UK Rampage 1991! The first show I’ve reviewed to be held in the United Kingdom which should make this one interesting. This is only a month after the last PPV, Wrestlemania VII so you’d think there’d be a lot of re-matches….well there aren’t. See back in the 90’s Wrestlemania was the end of the wrestling year. So obviously all champions are still in tact although Intercontinental champion Mr Perfect and Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys won’t be on this card. So let’s get to it.
We start off with a video package of various wrestlers we can expect to see tonight. The likes of Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, The Warlord and British Bulldog. All the usual suspects. We then go to Vince McMahon and Rowdy Roddy Piper. They give us a run down of the card which includes Hulk Hogan defending his World Heavyweight title against former champion Sgt Slaughter as the main event. UK homeboy British Bulldog goes up against PPV debutant The Bezerker.
The Warlord vs. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
Well we’ve already had a screw up. What sounded like Jim Neidharts music played but out came The Warlord. Never the less, we have two big guys up against each other on PPV for the first ever time. Neidhart of The Hart Foundation and The Warlord of the Powers of Pain. Neidhart gets a good reaction, he’s popular. This isn’t the fast paced match you’d expect to open a show like this. Neidhart does well to get the crowd going though. It’s a slow start to the match with both guys trying to get the other down to the mat. Neidhart eventually barges Warlord out of the ring. Both of these guys are looking for a win following losses at Wrestlemania and The Royal Rumble.
In typical meathead fashion both men go for a power of strength but as The Warlord tries for a cheap show, Neidhart catches the leg, The advantage doesn’t last long though as Warlord hits an atomic drop and then clotheslines The Anvil to the outside. Piper refers to The Warlord as The Walrus and sings The Beatles classic. Piper isn’t bad on commentary but I’m sure he’d rather be in the ring. Warlord locks in a bearhug and squeezes the energy out of the crowd, I mean out of The Anvil. Anvil chooses to go over the top of The Warlord to escape. Not sure I’ve seen that before, especially from someone as big as Jim Neidhart.
This is the first time on PPV Jim Neidhart has had a singles match and every time he starts to come back, The Warlord hits him right back down. Warlord now has him in a chinlock. Piper continues to sell The Warlord who has dominated for most of this match. Sadly there have been way too many rest holds. Neidhart gets the advantage now though and hits a double axe handle off the middle rope. Again though The Warlord gets the advantage but it doesn’t last long as Warlord goes for a clothesline in the corner and Neidhart sidesteps before rolling Warlord up for the three count! McMahon calls it an upset but it is a big win for Jim Neidhart who is now pursuing a singles career!
Mene Gene now announces his special guest “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase with his manager, Sensational Sherri. These two joined forces at Wrestlemania following Dibiases loss to former bodyguard Virgil at Wrestlemania. Dibiase says that he and Sherri are an unstoppable machine. Dibiase says that Roddy Piper better watch the next match because what happens to Texas Tornado will be in Pipers future too. Piper trained Virgil at Wrestlemania for his match with Dibiase.
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase vs. The Texas Tornado
Tornado comes out to his country music and this is a big match for Kerry Von Erich following his victory at Wrestlemania over Dino Bravo. Tornado is very popular with the ladies in the London arena. Dibiase gets the early advantage with a cheap shot in the corner. He exits the ring but Tornado comes out him and takes him down on the outside before throwing him back in. Some classic heel tactics from the Million Dollar Man but they don’t get him too far as Tornado smashes his head off the turnbuckle ten times and the rolls him up for a two count before atomic dropping the former Wrestlemania main eventer to the outside.
Dibiase takes his time getting back in the ring but when he does The Tornado has the advantage again and once again clotheslines his opponent to the outside before smashing Ted and Sherri’s heads together. Eventually Dibiase gets the advantage as he sends Tornado into the ropes and Sherri trips him up. This allows Dibiase to to ground the former Intercontinental champion and throw him to the outside. This gives Sensational Sherri the opportunity to shove him into the ringpost. Dibiase throws his opponent back into the ring and continues the assault. Sherri once again gets involved as Dibiase distracts the referee. More great heel tactics. Ted hits a nice suplex and then points out towards Roddy Piper much to the colour commentators disdain.
