also has injuries and HE cannot keep an active schedule.
So now you're left with a huge angle that's already underway, and you have 3 top workers away or injured, 2 top workers that can't wrestle yet, and the only 2 that are left, (Jericho, and the Undertaker) do not look like they should be leading the counter resistance against the evil company from the south. You're kinda screwed, huh? Gotta start thinking fast on your feet now, I guess.
A bad case of fate is one of the reasons that this story is starting off lame right now. Booker T can't wrestle Austin right now, so the "WCW matches on WWF TV" angle had to be necessary, to not only keep the WCW name alive, but to also pad the card for a depleting roster. Yeah, Buff was A REALLY BAD CHOICE, but with the possible exception of Scott Steiner (cause it would make the most sense), nothing would have really gone off well. I personally look forward to seeing a healthier Austin vs. Booker match. The story could go well, and it would make Booker look good. But, in the meantime, all we're gonna see is the "WCW on WWF TV" matches, cause too many of one side is out.
I'm sure that at this point, some of the more fanboy-ish writers and readers of net sites are slowly untying and taking off their Lucha Libre masks, and cracking those knuckles, just ready to bite my head off at the very mere mention of the internet messing this thing up. But, it's true, oh its true, buckos.
As a reader of wrestling websites, the constant information leakage of new wrestlers signed to WCW has been almost to a point of overzealousness. Every day, I would surf, and read the same post over and over, with one new fact added every day: "Wrestler X was seen backstage/in Stamford today. It looks as if he/she was there to meet with Vince McMahon/Jim Ross about a position in WCW. More on this as it happens. At one point, sites were SO adamant to get a scoop that the showing of Bret Hart on the King of the Ring PPV led to many "Bret to sign with WWF?" rumors. It seems that a lot of the wrestling site news and rumor guys were the types of kids who would go out of their way to find out what they got for their birthday by sneaking up to the gifts and carefully unwrapping them when they were younger. Since my inception to the "internet wrestling site" world 4 years ago, I have never seen so many people who just can't allow themselves to be surprised, as if an unexpected appearance on RAW would just ruin their whole day. While I have no problem with those who need to know what will happen before it happens, it seems to be making the big companies over try. I believe that the major problem of WCW before was the fact that they always seemed to try sooooo hard to pull one over on the net. That need led to them not focusing on the shows, and in turn, becoming very hard to watch.
And the same thing is happening now. The rampant rush to find out "who has signed a deal this week" is in turn making the creative end of the product go way downhill. The WWF seems to be spending so much time trying to keep the rumor hunters off the trail, that logical decisions are dying in favor of "shocking" ones. Case in point is the Stalker angle. When the identity of the stalker was to be revealed at RAW, the entire net went abuzz with who it could be. Some were dream-like fan-boy predictions, (HBK, although it would've been very entertaining, says I) some were logical, (Raven) but all of them were speculation. The main opinion was the same: "Vince better not screw this up." And then Diamond Dallas Page took off his mask, and everybody went, "huh? Ok, I guess." I thought that DDP as the stalker was dumb on a lot of levels, most of them due to the fact that his character and its mannerisms really didn't fit into the mold. But, why was he the guy? Well, I believe that it was to pull one over on the net. To give the readers and writers the surprise, and to also officially announce the signing of DDP. While the internet is not totally at fault, the upward rise of the "I need to know about EVERY ASPECT OF THE SHOW before it's on TV" mentality possessed by the net DOES creatively hinder the writers, because to have to constantly deliberate over a twist in plot due to the fact that every move your company makes is being printed by obsessive compulsive fans is going to make them feel handcuffed.
So, I beg of you all: LET THE STORY TAKE ITS TIME! Yes, it sucks at this point, but that's because little pieces of fate intervened, and things had to be switched around a bit. From everything I have heard, this story looks to be a long one, and injuries will heal, and hopefully not a lot of overly "shocking twists" that were made under pressure will happen, and maybe, just maybe, we can all shut off our computers, and make ourselves a stiff drink, and sit down and watch the plot unfold.