- Judge orders Dennis Rodman to pay $225K to Vegas casino employee ... - The San Francisco Examiner
- AP LAS VEGAS — A federal judge in Las Vegas has ordered former NBA star Dennis Rodman to pay a former casino employee $225000 for grabbing and humiliating her at work in March 2006. A lawyer for 28-year-old Sara Ure says Rodman never responded to the...
- KEISSER: Lakers season starts all too soon - Long Beach Press-Telegram
- Among former Lakers, he trails Robert Horry (7), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6), and George Mikan, Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper, Dennis Rodman and Ron Harper, who all won five. Mikan, Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson and Cooper all won five as Lakers....
- Sam Smith: Head of the Class - NBA.com
- For the most part though, the personnel successes Chicago has enjoyed have come mainly as a result of trades. Many of the franchise's top players, such as Chet Walker, Bob Love, Bill Cartwright, and Dennis Rodman came to town via a swap....
- Rock: I could win a title with Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, etc. - Deseret News
- Those Pistons teams had one superstar, Isiah Thomas, and some nice complementary players such as Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson and Joe Dumars. Yet coaching Thomas couldn't have been easy. The man has proven since his playing days that he...
- Jackson's greatness is unquestioned - ESPN
- If you want to delve into the comparison game, imagine Jackson's Jordan-Scottie Pippen-Dennis Rodman Bulls team playing this year's Magic. The Bulls could have won every game by 40. The biggest upset of the Finals came after Game 5, when some people in...
- Suicide lines: Mark Jackson-to-Minny rumors, Wade, Odom ... - Yahoo! Sports
- The risk, of course, is that quirky Odom loses all aggressiveness in other areas of his game and becomes Dennis Rodman. (Remember that the offbeat Rodman used to jack up 3-pointers at times, too.) I get the feeling that Odom would really be happy being...
- Top Five Greatest Detroit Pistons First Round Draft Choices - Bleacher Report
- Disclaimer, not all of these players led the Pistons to a championship or even to that many playoff appearances, some of them just kept the franchise alive. Also, I would include Dennis Rodman on this list if he was drafted in the first round,...
- The Minis Party Is About to Commence - Indie Wire
- It is all centered around this film: Yes, we are about to abandon art and succumb to the majestic glory that is the genre of cinema called What Were They Thinking by watching The Minis, in which rebel bad boy Dennis Rodman joins a team of little people...
- Rodman can only be a help for Bulldogs - Towanda Daily Review
- Sure, Dennis Rodman is only going to be coaching the Elmira Bulldogs for two games. Sure, it's a publicity stunt to help draw interest in the young professional team. But the thing is, it's a genius idea. Love him or hate him, one thing is certain...
Dennis Keith Rodman (born May 13, 1961) is a retired American professional basketball player of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. Born in Trenton, New Jersey, he was nicknamed "Dennis the Menace" and "The Worm" and was known for his fierce defensive and rebounding abilities. Playing small forward in his early years before becoming a power forward, Rodman earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven times and was voted NBA Defensive Player of the Year twice. He also led the NBA in rebounds per game for a record seven consecutive years and won five NBA championships (1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1998).
Experiencing an unhappy childhood, Rodman was shy and introverted in his early years. After aborting a suicide attempt in 1993, he reinvented himself as the prototypical "bad boy" and became notorious for numerous controversial antics. He dyed his hair in artificial colors, presented himself with many piercings and tattoos and regularly disrupted games by clashing with opposing players and officials. He famously wore a wedding dress to promote his autobiography. Rodman pursued a high-profile affair with singer Madonna and was briefly married to actress Carmen Electra.
Apart from basketball, Rodman is a part-time professional wrestler. He was a member of the nWo and fought alongside Hulk Hogan at two Bash at the Beach events. He had his own TV show, The Rodman World Tour, and had lead roles in the action films Simon Sez and Double Team alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme. Both films were severely critically panned, with the latter earning Rodman a triple Razzie Award. He appeared in several reality TV series and was the winner of the $222,000 main prize of the 2005 edition of Celebrity Mole. Rodman also won the first ever Celebrity Championship Wrestling tournament.
Dennis Rodman was born in Trenton, New Jersey as the son of Shirley and Philander Rodman Jr., an Air Force pilot and veteran of the Vietnam War. When he was three, his father deserted his family and went on to eventually father 27 children from four different women. Rodman grew up in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas, considered one of the worst areas of Dallas in those times. While attending South Oak Cliff High School, he played under future Texas A&M coach Gary Blair. However, Rodman was not considered an athletic standout. According to himself, he was "unable to hit a layup" and was listed in the high school basketball teams, but was either benched or cut from the squads. Measuring only 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) as a freshman in high school, he also failed to make the football teams and was "totally devastated". After finishing school, Rodman worked as an overnight janitor at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. He experienced a sudden growth spurt, and grew to 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) and decided to give basketball another shot.