Ted now locks in a sleeper as Sherri slaps the ring apron on the outside. This goes on way too long and as Tornado manages to escape he can’t keep the advantage. Dibiase goes up to the second rope and tries for a back elbow but Tornado moves! It’s The Texas Tornado with the advantage now and he locks on the claw! Dibiase manages to escape but Tornado follows up with a couple of clothesline and a bodyslam. Sherri once again grabs Tornados leg and he chases her from the ringside area. Dibiase comes to meet him and the two men scrap on the outside of the ring. Sherri once again gets involves, not allowing Tornado to get back into the ring and Dibiase slides back in to win the match by count out! Dibiase gets his comeuppance after the match from Tornado but it’s too little too late.
Backstage now to Haku who takes on Greg Valentine. Haku talks in a foreign language and then threatens to do the same to Mene Gene which is probably a bad thing.
Greg Valentine comes out to talk to Mene Gene at ringside now. Valentine has a jacket on that says “Hammer Time”. Nice, a nod to MC Hammer there. Valentine says he doesn’t know anything about martial arts but he does know about figure four leg locks.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Haku
Two guys both in need of a win tonight as I genuinely can’t remember the last time either of these guys won a match. Greg Valentine is coming off a face turn and subsequential loss to Earthquake. Haku was last seen teaming with The Barbarian and losing to The Rockers. Valentine starts well, sending Haku to the outside with an elbow to the head. Both men are former tag team champions . Haku now has the advantage hitting a couple of big backbreakers. Both of these guys are in the top ten for most PPVs appeared on and most losses. Haku has a slightly better record on PPVs but they’re both pretty horrendous. Haku locks on a camel clutch but Valentine powers back up to his feet.
As is the trend tonight, Haku keeps the advantage. And back to the Boston crab. Greg once again gets out of it but finds himself on the receiving end of an atomic drop. Finally though Valentine has the advantage, smashing Haku’s head off the turnbuckle. He hits a back elbow then tires for an elbow drop but misses. Both men go toe to toe and it’s Valentine back on top. The former Intercontinental champion then motions for the figure four and goes for it but Haku pokes The Hammer in the eye. Valentine once again goes for the figure four but Haku sends him into the turnbuckle. He irish whips Greg who sunset flips Haku and gets the three count! A huge win for Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and his first on PPV since Summerslam 89 (a debatable win at that).
Match Rating: 4/10
Mene Gene backstage now with The Rockers. Jannetty says they are there to take care of business. Michaels says they are rocking all over the UK.
And now Mene Gene is ringside and joined by his guests, Mr Fuji, Kato and Tanaka. Fuji says everyone will cry when The Rockers suffer. Mene Gene says the winner of this one will be in prime consideration for the tag team titles.
The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
This is somewhat of a rubber match as The Orient Express won the match between the two teams at Wrestlemania VI and The Rockers won the match at Royal Rumble 1991. Fuji attacks Jannetty with his cane before the bell but Marty is ok. McMahon sells the match as a handicap as it’s 3 on 2. An announcement is then made that if Mr Fuji is staying at ringside then The Rockers will go backstage and come back with a suprise! They must have some back up. And back they come with the 8th wonder of the world, Andre the Giant! He was Boss Mans back up at Wrestlemania and he’s helping out The Rockers tonight!
It’s Michaels and Kato that start the match and Kato gets the early advantage. This should be fast paced and exciting and arguably should’ve been the opener much like it was at the rumble. Shawn Michaels with the advantage now but in comes Jannetty and Tanaka. The Rockers are rocking as they knocks The Orient Express around like yesterdays laundry. Jannetty the legal man now as Roddy Piper does Mr Fuji impressions. Tanaka tagged now but Jannetty meets him with Shawn Michaels and the two men get Tanaka down. It’s Michaels now as the fast pace continues. Kato in and hits a big chop off the top rope. Michaels back in it with an arm drag and then tags in Marty. He struggles though as Tanaka holds him but as Kato attempts to hit him, Marty ducks and Kato hits his own partner.
