#WF108 – Rampage ’92
James Dixon: This tape is also known as US Rampage ‘92 in the United Kingdom. Sean Mooney presents from the wild west, where he SHOOTS DEAD a man who was merely trying to get his attention. Hell, Sean, talk about an overreaction. I am genuinely stunned by that!
Razor Ramon vs. The Undertaker
Ramon is undefeated on TV in the WWF, and this match comes from Hershey, Pennsylvania in September 1992. These two also have a match in a few tapes time on Invasion of the Bodyslammers, but it is not the same one. I don’t know who this “Razzer” character is that Hayes keeps talking about… Taker chokes out Razor in the early going, before continuing to dominate on the outside. Taker with a big slam, but he misses an elbow drop. Razor throws in a few shots, but Taker counters by giving him a stun gun on the ropes. Back and forth now with Asiatic thrusts and punches, which Taker wins, and he goes up for the rope walk, but Razor pulls him off and throws him to the outside. It is your usual standard Undertaker match from the time, which is a slow, plodding pace and a lack of selling. Actually that is a little unfair, because Taker DID sell the moves, just not the effects of them. He actually deserves a lot of credit for his facials after a chair shot from Razor on the outside. Why would you do an abdominal stretch on Taker though Razor? Foolish man. Taker gets out easily. This is why I hate it when guys have the same moves in every match, because with some opponents it just doesn’t make sense. Razor doing a sleeper hold is a curious choice as well, because Taker is never going to lose to that. Taker comes back with a flying clothesline, but Razor escapes out of the ring on a Tombstone attempt, and walks away. Taker follows and the match ends a double count out. It’s a copout finish, because they couldn’t beat either guy. Like I said; the usual Taker match from the time.
Final Rating: *
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Bret Hart (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
We are in Ottawa, Ontario and this is from June 1992. Once again, Invasion of the Bodyslammers has the same singles pairing, and once again it is different here. That just shows how few guys they had on the roster in 1992, because they are having to recycle things over and over here just to put a tape together. Not that I mind with these two guys though! Hmm, Bret vs. Shawn in Canada with a title on the line… Sean (Mooney) just said it was a “Sunny day” out when Bret gave a kid his glasses. Oh yeah, Sean? Was Bret seeing some Sunny days too? The parallels here are spooky. The opening segment in this is great; perfect chain wrestling, with smooth counters, and all done so quickly. They have done more already than Razor and Taker did all match. Bret is all over Shawn for the first few minutes, working spots out of an arm bar, before Michaels takes Hart out with a knee to the gut. Sean Mooney thinks that Shawn Michaels has a weight advantage over Bret Hart, which is an absolutely ridiculous claim. Like Hayes, Mooney is completely out of his mind at times. Sherri gets involved as Shawn is now firmly in control. Chinlock from Shawn, who knocks Bret straight back down when he mounts a comeback. It’s a shame they are going all WrestleMania XII on us, because this was superbly paced at the beginning. Bret catches a cradle for a near fall out of no-where, but Shawn cuts him off and goes back to the chinlock for a third time. Bret fires out, so Shawn puts on a sleeper, but Bret rams him into the buckles. Shawn fires back with a dropkick. Hayes annoys me again here by doing something he has done in the past, saying that a Michaels dropkick didn’t quite have the impact he was hoping for, and it got Bret “mainly in the elbows”. Way to EXPOSE THE BUSINESS, you gormless twat. That is how you TAKE a dropkick safely, and by all accounts it looked like a perfectly good dropkick, with plenty of height and contact, and a quick snap bump from Bret. It was not as if it missed by miles and Hayes was covering it. What an absolutely idiotic and needless thing to say. Bret gets his feet up on a Shawn charge in the corner and he hits a clothesline, before going to his five moves of doom, but Michaels kicks out at two. They exchange a few near falls, before clashing heads in the middle of the ring. Shawn manages to hit the superkick and goes for the teardrop suplex, but Hart rolls out of it into another close two count. They exchange pin attempts again, before Shawn accidentally runs into Sherri on the apron and Bret rolls him up again, this time for the win. Slightly boring chinlock section aside, this had flashes of brilliance, particularly early into the bout and at the finish. A very good outing between these two guys, made all the more enjoyable in retrospect by knowing their history together.
Final Rating: ***¾
Makeup Tips With Sensational Sherri
The woman that Sherri gives a makeover to looks like a post-op transsexual. She has a nose like a boxer. When we get the big reveal, she has makeup like Sherri, and now she is primed for a career in niche porn. Woeful segment, but mercifully short. Why did they bother to include nonsense like this?
Sean Mooney gets his ass kicked at a saloon in the wild west before the next match. Must be the family and friends of the guy he KILLED IN COLD BLOOD at the start of the tape.