A family friend tipped off the head coach of Cooke County College in Gainesville, Texas. In his single semester there, he averaged 17.6 points and 13.3 rebounds, before flunking out due to poor academic performances. After his short stint in Gainesville, he transferred to Southeastern Oklahoma State University, an NAIA school. There, Rodman was a three-time NAIA All-American and led the NAIA in rebounding in both the 1984–85 and 1985–86 seasons. In three seasons there, 1983–84 through 1985–86, he averaged 25.7 points and 15.7 rebounds, led the NAIA in rebounding twice and registered a .637 field goal percentage. He averaged over 25 points per game for his three-year NAIA career. At the Portsmouth Invitational, a pre-draft camp for NBA hopefuls, he won Most Valuable Player honors and caught the attention of the Detroit Pistons.
Rodman made himself eligible for the 1986 NBA Draft. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons as the 27th pick, joining a rugged team of coach Chuck Daly that was called "Bad Boys" for their hard-nosed approach to basketball. The squad featured Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars at the guard positions, Adrian Dantley and Sidney Green at forward, and center Bill Laimbeer. Bench players who played more than 15 minutes per game were sixth man Vinnie Johnson and the backup forwards Rick Mahorn and John Salley. Rodman fit well into this ensemble, providing 6.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and some tough defense in 15.0 minutes of playing time per game. Winning 52 games, the Pistons comfortably entered the 1987 NBA Playoffs. They swept the Washington Bullets and soundly beat the Atlanta Hawks in five games, but bowed out in seven matches against their archrivals Boston Celtics in what was called one of the physically and mentally toughest series ever. He feuded with Celtics guard Dennis Johnson, taunting him in the closing seconds by waving his right hand over his head. When the Celtics took Game Seven, Johnson went back at Rodman in the last moments of the game and mimicked his taunting gesture. After the loss, Rodman made headlines by insinuating that Celtics star Larry Bird was overrated because he was white: "Larry Bird is overrated in a lot of areas. …Why does he get so much publicity? Because he's white. You never hear about a black player being the greatest." Although team mate Thomas supported him, he endured harsh criticism, but avoided being called a racist because his own girlfriend Anicka "Annie" Bakes was white.
In the following 1987–88 season, Rodman steadily improved his stats, averaging 11.6 points and 8.7 rebounds and starting in 32 of 82 regular season games. The Pistons fought their way into the 1988 NBA Finals, and took a 3–2 lead, but lost in seven games against the Los Angeles Lakers. In Game Six, the Pistons were down by one point with eight seconds to go; Dumars missed a shot, and Rodman just fell short of an offensive rebound and a putback which could have won the title. In Game Seven, L.A. led by 15 points in the fourth quarter, but Rodman’s defense helped cut down the lead to six with 3:52 minutes to go and to two with one minute to go. But then, he fouled Magic Johnson, who hit a free throw, missed an ill-advised shot with 39 seconds to go, and the Pistons never recovered. In that year, his girlfriend Annie bore him a daughter named Alexis.
After just falling short of an NBA title, Rodman entered the 1988–89 season. Still coming off the bench, he averaged nine points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes, providing such effective defense that he was voted into the All-Defensive Team, the first of eight times. In that season, the Pistons finally vanquished their playoffs bane by sweeping the Boston Celtics, winning in six games versus the Chicago Bulls of scoring champion Michael Jordan and easily defeating the Lakers with 4–0 in the 1989 NBA Finals. Although he was hampered by back spasms, Rodman dominated the boards, grabbing 19 rebounds in Game 3 and providing tough interior defense.
In the 1989–90 season, Detroit lost perennial defensive forward Rick Mahorn due to the expansion draft of the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was feared that the loss of Mahorn – mediocre in talent, but high on hustle and widely considered a vital cog of the "Bad Boys" teams – would diminish the Pistons’ spirit, but Rodman seamlessly took over his role. He went on to win his first big individual accolade. Averaging nine points and 10 rebounds and starting in the last 43 regular season games, he established himself as the best defensive player in the game; during this period, the Pistons won 39 games, and Rodman was lauded by the NBA "for his defense and rebounding skills, which were unparalleled in the league". For his feats, he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award; he also connected on a .595 field goal percentage, which made him the most precise shooter of the league. In the 1990 NBA Playoffs, the Pistons beat the Bulls again, and in the 1990 NBA Finals, Detroit met the Portland Trail Blazers. Rodman suffered from an injured ankle and was often replaced by Mark Aguirre, but even without his defensive hustle, Detroit beat Portland in five games and claimed their second title.
