Eric Bischoff sees plenty of potential in WWE’s “Next In Line” program and cites his relationship with Dennis Rodman as one of the reasons why. On a new episode of “Strictly Business” on Bischoff is joined by Jon Alba and special guest AJ Francis (formerly Top Dolla in WWE) to talk about athletes getting involved in pro wrestling. The discourse became extremely topical due to the new class of collegiate recruits being announced for WWE’s NIL initiative.

“I’ve had a fairly successful experience working with professional athletes and bringing them into action in the ring,” Bischoff said, who back in his days as WCW President worked with pro athletes such as Kevin Greene, Steve McMichael, Karl Malone, and, as noted, Dennis Rodman.

“He’s one of my favorite people,” Bischoff said about Rodman. “He’s a great human being. If you don’t know Dennis, trust me, you really don’t know Dennis and if you do know Dennis, you know what I’m talking about. He’s a good guy. Smart.”

Rodman, who came into WCW back in 1997, appeared to be a perfect fit for the counter-culture vibe of the NWO. Bischoff noted how Rodman’s previous reputation and “devil may care” body language created some misperception of the natural talent that the NBA star was capable of.

“You hired Dennis Rodman and they sent you Snoop Dogg instead,” Bischoff said. “It was horrible when you first look at him and he showed up at the ring and it looked like he didn’t care, almost like he was not paying attention, he’s got his big sunglasses on, can’t tell what he’s looking at anyway, looks like he doesn’t give a f-ck.”

“You show him something one time and he goes out there and does it! And everybody goes ‘What the hell,’ because again, an athlete, analyzes technique much differently than some kid off the street or some actor or actress. If you grow up learning fundamentals and footwork and balance and timing it becomes a second nature to a professional athlete whereas someone who is not a professional athlete that didn’t grow up doing it all their life, takes them a long time, a lot longer to get that s--t.”

Eric went on to praise the NIL initiave that WWE has adopted as he believes it will be extremely beneficial to the company finding some bonafide talents much more efficiently.

“I think the whole idea of mining the field of amateur athletes, college football players, in specific in this topic, I think is a great idea cause I think the trajectory, from ‘zero to hero’ is gonna be much faster.”

If you use any quotes from this article please credit the “Strictly Business” podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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