The Invasion storyline remains one of the most important in WWE history, even though everyone views it negatively. Vince McMahon purchased both WCW and ECW shortly into 2001 to make WWE more powerful than ever. The storyline aspect saw Shane McMahon buying WCW on-screen to feud with his dad and WWE.
Stephanie McMahon joined the angle next when she was announced as the new ECW owner since WWE realized the angle was losing momentum. The Alliance was the faction formed between WCW and ECW names looking to take down WWE, but the criticism was that the names involved were too weak. Each of the following names were not involved despite working for ECW or WCW before the sale.
10 Ric Flair
WWE signed Ric Flair to appear one day after the Invasion storyline ended in the strangest logic possible. Flair was not signed until WWE already knew that they were going to phase out the Invasion after Survivor Series 2001 with a winner take all match.
The introduction of Flair came on the Raw after it ended to announce he was the new co-owner of WWE that Shane and Stephanie sold their shares to. Flair could have helped the Invasion a lot since he was arguably the greatest WCW star, and they only had Booker T representing the history of the company by the end.
9 Shane Douglas
Ric Flair’s enemy Shane Douglas was another name that could have easily been a great part of The Alliance representing both WCW and ECW. Douglas worked for both promotions in the recent years before they were sold to WWE.
Many fans view Douglas as the greatest ECW Champion since he held it longer than anyone. WWE had no interest in Douglas after a lot of heat on both sides. Douglas never worked in a WWE ring after his stint as Dean Douglas ended in disappointment.
8 AJ Styles
One of the most interesting names from WCW at the end was AJ Styles given how his career turned out. Styles was only on television a few times as part of the Cruiserweight tag team division teaming with another newcomer named Air Paris.
WWE didn’t retain AJ since they knew little of him and his name value wasn’t enough to get signed. However, Styles could have easily been one of the breakout stars like Shane Helms or Lance Storm that made the most of their opportunities.
7 Bam Bam Bigelow
WCW had Bam Bam Bigelow on the roster when the company closed after he signed three years prior. Bigelow had relevant runs in WCW, ECW and WWE all to make it confusing why WWE had no interest in keeping him around for the Invasion.
WWE fans would have remembered Bam Bam as a former WrestleMania main eventer and strong part of the roster for many years. Unfortunately, the career and life of Bigelow took dark turns after WCW closed with no major wrestling moments before passing away at a young age.
ECW fans would have loved the Invasion more if Sabu joined the fray. Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam were the two only wrestlers selected to show up representing ECW from when the company closed. Former ECW stars on the WWE and WCW rosters united with them to sell ECW joining the angle.
Van Dam had a dream run as the most popular Alliance member, and Dreamer had a bad scenario of barely being on television. Sabu would have likely fell in the middle of those and delivered at least a few cool matches against the stacked WWE roster at the time.
5 Eric Bischoff
One name that almost joined WWE in time for the Invasion was Eric Bischoff. WWE outdid Bischoff when he wanted to have a financial group buy WCW and give him back power before Vince McMahon sealed the deal to end that dream.
Bischoff ended up joining WWE one year after the Invasion started, but Jim Ross called him about a potential job beforehand. Neither side felt it was the right time after these convos. Bischoff leading the Alliance instead of Shane or Stephanie may have saved the angle.
WCW tried to make Vampiro a new top star in the New Blood storyline when placing him in a feud against Sting. Vampiro was actually one of the better WCW performers in the end when they had no chance at turning it around, but he still didn’t get over in the way they hoped.
WWE didn’t show much interest in keeping Vampiro around since he wasn’t signed after the purchase. Vampiro started wrestling internationally again since he was a legend in Mexico. WWE and Vampiro never got on the same page to have a run together.
3 The Sandman
ECW made The Sandman one of their faces of the company for most of the run. A short WCW run flopped and saw him returning to ECW for the rest of their tenure. Sandman and Rhino had the final feud for the ECW Championship with Sandman putting the younger talent over.
WWE only wanted Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam of the names that weren’t already on the roster from ECW. Names like Sandman were left out since they just figured it was easier to use names like Justin Credible, Taz and Raven that were signed beforehand.
2 David Flair
One surprising name to miss out on the Invasion from WCW was David Flair. The last few years of WCW saw David as a consistent part of the show after getting signed due to being the son of Ric Flair. WWE even kept David on the roster since they wanted to give his potential a chance the same as WCW did.
However, David remained deep into the development system trying to improve before a call-up. WWE never used David except for being a small part of the Ric vs Undertaker feud when Undertaker attacked him to get in his father’s head.
1 Scott Steiner
WCW made Scott Steiner their final major star when he reached the main event scene in 2000. Steiner winning the WCW Championship led to fans buying him in a top spot at a time when few things worked for the company. WWE chose to have Booker T defeat Steiner on the final Nitro to ensure he ended WCW as the top champ.
Steiner was uncertain about his WWE future, and the promotion didn’t want to risk keeping him as champ. WWE couldn’t sign Steiner for the Invasion since he elected to let his previous WCW contract of a higher pay expire with AOL/Time Warner paying him. Steiner signed the following year, but it was a terrible run that hurt his career.