UK Rampage
April 11, 1993



Lord Alfred Hayes, who may be the only Brit still in the company at this point in time, opens the show by introducing our commentating team tonight. First up is the WWEís newest commentator - Jim Ross. JR had only started working for the WWE at last weekís Wrestlemania 9. Ross is joined by Bobby Heenan. Considering Ross and Heenanís time together in the same company was so short, this was a pretty rare pairing, which already adds some value to UK Rampage.

Brian Knobbs vs Fatu w/Afa
With The Nasty Boys willingly bowing out of Wrestlemania 9 to allow The Mega Maniacs to take their place, this is their only chance to take part in a supershow in April 1993. Itís odd to think that The Nasty Boysí final WWE supershow would see them working singles matches instead of teaming up. This was pretty awful though. Thereís a ton of stalling at the start with Fatu/Afa trying to do their pre-match ritual while Knobbs keeps interrupting them by getting the crowd to chant for him. The matchís pace was sporadic with the action coming to a halt often for more fan interaction. Admittedly, the fans did seem to be quite into it. There were a few fans with blow horns and the crowd chanting ďNasty!Ē Afa was there to distract Knobbs whenever he had a chance to help out. The sole positive thing in the match was Fatuís willingness to take big bumps, taking not one, but two 360 bumps. After mounting a bit of a comeback, Knobbs missed a charge into the corner, sustaining a super kick for his trouble. Fatu would cover with his foot on the bottom rope to steal the victory. Knobbs would end up finishing up with the WWE with the conclusion of this European tour, having already taped his final matches that were to be aired in May. Ĺ *

Doink the Clown vs Kamala
The good news? This is still the original Matt Borne heel Doink, so heís an awesome character. The bad news? Heís battling a babyface Kamala, so even Borne realizes that itís hopeless to produce a good match here. Doink killed some time early on by applying some rest holds to kill time. Kamalaís comeback was cut short as Doink fled under the ring to tease the appearance of a second Doink, however; since this is a meaningless UK Sky Sports event, they canít be bothered to paint The Brooklyn Brawler up to resemble Doink. Instead, Doink comes out from under the ring on the other side to take over on offense again. Doinkís time on offense is short lived though as Kamala seemingly has the match won with a splash, but he canít figure out that he needs to have Doinkís shoulders on the mat. Kamala keeps rolling Doink over, but always settling on Doink being on his stomach. Eventually, Kamala gives up and complains to the referee, allowing Doink to roll Kamala up for the pinfall with a fistfull of tights. Ever so slightly better than the opening since it didnít waste as much time. ĺ *

Mr. Perfect vs Samu w/Afa
Good god. Who is booking these matches? As weak as the star power and quality of workers that came to Europe, why is Perfect battling a member of a tag team when his Wrestlemania 9 opponent, Lex Luger, is also here. Also here is the WWE IC Champion, Shawn Michaels, who is now lined up to be Perfectís next program. Thereís even Doink the Clown, the guy who Perfect would be working three (!) King of the Ring qualifying matches in May before Perfect ultimately earned his way into the tournament. Hell, there was even Yokozuna, a guy that Perfect didnít have any ties with, but the former WWE World Champion is in the building. But no, we donít get any of those matches, instead we get Mr. Perfect vs a Headshrinker. Itís not even the Headshrinker that went on to have the bigger career! Anyways, on a dud of a show like UK Rampage 1993, Perfect vs Samu felt way better than it actually was. Thanks to the fact that you had one star against a non-jobber, the star power felt strong. Samu may have not been a particularly strong worker, but he was athletic and could work a faster pace match. Thanks to Afaís interference, Samu was able to control a good portion of the match, but Perfect kept making comebacks. Didnít make much of a difference though as Perfect still fired off a Perfect Plex to win after avoiding a top rope splash. Although the MOTN, this is still such a crazy weak match to put Perfect in. ** Ĺ


