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Jim Ross On WWE Botching WCW Invasion Angle, Why Steve Austin Heel Turn Didn’t Work, WCW Stars Staying Home

August 24, 2020 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Invasion 2001

On a recent edition of Grilling Jr, Jim Ross and Conrad Thompson rewatched the August 20 episode of RAW from 2001, with Ross discussing WWE’s handling of the WCW invasion angle, the nWo and other WCW stars getting paid to stay home, the impact of Steve Austin’s heel turn at WrestleMania X-Seven, and more. His comments are below.

On the missed opportunities with the WCW invasion: “The Invasion angle was a major disappointment. We could’ve gotten a lot more money out of that. We could’ve given it time and had patience to allow people to spin-off and become bigger stars. And I felt in hindsight, not giving any of the Alliance guys any momentum was a mistake. You can’t have success without some momentum or getting somebody on a streak.”

On not having all WCW stars available and their decision to stay home and collect a paycheck: “Anybody that has a brain would. It allows your body to heal. You also think those guys with those big checks for mailbox money, they were not getting any younger. Their bodies needed healing. You get better, you feel better. Your health gets better. You’re over all those nagging issues. But we were never forgiven by this. It was pointed out time and time again, every newsletter was ‘Well they don’t have the whole team there and blah, blah, blah.’ We knew that and that’s not a revelation. But what are you gonna do? You gonna drag the nWo out of their homes kicking and screaming and forsake those massive checks they got every single week from Time Warner? Hell no. There’s no motivation there. I don’t blame those guys one bit. It’s a situation where you hope the guys we did bring in, somebody might break through, somebody might break out. Quite honestly, that never really happened.”

On how Stone Cold Steve Austin’s heel turn at WrestleMania X-Seven and the Invasion angle had an impact on a downturn in business in 2001: “I think Austin’s turning heel in his home state, in his home market, at WrestleMania was ill-planned. Getting Steve over as a heel was never going to work. People smarter than me who are millennials now may say ‘Well I could have done that.’ It’s just miscasting. That’s why all the great directors in Hollywood kept John Wayne a babyface. That’s why when guys started directing Clint Eastwood, he was a character babyface. He was a cold-hearted killer, but he was a hero, and he was a babyface because he had a cause. I’m a big believer that the audience was never gonna accept Steve as a villain. And they didn’t.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit Grilling JR with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

Jim Ross, Steve Austin, Blake Lovell