40-Man Battle Royal
This comes from June 1992 in Hamilton, Ontario and there are far too many guys in there to name. Though I probably couldn’t name them all if I tried, because the ring is filled with complete jabronis. Some examples? Barry Hardy, The Dublin Destroyer, Phil Apollo, Duane Gill, Glen Ruth (later Headbanger Thrasher) and Jerry Davis. Seriously, the likes of Skinner and Jim Brunzell are stars in this one! Despite Coliseum being known for their clipping-happy butchery, we still get to watch EVERYONE come to the ring. Thankfully they don’t get their own introductions. The sight of so many guys in there is an impressive visual, though the ring clears out fairly quickly, as you might expect. It is a case where being too close to the ropes leads to elimination, due to overspill more than anything else. The TV job guys look absolutely thrilled to be in there, and most of them are beaming with smiles while throwing their fake looking punches. One of them looks like Sting, only without the face paint. Hayes thinks the best thing to do in a battle royal is to get near the ropes, rather than stay in the middle of the ring. What an unbelievably asinine theory. Skinner and Martel are two of the first to go, which is astonishing when you look at the guys in this thing. They had clearly worked already and couldn’t be bothered. Same for Sags. Hayes calls Duane Gill’s elimination, yet I see him in there battling with IRS. At least one of us has any clue who is in this thing, huh? Virgil is just blatantly refusing to sell for most of the jobbers. Who the hell do you think you are Virgil? You are only one step above their level yourself! If a new heel came into the WWF in 1992, he would always demolish Virgil first. The final four here are Bret Hart, the British Bulldog and both of the Beverly Brothers. What a strange final four. Bulldog bundles Bret out accidentally, leaving him 2-on-1, like he always was in these matches. He gets rid of both Beverlys to win it, and he really was the WWF’s king of battle royals in 1991/92. Fun battle royal, mainly because of how utterly non-descript the majority of the talent was; it made it perversely entertaining.
Final Rating: **
Rick Martel vs. Tatanka
We remain in Ontario though this time we are in Ottawa, and this comes the night after the last match. It is also the same show as the Bret-Shawn match from earlier in the tape. The majority of this release is made up from a series of shows that the WWF ran in Ontario in the first week of June. No less than five of the bouts come from those three nights. It is the usual cost-cutting from Coliseum and the WWF that has become the norm going into 1992. Martel and Tatanka had a long running issue all throughout the year, after Martel stole Tatanka’s sacred feathers. They worked a couple of PPV matches opposite each other in 1992 as well. It was a long running but boring series of matches and Martel was clearly being used to help Tatanka get over due to his veteran status. Martel was approaching the end of his usefulness as a top performer and had been reduced essentially to a comedy character by 1992. Generic filler match from these guys, with Tatanka going over with a roll-up after Martel spent too long posing. This was not an entertaining series at all; it never ended.
Final Rating: *
Back in the wild west, and Mooney takes another deserved beating. He throws a lame punch of his own, but hurts his hand. The dude beating on him pulls out a gun, but Mooney ducks and the shot kills an innocent bystander. That makes it TWO lots of blood on your hands Sean. He shows no remorse. No wonder he disappeared from the WWF soon afterwards; he was probably in jail!
The Beverly Brothers & The Genius vs. The Legion of Doom & Paul Ellering
We move away from Canada and go to Glens Falls, New York, but we are still in June ’92. It is very interesting to see Ellering wrestle, especially in a WWF ring. He was actually a very good worker until injury ruined his career. He is still in damn good shape here. The Genius is very underrated as a wrestler too, and the best exchanges in this could well come from the managers. It is they who start the match, and a backslide from the Genius nearly gets a quick pin. Ellering hits his trademark neckbreaker, but gets caught in the wrong corner and double teamed. Already though, Ellering looks like a far better worker than many of the guys on the roster. Animal tags in and stops Ellering from being slammed, but quickly gets double teamed. It doesn’t last long, and he hits a powerslam on Blake, leading to the Beverlys regrouping on the outside. There is a funny spot back inside, as Beau poses to the fans and Hawk just growls at him as he turns around, bumping Beau and sending him out of the ring. It amused me at least! Hawk can’t be bothered selling anything here, and so just tosses the Beverlys around the ring. In one sense this is fine, because the LOD shouldn’t really be selling for the nondescript and bland Beverlys, but at the same time, it doesn’t exactly bring any drama to the match. Eventually we get a short heat segment, but even then Hawk never looks in any danger. Now would be a good time to point out yet again that Hayes uses the word “shellacking” far too much. Animal gets the tag and busts out the dropkick and flying tackle, but Beau prevents a pin. Double teaming Animal has little effect either, and he hits a double DDT and a powerslam on Beau. Hawk comes off top with a splash and that is enough for the win. I would have liked to have seen more of Ellering and the Genius, because after their opening exchange it just became a straight up Beverlys-LOD match, and was thus pretty dull.
Final Rating: *½
Tito Santana & Virgil vs. Money Inc.