Bob Backlund vs Damien Demento
Oh boy. Another huge match to be shown on this legendary event. This is the battle of two of the men brought into the WWE in late 1992 with both men popping up on WWE TV post-Survivor Series. I do think that Backlundís 90s run with the WWE is an interesting one as they initially brought him back with a bit of a push, including putting him into position as the iron man of the Ď93 Rumble. Despite being undefeated in TV/PPV matches for a handful of months, heís jobbed out at Wrestlemania 9 against Razor Ramon, loses in a KOTR qualifying match with Lex Luger, fails in his IC Title shot against Shawn Michaels at the Summerslam Spectacular 1993, and sees his TV time drastically reduced to the point that you forgot that he was even in the company despite still working house shows. Heíd then randomly receive a WWE Title shot on Superstars in mid 1994 against Bret Hart where Backlund would snap and turn heel, suddenly being given a major push for the remainder of the year. This...sucked. Really badly. Not only is it a total style/character clash, but despite dominating the match, Demento didnít actually do anything. The majority of his offense was a chin lock rest hold and later a chin lock rest hold in the position of a camel clutch. Backlund got in a tiny bit of offense, but he surely wasnít going to come up with any creative moves. So the entire bout was just super simplistic moves. Backlund won after ducking a closeline and performing a roll-up with a bridge. Can I go back and watch Fatu vs Knobbs? At least that was a sucky match with two names. ľ *

Typhoon vs The Brooklyn Brawler
How is this a supershow?! Itís bad enough that weíre getting a Brawler match on this show, but at this point in time, Typhoon means virtually nothing. Despite being one half of the tag team champions just months ago, Typhoon had been directionless ever since Earthquake left the company at the end of January to head to Japan. Meanwhile, Typhoon is just killing time until he finishes up dates with his WWE contract before jumping to WCW where Iím sure heís totally going to find a ton of success. Interestingly enough, while both members of The Natural Disasters would leave the WWE in 1993, both would return in 1994. ĎQuake would return for a few months at the start of the year to work Wrestlemania 10 and engage in a short program with Yokozuna. After Earthquakeís feud with Yokozuna was cut short by his sudden departure, the WWE brought back Typhoon, literally days later, to finish the program before disappearing a few months later. This proved to be a little better than I expected as Brawler went into it seemingly aware that itís probably his biggest platform to perform in 1993. Early on, Brawler made a big deal about running away from Typhoon to remain from being flattened. Although Typhoon would end up catching him to begin a short period on offense, including hitting a drop kick, Brawler took back over. Imagine youíre Typhoon. Itís a supershow a mere six months after you were a champion, and youíre forced to be dominated by a JTTS for the majority of a ten minute match. The majority of Brawlerís offense is just built around cheating, whether itís choking Typhoon on the middle rope, pulling his hair, or choking him with his bare hands. Typhoon attempted a couple hope spots, but failed because he canít even regain offense against The Brooklyn fín Brawler. Finally, Brawler made the mistake of trying to slam Typhoon, so the big man counters with one of his own and then finishes Brawler with a splash with a power slam for good measure to score the pinfall. You know youíre watching a dud of an event when this isnít even in the bottom three for the night. I suppose good on Brawler for being able to get in some offense for a change, but boy did Typhoon not come away looking strong. * Ĺ


Up next is one of the big advertised attractions for the show - Bobby Heenan interviewing Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! The former WWE World Champion is in the building, but youíre not having him wrestle? My god, weíre forced to watch the likes of The Brooklyn Brawler and Damien Demento, while youíre purposely holding back on Yoko? Even more frustrating is the fact that Yoko wasnít hurt. He wrestled in the dark match! This interview is a total waste as Fuji discredits Hulk Hoganís WWE Title win last week at Wrestlemania since a contract hadnít been signed and then tries to connect Jim Duggan and the UK fans in a claim that feels pretty forced. You canít just call Duggan out for a being a stupid American and then throw in the line about how thatís like being a dumb Englishman.

The following match review is originally from my WWE The Best of IC Championship DVD review back in 2018.

