We’re still in MSG after Raw on Monday and there’s a lengthy video of what went down on Raw to open the show, namely the WCW invasion angles that took place on that show. Albert faces Kane for the IC Title.

    Madison Square Garden – New York, NY – TV Rating – 3.7

    And in déjà vu mode, this show opens up properly with a Vince McMahon in-ring promo.  He asks the crowd if they can smell something but it’s not the return of The Rock it’s the fact that the arena stinks because wCw befouled it on Monday.  Vince says the MSG isn’t special anymore and might as well be the Nassau County Coliseum.  He says that Shane might be complaining about Vince blocking a wCw TV show but that’s just an excuse…and anyway, he’s doing the world a favour by burying them off TV.  If Shane and wCw want to try anything tonight, Well, come and try it because the WWE are ready. 

    All this leads to the arrival of Linda McMahon  She knows Vince loves MSG and then shows the moment from a previous MSG show where Vince ranted and raved about getting a divorce.  Vince says he’s a changed man now and Linda says she has no doubt that Vince loves her.  But this isn’t about love, it’s about fairness.  Linda suggests that allowing Shane and wCw to have matches on Raw and Smackdown would be fair.  Vince thinks this is the stupidest thing he’s ever heard.  Linda then suggests that instead of the scheduled Fully Loaded PPV next month, we make that WWE Vs wCw.  For some reason, Vince accepts and even says we will call it “Invasion”.  This wasn’t a great segment and there were holes in the plot (no one from wCw or associated with them had any involvement in this set-up) but at least they tried to have a reason on TV why we would get the invasion and associated things. 

    The Acolytes are holding another meeting backstage. It’s a stretch when they say to a bunch of low-carders that they helped build MSG.  But basically, the WWE are up for a fight and will have one with whomever from wCw chooses to show up tonight. 

    Edge & Christian Vs Billy Gunn & X-Pac

    After a dreadful match on Raw on Monday we up the stakes by adding tag team partners to the Edge/Billy Gunn feud no one wants. Christian is still holding onto the KotR trophy very tightly, Billy Gunn is still mad at Edge’s jokes and we get an ok four-minute match that at least Edge wins by pinning X-Pac, whose reign as Light Heavyweight Champion has got off to a great start hasn’t it?

    We’re backstage with the Austin and Steve doesn’t want Debra touching his title.  Steve says he would have killed Booker T and gone to jail for manslaughter if he’d got hold of him.  Vince comes in and Steve is happy about Invasion as he’ll get his hands on Booker but isn’t happy that Vince won’t allow wCw matches on his show.  Austin whispers in Vince’s ear about why it would be a good idea and Vince is impressed by what he hears.  So next week there will be wCw matches.  And again note that no one from wCw seems to have any input into this. 

    Spike Dudley and Molly Holly are having a moment backstage when they are interrupted by Perry Saturn.  They then get interrupted by Crash Holly who chastises Molly for disgracing the Holly family name.  Spike accuses Crash of being a virgin and we fund out that it’s Crash & Jacqueline against the two love birds tonight.  And Crash has told Jackie that Molly has been going around saying Jackie isn’t good enough to be on Tough Enough.  Molly hasn’t said anything of the sort, of course. 

    There’s a sit-down interview with The Undertaker and Sara next, conducted earlier in the day by Jim Ross.  Well, it’s with Sara really as Taker just sits there rocking back and forth with what presumably is meant to be an “angry” look on his face.  Proving the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Sara no-sells a question about being traumatised by DDP’s stalking and basically says that they will kill DDP if they get the chance. 

    Vince and The Austin’s are back with us next and Kurt Angle joins them.  They discuss Booker T and Angle says he’s heard a rumour that he’s in the building tonight.

    Kane Vs Albert – No DQ Match – Intercontinental Title

    This is another feud no one really wants and it hasn’t even been booked all that well considering that there have been at least three times when clean decisions should have meant it was over.  They had a good match last week but no one is holding their breath for a repeat here.  This, as it turns out, is more about DDP.  He makes his presence known and this allows Albert to hit the Baldo Bomb for the pin.  Yes, Albert is your new IC champion.  And X-Factor now has two titles in their camp. 

    We’re back again with Vince, The Austin’s and Angle.  All this wCw stuff is Undertaker’s fault apparently as he insisted that DDP get a free pass into the arena.  Angle notes that if DDP is here, Booker T can’t be far away.

    The Dudley’s Vs The Hardy’s – Elimination Tables Match – World Tag Team Titles

    Well, there’s no real reason for this to occur other than these are two teams who know each other and can be thrown out there with no explanation necessary.  Titles or Tables are the cherries on the cake I suppose.  It’s a fine match whilst it’s an actual match but perhaps it was obvious that this was a moment for wCw to make their presence known.  And it’s wCw Tag Team Champions Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire. 

