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Thursday, June 30, 2016

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Top 15 Matches of the WWF vs WCW/ECW Invasion

By @TrueGodImmortal

The Invasion angle became a hot topic on an episode of EOTR Live and as we approach the 15th Anniversary of the start of this angle, I wanted to look back at the top 15 matches of the angle and storyline. The angle was discredited and looked at as a disappointment due to not having some of the bigger matches that could have taken place until the actual Invasion was over. However, RVD, Angle, Austin and Jericho would show up in every big match they would have, making this one of the better periods in the company from a wrestling standpoint. Let's get into it.

*Edge vs Christian 
Rebellion 2001


-This opening match was a near classic, as the two brothers went 20 minutes inside of a steel cage and Edge would retain his Intercontinental Title here. Great action throughout and both men should be proud of their performance. It's one of their best matches against each other.

*Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kurt Angle
RAW, October 2001


-This was the match that is extremely slept on in the Angle vs Austin series. Austin had been defeated by Angle at Unforgiven and was seeking to get his title back. Austin would get an assist from William Regal, who would turn on Angle and the WWE (then Angle would turn on the WWE soon after in a strange turn events) to help Austin get his title back.

*The Rock vs Chris Jericho 
RAW, November 2001


-Another underrated match in the era comes from one of the better feuds of the era, as The Rock looked to get his WCW title back from Jericho in this match. Jericho and Rock would go at it, but Rock would walk with the win via a quick roll up pin to regain the title back.

*Chris Jericho vs Kurt Angle
Rebellion 2001


-This is a slept on match that wasn't necessarily the best contest between the two men, but was a good battle that went back and forth until Jericho picked up the victory to retain his WCW Championship.

*Edge vs Christian 
No Mercy 2001


-This is another Edge and Christian match that lives up to expectations and then some. We have a steel cage match between the two on the list, so how could we NOT include the Ladder Match these two had? After 22 minutes of ferocious action, Edge pulls down the IC Title belt to regain his belt back from Christian.

*Rob Van Dam vs Jeff Hardy 
Summerslam 2001


-This match is admittedly a little sloppy with the ring work, but you should know that just from the participants. A few botches, but both RVD and Jeff go out there in this Ladder Match for the Hardcore title and entertain beyond belief. RVD would win the Hardcore title back from Jeff, once again gaining the upper hand on Hardy in their short lived but underrated feud. It was a dream match come true for fans of high flyers.

*Kurt Angle vs Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Rob Van Dam
No Mercy 2001


-RVD was truly the man during 2001 and this match was essentially the next chapter in the Angle vs Austin saga, but I think the WWE just didn't have anything else for RVD and decided to use his draw ability to give him a main event slot. It's eerily similar to how the WWE booked AJ Styles his first few months almost. RVD had the crowd's support, but Austin would creep away with the title in this great main event.

*Kurt Angle vs Stone Cold Steve Austin 
Unforgiven 2001


-As a huge Austin fan, I hated this match. The WWE really was trying to make Angle the new GUY and much like their pushes of recent stars, it worked at first, but didn't work. They painted Austin as the chickenshit heel multiple times and I hated that. This match however? Quality wise, it was amazing. The ending pissed me off seeing Austin submit, as it was the first time I had ever witnessed Austin really tap out. This was in Angle's hometown and it worked very well for him, coupled with a big celebration after the match for Angle winning the title from Austin.

*The Rock vs Booker T
Summerslam 2001


-The Rock returned to WWE after a 4 month absence, and he had an entertaining feud with Booker. This match was definitely entertaining, with Rock getting the upper hand by surprising Booker with a Rock Bottom to win the WCW Title in this main event match.

*Rob Van Dam vs Jeff Hardy
Invasion 2001


-This match was amazing. Jeff and Rob had great chemistry, and this was their first big encounter. The crowd was split between these two, but I was firmly behind Rob this entire match. As the match winded down, Rob took advantage and hit a huge five star frog splash to pick up the victory and win the Hardcore Championship.

*Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock
Rebellion 2001


-While not as great as the Wrestlemania trilogy between the two men, this was a great contest that headlined the UK PPV. Austin would end up using some interference to help him pick up the victory and retain his WWF Title, but this was magic as usual between the two biggest stars in the business at the time. Another great main event for Austin during this time period.

*Rob Van Dam vs Chris Jericho
Unforgiven 2001


-The RVD and Jericho feud was a missed opportunity in a way. These two had great chemistry and this match was really great. A bit slept on in this Invasion angle and somewhat forgotten, likely due to the interference that took place from Stephanie McMahon, but all in all, a solid match with good action. RVD picks up a big victory here to retain the Hardcore Title.

*The Rock vs Chris Jericho 
No Mercy 2001


-Jericho was being looked at as the guy who couldn't win the big one, with the Rock being the man to stand in his way of ever getting a world championship. This would be the culmination of Jericho becoming a heel, as he would use a distraction and a chair after an amazing contest between the two to win the title and the big one. Rock and Jericho put on a classic here for sure.

*Kurt Angle vs Stone Cold Steve Austin 
Summerslam 2001


-Angle vs Austin was the feud of the Invasion storyline and this was their best match hands down. Austin was vicious and busted Angle open, laying into him with kicks, punches, and multiple stunners and eventually the match would break down to both Angle and Austin attacking referees, leading to a no contest.

*Team WWF (Kane, Big Show, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, The Rock) vs Team Alliance (Stone Cold, Shane McMahon, Booker T, RVD and Kurt Angle)
Survivor Series 2001



-The last match of the angle is the best match of the angle. 10 stars. One big match. Either the WWF wins control or the Alliance wins control. After nearly 50 minutes of crazy action, the WWF wins after Austin and Rock battled it out as the last two, and Angle comes back in after being eliminated and turns on Austin to let Rock get the victory. Great match and likely the greatest match in Survivor Series history.

Any other choices you'd like to have on here? Post your choices below in the comments.

-True  

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