After winning his second NBA championship ring, Rodman entered the 1990–91 season. In that year, he finally established himself as the starting small forward of the Pistons. He played such strong defense that the NBA stated he "could shut down any opposing player, from point guard to center". After coming off the bench for most of his earlier years, he finally started in 77 of the 82 regular season games, averaged 8.2 points and 12.5 rebounds and won his second Defensive Player of the Year Award. In the 1991 NBA Playoffs however, the Pistons were swept by the championship-winning Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. It was the 1991–92 season where Rodman made a remarkable leap in his rebounding, collecting an astounding 18.7 rebounds per game (1,530 in total), winning his first of seven consecutive rebounding crowns, along with scoring 9.8 points per game, and made his first All-NBA Team. His 1,530 rebounds (the most since Wilt Chamberlain's 1,572 in the 1971–72 season) have never been surpassed since then; the best mark not set by Rodman is credited to Kevin Willis, who grabbed 1,258 boards in 1992–93. In a March 1992 game, he totaled a career high 34 total rebounds. However, the aging Pistons were eliminated by the upcoming New York Knicks in the First Round of the 1992 NBA Playoffs.
Rodman experienced a tough loss when coach Chuck Daly resigned in May, who he had admired as a surrogate father; Rodman skipped the preseason camp and was fined $68,000. The following 1992–93 season was even more tumultuous. He finally married Annie Bakes in September 1992, the mother of his four year old daughter Alexis, but the marriage went sour quickly and Bakes divorced him in December. The Pistons won only 40 games and missed the 1993 NBA Playoffs entirely. One night in May 1993, Rodman was found asleep in his car with a loaded rifle. Four years later in his biography As Bad As I Wanna Be, he confessed having thought about suicide and described that night as an epiphany: "I decided that instead I was gonna kill the impostor that was leading Dennis Rodman to a place he didn't want to go... So I just said, 'I'm going to live my life the way I want to live it and be happy doing it.' At that moment I tamed my whole life around. I killed the person I didn't want to be." Although he had three years and $11.8 million remaining on his contract, Rodman demanded a trade. On October 1, 1993, the Pistons dealt him to the San Antonio Spurs.
In the 1993–94 NBA season, Rodman joined a Spurs team which was built around perennial All-Star center David Robinson, with a supporting cast of forwards Dale Ellis, Willie Anderson and guard Vinnie Del Negro. On the hardwood, Rodman now was played as a power forward and won his third straight rebounding title, averaging 17.3 boards per game along with a career-low 4.7 points, but yet another All-Defensive Team call-up. Living up to his promise of killing the "shy imposter" and "being himself" instead, Rodman began to show first signs of bizarre behaviour: before the first game, he shaved his hair and dyed it blonde, which was followed up stints with red, purple, blue hair and a look inspired from the film Demolition Man. During the season, he headbutted Stacey King and John Stockton, refused to leave the hardwood once after being ejected, and had a highly-publicised two month affair with Madonna. The only player whom Rodman related to was reserve center Jack Haley, who won his trust by not being shocked after a visit to a gay bar. However, despite a 55-win season, Rodman and the Spurs did not survive the First Round of the 1994 NBA Playoffs and bowed out against the Utah Jazz in four games.
In the following 1994–95 NBA season, Rodman clashed with the Spurs front office. He was suspended for the first three games, took a leave of absence on November 11, and was suspended again on December 7. He finally returned on December 10 after missing 19 games. After joining the team, he suffered a shoulder separation in a motorcycle accident, limiting his season to 49 games. Normally, he would not have qualified for any season records for missing so many games, but by grabbing 823 rebounds, he just surpassed the 800-rebound limit for listing players and won his fourth straight rebounding title by averaging 16.8 boards per game and made the All-NBA Team. In the 1995 NBA Playoffs, the 62-win Spurs with reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Award winner Robinson entered the Western Conference Finals and were considered favorites against the reigning champions Houston Rockets who had only won 47 games. It was thought that Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon would have a hard time asserting himself versus Robinson and Rodman, who had both been voted into the NBA All-Defensive Teams. However, neither Robinson and Rodman, who had disrupted a playoff game against the Lakers by sitting down on the court, could stop Olajuwon, who averaged 35.3 points against the elite defensive Spurs frontcourt, and helped eliminate the Spurs in six games.
Prior to the 1995–96 NBA season, Rodman was traded to the Chicago Bulls of perennial scoring champion Michael Jordan for center Will Perdue and cash considerations to fill a large void at power forward left by Horace Grant, who left the Bulls prior to the 1994–95 season.
