Since the Monday Night Wars ended, the wrestling universe has craved another war or invasion. Many of today’s pro wrestling stars grew up in that era. You can’t help, but wonder when one promotion will do it again. I think AEW is starting in their own way to bring an invasion angle. Will it be “Too Sweet” this time?
On March 26, 2001, WWE laid the foundations for what should have been the greatest storyline in wrestling history. As Monday Night RAW came to its conclusion and WCW Nitro aired its final episode, Vince McMahon stood on the precipice of buying out his longtime rival. Throughout the show he had boasted how he had finally won the Monday Night Wars. In real life, he went so far as to fire Jeff Jarrett live on air. Then in kayfabe Vince gave the boot to everyone else on the WCW Nitro roster. This was his moment and nobody was going to take it away from him.
In a twist that no one saw coming, Shane McMahon walked to the WCW Nitro ring. He pointed out to his father that there was a McMahon name on the contract. However, it wasn’t Vince’s. It was his name and signature. Both crowds in attendance lost their minds as did the millions watching at home. The idea that we would soon be seeing WCW McMahon vs. WWE McMahon going head to head was almost too much to comprehend. It seemed as if the war wasn’t over. We as fans couldn’t have been happier.
The problem was that WWE dropped the ball so spectacularly over the next eight months that they might as well not have bothered in the first place. For a start, the big stars of WCW didn’t bother coming along for the ride when Vince bought out his rivals. Sting, Scott Steiner, and Goldberg were all happy to sit at home until their very lucrative contracts with Turner Broadcasting ran out. Other than Booker T, this meant there were zero star headliners. We were left with the likes of Buff Bagwell to make up the numbers. When it became blindingly obvious that nobody really cared about these B players that were willing to work. WWE dusted off the corpse of ECW and threw them into the mix.
Vince McMahon’s Ego
Then there was the not so little matter of Vince McMahon’s ego. He had won the Monday Night Wars. There wasn’t a chance in Hell that he was going to let anyone forget it. To a degree, I understand why he reacted like this because WCW had come very close to putting him out of business. WCW brought in his top stars and gave away the results to his matches. Generally, WCW did everything they possibly could to fire him up and make him explode. They had committed the cardinal sin of Vince McMahon. WCW had crossed the boss. So, when he emerged from the rubble of their war, Vince was going to stand in the wrestling world like some crazed dictator.
Vince was never really going to give the WCW stars a chance to get over and that became the real problem. So, he proceeded to bury all the WCW stars and their old company at every given opportunity. Hell, he was still flogging that dead horse 14 years later when he had Triple H go over Sting at WrestleMania 31. Instead of delivering on the greatest premise that had ever been thought up, the WCW/WWE Invasion angle was not fully thought through or developed. Yet it seems that it was too good an idea to stay dead forever.
AEW Like WCW?
Love them or hate them, there is no denying that AEW is now the #1 rival to WWE. It’s quite mind-boggling to think that it’s only been 15 months since the first episode of AEW Dynamite aired. In that time, they have gone from strength to strength. This is despite what the more rabid arm of the WWE fandom will try and tell you. AEW is telling some incredible long-term storytelling. They are not treating their fan base as if they have the attention span of a three-year-old. It also helps that they have an incredibly talented group of wrestlers on their hands. AEW is willing to work with other promotions because they know that it’s best for business.
The Start of AEW/Impact Wrestling Invasion Storyline
I think it is this willingness to cross brands that has laid the foundation for what is going to be the invasion angle that we always wanted. Ever since Kenny Omega turned into a complete bastard and sided with Impact Wrestling’s Co-President Don Callis. There has been an air of inevitability that the two companies are set on a collision course.
In fact, next week’s Impact Wrestling Hard To Kill PPV will see Kenny Omega team up with the Good Brothers to take on Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns in what is meant to be the first proper shots fired in the war. Something happened on this past week’s AEW Dynamite that leads me to believe that it isn’t going to be as simple as AEW vs Impact Wrestling. After Omega had successfully defended his title against Rey Fenix, a beat down was starting until Jon Moxley ran out to make the save. However, this didn’t go according to plan. Both Luke “Doc” Gallows and Karl Anderson turned up to kick on Moxley.
Of course, this brought the AEW babyface wrestlers to the ring to make a stand against the heels. The babyfaces quickly were thrown around the ring. This led The Young Bucks to head to the ring to try and calm down their friends. Or so, we thought. A couple of superkicks later and all five men were stood together. The Young Bucks, The Good Brothers and Kenny Omega threw up the “Too Sweet” sign to end the show.
The Bullet Club
The part of the Bullet Club band is back together. There are no two ways about it. It gives this whole story a brand new angle. Here’s what I think is going to happen. Please feel free to call me an idiot down in the comments section. The Bullet Club is going to run roughshod over both Impact Wrestling and AEW. This is exactly the same way that they did in New Japan. There is no way that Omega and the Good Brothers walk out of Hard To Kill with a clean loss. I fully expect them to win via cheating or to get themselves disqualified after some interference from Matt and Nick Jackson. After all, this is just getting started, so to take the momentum away from them right out of the gate would kill it.
Then I expect this to be the catalyst for The Bullet Club to tear through both rosters, so as to cement their place as the leaders of both companies. Nobody in Impact Wrestling will be able to stop them. Nobody in AEW will be able to stop them. They are going to become the most dominant force in wrestling today. So this, then begs the question: Who will bring their reign of terror to an end? To which I reply, “Well, The Bullet Club, of course.” Now don’t worry, I haven’t gone completely senile. However I do, expect Tama Tonga and his crew to be the ones to step up to the plate and take Kenny and the boys down.
Tama Tonga and the NJPW Bullet Club
It’s not as far-fetched as some of you might think. Mr. Tonga has been very vocal about the so-called Bullet Club reunion on social media. He has even went as far as to call it an all-out lie. There have also been rumors that AEW and NJPW would be working together for as long as the former has been in existence. If they have already come to an agreement then I fully expect New Japan’s Bullet Club to show up in AEW in a few months. I believe that this program will run until Wrestle Kingdom 16 where it will be all on the line. Bullet Club vs. Bullet Club. Winner takes all.
I am more than fine with that. The thought that these three companies are willing to put egos aside to tell a story that pretty much writes itself should be one that excites even the most weary of wrestling fans. If played right, this will not only give us the invasion angle we have always dreamed of, but will bring so much attention to each individual promotion that they won’t know what to do with it all.
It could make Impact Wrestling a must-see show each week if only to keep up with everything that is going on. AEW Dynamite will be even MORE a must-watch show. It will mean Being The Elite on YouTube goes back into rotation for those of us who have lapsed of late. As well as suddenly finding itself with new viewers who don’t want to miss a second of the storyline. If New Japan gets thrown into the mix then a whole generation of wrestling fans who have no idea what a great company it is will find themselves hooked on a product that rarely fails to deliver five-star matches.
There has never been a better time to be a wrestling fan and as long as they don’t suddenly hire Vince Russo. There is no reason to think that 2021 will be anything other than the year of The Bullet Club. What do you think about all of this? Do you like the promotions working together? Tell Sports Obsessive your comments below.