April 6, 2012
Never Hand Over
WWF UK Rampage 1993
The other day my fiancee and I were researching to try to find out the card from the first live wrestling show she ever attended as a kid in Birmingham, England. In doing said research, I stumbled across this rather odd card from Sheffield, England from around the same time. Wasn’t for sure if I still had this in my collection or not but after digging through my DVD box, lo and behold I found it.
1. Fatu vs. Brian Knobbs – 4
2. Doink the Clown vs. Kamala - 3
I liked the aspect of two regular tag team wrestlers going at it in singles for the opening match. From my recollection, this has to be one of Knobbs’ last appearances for the WWF. Turned out to be a pretty good back-and-forth match. Fatu had a really nice superkick which they showed Afa dancing a jig outside in celebration of. Knobbs took a pretty good beating for most of the bout, getting slammed hard on the floor and taking a really hard kick right in his schnozz at the end. Fatu, to his credit, made Knobbs sloppy offense look tolerable at best bumping huge for a crappy looking dropkick and a wild lariat. Second match was really hard to take seriously, especially given the characters involved. I noticed Doink calling spots on one close up camera show. Believe it or not, Kamala was the face. This must have been after Reverend Slick became his manager and taught him to bowl in some interesting segments on an old Coliseum tape. Back to the match and Doink’s top rope axehandle was awful. Kamala’s offense consisted of chops and not much else. Perhaps the strangest thing that occurred to me while watching this was that Kamala was selling Doink’s armlocks. Something about that just doesn’t compute.
3. Samu vs. Mr. Perfect – 4
I reviewed this match in one of my first pieces for NHO as part of a review for an old tape called “Global Warfare”. I don’t recall covering the match in great detail at the time but I do remember that I said “trying to get a good match out of Samu is like trying to get a cat to fetch a stick.” Hmmm. Not sure what I was thinking there. Times have changed though and I went into this dropping any preconcieved notions I may have had from watching this years ago. Perfect was a selling machine, the complete opposite of Samu who didn’t sell any residual damage he may have had from getting his knee worked over in the middle of the bout. The segment with them trading punches was good. I thought Perfect’s punches were better though. Most of this match was Samu on offense and he kept having this propencity to throw Perfect out of the ring every now and then. Match wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be but was still a pretty solid bout. The Perfect-Plex finish from out of nowhere was a nice touch.
4. Damian Demento vs. Bob Backlund – 2
5. Brooklyn Brawler vs. Typhoon - 2
Next two bouts were definitely the low points of the card. It’s almost like someone got blindfolded and just threw darts at a wall and the names the darts landed on is who wrestled each other. Backlund looked really awkward trying to fight out of a chinlock. I honestly forgot that Demento even existed and I’m really good with my WWF history. Only real highlight of the match for me was the bridge Backlund used to get the pin. I wonder if Demento ever actually won a match that wasn’t a squash? Typhoon gets singles action against … Brooklyn Brawler? That’s a real head scratcher there. Was there seriously no one else available? Suprinsingly, Brawler got in a decent amount of offense, even though it consisted of more chinlocks than a Randy Orton match. Not sure who had a worse dropkick on this card, Knobbs in the first match or Typhoon here who pretty much airmailed one. Seemed just like a filler match more than anything and they just coasted through.
6. Shawn Michaels vs. Crush – 4
7. Lex Luger vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan – 4
Semi-main I guess could be classified as the battle of the mega-mullets as both participants were sporting some completely obsurd hairstyles. Wonder if the mullet, or even the rat tail, ever caught on over in the UK? Much like Mr. Perfect in his earlier match with Samu, Michaels did most of the work here bumping around like a pinball and just selling his ass off for Crush’s offense, which could be described as mediocre at best. Good grief, Crush’s purple, orange, and yellow outfit is a complete assault on the eyes. What color blind designer came up with that? Crush took this really awkward DDT and then soon after sold a headlock with all the enthusiam of a high schooler sleeping during study hall. This got points mainly for Michaels performance. Luger and Duggan strikes me as a very odd match to close the show with as neither guy held a title and both were still in the mid-card. Duggan had this wild, zombie-like, comical sell after running face first into Luger’s boot in the corner. Not sure if Luger was mailing it in but he looked really bad. Case in point the absolutely terrible forearm smash he gave Duggan at the end. End of the match saw interference from Mr. Perfect and Yokozuna and everything break down in a wild brawl to cap off the a rather fun show from a time where WWF was starting to head downhill.