In the 1996–97 NBA season, Rodman won his sixth rebounding title en bloc with 16.7 boards per game, along with 5.7 points per game, but failed to rank another All-Defensive Team call-up. However, he made more headlines for his notorious behaviour: on January 15, 1997, he was involved in another incident during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. After tripping over cameraman Eugene Amos, Rodman kicked Amos in the groin. Though he was not assessed a technical foul at the time, he ultimately paid Amos a $200,000 settlement, the league suspended Rodman for 11 games without pay, thus he effectively lost $1 million. Missing another three games to suspensions, often getting technical fouls early in games and missing an additional 13 matches due to knee problems, Rodman was not as effective in the 1997 NBA Playoffs, in which the Bulls reached the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. There, he struggled to slow down Jazz power forward Karl Malone, but did his share to complete the six-game Bulls victory. It was the time when Rodman seriously took up his hobby of professional wrestling: he appeared in World Championship Wrestling and as a member of nWo with his friend Hulk Hogan. His first match was at the July 1997 Bash at the Beach event where he teamed with Hogan in a loss to Lex Luger and The Giant.
The regular season of the 1997–98 NBA season ended with Rodman winning his seventh consecutive rebounding title with 15.0 boards per game, along with 4.7 points per game. He grabbed 20 or more rebounds 11 times, among them a 29-board outburst against the Atlanta Hawks and 15 offensive boards (along with ten defensive) versus the Los Angeles Clippers. Led by the aging Jordan and Rodman (respectively 35 and 37 years old), the Bulls reached the 1998 NBA Finals, again versus the Jazz. After playing strong defense on Karl Malone in the first three games, he caused major consternation when he left his team prior to Game Four to go wrestling with Hulk Hogan. He was fined $20,000, but it was not even ten percent of what he earned with this stint. However, Rodman’s on-court performance remained top-notch, again shutting down Malone in Game Four until the latter scored 39 points in a Jazz Game Five win, bringing the series to 3–2 from the Bulls perspective. In Game Six, Jordan memorably hit the decisive basket after a controversial drive on Jazz forward Bryon Russell, the Bulls won their third title en bloc and Rodman his fifth ring. In the off-season, Rodman and Malone squared off again, this time in WCW wrestling at the July 1998 edition of ’’Bash at the Beach’’. He fought alongside Hulk Hogan, and Malone tagged along with Diamond Dallas Page. In a poorly-rated match, the two power forwards exchanged "rudimentary headlocks, slams and clotheslines" for 23 minutes.
Rodman left Chicago after the 1997–98 NBA season as the Bulls started a massive rebuilding phase, largely at the behest of then-general manager Jerry Krause who caused coach Jackson, and his star players Jordan and Pippen to retire or leave. Rodman (with his sister acting as his agent at the time) joined the Los Angeles Lakers, for a pro rated salary. With the Lakers he only played in 23 games and was released. In the 1999–2000 NBA season, the now 38 year old power forward was signed by the Dallas Mavericks, meaning that Rodman returned to the place where he grew up. For the Mavericks, he played 12 games, was ejected twice and alienated the franchise with his erratic behaviour until he was waived again; Dallas guard Steve Nash commented that Rodman "never wanted to be " and therefore was unmotivated.
After his NBA career, Rodman took a long break from basketball and concentrated on his film career and on wrestling. In 1999, he fought "Macho Man" Randy Savage at Road Wild 1999 in which Savage shoved him in a portable toilet and eventually won the match. On July 30, 2000 for the i-Generation Superstars of Wrestling pay-per-view event, he fought against i-Generation Champion Curt Hennig. The event was subtitled Rodman Down Under. Rodman refrained from wrestling at the top level, but instead became Commissioner of the Lingerie Football League in 2005.
After a longer hiatus, Rodman returned to play basketball for the Long Beach Jam of the newly-formed American Basketball Association during the 2003–04 season, with hopes of being called up to the NBA midseason, but instead stayed with the Jam and helped them to win the ABA Championship. In the following 2004–05 season, he signed with the ABA's Orange County Crush and the following season with the league's Tijuana Dragons. The return to the NBA never materialised, but on January, 26, 2006, it was announced that Rodman had signed a one-game "experiment" deal for the UK basketball team Brighton Bears of the British Basketball League to play Guildford Heat on January 28, and went on to play three games for the Bears. In spring 2006, he played two exhibition games in the Philippines along with NBA ex-stars Darryl Dawkins, Kevin Willis, Calvin Murphy, Otis Birdsong and Alex English. On April 27, they defeated a team of former Philippine Basketball Association stars in Mandaue City, Cebu and Rodman scored five points and grabbed 18 rebounds. On May 1, 2006, Rodman's team played their second game and lost to the Philippine national basketball team 110–102 at the Araneta Coliseum, where he himself scored three points and 16 rebounds.