    They beat up Matt and Bubba (who are the two left in the match by this point) and it’s all really rather well done.  The menacing likes of Haku and Bull Buchanan eander out but the wCw champs escape through the crowd.  Sadly this isn’t the end as they walk straight into the Acolytes and the rest of the WWE mid-card who batter them and then put them through a table.  What a way to make a mark huh?  Of course, what is often forgotten when people try to second-book this sort of stuff twenty years on is that for all that it made a mess of wCw talent, the WWE audience absolutely loved it. 

    Post-adverts we see the WWE undercard literally throwing Palumbo and O’Haire out on the streets outside of MSG.  The APA’s throwing of both men INTO the MSG doors seems very “stiff” to me.  But I’m sure JBL wouldn’t be a party to anything like that at all.

    Spike Dudley & Molly Holly Vs Crash Holly & Jacqueline

    Michael Cole compares Spike and Molly to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston as we kick things off.  The rules here are that it’s only men vs men and women vs women.  It’s actually quite an entertaining match for what it is, with some good back and forth.  Molly wins it for her team with the Molly-Go-Round and Crash and Jackie fall out afterwards.

    More with Vince and CO next.  Austin is getting fed up with Angle comparing Austin and Booker T and who would win in a fight before Dave Hebner knocks on the door and tells Vince that someone from wCw wants to see him.  Angle figures that it must be Booker T so the three go off to find out. They do and it’s only after they barge into a locker room and can’t find Booker that they realise it’s Torrie Wilson.  Her contract with wCw is about to expire and she wants to explore options with Vince.  She even flatters Vince by saying he looks so much better in person.  The two agree to discuss the matter over dinner…Angle and Austin both want to go along too. 

    We’re then with Tajiri and William Regal and we see that Regal is still covered in green mist that he can’t wash off his face.  It’s all Jericho’s fault and Regal wants to punish him.  Does this mean a Jericho Vs Big Show match? Well for once no.  Jericho comes in, says he’s beaten both in singles matches so why not a tag.  Regal accepts, noting that Jericho’s regular partner is out injured. 

    The Big Show Vs Perry Saturn

    Ah, so that’s why the Big Show couldn’t face Chris Jericho.  We are getting this match because Show used the mop that Perry Saturn is in love with to mop up some of Trish’s water that he had spilt.  This is a truly high concept.  They have a methodical brawl that naturally descends into a catfight between respective seconds Trish and Terri and then when the mop finds itself in the ring Perry is so worried for its safety that he is easy prey for the big boot/chokeslam combo that earns Show the win.  That’s wrestling for you I guess.

    Chris Jericho & Scotty 2 Hotty Vs Tajiri & William Regal

    That’s right, he’s been out since March when Kurt Angle trashed his ankle but Scotty is back without any prior warning or fanfare and Jericho apparently found him roaming the halls of MSG.  This obviously isn’t going to be a classic but it’s certainly a fun four-minute run through of everybody’s favourite spots.  Scotty wins after hitting the Worm on Tajiri. 

    Austin is backstage and is sick of Vince AND Kurt so decides to storm to the ring for a promo.  It’s a good job he did or else we’d have had ten minutes of dead airtime to close the show with no other matches announced.  Austin says he’s not here to insult Booker T but he’s giving him a count of 10 to get in the ring and face him.  No Booker.  So Austin says that’s proof Booker has no guts.  One man who does is Tazz, New Yorker and MSG go-er, who hops up to the ring and demands that Stone Cold apologise for what he did to Michael Cole last week.  It’s interesting to note that Shane McMahon can’t see near-death one night after KotR but one week on, Michael Cole has a black eye from Austin beating him up.

    Austin isn’t about to apologise so Tazz challenges him to a fight or even a title match.  Austin isn’t going to do that either.  But he does show Tazz the closest he’ll come to the World Title by waffling him with it and then beating him up.  He orders Michael Cole to come in and take another beating but Cole isn’t that stupid.  Eventually, Booker T does show up from out of the crowd to smack Austin with the wCw title belt but as he’s from wCw he has to end the show fleeing as JBLs’ mid-card army chase after him.  Backstage Shane and Booker hop in a limo and pull away just before they can be accosted. 

    The show itself is fine. Back to back shows in MSG but Nothing great really happens and the matches are largely perfunctory but there’s a pace to things and the WCW involvement, in of itself, makes for entertaining tv.  The problem is of course that two non-WCW personnel set up the Invasion PPV and we’re left to surmise that Linda wants to help out her son Shane.  Austin and Vince rubber-stamp the notion of wCw matches on WWE TV so the best we can say there, knowing what is to come, is that it’s some kind of Austin ruse.  But again, at this point in time, it’s two non-wCw people deciding the fate of wCw on screen.  Plus the wCw Tag Team Champions are treated like jobbers by the low-card.  So a fun show, just as long as you don’t spend too much time thinking about the logic behind it.

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