Eric Bischoff has revealed just how huge of a payday Dennis Rodman scored for his WCW appearances during the late 90s.
Rodman, a star player in the NBA at the time, was an important piece on the Chicago Bulls' roster who, alongside the legendary Michael Jordan, helped the side to their last three titles. He had also won two rings with the Detroit Pistons during their "Bad Boy" era.
Known for his fierce defense and remarkable rebounding ability, "The Worm", as he was called, wrestled a match in 1997, one in 1998 and another 1999. According to Bischoff, the former power forward took home just over $1 million for his trouble.
“The total fee was just a little over $1 million, like a million and change," Bischoff revealed on the After 83 Weeks podcast (h/t Wrestling Inc).
"But that was for a number of different appearances. It wasn’t just for one appearance. I know that sounds like a ton of money, and it is a ton of money…But in the big scheme of things you know, Mike Tyson probably got three times that much. Other performers in WWF get much, much bigger numbers.
"I had a number in my head, because in my mind getting Dennis Rodman would create a certain amount of buzz that if I had to pay for would probably cost me three times that much money…The press that I knew I would get from that I really wouldn’t even be able to buy.”
Longtime fans would remember Rodman's wrestling feud with fellow NBA star Karl Malone.
With the Bulls chasing their third successive ring in 1998, their sixth in eight years, they had to get past Malone's Jazz side. And Bischoff would use the finals series as a means to ramp up the rivalry while the players were actually on the court.
“I got ahold of Dennis through his manager at the time, Dwight Manley. I said ‘Look, nothing during the game. I don’t want to be accused of screwing up a game, be it playoffs," he explained.
"But if there’s any chance when you guys are kind of in between, or if you’re off court you know near the court there’s cameras running, if you guys could like push and shove each other a little bit, you know kind of raise the heat, raise the temperature just a bit. I wouldn’t be disappointed if something like that were to happen. I’m not telling you to do it! I’m just telling you if something were to happen like that, I’d be pretty happy about it.'”
Rodman would later partner up with Hulk Hogan to take on a team comprised by Malone and Diamond Dallas Page right after that momentous final series, with the former pair coming out on top.
What This Means
The two NBA Hall of Famers were huge lovers of wrestling and Malone, in particular, actually wanted to become a wrestler before going on to become a star in the NBA.
It's still crazy to think that Rodman got paid such a staggering amount for his few appearances back in the 90s. But it still makes sense that the WCW would hand over a fat cheque to someone bearing his status.