Had timing permitted, Rampage Brown may very well have been one of the pillars of NXT UK. One of the most experienced and well-travelled performers on the British wrestling scene over the past decade – which included a few fleeting appearances in WWE’s FCW brand and ECW – found himself wrestling everywhere but NXT. That was until his debut for the brand in late 2020.
Inside The Ropes‘ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy sat down with Rampage to chat about his long-overdue WWE signing, facing WALTER at NXT UK TakeOver: Prelude, and which star in WWE has grabbed his attention.
Rampage! Now what a start you’ve had to life as an NXT UK Superstar. I mean, “about time” with regards to you signing, which we’ll get to – but I need to start off by asking about that match with WALTER. There was a slight annoyance for me in that not enough people were talking about it!
Obviously WALTER faced Ciampa the night before, it was WrestleMania week, but you guys put on a match that was up there with everything else that week – and all in front of no crowd. I know the attendance og fans doesn’t eradicate pain, but the adrenaline must help. What was it like being part of such a brutal match – but in a silent arena?
Yeah, it’s always going to be always going to be easier when there’s fans there, obviously the adrenaline and all that kind of stuff, but when you’re standing across from WALTER, you realise it’s… Literally, you just fall into fight or flight mode. Once you take that first chop, once you take that first bit of impact, it’s game on from then on. You forget about everything and it’s just me and him and just surviving, and not even surviving, just letting them know I’m there as well, you know.
Obviously you know it was well-received now, but you didn’t have the fans in the building to let you know. Did you get any particular comments from Shawn Michaels, Johnny Saint or any of your peers in the aftermath?
After that match, I just went to the locker room and hid away. Yeah, yeah. Obviously, everybody was really happy with the match and high on the bout or whatever.
[Kay Lee Ray: “It was incredible. I was cheering for you. I know WALTER’s the other longest reigning champion but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t ready for another Rampage match! I was like that, ‘I thought you had it, pal!’]
I was a bit gutted with the outcome but it’s one of those things. Hopefully we get to do it again, and there will be crowds there, and we get to get a bit more mileage out of it, you know.
So, I mentioned it before that Rampage joining WWE seemed long overdue. You know, everyone who has watched any kind of wrestling in the UK before NXT UK was a thing probably knows Rampage Brown and, I mean, if there was anyone who didn’t know who you were, your name says it all and your initial run in WWE has lived up to that moniker.
For me, when I first heard you were joining, all I thought was “about time!” Had there ever been talks about joining WWE before?
Yeah, so right at the beginning, there was contact then. At the time, I had other things going on and then there was a couple, throughout the years, there’s been a couple of conversations, but everything just lined up, everything just lined up. I was completely free at the time. I got a phone call and I was like, you know, “It’s where I want to be. It’s only a matter of time.” I always knew it was only a matter of time until I was here, so everything just kind of, “Let’s go. Let’s do this.”
So, Meiko Satomura has recently joined NXT UK, you’re on a similar scale in terms of joining when your stock is high, when you’re firmly established. You are a veteran in every sense but you’re new to the locker room. I want to ask, how has it been joining a young locker room? Do you walk in and instantly become a leader, or has anyone been particularly welcoming?
Everybody! Everybody’s been welcoming. I mean, again, over the years, I’ve got relationships with everybody coming in pretty much so it’s literally just like walking into any locker room over the years, it’s familiar faces and friends and the respect’s there, open arms. Basically, they’ve allowed me into the locker room. So, yeah, there’s a few people that haven’t interacted with a lot like Ilja and guys like that but same thing, though. As soon as I’ve come in, they know what I’m all about. So they’ve literally been the same way.
[Kay Lee Ray: “There’s always alliances in wrestling, everyone’s going to go with their pals.]
The respect is there, and it’s been a warm welcome… Until we get in the ring and then…things change.
So, I mentioned you coming in as a veteran, you mentioned that everyone has welcomed you in. My favourite thing about NXT UK recently has been the complete overhaul and the new beginning seeing people like Pretty Deadly, Aoife Valkyrie, and others getting time to shine, and making us sit up and take notice. As a veteran, who is someone you’ve noticed putting in that time, putting in that effort, always eager to learn. Beyond what we’re seeing on TV right now, who we should keep an eye on?
You know, one that’s really opened my eyes is Saxon Huxley! He’s really turned the corner and he’s really kind of… Like, I see a different look in his eye and he’s always picking my brains for stuff so I can see good things for him in the future. Definitely.
Thanks to Rampage Brown for taking the time and to WWE United Kingdom for facilitating the chat. You can follow Rampage Brown on Twitter for more.
You can watch Rampage Brown every week on NXT UK, which is available via the WWE Network at 8pm every Thursday, then on BT Sport every Friday.