ROH vs SCUM: How to do an "invasion" angle right

Tell it to the world!!
Post Reply
User avatar
NWK2000
Posts: 1036
Joined: Feb 26th, '14, 00:52
Favorite Wrestler: Great Sasuke

ROH vs SCUM: How to do an "invasion" angle right

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 17th, '18, 00:59

So I just recently watched ROH's "ROH vs SCUM" 3 Disc DVD release, and wanted to expand upon what they did right, and compare how other invasion angles messed it up
The motivations and objectives of the invading group are clear


This one goes without saying., or at least you'd think so. This is a basic modus operandi of story telling. SCUM (in its Steen, Corino, Jacobs form anyway) wanted to make life miserable for on-screen boss Jim Cornette. The Alliance in WWE wanted to usurp Vince McMahon as ruler of the wrestling world. Sadly, some invasion angles, like the UWF invasion of JCP don't even make it that far. SCUM even morphed into something larger, and its motivations actually became a lot more severe (actually making moves to take control of Ring of Honor to kill it), and stayed consistent. However, where the Alliance invasion angle fell through was.....
Individual character motivations have to be clear
In the Alliance invasion angle, we knew why some of the main cast, like Austin, Stephanie, and Shane wanted out of this, and their actions dictated same. But what off some of the guys on the next tier down, like DDP, or Booker? They were just normal wrestlers operating in normal wrestling feuds. This, in contrast, is what I thought SCUM did brilliantly. Steen, Corino and Jacobs were united because they were in the same situation. They ran afoul of Jim Cornette and were made to be second fiddle to Cornette's preferred crop of talent. This, in the case of Corino and Jacobs, even came when they stepped up to the plate to attempt to get Steen to come back and be and agreeable employee, and stop him when he didn't conform (Final Battle 2011). Even when SCUM grew, Corino gave us a reason why everyone would want to join in. (Hardy believed himself to be a living legend arbitrarily hated on by Ring of Honor fans, Compton felt he was a B-Tier Cornette favorite who wasn't giving opportunities other OVW guys were, Rhett was treated like second banana after Kenny King left). Corino explaining this to me made me believe that SCUM were an invading force.

Character motivations remain in consistent (except when it advances the story not to)


One of the key issues with the Alliance invasions was that people were jumping ship left and right. Further muddying the water were the multiple titles involved. Beyond its initial expansion in contrast, SCUM and Ring of Honor stayed consistent with who sided with who. The one notable exception is Kevin Steen who left because he didn't like Matt Hardy being boss Steve Corino's top guy. One could argue that this was a weakness in the angle, because it wasn't inferred why Steen didn't like Hardy, Steen just stopped participating in SCUM stuff and looked disinterested when he was there. But I suppose one could also argue that that's subtle storytelling, so it's neither here nor there. Steen's journey provided welcome B-plot to the ROH vs SCUM feud, with the story being "Can we trust Steen?" which was consistent throughout. Compare this to the weeks leading up to Survivor Series 2001 in the WWE, where "Can we trust Steve Austin?" was a problem attributed to the invading bad guys of all people to secure last minute PPV buys. Also, as a side point The invaders must be made to be evil. One of those things that goes without saying you'd think, but even the McMahon spawn only seemed to say some of their best anti-Vince lines for shock value/video packages, and the wrestlers on that team, while heel, still entertained and got babyface reactions. Steve Corino, on the other hand was an irredeemable, evil cult leader who wanted to trample on the livelihoods of the babyfaces for his own petty vengeance, Even though his character wavered somewhat (sometimes he was a Charlie Manson style cult leader, sometimes he was weirdly in love with Matt Hardy, which, as an aside, was my favorite part, sometimes he was very blatantly ripping off Jim Cornette by wearing ugly loud suitjackets and loudly announcing his own men during entrances, and sometimes he was ripping off Heyman on commentary circa 2001). But even for all that, Corino never entertained the fan. He despised the fans and the fans despised him back.

