wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE Untold: Rodzilla Runs Wild Report

March 22, 2020 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE Untold Dennis Rodman

411’s WWE Untold: ‘Rodzilla Runs Wild’ Report

-First thing as I hope everyone out there reading is safe and doing what they can to help with social distancing. Thankfully, that should be much easier in this day and age with things like the WWE Network and other streaming services. I had been working a normal schedule until things changed for this coming week. As some know I work for a veterinary office and we are now on limited hours with clients not allowed in our building. I’ve been knocked down to 2 days a week, but it’s better than a lot of people. With all the free time and with Backstage on hiatus I am looking for new things to review and I am not sure if I should go back to doing PPVs, or documentaries on the Network, or go back to building Ultimate PPV cards. Feel free to comment below.

-As for this review, the Untold series returns and this one focuses on the WCW career of NBA Hall of Famer, Dennis Rodman. Let’s get to it!

-Original air date: 03/22/20
-Run time: 28:49

-They start with DDP and Bischoff as two of the talking heads as they discuss the hype around the tag match involving Rodman and Malone. Hogan and Rodman are the other talking heads and Hogan says that Phil Jackson called him asking where his basketball player was.

-Show opening!

-They discuss the history of celebrities being involved in pro-wrestling: Jay Leno, David Arquette, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Kevin Greene, Floyd Mayweather, LT, etc. Bischoff mentions that it brings a ton of media coverage that wrestling otherwise wouldn’t get. They show Bigelow pushing LT and that setting up Mania XI Main Event. David Shoemaker is part of this as he talks about WCW going outside of the normal realm of using football players. Instead they went to the NBA and got two of their biggest stars while they were battling each other in the NBA Finals. It was organic as you could believe that Malone and Rodman hated each other on the court, so it just made sense for them to have a match.

-We go back a year to 1997 as Rodman showed up as part of the nWo and got to team with Hogan against The Giant and Luger. Hogan says that Rodman was perfect as he was a monster and brought star power with him. One of the perks was that Rodman wanted a tour bus and then wanted to stop at a gentleman’s club. Bischoff figured why not and everyone had a great time in the club. They soon couldn’t find Dennis, so Bischoff heard he was on the bus and when he checked he said it was like a scene from Caligula. Awesome! Rodman says he was just trying to live up to the stories of the wrestlers in the 70s, and 80s. That was part of the reason they loved him because he was a fan and lived the party lifestyle. Rodman says he grew up in Texas and all he had to watch as a kid was wrestling with The Von Erichs and Cowboy’s football. They show highlights from the 1997 Bash Tag Match and the roar from the crowd when Rodman just hits a simple armdrag is quite massive.

-Hogan talks about the heat Rodman had as he would drink before and after the games. Rodman says that if there was social media when he played, he would have been the biggest star in the world. I can only imagine what Rodman would have done on twitter if it was around when he was playing. Hogan talks about how they all had busy schedules, but Rodman would miss workouts and time they had booked. He would show up with booze on his breath, but the second the red light went on, he was magic. They lost the Bash 1997 match which helped set up Luger as Hogan’s next challenger.

-Now a year later and Hogan says Rodman was his guy as they have been friends for years. Now Malone, was DDP’s guy and we get the story of DDP going to a Jazz game and Malone throwing up the Diamond Cutter sign. They met after the game and DDP told him that if he ever wanted to get in the ring he could make it happen real easy.

-Rodman says that Malone looked like a pro-wrestler as he was 250lbs of solid muscle. DDP heard that Rodman was coming in again and puts over the job he did the previous year. He then had the idea about involving Malone and made the call to see if he would consider the spot in the tag match. Malone was all for it, and now they just had to pitch the idea to Bischoff. I’m sure that was an easy sell. Bischoff gives a lot of credit to DDP for bringing Malone into the picture. Rodman thinks they pitched it because of the NBA Finals and the world watching them battle. Bischoff knew it would give him main stream media he could never afford to buy. He didn’t even care that the sports media and wrestling media would both be critical of the move.

-June 3, 1998: The Bulls and Jazz played in the NBA Finals for the second straight year. After the Bulls won Game 3, Rodman showed up to Nitro and he and Hogan attacked DDP with chairs. It seems Rodman skipped practice to attend the live Nitro and this is where Hogan says that Jackson was blowing up his phone. Rodman says that Jordan didn’t say anything to him because he knew when it was game time, he would be ready to play. Bischoff knows that he couldn’t ask them to do things on the court to promote the match, but he threw out ideas between games with the press. We jump to The Nitro where Malone and DDP fight back with chairs and Hogan sells like crazy for Malone’s offense.

-DDP heard from Malone that no matter if the Jazz won The Finals, he was booked for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. That’s where they got the idea to set the match up on The Tonight Show as it was an even bigger audience. They all laugh about the fact that DDP apparently stiffed Hogan during the show and had Drew Carrey thinking everything they were doing was real.

-They have the official press conference at Hard Rock and the media presence was insane. DDP calls Rodman and Malone two of the greatest athletes he’s ever seen. Malone was training for weeks in the Power Plant with DDP. Rodman on the other hand didn’t really want to train and didn’t have the intensity that Malone brought. However he was always right there when it was showtime.

-Rodman tells a story of them all going to a bar where they drank the night before the show. Rodman says he felt like hell the first 15 minutes of the match, but started to feel better once he started getting hit. Hogan says that he was supposed to rip Rodman’s shirt off, but Dennis called it off because he saw how jacked Malone looked. The producers ask Rodman about it and he says he just wanted the fans to see the shirt. He calls Malone country strong as we see them lockup against each other for the first time. Shoemaker says it wasn’t Hogan slamming Andre, but it still felt like a huge moment.

-Rodman spit on DDP at one point and Rodman says it’s because DDP was a selfish prick for a minute. He talks about DDP hitting him for real, but he spit on him because it was the easiest thing for him to do. DDP says that Rodman hit all the spots that he needed.

-Next we get Malone vs Hogan and Bischoff was impressed by Malone’s strength. He was amazed at how easy he was able to slam Hogan. Hulk says he has never been thrown around that easily by anyone including Andre. He puts Malone over for being on time with everything and not accidentally poking him in the eye or tripping over his feet. Rodman laughs as he says that Malone was knocking the shit out of him. He was so relieved when he got hit with the Diamond Cutter as he knew his part was over. Hogan gets the pin on DDP to finish the match.

-Rodman wishes they had asked them to do a lot more during that summer. Rodman wanted to do more with all the guys and mentions Randy Savage. They did have a match at Road Wild if I am remembering correctly. Bischoff calls the match an amazing accomplishment and something that will never happen again. It is one of the things he did that he was most proud of and Hogan says he gets a smile every time he watches the match. DDP talks about The WWE Hall of Fame Celebrity Wing and thinks Malone belongs in there. I would say Rodman deserves the nod before Malone. This wraps up with Rodman joking that was the only time Malone got the better of him as he admits he got his ass kicked. He got all the rings though!

-This was an easy and fun watch. Everyone involved seemed to have a blast talking about the match and it can’t be overstated how surreal and huge this was. I think a match like this would be even bigger in our social media driven world. I mean WrestleMania XXX is playing on ESPN right now as I am watching this, so we know they would have been all over a match like this happening. Even back in 1998 it made SportsCenter with the anchors playing it off tongue in cheek. The match was worlds better than you would expect and I credit WCW for trying something different and doing whatever they could to get new eyeballs on the program. They smartly kept it to a tag match involving two pros that could contain things. The important thing is that Rodman and Malone were both fans and took it seriously and the fans loved every second of it. Thanks for reading!