WWE vs. TNA Invasion: How WWE Would Book the Show
Who could forget the WCW invasion of summer 2001? I know I’ve tried, and with the help of a good therapist, I almost did. But that’s neither here nor there.
What if history repeats itself? What if TNA goes under and WWE decides to pick up the remaining scraps? The Invasion pay-per-view reportedly did 700,000 buys, making it one of the highest grossing non-WrestleMania shows ever. Though TNA has nowhere near the following WCW had, I would imagine they’d get something out of a one-off show.
Surely, they would have learned something from the WCW debacle, right? Well, probably not, since the ECW relaunch was pretty much dead on arrival.
But would the third time be a charm? With those failures in mind, here’s a list of potential dream matches that could conceivably happen, and how WWE would probably book them if they put on The Invasion 2: TNA Electric Boogaloo pay-per-view.
Opening Match: Daniels and Kazarian vs. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston
Why It's Booked: You’ve probably never thought of these guys mixing it up before, but seeing as they’re both at least near the top of their respective (weak) tag divisions, it would be a natural fit. The athleticism involved would also get the show off to a hot start.
How WWE Books It: Everyone gets in a few of their high spots, and R-Truth and Kingston fend off the heels' shenanigans and cleanly pin the TNA guys in the opener, to the delight of the crowd.
Aftermath: Daniels and Kazarian are stuck in the tag division for a short while, but they are basically enhancement talent for the rest of their short WWE run.
Match No. 2: Robbie E. (w/Robbie T.) vs. Ryback
Why It’s booked: Vince McMahon sure loves him some Ryback these days. He also loves chicken heels getting theirs. To him, a guy like Robbie E. would represent the minor leagues of TNA, and watching a major leaguer like Ryback toss him around would be a natural fit.
How WWE Books It: Robbie E. would come out and brag about hitting the big time, all the while wearing his pink sweater to rile up the crowd. Ryback hits a variety of power moves, quickly destroying him, and fends off interference by Robbie T. During the post-match, Ryback puts the heels in a compromising position on top of each other that gives Vince McMahon (and only Vince McMahon) a good chuckle.
Aftermath: Robbie E. sticks around as a midcard comedy act eventually teams up with Zach Ryder. Robbie T. fails three straight wellness tests.
Match No. 3: Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy: Strike 2 vs. Strike 2
Why It’s booked: Within their own companies, these two have been floating around the top for a couple of years now. Both men have been big stars, but slowly they've fallen out of the spotlight, running into trouble with management on multiple occasions. However, both still have a solid fanbase and a consistent television presence.
How WWE Books It: In the biggest shocker of the night so far, Hardy comes out on top of a hard-fought battle and pins Orton. Somebody’s gotta win this thing.
Aftermath: Vince McMahon hesitantly welcomes Jeff back into the company on an extremely short leash. While never being trusted as a main-eventer again, he’s a solid upper-card wrestler for a few years, or until Jeff gets bored and decides to make music or take up painting again.
Match No. 4: Kane, the Big Show, Ziggler, Miz vs. Bully Ray, Abyss, Morgan & Joe
Why It’s Booked: Basically, this is a midcard match to get some talent on the show. Sadly, Samoa Joe takes this throwaway match, as reports have stated WWE hasn’t had much interest in him in the past. Hey, it’s either that or Joe plays DDP’s stalker role and is reduced to looking at Michelle McCool’s underwear drawer with a video camera.
How WWE Books It: The TNA team tries their best, but team WWE wins this slugfest in under 10 minutes. The finish sees Kane and Big Show each performing a double choke slam on the four men to show their domination.
Aftermath: Post-match, Matt Morgan shows frustration, turns on TNA and goes back home to hopefully portray a non-stuttering giant. Joe joins AW’s stable, Bully Ray becomes an agent while wrestling occasionally and Abyss is sent down to developmental to lose weight and become repackaged.
Match No. 5: CM Punk vs. James Storm
Why It's Booked: A good old country boy who just loves himself a cold beer vs. the Straight Edge champion. Perhaps the most interesting, natural matchup on the show would be these two going at it. Either one could portray the face or heel and it could be a hell of a feud. But this is WWE’s show, so Storm plays the villain.
How WWE Books It: Storm and Punk have a competitive match, until Storm knocks out Punk with a beer bottle. The ref catches him in the act, though, and he’s disqualified.
Aftermath: Storm is picked up by WWE and goes on to feud for a few months with Punk before the two do a double turn and he emerges as a main-event babyface.
Match No. 6: Bobby Roode vs. Sheamus
Why It’s Booked: Both men are world champions.
How WWE Books It: I just don’t see Vince falling in love with Bobby Roode. He’s got a decent look with above-average promo skills, but Roode arguably doesn’t have the “it” factor Vince so often talks about. Also working against Roode is that he’s not a WWE creation. He's TNA born and bred. Sheamus has been booked so dominantly lately, I see him easily disposing of Roode in short order for an extra exclamation point of the night’s WWE domination.
Aftermath: Roode becomes a midcard wrestler for the duration of his WWE run, never again reaching world title status, but has a couple decent runs with the Intercontinental title.
Match No. 7: AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan
Why It’s Booked: Creative throws the Internet fans a bone with this dream matchup.
How WWE Books It: The two are given a decent amount of time for this back-and-forth match. The end sees AJ getting a fluky roll-up pin on a distracted Bryan (perhaps by the other AJ) to continue the feud.
Aftermath: Styles essentially becomes the new Rey Mysterio of WWE. While he wouldn’t be a consistent main-eventer, he’d have a solid spot on the card with a good fanbase. Just like Mysterio, McMahon rarely lets AJ talk.
Match No. 8: Vince McMahon vs. Hulk Hogan
Why It’s Booked: Vince and Hogan have had a long, winding road of a love/hate relationship. Vince did the job to Hogan at WrestleMania 19, and I could see him letting Hogan back into the company, but on the condition that he must be humbled first. With Hogan having no other viable wrestling options to go to, he’s gotta suck up his pride and lay down for the boss.
How WWE Books It: The match is full of mischief where basically every TNA and WWE wrestler not involved in a match does a run-in. Santino and Eric Young are highlighted, as they are sure to do some wacky hijinks. In the end, Steve Austin runs in, leaving the announcers wondering what he’s going to do (is he going to turn on WWE like he did before), but he interferes on Vince’s behalf. He gives Hulk Hogan and Vince a pair of stunners, but still places Vince’s arm over Hogan for the win.
Aftermath: Hogan turns face and becomes their No. 1 legend, making a few special appearances a year. This gives him enough money to stop doing Rent-A-Center commercials. Behind the scenes, Hogan then begs Vince for one last match with John Cena where he can beat him clean and retire on top. Vince ignores this request.
Match No. 9: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle
Why It's Booked: I would like to think that AJ Styles is the face of TNA, but I feel Vince McMahon would think otherwise. Due to AJ’s lack of mic skills, and average look, I just can't see Vince trusting him with the biggest storyline of the show. Besides, Angle and Cena already have a history together.
How WWE Books It: Obviously, Cena goes over clean in a hard fought-matchup. Angle brings his A-game, wanting to show everyone he's still got it, but it’s not enough to take down their franchise. Angle is forced to tap out to the STFU.
Aftermath: Angle is signed to a legends deal and competes on a very limited part-time basis, wrestling in only special attraction matches with the likes of CM Punk and Sheamus down the road.
Match No. 10: Elimination Divas Match
Mickie James, Madison Rayne, Angelina Love, Velvet Sky and Tessmacher take on Beth Phoenix, Layla, Natalya, Eve, and Alicia Fox
Why It’s Booked: This would be a buffer match between the two main events. It's the standard Divas match we've seen a million times that they like to throw out there for no real reason.
How WWE Books It: Even though it’s an elimination match, this thing doesn’t last five minutes. Gail Kim is left off the show due to backstage heat from her WWE departure. Much like Jazz being squashed by Mickie James on the ECW vs. WWE special, the Knockouts are treated as nothing more than jobbers while every WWE team member is left standing.
Aftermath: Tessmacher returns to WWE and is the only Knockout signed to a contract.
Match No. 11: Undertaker vs. Sting
Why It’s Booked: Taker and Sting have never crossed paths as main-eventers. They were in WCW together briefly in the early '90s when Taker was Mark Callous, but in their current gimmicks, the two have never faced off. The Internet went crazy speculating that it was Sting in those Undertaker return videos a year ago, and it’s sadly one of the last few dream matches remaining in the entire industry.
How WWE Books It: Due to Taker’s injuries, and Sting’s age, this is mainly a brawl with quite a few shortcuts. Both men try their best and put on a spectacle of a match, as they take each other’s finishers multiple times. In the end, Taker puts Sting away with a second tombstone. Post-match, the two hug. The crowd cheers.
Aftermath: Sting retires and enters the WWE Hall of Fame, never to wrestle again. Taker waits until WrestleMania for his next match.