The Monday Night Wars between WWE Raw and WCW Nitro saw intense competition between the two promotions, not just limited to ratings and storylines, but also the talent. Eric Bischoff reveals one such instance.
On the recent episode of 83 Weeks Podcast, Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson continued their reflection on WCW. The latest episode features them watching the March 10, 1997 Spring Break episode of WCW, where Dennis Rodman makes his surprise appearance. Bischoff reminisced that it took him only 15 minutes to convince Rodman to sign with WCW.
“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.”
On his decision to sign Dennis Rodman, Bischoff explained the media value Rodman brought at the time by teaming up with Hulk Hogan.
“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.”
Bischoff recently made a comment on AEW President Tony Khan constantly throwing shots at WWE. He thinks the criticism finds its root in AEW trying to build loyalty for its product among its fan base.
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