Friday, 2 December 2022

EVENT REVIEW: WWF UK RAMPAGE 1992

 

WWF UK Rampage 92 Review - VHS Cover

April 19th, 1992
Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, England

Despite growing up in the UK, I was only just getting into wrestling when WWF UK Rampage '92 came out, and never got to see it in the years that followed. 

Even once Peacock and the former WWE Network came about, it never really occurred to me to track this one down until I started work on the second Retro Pro Wrestling book, The Complete History of WWE's UK PPVS: 1991 - 2003

So here I am at last, ready to check out what the VHS cover promises to be "2 1/2 hours of explosive video action."

Enjoy the review, and if you'd like to support Retro Pro Wrestling, get yourself a copy of the ebook below (print version coming in January) or read it for free on Kindle Unlimited

Welcome to UK Rampage 

Our show began with a brief and basic introduction featuring clips of some of the superstars we’d see tonight. 

You want Bret Hart? Repo Man? Virgil? Tatanka

You got em! 

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan



From there, we went live to the Sheffield Arena were our hosts, Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon welcomed us to the show and ran down tonight’s card.

Having never seen this show before, I can tell you now that I’m particularly looking forward to Shawn Michaels challenging Macho Man Randy Savage for the world title as well as Bret Hart defending the Intercontinental Championship against Rick Martel.

With the pre-amble out of the way, Monsoon sent us down to ring announcer, Mike McGuirk (remember her?) for our opening contest. 

Tatanka vs. Skinner 

Is it just me, or did Tatanka always look way cooler in those white tights than he did in the trunks he’d wear for most of his career?

WWF UK Rampage '92 - Tatanka battles Skinner



Honestly, I had few expectations for this match, but both Tatanka and Skinner worked their butts off to deliver the best opening contest they were capable of delivering.

After the babyface took control in the early going, Skinner managed to get the upper hand and decimated his opponent before Tatanka picked up the win with a Samoan Drop.

It’s crazy to think that such a move was an effective finisher back in the early 1990s.

That aside, despite not being the best match of all time, this was still an enjoyable way to kick off UK Rampage ‘92.
Your Winner: Tatanka 

Out in the back, Sean Mooney interviewed The Legion of Doom about their upcoming match against the makeshift team of Col. Mustafa and Dino Bravo




Animal ranted and raved about how much they were going to beat their opponents before Hawk waxed poetical about fluid sacs and splintered sphincters.

It was a crazy promo, but I have to admit, the old-school fan in me enjoyed it a lot.

Col. Mustafa and Dino Bravo vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)

Prior to the bell, Mustafa, better known to you and me as The Iron Sheik, grabbed the microphone to blast both the United States and the United Kingdom.

WWF UK Rampage '92 - Mike McGuirk holds the mic while Col. Mustafa rants on


From there, he and Bravo entered into a lackluster affair with Hawk & Animal, getting their heads kicked in for the better part of four and half minutes before a flying clothesline from Hawk gave the LOD the predictable win. 

This wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t all that entertaining either.
Your Winners: The Legion of Doom 

As Hawk and Animal celebrated, Gorilla Monsoon told us that we were going to his colleague, Shawn Michaels, who was standing by with Sid Justice.

WWF UK Rampage '92 - Sid Justice cuts a promo on The Undertaker


Monsoon, of course, meant Sean Mooney, who reminded Sid of his boast of being ‘The Master and Ruler of the World.’

Agreeing that he was exactly that, Sid referenced William McGivern’s best-selling novel, The Night of the Juggler, as he talked about picking up The Undertaker by his throat and slamming him to the mat. 

Sid was calculated, intense, and sinister, and it made for an awesome promo. Man, I can’t deny it, I love Sid.

Offering a retort, The Undertaker’s manager Paul Bearer warned Sid that there was no justice in death, before The Dead Man claimed to have followed his upcoming opponent across the sea just to give him a tombstone.

The two would meet next.

Sid Justice (w/ Harvey Wippleman) vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) 

After an introduction from Harvey Wippleman (who first threatened to slap referee Tim White), Sid made his way to the ring ranting about himself and referring to himself as “Sycho Sid” some 4 years before he would officially adopt that moniker. 

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Sid and The Undertaker square off



The match itself was nothing special. The Undertaker was still in his Zombie Mortician character which meant he did very little, and as awesome as Sid might have been, he wasn’t the guy to turn this into a stellar classic.

Still, while it wasn’t the greatest match in the world, Sid Justice vs. The Undertaker was still a spectacle in its own right, and -for nostalgia purposes if nothing else- this writer enjoyed watching it.

