Remembering the great WWF invasion angles of the ’80s

With the invading NXT wrestlers grabbing all the attention on WWE Monday Night Raw, it seems a good time to look back at the best WWF invasion angles of the 1980s.

Wait a minute – there weren’t any.

Yes, back in the 1980s you were lucky if the WWF even admitted there were other wrestling groups in the country as it made its national expansion. Vince McMahon convinced a fair amount of AWA and NWA wrestlers to jump ship in late 1983 and 1984, but never played up their past whereabouts.

The only real opportunities for an invasion were probably the following:

  • In 1984, McMahon bought Georgia Championship Wrestling and its WTBS airtime and put WWF programming on it. However, local reaction wasn’t in favor of the move, and eventually Vince had to sell back the time to Jim Crockett. If McMahon could have convinced GCW promoter Ole Anderson to play ball, there was potential for an invasion program, at least in Georgia.
  • In that same year, the WWF purchase some of the main talent from Stampede Wrestling, including Bret Hart, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, and the British Bulldogs. Certainly these young wrestlers had the goods to fuel an interesting invasion plot, but in reality, few WWF fans at the time would have even known what Stampede Wrestling was, so an invasion would have flopped.

What’s the difference now with the NXT revolt? NXT is a home-grown initiative, and anyone who’s followed the WWF and WWE knows that McMahon is overly partial to his stars and his ideas.

One comment

  1. jemurr

    The Nexus angle is neat but I don’t understand why it’s exclusive to Raw. Wouldn’t they invade all of WWE?

    Your stampede angle is interesting. I guess they just could have been a faction (like Nexus now), since like you said most audiences wouldn’t know what Stampede wrestling was.

    I guess the thing to consider was that Vince was building a national brand, and acknowledging other groups would work against that philosophy.

    Remember in the early 90s when Ric Flair came to WWF with the NWA/WCW belt and was billed as the real world champion? It would have been cool if WWF also just signed a few other WCW guys to join him in a fuax invasion angle.

    There was the ECW invasion of Raw in the mid 90s.

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