Tanaka is tagged in though and he goes back and forth with Jannetty. The Orient Express haven’t actually won on PPV since they beat The Rockers at Wrestlemania VI. Michaels off the top now with a chop of his own. But in comes Kato. Michaels gets the upper hand after another arm drag on Kato and then locks in an arm bar. After some double teaming behind the officials back though it’s The Orient Express with the advantage. Marty reactions as you expect which allows Kato and Tanaka to continue to double team Michaels. The people gets behind The Rockers and Shawn Michaels who is locked in a reverse chinlock courtesy of Tanaka. Eventually Michaels gets out, at one point he has Tanaka on his shoulders and after a double team attempt from The Express, Michaels takes both men down and tags in his partner!
Jannetty comes in and takes down both men with clotheslines, powerslams and flying elbows! Kato is now the legal man and as the referee checks on Michaels, Fuji smashes Jannetty with his cane. Andre gets involved, taking out Mr Fuji and stealing his cane so he can hit Kato with it! Kato hits the deck and both Rockers jump off the top and pin Kato for the victory!
Now back to Mene Gene Okerland who is backstage with World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan. Hogan says he’s just had a spot of tea with The Queen. They reminisce back to 1984 when he first won the World Wrestling Federation title. He’s made history as the only three time champion. Hogan says Slaughter has committed crimes against mankind. He’s broken the code of ethics man.
A bit of Hogan music takes us back to ringside but then we’re straight back to Mene Gene who is now with Andre The Giant. He’s glad that he came over to England and he’s glad he helped out The Rockers.
As Andre walks out, in comes The Brooklyn Brawler. The Brawler hates the UK and he hates the people of the UK. The Brawler claims that Brooklyn is the number one place in the world.
And now in walks Jim Neidhart. He’s already got a big win over The Warlord tonight. Neidhart is going off in singles for a little bit and he reckons there are bigger and better things in the future. Oh, in walks The Warlord and as you’d expect, a brawl ensues. A brawl involving a nice wicker bench.
The Barbarian vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
Well it’s been over a year since The Barbarian last won on pay per view but Snuka has never won on PPV so both guys could do with the victory! Snuka looks like he’s wearing Fred Flinstones cast-offs. The crowd are definitely behind Snuka in this one and he is looking ripped. A slow and cautious start to the match. Both guys just look like they can’t be arsed at the moment. Barbarian hits a big powerslam but misses with the follow up elbow. It’s now Snuka that takes Barbarian down with a big cross body block. It’s back and forth as one man hits the deck and then the other.
Such a slow pace to this match. Bobby Heenan must not be on this tour as he would usually accompany Barbarian to the ring. Snuka hits some chops but Barbarian hits a big boot that sends Snuka reeling over the top rope. Barbarian meets his opponent outside and rams him into the ringpost. Some interesting commentary from McMahon and Piper about cows and them coming home. Barbarian suplex’s Snuka into the ring and the crowd boo. Although I’m not sure if the boos are because Barbarian has the advantage or because the match is so bad. Barbarian keeps the advantage as Snuka slowly gets back up to his feet. A loss for Snuka here would put him only one match away from Koko B Ware’s dismal pay per view record. Barbarian hasn’t won a match since he beat Tito Santana at Wrestlemania VI.
Barbarian gets a couple of near falls but Jimmy stays in the match. Piper sticks up for Snuka despite them having history that goes way back to the first Wrestlemania and beyond. Barbarian locks on a bear hug now. The referee has a fantastic mullet. The crowd get behind Snuka and after a few headbutts the somoan gets out of it. The crowd boo as the lights go out! But not on purpose, there’s clearly been a malfunction as a spotlight comes on the ring. Barbarian goes up to the middle rope now and JUST misses an elbow. Snuka drops a headbutt and gets a near fall. And now hits a clothesline and gets another near fall. With the spotlight on them Snuka hits some chops.
