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WWE Flashback: the Inaugural Brawl at WWF Invasion 2001

WWE InvasionSunday, July 22, 2001-Gund Arena-Cleveland, Ohio-Compared to be 2001’s second WrestleMania because the pay-per- iew of the night featured for the first time that the World Wrestling Federation superstars fought World Championship Wrestling’s wrestlers and Extreme Championship Wrestling’s extremist. In the main event, we saw five WWF superstars go against three ECW extremists and two WCW wrestlers in a match-up entitled “the Inaugural Brawl.”

The teams were set up with WCW World Heavyweight Champion/United States Heavyweight Champion Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, Rhyno, and the Dudleys taking on WWF World Heavyweight Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, the Undertaker, and Kane.

Before the match, they (the video packing people) showed a video on what led us to the match. A highlight of the clip was on a Smackdown taping, Vinnie Mac wanted the “Old Stone Cold” to come back, not the one that sings songs and gives hugs, McMahon wants the Stone Cold that kicks a** and takes no names, drinks beer and gives middle fingers. Steve Austin “didn’t want to.” And the “Old Stone Cold” came back six days before the pay-per-view, coming in and kicking a** with a pool stick on Raw and was the “Old Stone Cold” on the Smackdown before the pay- per- view, that Thursday before.

But now into the match:

Shane McMahon first came out, then Stephanie and Paul Heyman (who was described as the “ECW General Manager” then) came out to the “This is Extreme!” ECW theme song. Vince McMahon then came out with a pop. After seeing Vinnie Mac’s entrance video back then, I miss his entrance video back then. It ruled back then.

But, anyways, the entrances went back and forth between WCW/ECW guys and WWF guys. But before the WWF Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin made his appearance, the brawl started right at the end of the entrance ramp, right before the superstars entered the ring. Within fifteen seconds (I don’t know, I didn’t time it), the glass shatters and Austin comes running out and joins the battle.

Starting out the gate, this match was very hard for me to take notes for it, but I will discuss some of the bigger things that I did write down.

There were a lot of quick tags from each team, obviously going back and forth between the teams, with each team taking control of the match. That was pretty cool, seeing that there was some kind of control of this ten- man tag match, being deemed to be the second WrestleMania for the wrestling fans, seeing WWF taking on WCW and ECW.

One thing I really like about this match how there was a lot of wrestling moves and wrestling holds being put on each individual. Chris Jericho hit Rhyno with a missile drop kick and Jericho even did a couple of arm drags to Booker T, the WCW World Heavyweight Champion and WCW United States Heavyweight Champion.

Something I found super funny was mid match, the camera was on the in- ring action with DDP and Angle, I believe, and in the background was Team WWF, and you see Charles Robinson’s hair when Robinson was on the floor and Austin was on the apron. He pulled Robinson’s hair for about half the ring and it gave me a great laugh! I am surprised I’ve never noticed when I watched this match bunch of times before this time! I must watch this match about couple of times or so a year, because of who was in the main event and remembering the days of when professional wrestling was on the peak of the decline of the business, wrestling wise, that is.

Shortly after the hair pulling from the WWF Champion to the WCW referee, DDP gave Kurt Angle the Diamond Cutter, which signaled the final chaos of the night, where everything broke loose from being in control to all men started to battle one another. And right when this happened, poor Charles Robinson got the Last Ride from the Undertaker, and it was worth noting during this time, when everything broke loose.

Other thing that is worth noting from the ending of the match is Kane choke slamming Devon Dudley through one of the announcers table and Kane gets double suplexed from Bubba Ray Dudley and Rhyno though the other announcers table.

Not much worth noting other than right at the end of the match, where it put Kurt Angle and Booker T in the ring. Angle Angle Slamed Booker and put him in the Ankle Lock, and Booker taps. But the thing is, both refs were knocked out at this moment. Austin brought in the ref and after Austin brought in the ref, Austin gave Angle the Stone Cold Stunner. A shocking moment indeed when I watched the pay- per- view live back in 2001 in Cambridge, Minnesota, at my friends house. And after the Stunner, Austin drug Booker over Angle and the ref counted the fall and Austin “went over to the bad guys.”

A couple of lines I remember J.R. hollering was:

“OH MY GOD! MY GOD, I DON’T BELIEVE IT!,”

“The WWF title is in the enemy’s hands, is that what your telling me?,”

And

“Why Austin, why? Damn it!”

Those three lines made my night. Good job Jim Ross

But to conclude this article, this match was huge, and the event was huge. Like said, this pay-per-view was deemed to be the second WrestleMania for the fans, and this match was also seemed to be like a dream match, which could be why this match still stands eight years after it happened. But I would suggest this match to everyone who wants to see a great match. Good stuff. This is Eric Darsie from Minnesota, about to go out and watch some WCW, goodbye!

Check out more of Eric’s blogs at http://jericholic2009.blogspot.com.

Order the WWE – Invasion 2001 DVD by clicking here.

Order the WWE: The Rise And Fall of WCW on DVD by clicking here.

Order the The Monday Night War – WWE Raw vs. WCW Nitro on DVD by clicking here.

From the ring to your wall – WWE REAL.BIG Wall Graphics on sale now at Fat Head!



Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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