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Movies, Bizarreness, and Wrestling: The Greatness that is Dennis Rodman

Posted by Blake Murphy on April 17, 2008

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

“Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college, where you figure out two plus two is 10, or something.” – Dennis Rodman

So a quick backstory. I’m supposed to be working very hard right now; I have a research deadline coming up for my big (read: thesis) paper “International Financing Models of Long-Term Care.” I’m light years behind where I should be. Maybe the problem is I’m trying to find out how 2+2=10…

I am also in Austria, a German speaking country. I speak no German. Despite this handicap, I still enjoy watching poorly dubbed, bad movies. So when I was procrastinating and saw that Double Team was on, I just couldn’t say no. This was an award winning film! Rodman was even honored at the Golden Raspberry Awards, walking away with three; Worst New Star, Worst Supporting Actor and Worst Screen Couple (shared with Van Damme). How can you beat Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman, bits and pieces of partial nudity, and as the icing on the cake, it’s all in German? That’s a winning combo right there. That cast could challenge the 95-96 Bulls, the 07-08 Patriots, the 85 Bears, the 05-06 USC Trojans and the Mega Powers for the title of Greatest Team of All Time.

And it got me thinking, isn’t Dennis Rodman great? Truly, truly great!

“For five years I’ve felt like the best prostitute in a high-class whorehouse. But all the other girls get paid more than I do.” – Dennis Rodman

He is a great actor. Just look at some of his credits; though I haven’t seen it, I can assume his stint as the “Warden” in David Koechner’s The Comebacks deserved top billing. He was also in Cutaway, a TV movie that also featured Tom Berenger and my third favorite Baldwin brother, Stephen. Cutaway is so good, it currently has a 5.1/10 rating on IMDB. That’s impressive, Paris Hilton is very jealous. And that’s not to mention two appearances on Stripper’s Ball; Rotten Tomatoes describes the special as follows, “Taking a cue from Snoop Dogg, Dennis Rodman hosts this salacious video event. Here, the former basketball star dresses stylishly while women who appear to desire sex with the rebound champ take off any stylish clothing they may have worn entering the festivities.” If that’s not the best premise in the world, other than MILF Island, I don’t know what is…

The fact that I’m almost 150 words into talking about Rodman and I haven’t mentioned Simon Sez yet is a crime. What you need to know: Rodman gets top billing as Simon, a younger Dane Cook gets second billing. Though its IMDB rating is only 2.1, it can’t be that bad. Let’s see what the kids are saying on the ole’ message boards…(unedited, though I really wanted to)… “Some films are so poor that and unintentionally amusing that they become quite enjoyable. However, one occasionally comes across a film which is so poor that any enjoyment one might have been able from the poor script, poor acting, poor continuity and the sense of “i can’t believe they are taking this seriously” is eroded within the first half hour.” Later, “i didn’t rent the film but watched it on cable…though i am tempted to unsubscribe after this, and, finally, this “film” got my mind back on doing some out of work reading on the financial markets.” And the icing on the cake? “DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM. IF GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN PAINFUL TOOTH EXTRACTION AND THIS MASTERPIECE, GO TO THE DENTIST. DENTAL PAIN GOES GOES AWAY PRETTY QUICKLY, THIS MAY WARP YOU FOR LIFE! I think he liked it, don’t you? Maybe reading Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style would’ve been a better choice than watching movies on cable…like I’m one to judge.

In his post playing days, Mr. Rodman has also become a celebrity in his own right; frequently appearing as “Himself.” I’m sure Pros vs. Joes, Celebrity Love Island, Celebrity Mole Yucatan, and Celebrity Big Brother are all saved on your PVRs and Tivos. But how did he reach this standalone celebrity status?

Some will suggest it’s because he became a caricature. After winning 2 NBA Championships and 2 Defensive Player of the Year awards with the Detroit Pistons, Rodman took his craft to San Antonio where he teamed with David Robinson. In San Antonio, his behavior became more and more erratic. He was in a “relationship” with Madonna, began dying his hair bizarre colors, covered his body in tattoos and piercings, and started on-the-court arguments with his teammates and coach. Not only did he begin to look like a bad boy, his bad boy antics really picked up.

“I wear women’s leggings under my clothes, but no lingerie.” – Dennis Rodman

According to this site, up until the end of his Bulls tenure, in his career Rodman was fined $200,000, lost well over $300,000 in incentives for various transgressions, and was suspended for 23 games, including a then NBA second longest 11 games for kicking a cameraman. Some of his other suspensions were because of head-butts to referee Ted Barnhardt, John Stockton and Stacy King. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t wanted to head-butt those guys at least once before?

Another substantial fine was the result of some interesting words directed at Mormons during the Bulls-Jazz Finals in 1997. After a poor performance, Rodman said, “It’s difficult to get in sync because of all the (expletive deleted) Mormons out here. And you can quote me on that.” Shortly after the punishment was handed down, Rodman and then Bulls coach Phil Jackson tried to explain the comments. Rodman claimed, “If I knew it was like a religious-type deal, I would have never said it. I’m sorry about that.” To which Jackson followed up, “To Dennis, a Mormon may just be a nickname for people from Utah. He may not even know it’s a religious cult or sect or whatever.” If only Mitt Romney had a time machine…

To many people, violent actions, bad acting, a bizarre appearance, and outlandish comments are more inline with the characteristics of a pro-wrestler than a basketball player. To those people, I say, you are right!

