What’s the deal?
By Scott Keith on 26th July 2023
I'm listening to the Conrad Thompson podcast with Bischoff about the WCW invasion. One big question I've always had since 2001.
A two hour WWF show debuted on Saturday nights in August 2001 called WWF Excess. What was the reason that this couldn't just be a WCW show? Was the show a *really* last minute decision and by August it was clear WCW wasn't going to work? Or maybe the network only wanted WWF branded programming? I never understood this.
I know hindsight is 20/20 but let's say this show was in the planning stages in June. Why not just hold off of any invasion and make this Saturday night show WCW Nitro? Keep it separate from RAW/Smackdown with just the WCW guys they hired, RVD and Dreamer they hired that summer and maybe 2-3 WWF guys that needed to be refreshed in a new environment. Bischoff has stated in this podcast he would have been on board to join in the summer of '01 if he would have been given some time to lose weight to be TV ready. A very interesting thing I learned was that he thinks he could have persuaded Sting to join that summer as well. Apparently he wasn't making anywhere near the money Nash, Hogan and Goldberg were making in their Time Warner deals. In fact, he probably would have gotten a better deal from WWF than he was making to sit a home. Never knew that.
So right there you have Sting, DDP, Booker T, Buff Bagwell (his one disaster RAW appearance never would have happened) Bischoff, RVD, Dreamer, Lance Storm, young WCW talent, and 2-3 WWF guys on this exclusive roster. In November of 2001 you get Flair, February of 2002 you have Hogan/Hall/Nash, later that year you have Rey and Steiner come in, leading up to Goldberg in March 2003.
Then once you build it back up you then have some really big crossover matches that would have meant so much more because of WWF vs WCW aura. Never an invasion….just crossover interpromotional dream matches on special occasions. Yes, I understand that a lot of the guys were older but there could have been enough talent to build the WCW brand around. Booker, RVD, and Jericho could have been brought over really to be the long term foundation of the new WCW.