In 2005, Rodman had two notable visits in Finland. At first, he was present at Sonkajärvi in July in a wife-carrying contest. However, he resigned from the contest due to health problems. In November, he played for Torpan Pojat of the Finland's basketball league, Korisliiga.
In 14 NBA years, Rodman played in 911 games and scored 6,683 points and grabbed 11,954 rebounds, translating to 7.3 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. His 13.1 rebounds per game make him the eleventh best player ever in this statistic; the next best player who played with or after him is Tim Duncan with 11.8 rpg as of 2008. NBA.com lauds Rodman as "arguably the best rebounding forward in NBA history and one of the most recognized athletes in the world" but adds "enigmatic and individualistic, Rodman has caught the public eye for his ever-changing hair color, tattoos and unorthodox lifestyle". On the hardwood, he was recognised as one of the most successful defensive players ever, winning the NBA championship five times in six NBA Finals appearances (1989, 1990, 1996–8; only loss 1988), being crowned NBA Defensive Player of the Year twice (1990, 1991) and making seven NBA All-Defensive First Teams (1989–93, 1995, 1996) and NBA All-Defensive Second Teams (1994). He additionally made two All-NBA Third Teams (1992, 1995), two NBA All-Star Teams (1990, 1992) and won seven rebounding crowns (1992–98) and finally led the league once in field goal Percentage (1989). However, he was recognised as the prototype bizarre player, stunning basketball fans with his artificial hair colors, numerous tattoos and body piercings, multiple verbal and physical assaults versus officials, frequent ejections, and his tumultuous private life.
From the beginning of his career Rodman was known for his defensive hustle, which was later accompanied by his rebounding prowess. In Detroit, he was mainly played as a small forward, and his usual assignment was to neutralize the opponent's best player; Rodman was so versatile that he could guard centers, forwards or guards equally well and won two NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards. From 1991 on, he established himself as one of the best rebounders of all time, never failing to average at least 15.0 boards in six of the next seven years. Playing power forward as member of the Spurs and the Bulls, he had a historical outburst in the 1996 NBA Finals: he twice snared 11 offensive rebounds, equalling an all-time NBA record. In addition, his personal best 34-rebound game is the second best board-grabbing performance since 1988, topped only by the 35-rebound game by Charles Oakley.
On offense, Rodman's output was mediocre. He averaged 11.6 points a game in his sophomore season, but his point average steadily dropped: in the three championship season with the Bulls, he averaged five points per game and connected on less than half of his field goal attempts. His free throw shooting (lifetime average: .584) was considered a big liability: in 1997, Bubba Wells of the Dallas Mavericks committed six intentional fouls against him in under three minutes, setting a record for the fastest foul out in NBA history. The intention was to force him to attempt free throws, which in theory would mean frequent misses and easy ball possession without giving up too many points. However, this plan backfired, as Rodman hit nine of these 12 attempts.
In 1996, Rodman had his own MTV reality talk show called The Rodman World Tour, which featured him in a series of odd-ball situations. This show was produced by Patrick Byrnes and written by Tom Cohen and Matt Price. A year later, he made his feature film debut in the action film Double Team alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme. The film was critically panned and his performance earned him three Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst New Star, Worst Supporting Actor and Worst Screen Couple (shared with Van Damme). Rodman starred in Simon Sez, a 1999 action/comedy and co-starred with Tom Berenger in a 2000 action film about skydiving titled Cutaway. In 1998, he joined the cast of the syndicated TV show Special Ops Force, playing 'Deke' Reynolds, a flamboyant but skilled ex-Army helo pilot and demolitions expert.
Since then he has appeared in few acting roles outside of playing himself. Rodman voiced Zack, a character resembling him, in Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. He has made an appearance in an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun playing the character of himself, except being a fellow alien with the Solomon family. He also appeared in several reality soaps: in January 2006, Rodman appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK, and on July 26, 2006, in the UK series Love Island as a houseguest contracted to stay for a week. Finally, he appeared on the show Celebrity Mole on ABC. He wound up winning the $222,000 grand prize. Rodman was the winner of Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling title defeating other challengers such as Butterbean and Dustin Diamond.
In 2009, he will appear as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice. Throughout the season, each celebrity will be raising money for a charity of their choice; Rodman has selected the Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Orleans.
