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“It took me 15 minutes to team up Dennis Rodman with Hulk Hogan for Monday Night Nitro”: A look into the whole episode of The Worm leaving the Bulls practice during the 1998 NBA Finals to attend WCW’s weekly show

Arjun Julka

"It took me 15 minutes to team up Dennis Rodman with Hulk Hogan for Monday Night Nitro": A look into the whole episode of The Worm leaving the Bulls practice during the 1998 NBA Finals to attend WCW's weekly show

Eric Bischoff reveals it took him a mere 15-minutes to sign Dennis Rodman to appear periodically on WCW’s Monday Night Nitro in 1997.

Dennis Rodman was not your quintessential NBA superstar. The Worm was a regular in the headlines, known for his outlandish behavior and anti-authority approach. Rodman defined the term hustle play in all sense, collecting rebounds, diving for the ball, and putting his body on the line.

The two-time DPOY was known to lead his life on his own terms, which would cause huge inconvenience to his teammates. Rodman had developed a reputation of not attending practice sessions, disappearing before games without informing anyone, and not following the code of conduct.

However, it was his disappearance amidst the 1998 NBA Finals that continues remains at the top of his controversies list. The Bulls forward would miss a practice session with the Bulls to attend the Bash at the Beach pay-per-view.

Fortunately, Rodman would return in time for Game Four of the 1998 Finals.

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At the time, Eric Bischoff, who served as an announcer on WCW, revealed that pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan connected him to Rodman via phone call to get the deal done.

Eric Bischoff narrates getting Dennis Rodman on board for WCW Monday Night Nitro.

The 1997-98 season of the Bulls was the most eventful year in the entire franchise’s history. The season has been carefully documented in the Netflix series The Last Dance. One of the highlights of the award-winning show continues to remain Rodman disappearing during the NBA Finals and appearing on WCW.

This was not the first time that Rodman had disappeared overnight. The Worm was often known to take his secret trips to Las Vegas. However, this time it was the NBA Finals, and the Bulls were on the quest to 3-peat for the second time.

WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff talks about getting the five-time champion on board.

“I remember when I got the call. I was at the Airport Marriott in Atlanta for a meeting, and I got to the meeting a little bit early. Just as I was walking in the door, my phone rang, and it was Hulk. He said, ‘Hey, brother, I got somebody that wants to talk to you, but you need to get a hold of him right away’, and he told me it was Dennis Rodman. I didn’t even go in to sit with the people I was meeting. I made them wait. I got a hold of Dwight Manley, who was Dennis’ agent at the time. We had a great conversation with Dwight. We got right to the point, and for the most part, did the deal over the phone in the lobby of the Airport Marriott in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a very easy deal to do. I think a lot of that just had to do with the fact that Dennis really dug Hulk. Dennis is a very unique individual in a lot of ways. He’s not as money motivated as a lot of people would have been. He wasn’t playing one against the other. There was interest from WWF, and he would rather work with WCW, largely because of Hulk. We literally made that deal over the phone. It took about 15 minutes. I was barely late for my meeting.”

Bischoff added, “For the amount of money that I’m paying this guy to come in, I’m getting a multiple of five times worth of media value out of this because every sports talk show in America for a long time is going to be talking about Dennis Rodman teaming up with Hulk Hogan at WCW.”


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Nonetheless, Rodman would return for Game Four, collecting 14-rebounds in a win. Despite all odds stacked against them, the Bulls would win their 6th championship in 1998.

About the author

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka


Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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