#P114 – Best Of European Rampage Tour

James Dixon: This tape’s existence is frankly an insult to the paying customer. There are only a paltry four matches featured, with all of them coming from the WWF’s less than thrilling European Rampage tour of April 1993. Even worse is the fact that an astonishing three of the four are culled from the same Coliseum Video release; Global Warfare, meaning that this tape’s sole selling point for diehard collectors is the exclusive match between The Bushwhackers and The Beverly Brothers from Italy. Holy sh*t, talk about flogging a dead horse! Okay, so Coliseum Video and Columbia House, who released this tape, are not the same company, but everything had to receive the okay from the WWF and Vince before making its way into the marketplace, so either this comes down to a lack of quality control (a frequent issue with these releases) or just a flagrant disregard for the fan base. Either way, I am outraged.

 

WWF Tag Team Championship
Money Inc. (c) vs. The Steiner Brothers
IRS proves what a completely clueless moron he is by cutting a promo on the crowd about how they don’t pay their taxes. The idiocy doesn’t come from the repetitive nature of his pre-match gambit, but rather the fact that they are in Barcelona, and no-one in the crowd has a clue what he is saying. The promo is inevitably met with silence. The WWF changes the rules on the spot, and it is announced that unless Money Inc. give up the briefcase, they will forfeit the match and the tag titles. That is a bit of an extreme call from the referee isn’t it? I would say that is probably not his decision to make. The announcement of this to the live crowd is met with… silence. Because it is in Spain. Where they speak Spanish. I guess little things like that didn’t matter to the WWF. I have actually covered this before on Best of Battle of the WWF Superstars in Volume #2, so it is rather disgraceful that Columbia have rehashed it not only from Global Warfare, but also from their OWN TAPE. I mean, did no-one stop and think that people might want to collect all of these things? It’s not like there were no other matches on this show never seen before in the US. Hell, this could have been Virgil versus Terry Taylor, in a match that Virgil actually won clean. In 1993! The ring is miked to hell and is very, very loud. The other interesting thing is the camerawork. In an effort to channel the spirit of WWF stereotyping, I can only imagine that the director is having a siesta, because we stay exclusively hard cam for the majority of the contest. Well, apart from the genuine full minute that is spent filming the crowd. It is so bad, that even Heenan and Savage on commentary criticise him, saying he is the worst cameraman in the world. They are not wrong. The match is perfectly fine, with the Steiners’ ability making up for IRS being so boring. The finish is frustrating, with IRS saving DiBiase with a piss-weak belt shot for the DQ. I am actually surprised that Scott sold it, because IRS gently stroked him at best, with the timing seemingly all screwed up. The Steiners celebrate with the belts, because they are as dumb as Crush.
Final Rating: **

 

Mr. Perfect vs. Samu
To UK Rampage ’93 for one of the most randomly thrown together bouts you are likely to see. I would love to know who put the cards together for this leg of the European tour, because it was unfathomably bad. It is almost as if they picked the most unappealing card possible as a rib, and decided to run with it to see if the UK crowd would pop it anyway. Unfortunately for future generations of UK fans, the Sheffield crowd did pop it, giving license to all WWF/E wrestlers of the future to phone it in while competing across the Atlantic. Samu is a fairly reasonable talent by 1993 standards, but he is no-where near the level of Perfect. They start fairly well but Samu’s heat goes on for far too long, as they insanely go nearly 15-minutes. Seriously, this match gets THAT long. That is why UK Rampage ’93 sucked. Everything they do is technically fine, it is not sloppy and phony like a Typhoon bout, but it is just so boring. It is like every other match from filmed UK shows, in that because of the half crew in the country, they had minimal talent available so just made them all go out there and work long matches. Because the majority of guys weren’t used to or weren’t able to work 15-minute bouts effectively, everything just ends up following the same tired pattern and routine. This is no different, but at least we get a finish, as Perfect pins Samu with the Perfectplex. I have seen this match get insanely high ratings from other reviewers (in the region of ***), and having watched it again I remain confounded as to why. Just because Curt Hennig is in it does not make it de-facto good. Effort levels or not, this was dull.
Final Rating:

 

The Bushwhackers vs. The Beverly Brothers
From Milan, Italy, and this match also gets 15 goddamn minutes! These two teams worked each other nearly a year and a half ago at Royal Rumble 1992, when both were far more relevant. It was the sh*ts then though, and it is even worse now. No Bushwhackers match should ever be allowed to go for 15-minutes. Hell, 3-minutes is more than enough to make me pull my hair out in despair. Of course, the match is this tape’s big “selling point”, as you cannot see it anywhere else. Lucky us! If any of you did purchase this tape either to specifically see this match or because you just HAD to have the full collection, then either way you need your head examining. For those who didn’t and are perhaps considering this as a future purchase (though I cannot imagine for a second that any of you are) then STOP! As if you didn’t already know; this match is the pits. What is there to describe? The usual European tour stalling? The seemingly never ending heat? The business exposing fake looking b*llsh*t offense from the Bushwhackers? The lack of anything even slightly resembling drama, emotion, realistic selling or high spots? The Bushwhackers go over after some heel miscommunication (fancy that), so at least we get a clean finish after suffering through it.
Final Rating: ¼*

 

Yokozuna vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
This is from Paris and was part of Volume #2’s Rampage Bercy ’93 French exclusive release. This was actually the main event of that France show, which should give you an idea of what a horrid event it was. The only interesting thing about this match is Yokozuna’s attire, as he sports a fresh feeling all black with red tassels number. He got lazy and stopped changing his gear as the years went on. Duggan’s selling is a thing of… wait, what’s the opposite of a thing of beauty? A thing of ugly? Well that’s what his selling is anyway. A tedious bearhug takes up the majority of this 7-minute match, and Yoko withstands a Duggan comeback before polishing him off with the Banzai Drop. Lee covered this for Volume #2 and gave it *½, but he must have been high at the time because nothing happened here at all. An entirely predictable match with little in the way of action other than punches and the odd hope spot.
Final Rating: ¾*

 

Summary: I would like to reiterate what I said at the start: the existence of this tape is a disgrace. Four matches (three of them recycled) from a sh*tty overseas tour featuring tired guys phoning it in, does not a good tape make. I mean just look at the matches we get!  I would be less annoyed about them being reruns if they were actually worth rehashing, but they are just generic throwaway nothing bouts. Then again, looking at the cards they were hardly spoilt for choice. Other options included one of many horrid Undertaker-Giant Gonzalez clashes, Steve Keirn donning the make-up as Doink (while Matt Borne was working the gimmick in the US) and trading wins with Tito Santana or some Tatanka versus Papa Shango humdingers. Maybe this tape just shouldn’t have existed at all. Spring 1993 is pretty much my least favourite era in WWF history, and tapes like this demonstrate why in a nutshell. A horrid cash cow release.
Verdict: 16

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