Arnold Furious: This is right after WrestleMania IX. Except half the roster didn’t go on the tour. So we’ve got Shawn Michaels, Mr. Perfect and Lex Luger but at no point are they wrestling each other. Hogan stayed home, no shocks there, but Bret Hart and the Steiners were both working in the US at the same time. So the already depleted roster is painfully thin for this card. In a bid to keep my sanity I have devised the “UK Rampage ’93 Drinking Game”.
– Every time a match fails to make it to *.
– Every time JR talks about someone’s college education.
– Every time an ethnic stereotype appears.
– Every time someone in the crowd blows an air horn.
– For every 30 seconds Brooklyn Brawler applies a chinlock for.
For those keeping score at home I’ll be starting out swigging Chinese beer Tsingtao and when I run out I’ll be moving on to shots of Wild Turkey. God help us all if that happens.
We’re in Sheffield, England. Hosts are Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan, with Alfred Hayes on interviews. Air horn already. Bastards. DRINK. And again. DRINK. Put it down, mate, everybody hates an air horn.
James Dixon: This was a UK special from the Sheffield Arena as part of the European Rampage Tour, televised on Sky Movies Plus from April 1992, around three weeks after WrestleMania VIII.
Tatanka vs. Skinner
What a pop for Tatanka! I hope this show doesn’t suffer from the usual problems that the UK events had, with poor matches given 15-minutes and just sending the crowd to sleep. Skinner was a strange one. He had a terrible gimmick, awful attire and was a glorified jobber, but his matches surprisingly don’t completely suck. Steve Keirn is a good worker, and he was able to extract more mileage out of Skinner than the character had any right to get. It’s a few minutes before Skinner gets on the offensive for the first time, sending Tatanka face-first into the buckles and then targeting the leg. Skinner puts on a toe-hold and uses the ropes for leverage, but gets caught and the referee kicks him off. Skinner continues the assault, slamming the leg into the apron and then wrapping it around the post. This has been a good wrestling display from Skinner. Something I have never noticed before is what a really camp quality the character has, combined with a strange nonchalance when delivering moves. It is not lazy or anything like that, there is just a “shrugging” quality to his offense. Keirn could have been much more in the WWF if he was allowed to just be a wrestler like Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard were when they came in a few years earlier, but he arrived too late, deep into the Village People phase of the company. A straight up wrestler just wouldn’t have worked. Shame, really. Tatanka mounts a comeback and soon after hits the End of Trail for the clean win, to the delight of the crowd, after around 12-minutes. That was fairly long for those guys, but there was nothing wrong with it. Thoroughly decent.
Final Rating: **
James Dixon: This was a UK only show from the London Docklands Arena and it was televised live in the country on Sky Movies +. Roddy Piper and Vince McMahon are your hosts. Even though it took place prior to all the UK releases before it, the catalogue system is all over the place and it is out of sequence.
The Warlord vs. Jim Neidhart
We start off embarrassingly, with Mel Phillips announcing Jim Neidhart as the Warlord comes down to the ring. He even notices him coming, stops halfway through the announcement, but then clearly just thinks: “screw it, we are only in the UK” and carries on! Bush league. This is also available on the World Tour ‘91 tape, and I have reviewed it there also. It’s the battle of two big bulky guys. Neidhart was capable of decent matches, but only against opponents that could carry him. Warlord has never had a good singles match in his life. They have a power battle to start, and Anvil controls with a headlock. Tackles move no-one a few times, until a flying one sends Warlord through the ropes and to the outside. “Warlord does scratch a lot” says Piper insightfully. That gives you an indication of the quality of the match. Outside the ring, and Warlord throws Neidhart into the steps and follows it up with a bearhug. Jesus, Warlord was so one-dimensional. Generally the rule is: if a wrestler applies a bearhug, he is the shits. This has been so slow and boring, it doesn’t even really matter what they do next, they can’t save this now. Anvil escapes and hits a clothesline for two. Ten punch in the corner and a double axe off the middle get another two. Anvil goes for a splash, but Warlord gets his knees up. A sneaky O’Conner roll wins it for Anvil out of no-where. Nearly 15-minutes is an absolutely crazy amount of time to give a match featuring two such limited guys. This was all rest-holds and not a great deal else.
Final Rating: DUD