The invaders have to be booked like a threats, with notable wins for the babyfaces


This one is relatively simple, and again, should go without saying. SCUM rarely, if ever, lost, and usually won using criminal methods. If they did lose, it was to advance the story or to provide character development (See: Supercard of Honor VII's main event ) Whereas in the Alliance invasion, or in the UWF invasion, what constitutes threat? Taking one of the 10 available belts and not playing it up like a big deal? Also, I can't recall in the Alliance Invasion Alliance guys ever wanting to cause the babyfaces harm other than to fight them. SCUM kidnapped Veda Scott and severely injured the Briscoes

The final match has to be chaotic and violent (with minimal, sensible swerves)


The 5-on-5 Tag at Survivor Series 200`1 was touted as one of the few good parts of the angle. And while Kurt Angle's babyface turn was a great feel-good moment, the last moment of an angle shouldn't be a swerve.

Now, let's compare that to the Steel Caged Warfare angle that ended ROH vs SCUM. The two true swerves, Matt Hardy getting involved when he wasn't an official participant, and Steen wholeheartedly supporting ROH and winning the match was a feel good moment and didn't leave more questions than answers like Kurt's turn did. However, that isn't to say there weren't additional character moments in Steel Caged Warfare. Jimmy Jacobs preventing Corino from burning Steen alive, and Corino knocking him out, cemented Jimmy as a babyface post angle, and didn't take away from the end of the angle itself.
Last edited by NWK2000 on Oct 17th, '18, 02:23, edited 1 time in total.


Up next on NWK Reviews
Jushin Liger TV Special
PROGRESS SSS16 2015
ECW NWA World Title Tournament 1994 (essay)
AJW Big Egg Wrestling Universe

User avatar
Big Red Machine
Posts: 23521
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12
Favorite Wrestler: Kane

Re: ROH vs SCUM: How to do an "invasion" angle right

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 17th, '18, 01:10

While it was done right from a technical point of view, I think it's important to note how poor certain choices Delirious made were: particularly the use of Cliff Compton and Mike Mondo. Both sucked and never should have been in the company, and using them as featured players here was a poor idea. Compton never should have been brought in, and the fact that Mondo got a spot as a pro-ROH babyface while guys like the Briscoes and American Wolves and Roderick Strong were barely involved was ridiculous.
Booking the mechanics correctly is important (and, as you have laid out, this angle was an excellent example of how to do it correctly), but booking the right characters in the right places is a component that should not be overlooked.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
WWE in 2005
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

User avatar
NWK2000
Posts: 1036
Joined: Feb 26th, '14, 00:52
Favorite Wrestler: Great Sasuke

Re: ROH vs SCUM: How to do an "invasion" angle right

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 17th, '18, 02:21

Big Red Machine wrote:
Oct 17th, '18, 01:10
While it was done right from a technical point of view, I think it's important to note how poor certain choices Delirious made were: particularly the use of Cliff Compton and Mike Mondo. Both sucked and never should have been in the company, and using them as featured players here was a poor idea. Compton never should have been brought in, and the fact that Mondo got a spot as a pro-ROH babyface while guys like the Briscoes and American Wolves and Roderick Strong were barely involved was ridiculous.
Booking the mechanics correctly is important (and, as you have laid out, this angle was an excellent example of how to do it correctly), but booking the right characters in the right places is a component that should not be overlooked.
As far as the DVD laid out, Mondo was barely used in the feud itself. In fact the only time he's shown prominently is because he happened to be there when SCUM kidnapped Veda, and I think he was in one additional tag match. From what I saw of him, he had a great body and was a good promo. But then again, I was a fan of Mike Bennett circa 2011 so what do I know?

I thought Compton worked well with SCUM because he sucked. ROH was all about pure technical wrestling, and here comes this homeless looking goober who seems to fit in better with your backyard indy fed

And while I see what you mean about the use of some of the ROH babyfaces not being used in the angle, while I didn't mention this in my review because it's more or less booker's preference, part of what muddies Invasion angles, and causes unnecessary team shakeups is the idea that all current storylines must be paused to deal with this invading force, but feuds have to still be mentioned for continuity's sake. And while there is certainly credence to that idea, I would rather not have had Kyle and Davey's tiff that would eventually form ReDragon, and Roddy being a dickhead intercepting with that angle. Also the Briscoes were written out with injuries after Best in the World, and I think one of them had a bad arm to begin with, and they got a killer match out of it. So even though the Briscoe Bros weren't in the main feud, I still would call that a win.
Up next on NWK Reviews
Jushin Liger TV Special
PROGRESS SSS16 2015
ECW NWA World Title Tournament 1994 (essay)
AJW Big Egg Wrestling Universe