Rodman is the son of his mother Shirley and father Philander Rodman Jr. After Philander left when Dennis was three years old, Shirley took many odd jobs—at times, four at the same time—to support her family. In his 1997 biography Bad As I Wanna Be, he expresses his disgust for his father: "I haven't seen my father in more than 30 years, so what's there to miss… I just look at it like this: Some man brought me into this world. That doesn't mean I have a father." Rodman lived together with his mother and his sisters Debra and Kim, who also played basketball and went on to become All-Americans at Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin respectively. Childhood was not easy for him: he experienced poverty, and he was so attached to his mother that he refused to move when she sent him to a nursery when he was four years old. Shirley Rodman was more interested in his two sisters Debra and Kim, who were both considered more talented in basketball than he was (which made him a laughingstock whenever he tagged along with them), and was generally "overwhelmed" by this all-female household. When he had his growth spurt, he became even more withdrawn because he felt odd in his own body. Rodman was so insecure around women that he thought he was homosexual in his teens, was still a virgin when he was 20 years old, and finally had his first sexual experience with a prostitute; he described this as an unpleasant experience.
While at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Rodman was working at a summer youth basketball camp and befriended Byrne Rich, one of the campers. Rich was shy and withdrawn, stemming from a hunting accident in which he mistakenly shot and killed his best friend. The two became almost inseparable and formed a bond. Rich invited Rodman to his rural Oklahoma home; at first, Rodman was not well-received by the Riches due to being African-American. But, the Riches were so grateful to him for bringing their son out of his shell that they were able to set aside their prejudices. Although Rodman had severe family issues himself, he "adopted" the Riches as his own in 1982 and went from the city life to "driving a tractor and messing with cows." Rodman credits the Riches as his "surrogate family" that helped him through college.
After college and being drafted by the Pistons, Rodman met his girlfriend and later wife Anicka "Annie" Bakes and had a daughter Alexis (born 1989). She married and divorced him in 1993, an experience which left him traumatised. Rodman's refusal to take a HIV test was cited as the main conflict that led to the divorce. In that year, he was found asleep in his car with a loaded rifle in his hand, and it was rumoured that he had tried to commit suicide, which he confirmed four years later: but instead of killing himself, he decided to symbolically kill the shy Dennis Rodman he hated and to be reborn as a man full of self-confidence.
After demanding and getting a trade to the San Antonio Spurs, he became the volatile character of his later years, began dating Madonna and claimed she actively tried to get a child from him. Shortly after, Rodman famously wore a wedding dress to promote his autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be, claimed that he was bisexual and that he was "marrying himself", thus the dress. In November 1998, he married Carmen Electra in a state of intoxication, and the marriage was invalidated after just 10 days. A year later, he met Michelle Moyer, who became his new girlfriend. Moyer bore him two children, namely a son called D.J. (born 2000) and a daughter named Trinity (born 2001). Moyer and Rodman married in 2003 on his 42nd birthday. It was described as a "big party", in line with Rodman's reputation as a notorious party organiser: after settling down in Newport Beach, California, the police appeared over 70 times at his home because of loud parties. Two years later, he published his second autobiography I Should Be Dead By Now and promoted this by sitting in a coffin. However, his private life remained rocky. On April 30, 2008, he was arrested following a domestic dispute incident at a Los Angeles hotel. On June 24, 2008, he pled no contest to the misdemeanor spousal battery charges and was sentenced to one year of domestic violence counseling and three years probation. He received 45 hours of community service, which will involve some physical labor activities.
Terry Gene Bollea (born August 11, 1953), better known by his ring name Hulk Hogan, is an American actor, and semi-retired professional wrestler. He starred in the VH1 reality show Hogan Knows Best and is the co-host of American Gladiators on NBC. In addition, he makes frequent guest appearances on his daughter's reality show, Brooke Knows Best.
Bollea had mainstream popularity in the mid 1980s through the early 1990s as the all-American, working-class hero character Hulk Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF—now World Wrestling Entertainment) and was notable in the mid-to-late 1990s as "Hollywood" Hogan, a villainous nWo leader, in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Following WCW's fold, he made a brief return to the WWE in the early 2000s, combining elements of his two most famous personas.
Bollea was later inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and is officially a twelve-time world champion: a six time WWF/E Champion and a six time WCW World Heavyweight Champion as well as a former one time Tag Team Champion with Edge. He was also the winner of the Royal Rumble in 1990 and 1991.
The son of Ruth, a homemaker and dance teacher, and Peter Bollea, a construction foreman, he was raised in Tampa, Florida. As a boy, he was a pitcher in Little League Baseball. He began watching professional wrestling at 16 years old. While in high school, he revered Dusty Rhodes, and he regularly attended cards at the Tampa Sportatorium. It was at one of those wrestling cards where he first turned his attention towards "Superstar" Billy Graham and looked to him for inspiration. Hogan was also a skilled musician, spending ten years playing bass guitar in several Florida-based rock bands. Many of the wrestlers who competed in the Florida territory at that time visited the bars where Hogan was performing. He then attended the University of South Florida, of which he later dropped out; he spent most of his time at a local gym, where he met pro wrestler Mike Graham, the son of legendary wrestler and National Wrestling Alliance president Eddie Graham. Hogan's physical stature also caught the attention of Jack Brisco and his brother Gerald. Together, they convinced Hogan to try wrestling. Having been a wrestling fan since childhood, Hogan agreed, and in 1976, Mike Graham introduced Hogan to Hiro Matsuda, who was among the sport's top trainers. According to Hogan, during their first training session, Matsuda sarcastically asked him, "So you want to be a wrestler?" and purposely broke Hogan's leg.
