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The Alliance

The new WCW logo used as an identifier for The Alliance.
Stable
Members See below
Name(s) The Alliance
WCW/ECW Alliance
The Coalition
Team WCW/ECW
Debut July 9, 2001
Disbanded November 18, 2001
Promotions WWF

The Alliance (a.k.a. The WCW/ECW Alliance) was a professional wrestling stable in the World Wrestling Federation that lasted from July 2001 until November 2001.

Contents

History

The Alliance came about as a result of the World Wrestling Federation's purchase of World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) name was brought in later to help boost the presence of WCW.

The original plan was for the WWF-owned WCW to be a babyface group, led by Shane McMahon (who was the owner of WCW in the angle) to go against the heel owner of the WWF, Vince McMahon. During May and June 2001, wrestlers identified as being "under contract to WCW" (such as Lance Storm and Hugh Morrus) "invaded" WWF programming, by making several run-ins. The ultimate goal, reportedly, was for WCW to "take over" one of the WWF's two primary programs, either Raw or SmackDown!, and rebrand it as its own separate entity. To test the waters for this, the final twenty minutes of the July 2 Raw telecast was given over to WCW, which brought in its own commentators (Scott Hudson and Arn Anderson), ring announcer (Stacy Keibler), referee (Nick Patrick), ring apron, and Chyron graphics, to present a match between Booker T and Buff Bagwell for Booker's WCW Championship (which he had won on the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro). This continued on SmackDown!, where Gregory Helms lost the WCW Cruiserweight Championship against Billy Kidman and Booker defended the WCW Championship against Diamond Dallas Page.

The Booker/Bagwell title match, however, was very poorly received both by television viewers and the live crowd in the arena, with the two other WCW matches receiving a similar reaction. The decision was thus made to make WCW a heel group who was out to destroy the WWF.[1] This may have been a wiser storyline choice overall than trying to get WCW over as faces with the crowd, as many of the WWF's fans were rabidly loyal to "their" brand and would not support WCW as faces against the WWF.[2] Consequently, on July 9 on Raw, when then-face WCW owner Shane was scheduled to face Page in a street fight, the two instead attacked The Undertaker, turning Shane heel (Page had already debuted in WWE as a heel, as part of a stalker angle with Undertaker and his wife).

Later that night saw the return of ECW, where ECW Alumni from both the WWF and WCW, along with the debuting Rob Van Dam and Tommy Dreamer, and Raw color-commentator Paul Heyman, announced that "[the] invasion has been taken to the extreme!" Vince and Shane agreed to join forces to take out ECW once and for all in a twenty-man brawl. When WCW and ECW faced off in the ring, however, they instead congratulated each other. It was revealed that ECW, with new owner Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, had merged with WCW to form a "supergroup" to more effectively challenge the WWF. This combined group was originally known as "WCW/ECW," but the rights to ECW's assets (including the use of its name on-air by the WWF) were still being debated in bankruptcy court, so the name of the group was shortened to The Coalition and later The Alliance.

At WWF Invasion, Team WCW/ECW (Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, Rhyno, and The Dudley Boyz) defeated Team WWF (Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Kane, Kurt Angle, and Chris Jericho) in a ten-man tag team match billed as the "Inaugural Brawl". During the match, Austin turned heel and joined the Alliance, helping them score the victory.

Over the next few months, the two sides fought back and forth. Except for a few wrestlers (X-Factor and Christian, for example), every feud was a WWF wrestler(s) versus an Alliance wrestler(s). Ten combined WWF and WCW championships were defended among all the wrestlers in the various feuds. Over time, numerous WWF superstars would defect to the Alliance, including Test, William Regal, Ivory, and Christian. Former ECW and WCW wrestler Steven Richards would belatedly defect to the Alliance, bringing WCW alumni KroniK with him. In return, Chuck Palumbo and Torrie Wilson defected from the Alliance to the WWF.

In October, both sides agreed to end things once and for all. A "Winner Take All" classic Survivor Series elimination match was set for the Survivor Series pay-per-view, with the losing company going out of business forever. In the end, Team WWF (The Rock, Chris Jericho, the Undertaker, Kane, and Big Show) defeated Team Alliance (Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, and Shane McMahon) when Angle turned on Austin while he was fighting The Rock in the last two. The Rock then pinned Steve Austin and thus putting The Alliance out of business. Every Alliance member with a championship (Austin, the Dudley Boyz (with Stacy Keibler), Christian, and Van Dam), along with Test, who won the "Immunity Battle Royal", were guaranteed jobs in the WWF. The other Alliance members were officially fired. Some of them would be hired back over the next few months, with the majority of them returning when the Brand Extension began. Finally as a result of Survivor Series 2001, the WCW Championship became unbranded and eventually unified with the WWF Championship, the WCW Tag Team Championship was unified with the WWF Tag Team Championship, and the WCW United States Championship was unified with the WWF Intercontinental Championship but was later reactivated in 2003. The WCW Cruiserweight Championship replaced the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship and remained active until 2008. Former Alliance members like Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, and The Hurricane turned face, while others such as the Dudley Boyz, Christian, Test, and William Regal would align themselves with Mr. McMahon who turned heel immediately after the storyline ended. Shane walked out on his own after being "fired" with Stephanie only making sporadic appearances feuding with Kane, while Stephanie remained heel blaming everything on Shane. Stephanie later returned in January in a coinciding return with her then-storyline husband Triple H.

Members of The Alliance

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WCW

* = Started appearing on WWF television prior to the Invasion storyline.

ECW

* = Was working for WWF prior to the Invasion storyline
** = Was working for WCW at the time of collapse

WWF Defectors to WCW

NOTE: Kurt Angle was believed to be a traitor to WCW, though was soon after revealed to be a mole planted in The Alliance by Vince McMahon.

WWF Defectors to ECW



* = Never appeared or wrestled in WCW or ECW prior to the storyline.

Championships (The Alliance)

Notes

  1. ^ Jerry Lawler (2002). It's Good to Be the King...Sometimes (p.372). World Wrestling Entertainment. ISBN 978-0743457682. 
  2. ^ ""The crowd turned on the entire segment since it was a 'WCW' main event presented before an audience of WWF fans."". PWInsider.com. 2007-08-21. http://www.pwinsider.com/ViewArticle.php?id=26083&p=1. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 

See also


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