This is from Landover, Maryland in September 1992, the day after the card that the opening match took place on. Santana is firmly into the El Matador gimmick by now and relegated to the status of jobber. He could still go when he wanted to, but his motivation was clearly long gone. He really doesn’t look good in long tights; they make him look incredibly skinny and his upper body small. He also looks about ten years older with his hair tied back as well. Alternatively, DiBiase looks great in white trunks. Hayes is especially dense again here, saying the name Irwin is good and that it was good enough for President Eisenhower. That is all well and good, but his name was DWIGHT. There is incompetence, there is completely inept and then a million miles further down the scale, there is Lord Alfred Hayes. Anyone who thinks Michael Cole is bad, should listen to him and reassess. Cole is appalling, sure, but Hayes is so much worse. The match is your usual Money Inc. fare with the usual cheat to win finish. Virgil goes to suplex IRS back inside the ring from the apron, and DiBiase grabs his leg and holds onto it for the win. It’s the old Rude-Warrior-Heenan classic from WrestleMania V.
Final Rating: *
Macho Man Randy Savage (c) vs. Repo Man
What kind of nonsense is this? In what reality is Repo Man even close to being able to challenge for the title. I like Barry Darsow and especially his work as Demolition Smash, but I HATED the Repo Man gimmick. Repo tries to steal the belt and runs back down the aisle with it, but Savage chases him and brings him back. Hayes doesn’t understand why Savage has done that. Erm, maybe so they can actually have the match and so he can prove himself as a fighting champion in the ring? Next he will be telling Savage to just take a defeat and get the belt back in the rematch, like he suggested seconds before Savage beat Shawn Michaels on the World Tour 1992 tape. Repo takes over on Savage but gets caught with a crossbody from the top, that gets a two count, but Repo regains control. A snapmare gets two, and Repo goes to a chinlock, but Savage escapes and hits a shoulder block and a back elbow, but gets cut off with a knee to the gut before getting tied up in the ropes. Repo removes the turnbuckle pad and while the referee is trying to put it back, Repo nails Savage with his steel hook, which of course Hayes approves of. Repo goes for a pin, but Savage gets his foot on the rope, as Hayes comments that Savage “is looking lethargic”, “has done nothing in this” and that Repo Man will win the title. Yeah ok pal, and overnight you will turn into a competent commentator while a bunch of pigs fly out of my arsehole. He is soon at it again, saying Savage has taken a lot of risks that haven’t paid off, as he misses a double axe handle from the top. Well, considering he uses that move a number of times every match, I would hardly call it a risk. My god, my head is about to explode. Repo tries to use his hook, but the referee stops him, and Savage uses it himself, before hitting the top rope elbow drop to win the match and retain the title. Eat your words Hayes. I don’t know if that was any good or not, I was too distracted by his Lordship.
Final Rating: **
Sean Mooney is stood atop of a large building as a bunch of pissed off westerners take pot shots at him with their pistols. Where do I sign up for a go of that?
The Ultimate Warrior & The Undertaker vs. Papa Shango & The Berzerker
The final match of the tape comes from Cornwall, Ontario in June 1992, and also features on the Ultimate Warrior tape released later in the year, and what a curious match it is. Taker was working a rather uninspired program with Berzerker at the time, and obviously Shango and Warrior had feuded, though it has to be said, neither rivalries are exactly classics. Taker and Warrior is certainly a strange teaming as they had a series of matches themselves in 1991, usually body bag matches that headlined B-shows, prior to Warrior leaving the company at SummerSlam ‘91. Taker pairs off with Berzerker once things get going, and the latter hits an impressive dropkick to send Taker outside. Taker lands on his feet, and throws Berzerker into the steps. Warrior comes in and hits a big slam, and a pair of clotheslines in the corner. An observation: Warrior was nowhere near as over in 1992 as he was before he left. The crowd used to go absolutely crazy for Warrior when he was at his peak, but the response to him and the match generally has been lukewarm at best. Though this did come at the end of a monster taping, where the WWF filmed an incredible two month’s worth of matches for Prime Time Wrestling. Berzerker, Taker and Shango had already worked prior to this too. The crowd were probably burnt out from some of the dire and endless squash matches they had seen. Warrior was a strange choice to take the heat here, because Taker is not exactly capable of making a quick hot tag in ’92. Taker also sells better, so it’s a bit baffling all around. Either way, Warrior wins by pinning Berzerker with the usual, and that is the end of the tape.
Final Rating: ¼*
Summary: A one match tape if there ever was one, with Bret-Shawn the only real highlight from an in-ring perspective. Seeing Sean Mooney commit murder is certainly different, and the battle royal is car crash viewing, but the rest stinks. The worst thing on the tape doesn’t occur in the ring though, because that dishonour belongs to the unbearably bad Lord Alfred Hayes, who ruins every match he commentates on with his stammering, bumbling idiocy. Watch Shawn-Bret and don’t bother with the rest. The mildest of mild recommendations.