Remembering the WCW/ECW Invasion

Page 3 of 7
July 13, 2012

May 28, 2001: WCW strikes first

WCW's Mike Awesome wins the WWE Hardcore Title at Madison Square Garden

Shane McMahon defeated his father at WrestleMania X-Seven in a vicious Street Fight, but remained fairly silent afterwards. Nothing was heard from McMahon or WCW for nearly a month. Little did WWE know that the younger McMahon was laying in wait, preparing for his first strike against his father and WWE.

The opening attack of The Invasion came on May 28, 2001. Steve Blackman and Perry Saturn were in the midst of a hard-hitting brawl on Monday Night Raw, when WCW star Lance Storm rushed into the ring. The former United States Champion floored Saturn with a superkick and was gone quicker than a bolt of lightning. Storm, having shocked the WWE Universe, raced out of the arena and met up with an elated Shane McMahon. The battle lines had been drawn, but WCW’s attack was just beginning.

For weeks, WCW competitors jumped WWE Superstars from behind, making it known that the revived company was no joke. The opening barrage reached its apex at the 2001 edition of King of the Ring, when WCW Champion Booker T appeared out of nowhere and sent WWE Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin crashing through a table.

The next night, the war continued on WWE’s home turf: Madison Square Garden. WCW embarrassed Mr. McMahon once again as Mike Awesome took advantage of the 24/7 Rule on the WWE Hardcore Title, defeating a dazed Rhyno in the bowels of The World’s Most Famous Arena.

See Mike Awesome's historic victory | 8 things you didn't know about the Hardcore Title

WCW had WWE right where it wanted just a few weeks into the interpromotional battle. However, a wrinkle would be thrown into the war that would make it a little more … extreme.

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