Edge on the Invasion angle

While writing the WWE 50 book, I had the opportunity to speak with Edge about what it was like being on the roster during the Invasion angle. Only a portion of our conversation wound up in the book, but here’s a large portion of what didn’t end up in the book for your reading pleasure.

When WWE won the Monday Night War and the WCW guys ended up coming in, did you ever fear for your spot with all the new guys being added to the roster?

Edge: I never feared it because I always figured I’d kick ass enough that they’d have no choice but to put me on, and I know Christian felt the same way. I believe we were feuding with the Hardys at that time and I know they felt the same way. We figured we’d be OK because we were bringing something to the table that nobody else was.

I never feared for my spot. But I also didn’t know how it was all going to flesh out. I remember we were all standing there watching, and saying, “Wow, that’s pretty huge.” But we didn’t know who was going to come over. Was Steiner going to come over? Was Goldberg going to come over? Was Sting going to come over? I thought, “This is great; I’m going to get to wrestle Sting.” At the same time, I also thought that no competition is horrible for the industry and that’s kinda what ended up happening.

Did you take any joy in being the one to unify the Intercontinental and United States Championships?

Edge: It was so muddied with the amount of titles that there were that you almost had to do it. It was a shame to see it go because of the history that it had. I was happy to be able to unify them, but at the same time, it was two WWE guys fighting over it. There weren’t any true WCW guys … that’s where it all got watered down and basterdized. It wasn’t truly promotion vs. promotion, or what it could’ve been. Test and I were both WWE guys. I think it lost a lot of steam in the fans’ eyes.

Shortly after that, the Intercontinental Title was abandoned. What did you think of that happening to such a prestigious championship?

Edge: There are some things that get taken for granted. That’s one of them. It’s the IC Title. It means something. To me as a fan, it was the springboard; it was the stepping stone … If you could do it there, you were going to get a shot to do it in the main events. Savage, Steamboat, Bret, Shawn, Perfect, Rude and that era of the IC title, that truly was the match that I wanted to watch. It shouldn’t have gone away, obviously.

What was the overall feeling like backstage during the Invasion angle?

Edge: It felt very unorganized. It was one of those things where it became like the nWo where there were 50 members … it was ECW, it was Shane, it was Steph… It was like, “What it is going on here?” I was one of the performers and I couldn’t understand and follow the thread. It was too confusing. It was just watered down.

For more behind-the scenes stories on the Invasion angle, pick up the new WWE 50 book.

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Flair’s championship years

When news of Ric Flair’s recent legal woes hit the Internet, I found myself genuinely upset for the “Nature Boy.” Not only is he a legend who transcends the industry, but he was also pretty cool to me on a personal level, which makes his recent issues even more troubling to me.

My most recent dealings with Flair came not that long ago while I was researching the WWE Championship book. He was no longer with WWE, but he still spent plenty of time helping me with the project. Here are some of his quotes that didn’t make the book, which, coincidentally, you can buy here.

Was your original transition from WCW to WWE a difficult one for you?
Actually, the opportunity came at the perfect time of my career because WCW at the time didn’t see me as part of the championship picture. I had become a utility player. So the opportunity to come to WWE and become champion, which was never a provision, was exciting.

I had been with the NWA since 1974, when I first came to Charlotte. When you’re an NWA guy and NWA Champion, you become very loyal to that brand. So the hardest thing at the time was to leave the NWA. But everybody at WWE was just excited to have me on the roster and that’s what made the difference to me.

You brought the classic “big gold” title with you. How did that come about?
That was the WCW Title. It was the belt that Crockett gave me… the one that he bought to replace the old belt. Myself, Jack Brisco, Harley Race, Kiniski, both Funks, Dusty Rhodes… there were only about six of us that ever wore that belt. Then they retired it and Crockett bought that phenomenal belt, which Hogan now has in his house as a result of walking out of a pay-per-view ad arguing with Russo.

WWE Encyclopedia cover unveiled

Since WWE.com released the cover of the upcoming second edition of the WWE Encyclopedia, I’ve received an overwhelming amount of comments. If I haven’t replied to all of you yet, please know that I am truly grateful for all your support.

