In 1997, Dennis Rodman was a three-time NBA champion with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls and known as one of the best rebotadores in the history of basketball. It was also a character extravagant, that required attention outside the pitch, with an outfit that is quirky and an attitude of feast of rock star. He had a nickname great, “The Worm”, and exigiá your look with its eye-catching hair colors.
In professional wrestling, the nWo helped carry it to its height in the 1990s, as the Monday Night Wars between WWF and WCW got ratings, the massive tv, and gave up the fight so deeply in pop culture that fans from all over the world wore t-shirts nWo, made the hand signal of the Wolfpac, mimicked the “4 life” with his fingers and shouted: “Too sweeeeeeeet!” Although technically they were the villains of the stories in the course of WCW, in the world of professional wrestling, the nWo felt real and managed to encourage the bad guys was very cool.
You would not be able to find a couple more natural at that moment in time that the wrestling and Rodman. It was a time in which the fighters invaded “The Tonight Show” and “Saturday Night Live” and nobody blinked. The wrestling was having a moment, and in line with the long history of industry participation of celebrities, the nWo in particular are paid very well to this approach.
In the course of 10 episodes of “The Last Dance” of ESPN, which documented the season 1997-98 of the Bulls, two key moments showed the approach of Rodman to live the life that made him happy, regardless of the consequences: his vacation half a season of 48 hours, and the night flew away from the NBA Finals to Monday Nitro.
Rodman made his debut in WCW in march of 1997 to join the nWo. Rodman was the type of person that did what he wanted, while WCW benefited from having a star between its rows. Rodman was not only willing to appear on tv, but also wanted to fight, and he did – once a year from 1997 to 2000. The journey began at Bash at the Beach 1997, with Rodman teaming with Hollywood Hogan to face The Giant and Lex Luger.
Normally, Rodman would set aside their struggles for the summer, after the conclusion of the NBA season. He was part of the dynasty of the Bulls, a team that essentially ponchaba his ticket to the Finals every year, what it meant to play until mid-June. But as the Bulls were chasing their sixth title, dealing with the rumor about the dismantling of the team in the off-season, Rodman decided that I wanted to do something extravagant.
And that is exactly what happened on the 8th of June 1998.
The night before, Rodman played in the Game 3 of the Finals while the Bulls continued to attempt to dispatch the Utah Jazz for the second consecutive year. Rodman recorded six rebounds in 22 minutes, and Chicago dominated Utah 96-54 to take advantage of 2-1 in the series, but the work was not done.
From there, Rodman left the practice and boarded a plane to go to WCW Monday Nitro at The Palace in Auburn Hills in Michigan.
“Phil Jackson called me saying: ‘Where is my player, where is my player?'”, he recalled Hulk Hogan in a documentary on Rodman in WWE Chronicle produced for the WWE Network. “And I’m saying ‘Rodman, Phil Jackson continues to call my phone, you have to go back, and Rodman says: ‘I don’t want to go back'”.
That night on Nitro, Rodman beat Diamond Dallas Page in the back with a steel chair in, giving rise to a struggle in couples that would happen in July at Bash at the Beach.
And who would take a step at the end of the Finals to become the team mate of DDP in that fight? Karl Malone, who was defended by Rodman during the entire series.
“I couldn’t talk with Dennis and Karl, about doing something together during the game that would help promote WCW,” said the president of WCW Eric Bischoff in the same documentary on WWE Network. “But someone may have said, ‘Hey guys, if you have the opportunity during the stoppage to have some sort of animated conversation between the two of you, that would help'”.
Rodman returned to join the Bulls after the appearance of Nitro on Monday, he faced a fine to miss practice and played the Game 4 on Wednesday, which ended up being his best game of the series. The Bulls won 86-82 and took a lead of 3-1 in the series. Rodman played more than 29 minutes and grabbed 14 rebounds.
The Bulls would end up winning the championship in six games, and during the celebration, Rodman put a shirt nWo in his lap while he was sitting next to his wife at the time, Carmen Electra, and the Trophy Larry O’brien.
Less than a month later, Rodman and Hogan to defeat Malone and DDP at Bash at the Beach PPV from WCW that earned him a promotion, your purchase rate, highest of the year.
Rodman had four fights total in his career of wrestling: the two fights in the couples listed above, a single against Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage the next year at WCW Road Wild 1999 and then in 2000 in a fight event in independent Australia, in front of Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig.
Rodman then retired from wrestling, only to return for a short period when he won in the reality show “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” in 2008.
What was Rodman a genius of the wrestling technique? Not needed to be. It was entertaining, charismatic, demanding your attention and fit into the sports entertainment as a glove. It was really a perfect combination. The majority of occurrences of the wrestling of athletes and celebrities tend to happen once their careers are in a downward phase or are you promoting blatantly a next project. Rodman, however, was still winning NBA championships.
There is No doubt that Rodman and WCW should be considered in the discussion of the “Mount Rushmore” when we talk about the history of collaborations in professional wrestling