On March 26th, 2001, the wrestling world changed forever. Vince McMahon officially brought the curtain down on the Monday Night Wars by purchasing WCW for a paltry $2 million, and as his son Shane waltzed out on the last ever edition of Monday Nitro, the stage was set for the biggest angle in wrestling history.
Sadly, The Invasion was a rank failure. WWE’s inability to acquire WCW’s biggest names, insistence on watering down the Alliance side with WWE turncoats, and inconsistent booking made for a huge missed opportunity. The story diet a slow, depressing death, and WCW was soon forgotten about.
This wasn’t the original plan, however. WWE’s intentions were to keep WCW going under the WWE corporate banner, and run the dead company as its own promotion. WCW would be pulled from the air for a couple of months before eventually returning as its own brand, and WWE even went so far as to produce a trailer for the proposed “WCW Live” show.
The plan started falling apart when WWE struggled to secure a network timeslot. Raw provided TNN’s highest rated show at the time, but the network refused WWE’s request for a primetime WCW slot. There were offered 11pm-1am on Saturday nights instead, but this wasn’t suitable.