Most comments were simple “congrats,” while others commented on how fun the cover is and some wanted to know how this edition differs from the original. Well, I haven’t seen the completed product yet, so I can’t speak to all the new parts. But I do know that there are somewhere around 200 ALL-NEW entries from a wide array of names, including:

  • Daniel Bryan
  • Al Wilson
  • Kanyon
  • Anonymous Raw General Manager
  • Jamison
  • Joe McHugh
  • Brodus Clay
  • Matt Morgan

Also, all the entries that were in the original version that needed updating were certainly updated. But that’s not all, there’s tons of new photos, title histories, pay-per-view updates and much more.

Of the nine books that I’ve had the privilege to pen, I must say that I’m most excited about this Encyclopedia, mainly because of all the support and feedback I’ve received on Twitter and Facebook. For that, I thank you all; keep the communication coming.

Oh, and PRE-ORDER THE BOOK HERE … you know, before it’s sold out.

Kevin Nash recalls Big Daddy Cool

Being a Kevin Nash fan for many years, I was as excited as anybody to see him return at SummerSlam this past Sunday. Seeing him back in the ring quickly prompted me to go back and take a look at the last time we spoke. Of course, much of it can be found in the WWE Championship book. But here’s some that didn’t make the book:

You competed as several different unsuccessful characters prior to coming to WWE. Did you ever think it wasn’t going to happen for you?
There was actually a time before I came to [WWE] where I was going quit and go back and bounce at a bar. I just didn’t think it was going to happen. There was so much nepotism going on in WCW; everybody had a kid that they were pushing. And if you weren’t in the good ol’ boy crew, you weren’t even gonna get looked at it.

When I came into WCW, I was in shape and I had long black hair. The first thing they did was cut my hair into a Mohawk. I was like “geez, that’s brilliant. Take a decent looking guy and make him as ugly as possible off the bat.”

Before ’93, before I signed with WWE, I was definitely thinking that this wasn’t going to work.

Are there any regrets that your WWE Title win was never immortalized on a historic pay-per-view or Raw?
At that time, that was the first year that we went to the fifth pay-per-view, which was King of the Ring. We just had the four pay-per-views back then. Of course, in those days you would have loved to win the title at WrestleMania. But WrestleMania was several months away. Plus at that time we were starting to get a little bit of an upswing in the house show business and it was good for the fans to know that titles did change hands at house shows.

To me it was a moment in my career like no other. It didn’t matter where it was. But that fact that it was in the Garden was special enough for me.

Sarge on the Monday Night Wars

While the recent 10-year anniversary of WWE’s purchase of WCW was still fresh in my mind, I called a former WWE.com colleague of mine to recollect the shocking days that lead up to the historic Nitro-Raw simulcast. The intent of the call was to simply reconnect with an old friend, but several hours later, we found ourselves knee deep in a Monday Night Wars history wrestling.

After hanging up the phone, I recalled some conversations I had with Superstars on the topic. Many were on the record (and once I find the transcripts, I will post them here), but unfortunately some were off the record, which means I can’t post them here. But one conversation I have handy is the one I had with Sgt. Slaughter. We recently spoke while I was researching the WWE Championship book (buy it here), and the topic happened to come up. Here’s a brief highlight:

Sgt. Slaughter on the Monday Night Wars:
“The Wars were so good for the business because it made everybody work harder to defeat each other. It was hard for a while because Vince McMahon really had to fight and we were all in the trenches with him. And all the money that Turner had … but Vince was the general of his post and Turner wasn’t. He never showed his face. Vince was in the battle field with us. Anyplace he went, I went.

The only problem was when they waived the white flag … we didn’t want to see the white flag. We wanted to see it keep going, it was good for business. And it was good for the talents from each company. When we used to run into each other in airports we would hug each other and high five and say good job. It was good for everybody.

I was asked to go to WCW several times, but I backed off and wanted to fight with Vince McMahon.”

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Also, check out the WWE Championship book.