Dennis Rodman's relationship with North Korea started with the best intentions (to film a documentary and help raise money to build a basketball court for some kids), but somewhere along the way, in a misguided twist, Rodman's trip became one of the more bizarre and, to many Americans, infuriating campaigns we've seen.
Rodman has now made multiple visits to North Korea, all the while professing his friendship for dictator Kim Jong Un. On the latest journey overseas, Rodman brought friends -- a handful of former NBA players including Charles Smith, Kenny Anderson, and Vin Baker -- to play in an exhibition game with some North Koreans.
Naturally, this didn't sit well with the basketball community or most of America, so Rodman went on CNN to explain himself to reporter Chris Cuomo.
It did not go well.
Eventually, the game would take place (includingan odd rendition of "Happy Birthday"
sung by Rodman to Kim Jong Un), but the damage had been done. Rodman's perceived lack of patriotism was surpassed by only his blood alcohol content, as he admitted later that he'd been drinking on the trip to deal with the stress.
Again, best intentions executed by a man totally ill-equipped to deal with the complexities of what he was trying to execute. But Rodman did leave us that quasi-wrestling promo that he cut on Cuomo and that might be the gift that keeps on giving.
If nothing else, it gives me an opportunity to go find five actual wrestling promos that are more insane than Rodman's was. And make no mistake, these might be the only five that were more insane than Rodman's. His was pretty insane.
Anyway, enjoy these: 5. ULTIMATE WARRIOR I really could have picked any Ultimate Warrior promo from about the year 1988 through 1992, where I'm fairly certain he just mad-libs in the name of whichever WWF superstar he was feuding with at the time and then spews a bunch of nonsense about the heavens and the earth and the planets and the power of the waaarrriiorrrr. I chose this one because he is going particularly nuts on Hulk Hogan, and it includes copious amounts of "Mean" Gene Okerlund sanctimoniously chastising the Warrior for how unhinged he is:
4. RANDY "MACHO MAN" SAVAGE Again, like the Warrior, there is no shortage of YouTube footage of Randy Savage going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. In fact, if you put "macho man on coke" into the YouTube search engine, it actually turns up a number of available videos to watch. Apparently, the Macho Man really liked his coke! This video includes a far more subdued "Mean" Gene Okerlund:
3. "ROWDY" RODDY PIPER Did Dennis Rodman crack a bottle over his head to make a point? I don't think so. Actually, I'm not sure Roddy Piper actually had a point, but dude damn sure did crack a bottle over his own head:
I think my favorite part of any insane Jimmy Snuka promo (actually, any sentence uttered at any time by Snuka) is the broken English. And calling it "broken" doesn't begin to describe how jacked up Superfly's sentence structure is. If syntax were teeth, Superfly Snuka's promos would be James Harden's mouth. Bonus points for throwing roughly a hundred chairs in about seven seconds and scaring the shit out of a young Vince McMahon in the process:
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1. BOB BACKLUND Bob Backlund went from a bland babyface for a couple of decades to having a run late in his career as an insane heel who couldn't control his desire to tear apart the shoulders of his opponent using the cross face chicken wing. (Honestly, I met Backlund in person in 1997, and while he may have been calm, he was insane. He wouldn't sign autographs for fans unless they recited all of the presidents in order. Given the crowd at the WWE event, he could have asked them to name just the current president at that time and they'd have gotten it wrong.)