It’s back and forth as Snuka attempts a cross body and Barbarian sidesteps him and sends him flying over the top rope. Jimmy with a sunset flip to get back in and he gets a three count! Jimmy Snuka finally wins a match on pay per view! Not a good one by any means but a win is a win. I would’ve liked to have seen a Superfly splash but nope, a sunset win ends this one.
Backstage to Mr Fuji and The Berzerker. Just as Fuji gets started, the lights go out!
The Bezerker vs. The British Bulldog
This is the PPV debut for Thr Berzerker who wears a blue top and some very furry boots. The Bulldog comes to ringside with Winston and gets a huge ovation. He got a big win over The Warlord at the last PPV, Wrestlemania VII and he’ll be looking to follow that up with a win over another big guy in The Bezerker. Bezerker starts well, taking Bulldog down but Davey Boy is right back up. The fans are right behind the hometown boy in this one. Bulldog hits a dropkick but can’t get his opponent down! Bezerker goes down to his knees pretending to be a dog and Davey Boy goes down on his knees to meet him. The two men circle each other and Bezerker hits a couple of headbutts, JYD style!
The Bezerker has a lot more charisma than what I remember. He has the advantage now, choking the Bulldog on the top rope. He hits a knee drop, kicking his opponent grounded. Mr Fuji manages The Bezerker who slams Bulldog down but misses with the follow up legdrop. The big man still has the advantage though and hits a big flying shoulder block. Bulldog hasn’t had much of a look in this match but the crowd have been right behind him all the way through. Bezerker tries for another shoulder block but Bulldog sidesteps and hits one of his own! He goes for a powerslam but buckles under the weight.
The Bezerker is back on top, locking in some face hold.Bulldog gets out of it but still can’t get the advantage. Bulldog seems to have a cut lip now as his opponent kicks him to the outside. Back in the ring, Bulldog is tied up in the ropes which allows Bezerker to kick him in the face. He tries again but this time Bulldog gets out of it! Bulldog gets the advantage for a second but once again the newcomer throws him to the outside. And this time Fuji smashes Bulldog with his cane. This match so far has been ten minutes of The Bezerker whipping The British Bulldog. And it continues as Bezerker locks on a bear hug. And just as Davey Boy starts to get out of it, Bezerker nails a big stalling piledriver! He then goes up top but Bulldog rolls out of the way. Both men get back up and Bulldog clotheslines Bezerker out of the ring.
Back in and a big back body drop from the Bulldog. Followed by a big suplex and a near fall. Bulldog then gets The Bezerker up on his shoulder and hits the running powerslam! The referee counts the three and The British Bulldog wins the match in his home country! Bezerker off to a losing start but Davey Boy wins two singles matches out of two since returning to the WWE.
Rating: 6/10* Match Of The Night
Backstage now to Mene Gene and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Roberts says he’s failed a lot of tests in the past but it hasn’t stopped him from getting back up and trying again. He also says that neither he or his snake Damien like a cold shower.
Now to ringside with Mene Gene and his guest Earthquake. No sign of Jimmy Hart though. Earthquake doesn’t wank Jake Roberts to bring Damien anywhere near the ring. Quake claims to not be afraid of snakes.
Earthquake vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
I like this match between two upper carders. They’re both coming off big wins at Wrestlemania against Rick Martel and Greg Valentine respectively. As the bell rings, Earthquake refuses to get into the ring whilst Roberts and Damien are in there. Roberts puts the snake underneath the ring but as he slides back in, Quake attacks him. Oddly, I think I’m looking forward to this match more than any other on the card just because I can’t call which way it’ll go. Roberts uses his superior speed to sidestep Earthquake and hit him with jabs. Earthquake has spent more of his time since debuting feuding with Hulk Hogan. Roberts has spent most of the last year feuding with Rick Martel. They’re both in the upper card though. Earthquake uses his power to throw Roberts around but Jake keeps hitting his jabs, getting Quake down to one knee.
Roberts goes for the DDT but Earthquake holds onto the top rope. Earthquake goes out to pull the snake from under the ring but Roberts stops him. Earthquake tries to barge Roberts into the ringpost but misses. Both men look hurt now as they slide back into the ring. Roberts takes Quake down with a clothesline as the crowd chant for “DDT”. Jake goes for it but again no luck as he gets thrown into the corner. It’s advantage Earthquake as Jake Roberts sits in the corner holding his knee. Roberts makes the mistake of trying a powerslam but his knee can’t hold him. Earthquake locks in a leglock and continues to work the knee. He then bounces off the rope and hits an elbow, getting a near fall. He then goes for the Earthquake splash but Roberts slides out of the ring.
Quake then goes out and gets Damien. He throws the snake into the ring and once again motions for the Earthquake splash but Roberts pulls Quake’s leg! Earthquake hits the deck and Roberts gets back into the ring and pulls out the snake! Just as he does, the bell rings. As Earthquake runs to the back the announcement is made that Jake Roberts has been disqualified and Earthquake wins the match!
Now backstage to Mene Gene and the British Bulldog who beat The Bezerker earlier on. Bulldog is happy with his win and on May 2nd he takes on Mr Perfect for the “World Continental Title”, I think he means Intercontinental title.
Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Sgt Slaughter – World Heavyweight Title Match
Well this is the big one. Hogan v Slaughter for the world title. Wrestlemania VII main event re-match. General Adnan and Sgt Slaughter attack Hogan before the bell but Hogan soon hits the double noggin knocker and sends both men over the top rope! Hulk follows them out and grabs a Union Jack much to the crowds delight before choking Slaughter with it! Back in the ring and it’s all Hulk Hogan as he hits a back body drop and a clothesline before sending him back to the outside. Hogan throws Slaughter from one side of the ring to the other and it is all Hogan. The crowd are definitely behind the champion in this one.
Slaughter manages to barge Hogan out of the ring now and whilst he distracts the referee, General Adnan gets involved. Slaughter now has the advantage, not letting Hogan back into the ring. Eventually the Sarge does pull him back in though and he keeps the champ grounded with stomps. Outside of the ring now and Hogan gets thrown into the guardrail. Back in the ring and Slaughter hits a backbreaker. Slaughter makes the mistake of going up top though and Hogan gets up to his feet and rather awkwardly throws Slaughter off the top! Both men down now and trying to get up to their feet. Slaughter is up first and lays some boots into Hulks back. Slaughter now locks in an abdominal stretch and he uses the top rope for leverage.
Hogan reverses momentarily but Slaughter takes Hogan down and locks in the camel clutch! Hogan manages to get out of it though, sending Slaughter into the corner! It’s back and forth until Slaughter gets the advantage and goes up top! He hits a stomp from the top rope and then gets a near fall. But that near fall is the start of Hogans comeback! The champion Hulks up! He hits the big boot but as he locks in a headlock, Slaughter pushes him into the referee! The ref goes down and Adnan throws Slaughter a chair. A plastic garden chair. In a comedy moment Slaughter falls over with it. Slaughter then nails the referee with it, buying more time. He tires to hit Hogan but the champ gets out of the way. Hulk then hits another big boot but here comes Adnan! With Hogan distracted Slaughter grabs him. Adnan then throws some powder and Hogan ducks so Slaughter gets a face full! Hulk drops the leg and gets the three count! Hogan is still the champion as he celebrates in the ring!
Rating: 6/10* Match Of The Night
And there we have it, Uk Rampage 1991. It was a show that for the most part, sucked. It was all undercard talent like Jim Neidhart, Warlord, Barbarian, Haku, Greg Valentine, Jimmy Snuka and The Orient Express. Nobody really cares for them. The last three matches did redeem the card a bit, The Bulldog was popular and Roberts/Earthquake was a new combination that worked. Hogan and Slaughter was the true main event scene at the time so that match was good to end the night.
The show was missing the likes of The Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior, The Nasty Boys, Bret Hart, Mr Perfect, The Big Boss Man, The Legion Of Doom, The Mountie and Rick Martel.
Overall Rating: 47/100 (Ranked #10 out of 21)
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After this PPV, Jake and Earthquake’s feud continued, with a rematch scheduled for the April 27th episode of Superstars.
As the match got underway, Jimmy Hart tackled referee Earl Hebner, allowing Earthquake to tie Jake up in the ropes and then squash Damien (who was still in his bag) with two Earthquake splashes.
The original broadcast interrupted the footage of Earthquake landing on Damien with cutaway shots to Sean Mooney cringing at the Events Center, while the uncut version of Earthquake landing on Damien was shown on the April 30th episode of Prime Time Wrestling the following week. In reality, the snake bag that Earthquake flattened actually contained pantyhose stuffed with hamburger meat.
After Earthquake did his two splashes and then left ringside with Jimmy, Jake opened the bag, flipped out, and was absolutely devastated over the death of his pet.
Afterwards, Earthquake served “Quakeburgers” on Prime Time Wrestling. But they were actually snakeburgers as Earthquake’s way of rubbing salt in Jake’s wounds!
Eventually, after a brief encounter in a battle royal at the April 27th 1991 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, Jake went on the Barber Shop on the May 12th episode of Wrestling Challenge to unveil Damien’s big brother Lucifer to torment Earthquake throughout the summer.
Meanwhile, around the same time as this feud, Andre the Giant had been considering a return to the ring, and was approached by various heel managers to join forces with them, only for Andre to turn them down in humiliating ways.
First off, on the March 31st episode of Wrestling Challenge, Andre’s former manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan tried to bury the hatchet with Andre after accidentally slapping him the year before, and they shook hands… only for Andre to crush Heenan’s hand, and then stand on it with his large foot.
Next, Andre was at a bar with Pat Patterson and Arnold Skaaland when Sensational Sherri showed up and convinced Andre to let her be his manager. But Andre refused, bent Sherri over the bar, and started spanking her until she ran off, allowing Andre to resume his drinking with Patterson and Skaaland.
Third, “The Doctor of Style” Slick bought Andre a new car, only to get thrown into the boot.
Fourth, Mr. Fuji had a go by offering Andre a big cake at a restaurant, and Andre pushed Fuji’s face into the cake.
Finally, the last manager to try his luck at recruiting Andre was Jimmy Hart. On the June 1st episode of Superstars, Jimmy told Mean Gene and the whole world that he had succeeded at signing Andre to team with Earthquake.
But when Andre denied the claims, Earthquake attacked him from behind, injuring Andre’s knee in the process! In reality, Andre’s body was still growing due to the gigantism that he had since childhood, so this angle was written as an excuse for him to get around on crutches.
Two weeks later, on the June 15th episode of Superstars, Earthquake teamed with the the Nasty Boys against Tugboat and the Bushwhackers, where Tugboat betrayed the Bushwhackers and sided with Earthquake, Jimmy, and the Nasties. Two days later on the June 17th episode of Prime Time Wrestling, Jimmy announced that Tugboat was renamed Typhoon, as well as formed a new tag-team with Earthquake called the Natural Disasters.
And so, on July 1st at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Jake and Earthquake faced off once again, but this time, Jake had formed a new alliance with Andre since they had feuded nearly three years earlier in late 1988. Jake managed to defeat Earthquake by pinfall with the DDT, and then scare him off with Lucifer.
The Jake/Earthquake feud ended with a fizzle on the August 5th episode of Prime Time Wrestling, where Jake defeated Typhoon by disqualification when Earthquake interefered, only for Andre to make the save. According to WWF Magazine, there was a big tag-team match planned for SummerSlam 1991, which would’ve involved Jake and Andre teaming up against the Disasters. That sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? But, since Andre’s immobility was getting worse and worse, that match was never going to happen.
So, the feud was quietly dropped, and the Disasters ended up squashing the Bushwhackers at SummerSlam before moving on to feud with the Legion of Doom, while Andre left the WWF at the end of 1991, and Jake got involved in another feud.