User avatar
Big Red Machine
Posts: 23521
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12
Favorite Wrestler: Kane

Re: ROH vs SCUM: How to do an "invasion" angle right

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 17th, '18, 03:14

NWK2000 wrote:
Oct 17th, '18, 02:21
Big Red Machine wrote:
Oct 17th, '18, 01:10
While it was done right from a technical point of view, I think it's important to note how poor certain choices Delirious made were: particularly the use of Cliff Compton and Mike Mondo. Both sucked and never should have been in the company, and using them as featured players here was a poor idea. Compton never should have been brought in, and the fact that Mondo got a spot as a pro-ROH babyface while guys like the Briscoes and American Wolves and Roderick Strong were barely involved was ridiculous.
Booking the mechanics correctly is important (and, as you have laid out, this angle was an excellent example of how to do it correctly), but booking the right characters in the right places is a component that should not be overlooked.
As far as the DVD laid out, Mondo was barely used in the feud itself. In fact the only time he's shown prominently is because he happened to be there when SCUM kidnapped Veda, and I think he was in one additional tag match. From what I saw of him, he had a great body and was a good promo. But then again, I was a fan of Mike Bennett circa 2011 so what do I know?
Bennett's problem at that point was purely that he wasn't great in the ring. But saying Mondo was a good promo? Maybe the words were good, but his voice was so annoying, and with his position on the card and words he was speaking he came off like Scrappy Doo, completely deluded as to just how incapable he was. The reason he wasn't used that much in the feud was that he left the company in the middle of it, but made a big return from injury against them and then had his first three matches back against them, then was in a five-way for a title shot that, if I remember correctly was supposed to be guys getting rewarded for their efforts in fighting SCUM.
NWK2000 wrote:
Oct 17th, '18, 02:21
I thought Compton worked well with SCUM because he sucked. ROH was all about pure technical wrestling, and here comes this homeless looking goober who seems to fit in better with your backyard indy fed
That's too next-level for me. You don't book a guy with the idea that he'll get heat because he sucks in the ring. You can have a guy like Bennett or Adam Pearce who use a purposefully non-flashy move-set, but to deliberately lower the actual quality of the work just to get heat for it is foolish. It's much better to find guys who are good workers who can effectively get heat (Bennett, Rave, Matt Hardy at that point, etc.). Also, Delirious kept bringing Compton back even AFTER the SCUM angle and he always sucked. He got TWENTY MINUTES to have a STREET FIGHT with KEVIN STEEN and couldn't do better than 7/10, and that was his BEST match in ROH.
NWK2000 wrote:
Oct 17th, '18, 02:21
And while I see what you mean about the use of some of the ROH babyfaces not being used in the angle, while I didn't mention this in my review because it's more or less booker's preference, part of what muddies Invasion angles, and causes unnecessary team shakeups is the idea that all current storylines must be paused to deal with this invading force, but feuds have to still be mentioned for continuity's sake. And while there is certainly credence to that idea, I would rather not have had Kyle and Davey's tiff that would eventually form ReDragon, and Roddy being a dickhead intercepting with that angle. Also the Briscoes were written out with injuries after Best in the World, and I think one of them had a bad arm to begin with, and they got a killer match out of it. So even though the Briscoe Bros weren't in the main feud, I still would call that a win.
The mark of a good booker is to understand how to include necessary people in the angle while simultaneously keeping their other angles in motion. The Jacobs/Whitmer feud kept on going while BJ was one of the leaders of the ROH side of the ROH/CZW war.

The SCUM angle ended the day after BITW, though, so the Briscoes didn't really do much of anything (Steen had one defense against Mark, and then lost the belt to Jay in a match that was more about Steen turning babyface than an ROH vs. SCUM battle. SCUM might have been used to write Jay out, but there was no follow-up of any sort.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
WWE in 2005
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests