POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: WWE recalls the invasion angle

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/17/pollocks-news-update-wwe-recalls-the-invasion-angle/


**Braden Herrington & Davie Portman have a show up on the site with a big review of NXT TakeOver: Portland from Sunday night. Plus, a look at the television to come, the potential ideas for TakeOver: Tampa & your feedback to the show.

**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-Raw with a review of tonight’s episode from Everett, Washington. We will also discuss the first episode of WWE’s Ruthless Aggression series, go through today’s news and take your feedback at the end of the show.

**Wai and I will also have an announcement on tonight’s show regarding WrestleMania weekend in Tampa.

**Andrew Thompson spoke with Tanga Loa of the Guerrillas of Destiny about the state of New Japan’s tag division, their recent U.S tour and how it drew in different markets, the build-up for Wrestle Dynasty this August, and how Aussie Open would have been part of the World Tag League last year if Mark Davis had suffered a knee injury. The entire interview is 27 minutes and can be viewed below.

**On Tuesday, we will have Rewind-A-Wai #55 as Wai Ting and I review the 1974 film ‘The Wrestler’ starring Verne Gagne, Billy Robinson, and Ed Asner.



*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #55: The Wrestler (Patreon)
*Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Thursday: Café Hangout with guest Kristen Ashly of Bell to Belles (3 pm ET for all Patrons)
*Friday: British Wrestling Experience with Jamesie’s interview with Riptide owner Josh Bevan
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (Patreon)
*Sunday: Thunderstruck with WH Park & guest Mike Murray (Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Black Tiger II from June 1996)


**WWE launched its latest series ‘Ruthless Aggression’ on Sunday night on the WWE Network. The five-part series covers the post-Attitude Era period that was dubbed as such by Vince McMahon’s rallying of the troop’s speech during an episode of Raw in June 2002 and repeated by John Cena several days later in his SmackDown debut. By every standard, this was episode was insane and that includes prior examinations of history by WWE. I’ll speak on this episode more on Rewind-A-Raw tonight, but I watched out of curiosity that these WWE-produced specials generally enhance. Even by the low level I anticipated, this was below. I have never seen or heard a more succinct and glossing over of the invasion angle that this episode provided.

To watch this special without any knowledge of 2001 programming, you would assume WWE took in the outcasts that populated WCW Saturday Night for years, had no appreciable skill set, no one cared, and they blew off the angle in record time. There was zero acknowledgment of ECW’s involvement in the angle, the success of the July 2001 pay-per-view that counters every notion presented in this chapter of the episode and was a disservice to some of the WCW talents that came over. I did not expect such a paint brushing of the WCW performers as poor talent – which, yes, some were but there were plenty of performers from Booker T., Lance Storm, Chavo Guerrero, and Bill DeMott (the latter three who would serve in varying coaching roles within the company over the next several years from Tough Enough to OVW) that I would have been very upset if I was any of those talents seeing myself lumped in with other inexperienced talents.

In terms of the marquee stars, they did not bring in the big guns due to the contract situations where WWF was not going to upset its pay structure and there was minimal incentive for those performers to break their AOL/Time Warner deals sitting at home collecting money versus going on the road for comparable or less. However, Diamond Dallas Page ascended to become a huge star in WCW and never came close in WWF and the dye was cast for him on day one as the stalker of Sara Undertaker. By the time Page was pinned by Sara on an episode of Raw in August 2001, he was dead as a potential top star and that was all on the booking.

To hear it on this feature, WWF bought a lemon, opened the hood of the car and all the parts were damaged. There was enormous interest in the invasion, the first pay-per-view proved it even without the top WCW names. There was a mentality of they won the war and these were the inferior talents coming in with the company still fighting a war after they had acquired the remnants and blew a huge chance to make money at a time WWF needed a major shot in the arm post-XFL.

The explanation of the WWF changing its name to WWE was stunning that they’d have the confidence to put forward such an idea that Vince McMahon woke up one day and decided the company needed a facelift. They fought in court and it was their own agreement with the World Wildlife Fund that restricted their ability to market the WWF letters outside of the United States and painted themselves in a corner. David Bixenspan dug into the court filings several years ago and has re-posted the story.

**Tonight’s episode of Raw takes place from the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington with the following announced for the show:
*Randy Orton vs. Matt Hardy in a No Holds Barred match
*Rusev & Humberto Carrillo vs. Bobby Lashley & Angel Garza
*Seth Rollins delivers a sermon

**AEW will be staying in Las Vegas after ‘Double or Nothing’ and running that week’s edition of Dynamite from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Wednesday, May 27th. This announcement should spur on some additional demand for the pay-per-view with the idea of coming to Las Vegas for a several-day vacation rather than one show on Saturday. I do feel AEW should have announced both shows in advance of Friday’s on sale as well as some additional AEW events between Saturday and Wednesday in the city to make it feel like a larger experience for fans than just a pay-per-view date.

**In an interview with Booker T. on his radio show, MVP confirmed that he is joining WWE as a backstage producer. He said he was unsure if he would be back on screen following last Monday’s VIP Lounge segment with Drew McIntyre. He returned to the company as a surprise entrant in this year’s Royal Rumble match and followed that with a match against Rey Mysterio the next night in San Antonio, Texas on Raw.

**Paul Levesque stated on the TakeOver media call Sunday night that last night’s show was the highest-grossing WWE show in the state of Oregon since 2008, which would have been that year’s No Mercy pay-per-view in Portland.

**There are two matches that have been added to Ring of Honor’s card in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, February 28th. In a triple threat match, Marty Scurll faces Slex and Bandido. There will also be a four-way tag match with PJ Black & Brian Johnson vs. Dalton Castle & Joe Hendry vs. Vincent & Bateman vs. Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams.

**Ring of Honor has added a tag title match to its 18th Anniversary pay-per-view. Jonathan Gresham & Jay Lethal will defend the titles against Marty Scurll & Flip Gordon. The pay-per-view is set for Friday, March 13th in Las Vegas at Sam’s Town Live.

**Gresham & Lethal will also have a Proving Ground (non-title) match against Bandido & Rey Horus on February 29th in St. Louis.

**Kenny King has been added to the Supercard of Honor show on Saturday, April 4th in Lakeland, Florida.

**The WWE Network has added ten ECW cards to the service with the following additions:
*Super Summer Sizzler 1993 (Eddie Gilbert vs. Terry Funk in a Texas Chain Match, Dick Murdoch vs. Dark Patriot II)
*Ultra Clash 1993 (The Headhunters vs. Miguelito Perez & Crash the Terminator/Bill DeMott, Shane Douglas vs. The Sandman)
*Heat Wave 1994 (Public Enemy vs. Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr. in a Barbed Wire Match, Shane Douglas vs. Sabu)
*Tag Wars 1994 (Public Enemy vs. The Bruise Brothers, The Pitbulls vs. The Bad Breed in a Dog Collar match)
*Double Tables 1995 (Public Enemy vs. Sabu & Tazmaniac, Shane Douglas vs. Tully Blanchard, Cactus Jack vs. The Sandman)
*Return of the Funker 1995 (Cactus Jack vs. JC Drake, Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs. Sabu & Tazmaniac, Shane Douglas vs. Marty Jannetty)
*Hostile City Showdown 1995 (Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk, Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko for the TV title)
*Enter the Sandman 1995 (The Sandman defends the ECW title in separate matches with Cactus Jack and Shane Douglas, Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko)
*Barbed Wire, Hoodies and Chokeslams (The Sandman vs. Cactus Jack in a Barbed Wire match)
*Heat Wave 1995 (The Gangstas vs. Public Enemy, The Sandman vs. Axl Rotten)

**Alpha-1 Wrestling out of Hamilton, Ontario will be added to the Impact Plus streaming service beginning this month. The promotion, run by Impact Wrestling’s Ethan Page, held its latest show on Sunday and that event will be added to the service later this month along with four events from 2019. Alpha-1’s next show is Sunday, March 22nd and will feature Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, Moose, Trey Miguel, and Josh Alexander with the show set to air on Impact Plus the following month.

**MLW’s latest signing is 22-year old Zach Cooper, who will debut for the promotion on April 18th at their ‘Intimidation Games’ event in Chicago. Cooper has been wrestling since 2015 and recently wrestled on wXw’s Road to 16 Carat show where he lost a qualifying match to Oliver Carter. He wrestled a lot for ACW out of Port Richey, Florida last year and lost a ‘Loser Leaves Town’ match to Aaron Epic in December.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling begins four consecutive nights at Korakuen Hall this Wednesday with the Tiger Hattori Retirement ceremony taking place. Below is the card for Wednesday’s show that will stream on New Japan World that morning at 4:30 am Eastern:
*Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare vs. Yota Tsuji, Yuya Uemura & Gabriel Kidd
*Will Ospreay & Roppongi 3K vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Rocky Romero & Tiger Mask
*Hiromu Takahashi, EVIL & Bushi vs. Juice Robinson, David Finlay & Yoshi-Hashi
*Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
*Guerrillas of Destiny, Jay White & Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Colt Cabana & Toru Yano
*Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & Sanada vs. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto
*Tiger Hattori Retirement Ceremony

**Michael Elgin will return to Pro Wrestling NOAH for their card on Sunday, March 8th at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium.

