Picture Credit: Rob Brazier Jr.
Rampage Brown is a well known figure on the UK circuit, featuring on many of the top cards around the country. As an ex WWE employee and recently featured on TNAs Bootcamp, there aren’t many on the scene as well respected as Rampage.
When you started out in the world of wrestling, where did you train and who trained you?
I started out with Chris Curtis at GBH in Stoke and then went on to learn from the late, great Drew McDonald.
Your first match for Brian Dixon’s All Star Wrestling was some form of tag match, any memories of that match?
My first All Star match was a 4 way tag team match with Mike Whiplash, Robbie Dynamite and a few others in Leeds Town Hall.
You also spent a large chunk of your early career wrestling for All Star, what was the reason you stayed?
The reason I was with All Star so long was because it was regular work. And you had the chance to learn from real wrestling veterans, those that had travelled the world and could teach me the job properly. I wanted to learn the job the right way.
After making an impact on the UK scene you were signed to a developmental contract with the WWE, how did that come about and what was the experience like?
I’d done some extra work for them and tryouts a few years before I was signed. It was Drew that arranged the British guys at the time to work with the WWE. So it was through him.
Before you signed with the WWE, you made an appearance on the ECW brand against Mark Henry, was that a memorable moment for you?
That was 2 years before I signed. It was a memorable moment. It was great being in front of 20,000 fans. And looking back, I still feel very privileged I got the opportunity at the time.
After some time over in Florida in the developmental system you parted ways with the WWE, how did that feel at the time?
I was happy to leave, I actually asked for my release. I was very unhappy there. I can’t go into everything. But one of the reasons was I was constantly getting hurt in training, being a rubbing rag for guys that didn’t know their own strength. So I was just a stunt dummy in training all week. Then when the FCW house shows came around on the weekend, I was left to sell merch or be car park attendant. Even guys like Alex Koslov were getting the same treatment. It just made no sense to me how it worked. It took about 5 years off my career being there; getting bumped day in day out. But I did get some quality time to learn from the best. Ricky Steamboat helped me loads! Also William Regal when he came down, he took the time out to help me too. He’s an amazing teacher. And great people too.
These days, you’re better known for your work on the UK scene and as a participant on TNA’s British Bootcamp 2. What’s it like being known as one of the most well regarded figures in the UK and what was it like being part of the Bootcamp process?
I don’t see myself as highly regarded. There so many talented guys on the top of their game in Britain and Europe. Guys like Mastiff, Tommy End, Bubblegum, Zach Gibson the list goes on. And I’m just happy to be involved with such a talented bunch of guys. As for the Bootcamp thing, I despise reality TV! And the idea of us being wannabes, trying to get our big break in the US, really annoyed me and a few of us. It wasn’t like that for some of us in the competition. To me, it was two weeks work for some good money. They just wanted to make a TV show about us looking like marks wanting to be in TNA. In my head, I was thinking; if they wanted us, they wouldn’t make us jump throw hoops for a job. Plus, more than anything, I’m more than happy where I am in life anyway, what with my schedule as it is here in the UK and having a family here to take care of too. Plus, I’ve had my time in the States and it wasn’t much write home about to be fair.
Last year at the PCW-ROH SuperShows, you faced the likes of reDRagon, Dave Mastiff, The Briscoes and The Decade. What was it like facing some of the top names on the indy scene?
Mastiff is fantastic if you ask me, he’s a guy that should be working in Japan right now. He’s one of the guys I have 110 % respect for, in and out of the ring. There are loads of great guys, as I mentioned before, Tommy End has a great look and style in the ring and he is legit! Bubblegum is so fun to watch, he’s crisp in the ring and hard working. Zach Gibson has turned it up to a whole new level. So has Nathan Cruz, their work is great to watch. And watching the matches they have together is outstanding. The intensity and pace they work at is great. John Conners is another great talent I’ve been in the ring with, who is smooth in the ring and smart to the game. T Bone is a total workhorse and a tuff fucker to boot! Kirby is another work horse; he’s such a diverse guy. One minute he’s a guy in a mask as Ego Dragon, next thing he’s wearing a dress and a wig! Then he’s having duvet matches in his pj’s and people love it. I know I do. Oh and I loved the Briscoes, they’re really cool guys. We all beat the shit out of each other, it was great!
Also last year, you faced DJ Hyde on the TCW vs CZW event, what was it like facing the top guy/promoter from the infamous CZW?
Well, that morning, I woke up with a broken nose and a concussion from the weekend when another import drilled me with a fore arm right across the face; so needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to working that night at all. I was in a lot of pain and the ring TCW used that night was a death trap. But I got out of the match without any further injury. So I was just happy at that. But most fans looking at it would be over the moon getting matches with Americans they have seen on some indy shows in the US. But speaking for myself, I don’t care. I respect them as much as they respect me.
You’ve held many titles throughout your career, including the NGW, PROGRESS & TCW championships to name but a few. For you personally, which holds the most cache for you?
They all represent something different; PROGRESS and NGW are two different styles. TCW has it’s own thing too. But one I’m proud of the most, is holding the British Heavyweight belt with All Star. The men that have held that title and made that belt before I got there were Dave Tayler, Fit Finlay, Drew McDonald, Tony Sinclair and Robbie Brookside. That belt holds some amazing history, so to be part of that, is a blessing.
What are your plans for the rest of this year?
My plan for the year is to stay healthy, get better and get a thicker neck and a stronger grip!
Is there anything else you’d like to say, add or plug?
Follow me on Twitter @rampgebrown. A message to anyone who is looking to take up pro wrestling; when you’re looking for a wrestling school, look at what the teachers have done first and what he’s archived before handing over your money for any kind of training. Anyone can get a ring and rent a hall unfortunately.
Thanks to Rampage for taking time out to answer our questions.