Shawn Michaels © vs Crush - WWE IC Title
Between 1991 and 1993, the WWE held an annual event in the UK known as UK Rampage. It wasnít a PPV, but it was a televised event that very much felt like the predecessor to the future UK PPVs such as Rebellion. Although the named event died off with this final one, the WWE continued to head over to the UK (And Europe) every year after Wrestlemania in a tradition that continues to this day. As someone who has very little memories of their King of the Ring Ď93 match, other than not liking it, this ended up being just fine for me. I suspect itís a bit shorter, so you didnít have any obvious time wasting spots. Crush showcased his power at the start of the match, but after missing a charge in the corner, Michaels took over with ramming Crush head first into the ring post, dropping several double ax handles off of the middle and top ropes, and generally doing everything in his power to keep the big man down. Yet, Crush keeps getting up. Once Crush makes a comeback, HBK is quick to roll out of the ring, grab his IC Title, and to allow Crush to win by count-out. Well, thatís a disappointing finish. Then again, Michaels on PPV in 1993 was generally pretty lousy as well. Still, this was better than their upcoming King of the Ring match. **


The Narcissist vs Jim Duggan
Winner gets to be the #1 patriot in the WWE. Yokozuna is at ringside for the match, teasing the idea that this could be an even more difficult task for Duggan than originally thought. The most surprising thing about this match is just how over Duggan was. Throughout the night, Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan debated whether or not Duggan could get the UK crowd to chant ďU-S-AĒ. Not only did Duggan succeed, but they were loud throughout the match for him. To think, most of the time when pro-USA characters leave the United States, they struggle to maintain their popularity when theyíre not able to utilize that cheap heat. Kudos to Hacksaw. The match was pure nothingness though. Just Luger slapping on rest holds with Duggan getting in the bare minimal offense to allow the fans to still be wild. After dumping Duggan to the outside, Luger distracted the referee to allow Yokozuna to sit down on Dugganís chest before tossing him back inside. That allows Luger to hit the forearm to seemingly have the match won, but Mr. Perfect is out to disrupt the cover to cause the DQ. Well, at least Hennig protected Duggan from being pinned. Itís the second shortest match, with two stars, and a rocking crowd. As far as bad matches on this show goes, this was ďGoodĒ. * ĺ

After the match, we get a rare Luger/Yokozuna team-up as they take out the heels. Yoko ends up missing the Banzai Drop on Perfect, allowing Duggan to clear the ring with his 2x4. The crowd was so loud during this segment. Meanwhile, the commentators hype up the upcoming Wembley Arena event where weíll see Duggan/Yokozuna and Perfect/Luger.

Overall
UK Rampage was one show in the larger European Rampage tour. Considering the UK Rampage name has existed since 1991, in theory, this was the biggest show as part of the tour. With 12,000 fans in attendance, it was the most attended event in the entire tour. That being said, this was one sad supershow. Iím perfectly cool with calling it the worst WWE UK supershow ever. Part of the problem is that there was a Monday Night Raw taping the next day in America. That meant that the likes of Bret Hart, The Undertaker, The Steiner Brothers, Money Inc, Bam Bam Bigelow, Razor Ramon, Tatanka, and even Giant Gonzalez were not available to be on this show. Thatís a big hit to the star power and an even bigger hit for the workrate. However, seeing as I have a couple of other shows from this European Rampage tour, that lack of star power didnít have to completely kill this show. Just three days earlier, the WWE held a televised event in Paris with the same exact crew. Except now the card featured Luger vs Perfect, Duggan vs Yokozuna, Crush vs Doink, Headshrinkers vs The Nasty Boys, HBK vs Backlund, Kamala vs Kim Chee (Aka Brooklyn Brawler), and Typhoon vs Demento. Now thatís a logical card pitting rivals against each other and keeping men on a similar level against each other. Itís clearly the card that the WWE felt most proud of because itís the exact card they used to run at Wembley Arena that was hyped on UK Rampage. With this crop of talent, this leg of the tour may have been destined to not be good, but thereís no excuse for the card being as weak as it is. Unless youíre an absolute completionist, skip this show. If you want a taste of European Rampage tour, you can either watch the other televised events (The Italy show has a bunch of the guys from the Raw taping!) or simply watch the Coliseum Home Video - Global Warfare, which features a compilation of various matches from the different televised events.