**Ring of Honor C.O.O. Joe Koff posted the following message ensuring additional infrastructure to various divisions of Ring of Honor along with an update for Honor Club. Koff noted the plan to add the entire library to the streaming service and placing a great emphasis on Honor Club, which did not get off to a great start for the company with the lack of archives and has largely served as an outlet for discounted pay-per-views and an ability to keep up with the live events:

A very exciting message from Joe Koff… pic.twitter.com/q1X9fEOZSM

— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) February 16, 2020

NXT TakeOver: Portland POST Show

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THUNDERSTRUCK: Jushin Thunder Liger in RevPro’s British J Cup

WH Park and Will Cooling from PW Torch’s The British Wrestling Report talk for the first time to discuss Jushin Liger’s participation in the British J Cup held by RevPro in the summer of 2017.
TRMPS #14: Fast Give (2011) w/ Joey Lewandowski & Joe Two

Nate Milton welcomes Joey Lewandowski & Joe Two of the “2 Fast 2 Forever” podcast into the theater to recap The Rock’s first ride as DSS Agent Luke “Rebecca” Hobbs in 2011’s Fast Five.
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 2/14/20: Heavy Hearted Machinery
John Pollock and Wai Ting are back to review WWE SmackDown on Valentine’s Day featuring Otis’ date with Mandy Rose. Carmella challenges Bayley for the SD women’s title, and Hulk Hogan joins us via satellite.
POST PURORESU: New Beginning, MSG, Miyahara vs. Aoyagi

WH Park is joined by Dylan Fox of the Eastern Lariat Podcast to discuss the New Beginning cards, NJPW at MSG, Champion Carnival, CyberAgent buys NOAH & more.
CAFÉ HANGOUT: WrestleMania 37 in LA, XFL w/ Marcus Vanderberg
John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined by Marcus Vanderberg (Yahoo Sports, The Kings of Sport podcast) to chat about WrestleMania going to Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium in 2021, XFL Week 1 and the latest in wrestling news.
upNXT 2/12/20: “Bro, Where’s My Car?”
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are back to review the NXT TakeOver: Portland “go-home” edition of WWE NXT featuring KUSHIDA vs. Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano vs. Cameron Grimes, and more.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 2/12/20: Chronic Palatal Abscess, Eye for an Eye
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring an “Eye for an Eye” main event between Jon Moxley and Santana, Riho defends her title against Nyla Rose, and Chris Jericho debuts Inner Circle’s hitman.

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I watched it, very interesting.

Just watched episode 2 not a fan of WWE Universe speak where Adam Cole, Miz and Drew McIntyre being experts of what worked and didn’t work in 2003. Just like Monday Night War it’s their version of the story so they tell it as they want it, I saw what John tweeted this morning and I’m all in on you guys taking 15 minutes at the end of the Raw review to vent your frustrations I hope Bryan and Dave do it too


I’m intrigued by the Ruthless Aggression docuseries, but it sounds like it might be super biased. Just curious, when does everyone consider the end of the Ruthless Aggression era to be? I consider it to be around mid-2008 when the WWE got Super PG.

“On July 22, 2008 the WWE officially made all of its television shows PG rated”

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I watched the first episode of RA it seemed so choppy (going back the Monday Night War Doc series is choppy too and is not up to the standards of a WWE 24 Doc IMO. Of course WWE is always going to have a bias but it was weird they seemed to be pretty cortical on themselves but then shove the blame on rock Austin and WCW midcarders. They Only made Vince seem like a babyface genius. The timing of the episode was weird it would work on a regular tv channel for a hour with commercials so It seems they would sell them to international markets or syndication at some point. The timing lead the many strands being left in mid thought. Almost like there should be a part 2 of the Invasion instead of going into Cena for episode 2.

The most positive I would have to say is that we got to see some old byte this footage!!!

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I guess I don’t have a problem with WWE essentially skipping over the invasion.

WWE could easily have done a 10 episode series as a sequel to Monday Night Wars about the invasion, ECW, the rights issues that led to the name Alliance, the incredible highs of the Invasion PPV to the lows of Survivor Series, the missed opportunities, and then the eventual debuts of the WCW main eventers in 02-03.

But this show is supposed to be about the Ruthless Agression era. The Invasion summary was just supposed to be the lead-in to OVW and the Brand Split so they can spend the next few weeks on the ascending new stars they had at the time and the clash of egos that came with it.

I always watch WWE docuseries skeptically but the behind the scenes footage usually makes it worth it. And the RA series is particularly unusual because it did feature the head writer a lot. I can’t recall another WWE production featuring a writer so much.

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“WWE recalls the Invasion angle.”

Do they? :grimacing: