Welcome to my review of UK Rampage 1993, the third and final UK Rampage PPV! This show is only one week removed from Wrestlemania 9 so a lot of the storylines are continued from the biggest show of the year. There are no comings or going but tonight expect to see the PPV debut of The Brooklyn Brawler.
We’re treated to a fast pace introductory video with the likes of Lex Luger, Papa Shango, The Steiner Brothers and Bret Hart. Lord Alfred Hayes then introduces us to the show which is live at the Sheffield Arena. The people are going bananas with excitement. Alfred introduces us to Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan who join him on commentary. Bobby Heenan also has a a very special interview with Yokozuna and Mr Fuji. It’s straight to ringside now for our opening contest.
Fatu vs. Brian Knobbs
A singles match between two tag team wrestlers opens the show. Knobbs gets a decent pop. It’s Headshrinkers vs. Nasty Boy in this one in a match between two mid card teams. I’m pretty sure this’ll be the last time we see Knobbs on PPV. Both men are looking for their first victory since Survivor Series 92. The Nasty Boys won their Survivor Series match but haven’t been used much since. Knobbs does a good job of getting the crowd going. With The Steiner Brothers coming in, The Nasty Boys have dropped down the card. They were due to fight The Beverley Brothers at Wrestlemania 9 but their match got cut from the card at the last minute. Fatu nails Knobbs as he tries to get the crowd going but Knobbs soon takes the advantage. Neither of these guys have had singles matches on PPV before (outside of Royal Rumbles). Fatu shows some good athleticism by leapfrogging Knobbs. The Nasty Boy gets distracted by Afa on the outside and Fatu takes advantage with a thrust kick to the face. The Headshrinkers goes for a piledriver but Knobbs back body drops him and follows up with some right hands.
Fatu takes control back though and throws Brian to the outside where Afa hits him with a left hand. The Heahshrinkers are a new version of Afa and Sika. Back in the ring and Fatu locks on a reverse chinlock. This is both guys UK Rampage debut. Although Knobbs did fight on the other UK PPV, Battle Royal at the Albert Hall. He starts a comeback now and hits a big back body drop and powerslam on Fatu. He follows it up with ten big right hands in the corner and an Irish Whip but Fatu gets his foot up, booting Brian in the face. Knobbs hits the deck and Fatu quickly pins him but with his feet on the rope! Afa helps him with the leverage and Fatu gets the three! Fatu wins the opening contest of the evening. Not a great match by any stretch but not awful. I’d have preferred to have seen a tag team match. The Nasty Boys seem to be on a downward spiral now as The Headshrinkers cement themselves as the number 2 heel tag team.
Backstage now to Alfred Hayes who is with Doink the Clown. Doink says he loves taking a serious situation and turning it into a joke. Doink then says he has something up his sleeve for Kamala. And then Hayes plugs a match between Doink and Crush that will take place in the UK another time.
Doink The Clown vs. Kamala
Two more UK debuts for Doink and Kamala now. We’ve only ever seen Kamala against Undertaker and Doink against Crush on PPV so it’ll be interesting to see them with different opponents. Kamala face turned after Survivor Series and distanced himself from Kim Chee and Harvey Wippleman. The referee checks Doink for weapons and finds a wooden stick up his sleeve. Two classic gimmicks on show here. Kamala still looking for his first PPV win. Doink takes it to Kamala in the early going, stomping away at the big man. Doink twists the arm and then takes down Kamala with a tackle. Kamala is able to gain the advantage using his strength, throwing Doink around the ring and hitting a big avalanche. Doink rolls out of the ring and underneath it before crawling out of the other side of the ring and attacking the Ugandan. Once again though Kamala takes the advantage. He hits a splash and tries to pin Doink but the clown is on his front. Kamala just can;t get his head round why the referee isn’t counting. Kamala questions the referee and Doink rolls him up from behind with a schoolboy! He gets the three and wins the match! Doink continues getting his push whilst Kamala continues to lose on PPV.
Backstage now to Alfred Hayes who is with Mr Perfect. Perfect is still focused on getting revenge on Lex Luger who knocked him out at Wrestlemania. Perfect then goes on to say that he’ll defeat Samu.
Mr Perfect vs. Samu
Interesting match up next. Perfect, one of the top faces on the roster takes on tag team specialist and one half of The Headshrinkers, Samu. Once again, both men are looking for their first victory since Survivor Series where they were both successful in tag team match ups. Both men lost in their match at Wrestlemania. Again, this is both mans UK Rampage debut. So far none of the six wrestlers have fought on a UK Rampage show before. Perfect starts rapidly with drop kicks and hiptoss’s which totally catches Samu off guard. He rolls to the outside to slow down the pace. Sam gets back into the ring and knocks Perfect down with a big clothesline. He follows it up with a big chop, some raking to the chest and face then a headbutt. Same then throws Perfect to the outside and like earlier Afa attacks his mans opponent. Heenan picks up on Afas repeated attacks. Samu uses headbutts, thrust kicks and chops to keep the advantage over the former Intercontinental champion.
The Headshrinkers use illegal “animalistic” shots like pokes to the eye, rakes to the chest and face and headbutts to the groin to keep on top of their men. Samu gets a couple of near falls but I can’t see him getting the victory in this one. We’re yet to see a face win a match tonight. Samu hits a chop and Perfect gives him one back before both men slug it out with lefts and right. Samu goes down to his knees but he hits a low blow to take Perfect down. He then smashes Perfects head off the top turnbuckle a few times. Ironically though Perfect uses his head to Samus gut to get back into the match. It doesn’t last long though and Samu throws Perfect to the outside once again. Perfect has made Samu look awesome in this match. Back in the ring Samu hits a big powerslam then goes for a headbutt off the top but Perfect gets out of the way! Both men get up to their feet and Perfect hits the Perfect-plex for the three count! Mr Perfect gets the big victory! The loss won’t hurt Samu, he’ll continue on with tag team action whilst Perfect can move on to bigger and better things.
Damien Demento vs. Bob Backlund
Another two men making their UK Rampage debuts. Both of these guys PPV debuted in the 1993 Royal Rumble and although Backlund also fought at Wrestlemania 9, both men are looking for their first win on pay per view. Backlund is a former WWF Champion. He does some strange looking warm ups before the match begins and offers his hand to Demento but Damien doesn’t shake. Backlund takes Demento down with an unorthodox move and then hits the backslide for a two count. Bob then forearm smashes Damien over the top rope to the outside. Backlund then chases Demento around the ring. This is a very odd duo. Demento hits a hiptoss and powerslam then stomps on Backlund as the former champion moans. Demento keeps the advantage with a reverse chinlock. Backlund starts a comeback but Demento goes back to work on Backlund with an eye rake and a reverse elbow. Demento then goes back to the reverse chin lock. Backlund out of nowhere rolls Demento up and bridges him for the three! Backlund wins in what was a pretty boring match. The crowd were dead for this one.
Backstage now to Alfred Hayes who is once again with Mr Perfect. Elsewhere in the UK we’ll see Perfect and Luger, great. Perfect says that Samu is one of the toughest guys he’s ever fought. But Perfect will be watching Luger in his match later on.
Typhoon vs. The Brooklyn Brawler
The Brawler makes his PPV debut and he’ll take on Typhoon who is now a singles wrestler after Earthquake left the WWF. Once again this is both mans UK Rampage debut. Brawler outsmarts Typhoon in the early going, evading his attempts at a lock up. Typhoon looking for his first PPV win since Summerslam last year when he and Earthquake beat The Beverly Brothers. Typhoon finally gets his hands on The Brawler and shoves him down to the canvas. The big man even hits a dropkick, sending The Brooklyn Brawler to the outside. The Brawler then starts to walk to the back but he decides against throwing the match. He tries to shove the Brawler but gets nowhere. Typhoon once again drops the Brawler but misses with the follow up senton. This gives the Brawler the advantage, stomping away at Typhoon. He chokes Typhoon on the ropes but once again the crowd don’t really seem into this one.
The Brawler pins Typhoon but only gets a two count. He then locks on a sleeper but Typhoon gets back up to his feet as some childs cheers can be heard. The Brawler uses Typhoons hair to take him back down. Another two count for the Brawler. Brooklyn Brawler goes back to the sleeper hold and it’s not looking good for Typhoon. But wait the big man gets out of the sleeper! He irish whips the Brawler but then misses with the follow up avalanche. Brawler goes back to the leg of Typhoon but then makes the mistake of going for a powerslam. Typhoon then hits a slam of his own, irish whips the Brawler and hits the avalanche before powerslamming The Brooklyn Brawler for the big win! Typhoon wins but I’m not sure what’s in his future.
Backstage not to Alfred Hayes and “The Narcissist” Lex Luger. Hayes asks about Luger knocking everyone out with his forearm. Luger is confident tonight and although Perfect will be lurking about, Lex has a suprise of his own.
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Crush – Intercontinental Championship Match
Shawn Michaels comes out in all gold in what should be a good contest. Crush has only won one match on PPV and that was against Repo Man at Summerslam 92. A win tonight should bring home the Intercontinental title. Shawn Michaels is the only man to have featured on all three UK Rampage PPVs. That’s some doing, so fair play to him. Crush is huge compared to Michaels. At one point these two men were a part of Demolition and The Rockers respectively. Michaels goes for a body slam early but he can’t get Crush up. Two good mullets in this match. Michaels goes for a leapfrog but Crush just catches him. A poke in the eye breaks the bear hug before it gets going. The pace quickens as Michaels bounces off the ropes but Crush catches him with a backbreaker. Michaels goes to the outside and Crush follows him round but Michaels lays in the boots as they get back into the ring. Crush no sells a clothesline and then Crush gorilla press slams the champ before clotheslining him over the top rope.
You can really see how Michaels has grown as a wrestler since his heel turn just over a year ago. The two men go at it outside the ring with Shawn Michaels coming out on top. Back in the ring and Michaels comes off the second rope with double axe handles twice. He then goes to the top and hits the same move dropping Crush to the canvas. He then hits a DDT and gets a two count. Michaels then locks on a headlock but the crowd seem behind Crush. The big man gets out of the hold and clotheslines Michaels down. He hits a big boot then a big suplex. The challenger then motions for his finisher but Michaels grabs his belt and walks to the back. The bell rings and this ones over. Crush takes Michaels back to the ring and hits a tilt a whirl backbreaker, then hits his finisher! Michaels is down and out and Crush holds the belt up high. We then get the official announcement that Crush has won the match by count out. He won’t win the Intercontinental title this time though. I’d like to see another match between these two.
Rating: 6.5/10* Match Of The Night
Now to an in-ring interview with Yokozuna and Mr Fuji hosted by Bobby Heenan. Heenan starts with Hulk Hogan winning the WWF Championship last Sunday at Wrestlemania. Fuji still considers Yokozuna the champion as there was no contract signing. Heenan then claims that “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan is hunting Yokozuna and Fuji says that Duggan is entitled to Yoko whenever he wants. Fuji then slates the English, saying they have no guts! Unbelievable.
“The Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
We have a quick promo from Duggan where he says he’s taking the pretty boy Lex Luger down and it’s main event time. Yokozuna has stayed at ringside to get a closer look at this one. It would have been nice to see Yokozuna in action tonight since he’s there. The crowd break out in a “USA” chant which always seems ridiculous in the UK. Luger is actually unbeaten on PPV having wrestled once and won. Duggan is looking for his first PPV victory since last years UK Rampage when he defeated The Repo Man. Duggan hits some left jabs then a big right haymaker to take Luger down. Luger soon comes back with some big right hands a clothesline. Duggans last PPV match was actually the match at Rampage last year. Luger locks on a sleeper and the fans are right behind Duggan. Duggan breaks the hold but Lex quickly takes control again and after an elbow drop, he locks on another sleeper. Duggan hits some elbows to get out of it and tries to barge Luger but he’s knocked back down again. Luger goes back to the sleeper, yawn.
Hacksaw gets out of it again and slams Lugers face off the top turnbuckle. Duggan then hits some big lefts and rights before hitting the big ten in the corner. Duggan goes to barge Luger bug both men give and Duggan goes flying to the outside. With Luger distracting the referee, Yokozuna sits his big arse down on Duggan. He rolls him back into the ring and Luger hits the big forearm! He goes for the pin but in comes Mr Perfect! Perfect and Luger go at it in the ring until Yokozuna steps in! Yoko knocks down Perfect then goes for the Banzai Drop but Perfect gets out of the way! Duggan then cleans house with the 2×4! Duggans music hits but it’s Lex Luger that wins this one by disqualification!
Well that was the third and final UK Rampage pay per view. Looking back on it this one looked really weak. The 1992 was definitely the best one on paper. Both members of The Headshrinkers were in action in singles action, which isn’t really what you want to see. You can only assume that Jerry Saggs got injured and couldn’t compete in a tag match against Samu and Fatu. I would have preferred to see that, then Luger moved into a match with Perfect and Duggan against Yokozuna. Maybe that was the original plan? There were a few matches that felt like lower card filler. Matches like Typhoon/Brawler, Demento/Backlund and to a lesser extent, Doink/Kamala. The last two matches were definitely the highlight, especially Michaels/Crush. The ending to the Intercontinental match was disappointing but besides that, it was a good match. The main event was booked really well and the presence of Yokozuna made it feel a lot more special.
The show only continued the Duggan/Yokozuna, Luger/Perfect and Michaels/Crush feuds, the rest was just filler in reality. There were a few big stars missing, guys like Bret Hart, The Undertaker, Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow and The Steiner Brothers.
Overall Rating: 45/100 (Ranked #24 of 33)