“I go out there and get my eyes gouged, my nose busted, my body slammed. I love the pain of the game.” – Dennis Rodman, surprisingly talking about basketball

I like to think that Rodman’s crowning moment was his World Championship Wrestling career. In March of 1997, while serving the aforementioned 11 game suspension, Rodman appeared at WCW’s aptly named Uncensored. The main event was scheduled to be an nWo team of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Hollywood Hogan and Randy Savage, against Team Piper, consisting of Roddy Piper, Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael and Jeff Jarrett against the WCW team of Lex Luger, The Giant and Scott Steiner. Unfortunately, midway through the bout, Hogan had yet to come out to the ring. Then, suddenly, his Hendrix music begins and out walks Hogan, accompanied by an nWo shirt wearing Rodman, now known as Rodzilla. After some sneaky business and an nWo win, the seeds had been planted for a future Rodman appearance, likely after the NBA season.

During the NBA Finals, Rodman skipped practice to appear at a WCW Nitro event. In the midst of a title hunt, Rodman appeared alongside Hogan and attacked Lex Luger and the Giant. Rodman was fined $20,000 for missing practice, but rumors swirled that his appearance fee was north of $200,000, well worth some public scrutiny. This was the buildup necessary to justify his first official match; at Bash At the Beach ‘97 Rodman teamed with Hogan, and lost to Lex Luger and The Giant. A year later, after another NBA title, Rodzilla returned to WCW and Hogan’s side, this time attacking Diamond Dallas Page. How could DDP win a 2-on-1 battle? It was plain and simple, he couldn’t. So he got help.

Fresh off another loss in the Finals, Karl Malone, a 2-time defending NBA MVP was furious…so furious that he wanted to fight someone…in the squared circle!

On an episode of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (a future tag team partner of DDP), Rodzilla and Malone traded verbal jabs. After calling DDP a “a yellow-bellied coward,” Rodman commented that he “called Karl a lot more than a wimp on the court.” He followed by saying, “I don’t know how he’s going to beat me in the ring when he can’t beat me on the court.” Predictably, this prompted Malone to come out from backstage and a shoving match ensued. The match happened at Bash at the Beach ’98, with Rodman and Hogan walking away victorious after some outside interference.

But Rodman wasn’t done yet. He would wrestle one more WCW match, just over a year later, in August ‘99 at Road Wild. The premise included the always tasteful “kidnapping” angle; the story was, Rodman kidnapped Gorgeous George, the girlfriend of “Macho Man” Randy Savage. They argued, exchanged fisticuffs and eventually fought on Pay Per View. In his third match, Rodman would lose once again, bringing his pro-wrestling record to 1-2. Though he was done with “big time” wrestling, Rodman would wrestle one more match for an Australian organization, in which he was disqualified, in 2000 and later appeared ringside at a TNA event in 2004.

“My rookie year, I was very immature.” – Dennis Rodman

He was also an alright basketball player. Probably the best player to ever play for the Orange County Crush and Tijuana Dragons, both of the American Basketball Association, the Torpan Pojat of the Finnish Korisliiga and the Brighton Bears of the British Basketball League. After further examination, scratch Torpan off the list, I’ve just been alerted that Scottie Pippen also played for them.

To steal a bit from Stu’s Gary Roberts’ Wednesday piece, an Inside the Numbers:
• Wrestling Record: 1 win, 2 losses, 1 DQ
• 5 NBA Championships (1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1998)
• 2 All-Star Selections (1990, 1992)
• 2 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards (1990, 1991)
• 2-time All-NBA Third Team Selection (1992, 1995)
• 7-time All NBA All-Defensive First Team Selection (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996)
• 6-time leader in Total Offensive Rebounds (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997)
• 7-time leader in Rebounds Per Game (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998)
• 10th highest career Rebounds Per Game average (13.1)
• 5.1/10 – average IMDB ranking for Rodman’s 14 “acting” credits.
• 1.4/10 – IMDB ranking for “Strippers Ball – Dennis Rodman”
• 2.1/10 – IMDB ranking for “Simon Sez”
• 3.2/10 – IMDB ranking for “The Comebacks”
• number of years he was Commissioner of the Lingerie Bowl League
• 1st – All time NBA leader in Rebounding Rate at 23.44 (the percentage of missed shots rebounded while a player was on the floor)
• 1 Movie with midgets little people, The Minis

“You can love me or you can hate me.” – Dennis Rodman

Dennis, we love you. You are GREAT! Blake, can we elect him to the ODC Hall of Fame, the way the WWE elected Pete Rose?

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

2 Responses to “Movies, Bizarreness, and Wrestling: The Greatness that is Dennis Rodman”

  1. Stu P S Says:

    I remember in an old-school NBA Live game (maybe 95?) Rodman was on the Spurs and his hair color was different every game.

    Also, Simmons recently linked to a site with historical MVP voting. I remember this cause I looked at it and saw Rodman’s name in a couple different years. I checked back and he actually got a third place vote in 1992, and votes in the top five in two other years.

  2. AJ Says:

    That’s a great site Stu. I almost forgot how long that Shaq feller has been very good…

    I think it was NBA Jam and his hair could even change every quarter…the Spurs team in that game was great, Sean Elliot, David Robinson and Dennis Rodman. Sure, it helps when there’s a marketing dispute and Jordan, Barkley and Shaq are left out of the game, but damn the Spurs were good.

    The Sonics and Jazz were also quite solid. Hmmm, Western Conference dominance…

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