Within a year, Matsuda had prepared him for his professional debut, in which Eddie Graham booked him against Brian Blair in Fort Myers, Florida on August 10, 1977. A short time later, Bollea donned a mask and assumed the persona of "The Super Destroyer," a hooded character first played by Don Jardine and subsequently used by several other wrestlers. A few months later, he joined Louie Tillet's Alabama territory, where he tag teamed with Ed Leslie (later known as Brutus Beefcake) as Terry and Ed Boulder. These early matches as a tag team with the surname Boulder being used by both men prompted a rumor among wrestling fans unaware of the inner workings of the sport that Hogan and Beefcake were brothers, as few people actually knew their real names outside of immediate friends, family, and of course the various promoters the two worked for. During this time, he appeared on a talk show, where he sat beside Lou Ferrigno, star of the television series The Incredible Hulk. The host commented how Terry, who stood 6 ft 7 in and weighed 295 pounds with 24 inch biceps, actually dwarfed "the Hulk." As a result, Bollea began performing as Terry "The Hulk" Boulder and sometimes wrestled as Sterling Golden.
In May 1979, Bollea had an early shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, whose holder was at the time generally recognized as the industry's best. In June 1979, Bollea won his first wrestling championship, the NWA Southeast Heavyweight Championship, recognized in Alabama and Tennessee when he defeated Ox Baker.
Later that year, former NWA World Champion Terry Funk introduced Bollea to World Wrestling Federation (WWF) chief Vincent J. McMahon, who was impressed with his charisma and physical stature. McMahon gave Bollea the last name Hogan, as he was obsessed with using Irish names. At this time, Hogan wrestled Bob Backlund for the WWF Championship, and he started his first big feud with André the Giant, which culminated in a match with André at Shea Stadium.Hulk Hogan claims in his autobiography that he and André the Giant were the reason for the Shea gate. However, Sammartino/Zbyszko sold out everywhere they wrestled leading up the show. Hogan and Andre wrestled in White Plains, New York, drawing 1,200 in a building that held 3,500 as the main event before they wrestled at Shea.
After filming his scene for Rocky III, against McMahon's wishes, Hogan made his debut in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), owned by Verne Gagne. Hogan started his AWA run as a heel, taking on "Luscious" Johnny Valiant as his manager, but AWA audiences loved the muscular and more charismatic Hogan, and soon the AWA's bookers were compelled to turn Hogan face. Using "Eye of the Tiger" as his theme music, Hogan soon became the promotion's top babyface, and throughout 1983, he engaged in a big feud against AWA World Champion Nick Bockwinkel and his manager Bobby Heenan. Gagne, however, continued to tease the AWA audience by booking numerous screwjobs meant to keep the championship with Bockwinkel, who was a veteran of the territory and had assumed the mantle of the organization's centerpiece following Gagne's retirement from active competition. Because Hogan was not an "old school" technical wrestler, Gagne would not let him be champion. On several occasions, Hogan defeated Bockwinkel to win the title, only to have the decision later reversed. This practice increasingly drew the ire of the fans, so much so that on one occasion, according to Hogan's autobiography and other books, one crowd nearly rioted until Hogan himself calmed the audience down. Hogan himself also began to grow frustrated with Verne Gagne's unwillingness to give Hogan a larger share of his merchandise sales. Eventually, Gagne was finally ready to book Hogan to win the AWA title; however, according to Hogan, Gagne wanted a piece of the large money Hogan was making from his frequent trips to Japan, more control over the bookings that Hogan took overseas. Hogan refused flatly, saying he didn't need the AWA title at that point. Also according to Hogan in his autobiography, Verne wanted Hogan to be brought into the family by marriage before handing the AWA title over to him. Hogan, unwilling to give up his life as a bachelor just for the world title of the AWA, continued to turn down the belt. Shortly after these attempts to woo Hogan into giving Gagne more of a share of his profits and booking in Japan and attempts to bring him into the Gagne family, Hogan was lured back to the Northeast by Vincent K. McMahon, who had just recently purchased the WWF from his ailing father.