The end came when both men battled on the outside but ‘Taker took his sweet ass time getting back in the ring and was counted out.
Your Winner via Countout: Sid Justice

Post-match, The Master and The Ruler of the World rattled The Dead Man with a steel chair, only for ‘Taker to pop back up and plant his foe with a tombstone to the delight of the Sheffield faithful. 

Shawn Michaels is Shocking

With Sensational Sherri hanging from his body, Shawn Michaels told Sean Mooney that his good looks, his physique and his wrestling ability were all shocking, and tonight he was going to shock the world, not because he was the Shockmaster, but because he was going to dethrone Macho Man Randy Savage for the World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship.

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Sean Mooney interviews Shawn Michaels and Sensational Sherri



Michaels wasn’t quite the five-star promo he would later become here, but this was nonetheless a strong, confident performance from the future Hall of Famer. 

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss. Elizabeth) vs. Shawn Michaels (w/ Sensational Sherri)


Unless you know absolutely nothing about pro wrestling, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you when I say that Michaels vs. Savage was the best thing on the card up to this point. 

WWF UK Rampage 92 review - Shawn Michaels takes the fight to Randy Savage


I vaguely recall reading somewhere that one of the reasons Macho jumped ship from the WWF to WCW is that he wanted to work with guys like Michaels and Bret Hart and put them over in the ring, whereas Vince wanted one of the most popular guys in the company to focus on commentary.

 If that’s true, Vince was clearly losing the plot years ago, because if this was even a small taste of what Shawn and Randy could do together, then we missed out on some majorly impressive matches.

Of course, this was helped along a lot by Macho’s former queen, Sensational Sherri, who ran interference on her new boyfriend’s behalf throughout the entire thing and even put the boots in to Savage.

Making her final ever WWF appearance, Miss. Elizabeth also got involved, with all four participants helping build to an exciting finsih where Macho picked up the win thanks to a flying crossbody.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Randy Savage

Post-match, the bad guys attacked, but Sherri inadvertently hurt her man and left him laying as Savage and Liz celebrated.

The Bushwhackers Shag Sheep

For the second time in a row, Gorilla Monsoon told us that we were going to Shawn Michaels. This time, Bobby actually corrected him and reminded him that it would be Sean Mooney we’d be hearing from next.

WWF UK Rampage 92 review - Sean Mooney interviews The Bushwhackers



Mooney introduced The Bushwhackers who embraced what seemed like every single fan in the arena as they made their way to Mooney’s interview platform.

Seriously, Luke and Butch spent so long making their way to Mooney that it made one of The Undertaker's grand Wrestlemania entrances seem like a 100-metre spring by Usain Bolt.

When Mooney asked the New Zealanders how they found England, they insisted that they didn’t find it at all, but rather a plane did.

The misunderstandings continued until the cousins finally admitted that they loved the UK, its people, and even the sheep, claiming that the only downside was that you had to get up real early in the morning to get the attractive sheep.

I could be wrong, but did The Bushwhackers just openly admit to being sheep shaggers?

The Talking is Over

Out in the back, Lord Alfred Hayes caught up with The Mountie and Jimmy Hart.

The promo started in fine fashion as the two nefarious heels both boasted about the UK somehow falling under Mountie’s jurisdiction.

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Lord Alfred Hayes interviews The Mountie and Jimmy Hart


Things took an awkward and uncomfortable turn, however, when Mountie decided to drop some casual racism, implying not only that all black men look alike, but that they were all lazy and only fit for shining shoes.

Offering a reply, Virgil gave an angry interview to Sean Mooney, insisting that there was nothing wrong with shining shoes as it was a hard day’s work for a hard day’s pay.

I can’t argue with that, though I do have to question Virgil’s sanity when he claimed that he was going to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, just like…Frank Bruno.

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Sean Mooney interviews WWF Superstar Virgil



Honestly, in the 30+ years that I’ve been watching wrestling, that’s the first Virgil promo I’ve ever seen and, judging by the quality of it, I’m not surprised that I haven’t seen many more.

The Mountie (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Virgil 

If you were watching this match in the hope of seeing some excellent in-ring action, you’d be sorely disappointed.

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Virgil threatens to knock The Mountie's block off



Indeed, this wasn’t a stellar match, but it was entertaining in its own ridiculously exaggerated sort of way as both men spent most of the time doing the kind of spots that were great for the live crowd but not as fun when watching on TV.

The end came when Mountie jabbed Virgil in the belly with his cattle prod to retain the title.
Your Winner: The Mountie 

Out in the back, Sean Mooney interviewed The Model Rick Martel.

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Sean Mooney interviews The Model Rick Martel



After expressing his disappointment at the lack of class and fashion sense, The Model cut a decent (if strangely out of breath) promo in which he promised to dethrone Bret Hart and become the best-dressed Intercontinental champion ever.

