Reno's Innovative Roll The Dice

Published on 1 July 2024 at 10:10

Many fans in this current generation know of Cody Rhodes’ “Cross Rhodes” finishing move, which is a rolling cutter, beginning in a standing Dragon Sleeper. This hold has helped “the American Nightmare” win a plethora of matches, including the Undisputed WWE Championship at WrestleMania XL this past April.


However, not many current fans may know where the “Cross Rhodes” originated from.


It came from a competitor during the final days of World Championship Wrestling and, to many fans, was the sole thing he was known for. To me, that’s not a bad distinction.


We’re talking about RENO’S ROLL THE DICE.




A product of the WCW Power Plant, Reno made his first appearance on Thunder on August 2, 2000, attacking Billy Kidman, who was accused off hooking up with his girlfriend Siren, one of the infamous Nitro Girls, during his match with the Prime Time Player (formerly Skip Over and later known as Elix Skipper).


That’s a Hell of a sentence.


Anyways, while the referee was distracted by Torrie Wilson, Reno entered the ring, kicked Kidman from behind, and, bending Kidman backwards, delivered a vicious rolling cutter.


I remember being fourteen, watching live on TBS, and just being in awe over that move. I had never seen anything like it. In fact, watching this clip almost twenty-four years later, the fans and the commentators felt the exact same way.


A week later, Kidman and Reno went one-on-one on the August 9 Thunder. Mike Tenay, the “Professor”, unleashed a little of his background, describing that he was an underground pit fighter based out of Nevada. Also, through his sources, he discovered that the innovative rolling cutter was called “Roll The Dice”.

For the second straight week, Reno uncorked his rolling cutter again, and the fans rose again to their feet.


A week later, Reno, alongside “Above Average” Mike Sanders, Sean O’Haire, Chuck Palumbo, Shawn Stasiak, and Mark Jindrak, formed the Natural Born Thrillers in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada on Thunder.


Almost immediately, Reno became the silent hitman of the Thrillers. Finding himself in rivalries with the Misfits In Action, the Filthy Animals, and Big Vito, Reno demonstrated his brute toughness and power against all opponents. Most notably, the Roll the Dice was the figurative death blow, putting everyone down in its wake.


The most devastating version of the Roll the Dice came at WCW Halloween Havoc 2000, when, during his Hardcore Championship defense against Sgt. A-Wall, he ended the match with it on a flat table. To me, this was peak Reno in WCW.


Until the end of the company, Reno was embroiled in a sibling rivalry with his brother Big Vito and his sister Marie. Originally making peace within the family, Reno turned on his brother at Starrcade 2000, paying off Kronik to take him out repeatedly. The match at Sin on January 14, 2001 was his final pay-per-view for the company, pinning Vito after a Roll the Dice.

WCW’s assets were sold to the World Wrestling Federation on March 23, 2001, Reno’s contract was one of those that was picked up; however, he never made it to WWF television and was quietly released after the end of the “Invasion” storyline in 2001.


After performing on the inaugural pay-per-view for the World Wrestling All-Stars in 2002, Reno left wrestling shortly thereafter.




It’s a shame that Reno never had a bigger platform for himself other than his 2000-2001 run in WCW. He really had a unique look, with a stocky build, a bald head with a ponytail, and an incredibly intense personality. As the years have gone on, Reno has been lost in the realm of time, but his patented finishing move has only grown in stature.


Many performers have taken the Roll the Dice for their own finishing hold, including Test, who called it the Test Drive, Bo Dallas, and, as stated earlier, Cody Rhodes with the Cross Rhodes. Yet, for all of the die-hard WCW fans, we all know where it started.


Some of my buddies who absolutely loved WCW used to joke to me that Reno walked so Cody Rhodes could run. However, I prefer to think that maybe Reno just rolled the dice instead.


Bankie Bruce

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