In response, The Hitman was all business as he promised to leave England still with his gold in tact.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart vs. Rick ‘The Model’ Martel


I’m not sure if I’m alone in this, but I honestly expected more from this match.

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - The Model Rick Martel gets the better of Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart



Sure, this was two masters of their craft going at it, so it certainly didn’t suck and the action was pretty good, but they moved at such a slow pace that it really took the shine off what could have otherwise been a tremendous contest.

What was more disappointing was that, after being on the receiving end of Mattel’s offense for some time, Bret won the match with a quick small package from out of nowhere, cutting things short just when it was getting good.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Bret Hart

Backstage, Hacksaw Jim Dugan flushed the crapper and left the bathroom stall so that he could talk to Alfred Hayes about his upcoming battle of the titans with Repo Man.

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Hacksaw Jim Duggan promises to beat up Repo Man



He began by encouraging the UK fans to chant “USA” for him and then followed up with the best example I’ve ever seen of managing expectations as he told us that his upcoming bout wasn’t going to be a wrestling match with holds and takedowns but rather a good, old fashioned fight.

The Repo Man vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan 

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Hacksaw Jim Duggan promises vs. Repo Man

Duggan may have wanted the British fans to yell another country’s name, but at least he had the good sense not to bring his trusty US flag to ringside with him.

I’m sure that wouldn’t have gone down well.

Much as Hacksaw has promised, this wasn’t much of a wrestling match and was more about Duggan and Repo Man working the crowd in between bouts of clobberin’ on one another.

After a few minutes of uninteresting action, Repo walloped Hacksaw with his trusty grappling hook thingy and got himself disqualified.
Your Winner via DQ: Jim Duggan 

Post-match, Repo Man choked out his opponent,  Only for Big Jim to make the inevitable comeback and chase Repo off with his 2x4 to the delight of the audience.

Duggan then waited until his music had stopped to demand that it be turned off before leading the crowd in one last chant for a country thousands of miles away.

Macho Madness Running Wild, Yeah!

Once again, we went backstage to Sean Mooney, who was standing by with world wrestling federation champion Randy Savage and his lovely wife Elizabeth.

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Sean Mooney interviews WWF Champion Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss. Elizabeth



When he wasn’t losing his mind about he and Elizabeth having thousands of honeymoons in England, The Macho Man graciously put over both Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog though he insisted that as good as both of those men were, he was really only interested in facing Ric Flair again.

The British Bulldog Way


Prior to our main event, Alfred Hayes talked to the UK’s own British Bulldog.

WWF UK Rampage 1992 - Lord Alfred Hayes interviews The British Bulldog



Declaring the European Ramage tour to have been a successful time for both himself, his brother-in-law Bret Hart, and for Macho Man, Davey Boy bigged up the UK fans and promised that his opponent, IRS was “going down, The British Bulldog way.”

Honestly, I've always been a huge fan of The Brtish Bulldog, but this was a horrible promo from the Wigan-born star.

WWF Tag Team Champion Irwin R. Schyster (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The British Bulldog

Davey Boy was so over with his fellow countrymen that I bet he and IRS could have stood there for the whole match without so much as locking up and the fans would have still blown the roof off the place.

WWF UK Rampage 92 review - The British Bulldog soaks up the adoration of the UK fans as he prepares to face IRS




As it happens, they didn’t just stand there and they did lock up before giving us as entertaining a match as the two were capable of.

Though it obviously paled in comparison to the earlier Savage/Michaels bout, it was still a good effort that kept the crowd hot from start to finish and ended with a predictable (though no less satisfying) powerslam victory for The Bulldog.
Your Winner: The British Bulldog

As Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan signed off for the evening, Davey Boy scaled the ropes and celebrated his big win with a rapturous hometown crowd.

If you’re watching UK Rampage 1992 expecting to see a bunch of classic wrestling matches, you’re going to be disappointed.
Yes, Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Shawn Michaels was a great effort and worth tracking down, but other than that, there were not a lot of potential five-star classics on this card. 
If you were a fan back in the early 90s, however, and you watch this show purely for nostalgia’s sake, then I’m going to assume you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
After all, what it lacked in wrestling prowess, the show more than made up for with the larger-than-life characters and general sports entertainment craziness that made so many of us fans in the first place. 

PS: Don't forget to pick up your copy of The Complete History of WWE's UK PPVS: 1991 - 2003.




3 comments:

Shawn Michaels vs Macho Man should have been the main event.

Mostly agreed but they were riding on Bulldog's popularity so it makes sense, but HBK vs. Savage could've easily main evented any show in the land at that time.

I am really like your posts and websites so please post more like this information

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.