Over twenty years later, just prior to Hulk Hogan's WWE Hall of Fame induction in 2005, the revived AWA, under the authority of owner Dale Gagne (real last name: Gagner), relented and acknowledged the legitimacy of Hogan's two title wins over Nick Bockwinkel, making him a two-time AWA champion. This resolution, however, has been regarded as apocryphal to most as the resurrected AWA is generally regarded as an entirely different body than the Verne Gagne-owned AWA of old. As recently as the release of the DVD The Spectacular Legacy of the AWA, interviews between Hogan and the Gagnes show that there is still animosity between both parties, indicating the unlikelihood Hogan's AWA title reign would have been retroactively instated under the original ownership. The WWE also sought legal action against Dale Gagne, due to alleged trademark infringement, which calls Gagne's claims to ownership of the AWA into doubt, and as such may render the resolution moot, as the WWE only recognizes twelve American world titles being attributed to Hulk Hogan, and the AWA World Title is not among that number.
A great deal of Hogan's early success was achieved in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Japanese wrestling fans were in awe of the gargantuan blond American and nicknamed him "Ichiban" (which translates to "Number One"). Hogan first appeared in Japan on May 13, 1980, while he was still with the WWF. He toured the country from time to time over the next few years, facing a wide variety of opponents ranging from Tatsumi Fujinami to Abdullah the Butcher. When competing in Japan, Hogan used a vastly different repertoire of wrestling moves, relying on more technical, traditional wrestling holds and maneuvers as opposed to the power-based, brawling style U.S. fans became accustomed to seeing from him. Another difference is that Hogan used a running forearm lariat (called the "Axe Bomber") as his finisher in Japan, as opposed to the running leg drop that has been his traditional finisher in America. On June 2, 1983, Hogan became the first International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) tournament winner, defeating Japanese wrestling icon Antonio Inoki by knockout in the finals of a 10-man tournament featuring top talent from throughout the world. Hogan and Inoki also worked as partners in Japan, winning the prestigious MSG Tag League tournament two years in a row: in 1982 and 1983. Hogan's popularity in Japan was so great, he even recorded an album there—a forerunner to the World Wrestling Federation's "Rock 'n' Wrestling" of the mid 1980s.
After purchasing the World Wrestling Federation from his father in 1982, Vincent K. McMahon had plans to expand the territory into a nationwide promotion, and he handpicked Hulk Hogan to be the company's showpiece attraction due to his charisma and name recognition. Hogan made his return to the WWF at a television taping in St. Louis, Missouri on December 27, 1983 defeating Bill Dixon. Initially, Hogan was a heel, allied with veteran wrestler-turned-manager "Classy" Freddie Blassie; however, this was short-lived.
On January 7, 1984 edition of Championship Wrestling, Hogan saved Bob Backlund from a three-way assault. Hogan's turn was explained simply by Backlund: "He's changed his ways. He's a great man. He's told me he's not gonna have Blassie around". The storyline shortcut was necessary because less than three weeks later on January 23, Hogan won his first WWF Championship, pinning The Iron Sheik (who had Blassie in his corner) in Madison Square Garden. The storyline accompanying the victory was that Hogan was a "last minute" replacement for the Sheik's original opponent Bob Backlund, and became the champion by way of being the first man to escape the camel clutch (the Iron Sheik's signature move).
Immediately after the title win, commentator Gorilla Monsoon officially proclaimed "Hulkamania is here!" Hogan frequently referred to his fans as "Hulkamaniacs" in his interviews and introduced his three "demandments": training, saying prayers, and eating vitamins. Eventually, a fourth demandment (believing in oneself) was added during his feud with Earthquake in the 1990s. Hogan's ring gear developed a characteristic yellow-and-red color scheme; his ring entrances involved him ritualistically ripping his shirt off his body, flexing, and listening for audience cheers in an exaggerated manner. The majority of Hogan's matches during this time involved him wrestling heels who had been booked as unstoppable monsters, using a format which became near-routine: Hogan would deliver steady offense, but eventually lose momentum, seemingly nearing defeat. He would then experience a sudden second wind, fighting back while "feeding" off the energy of the audience, becoming impervious to attack—a process described as "hulking up". His signature maneuvers, the big boot and Atomic Leg Drop, would follow and ensure him a victory.
Over the next year, Hulk Hogan became the face of pro wrestling as McMahon pushed the WWF into a pop culture enterprise with the The Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection on MTV, drawing record houses, pay-per-view buyrates, and television ratings in the process. The centerpiece attraction for the first WrestleMania on March 31, 1985, Hogan teamed with real-life friend Mr. T to defeat his archrival "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. On the first-ever edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Hogan successfully defended the WWF title against Cowboy Bob Orton in a match which Hogan won by disqualification.
Hogan was named the most requested celebrity of the 1980s for the Make-a-Wish Foundation children's charity. He was featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, and People magazines, while also appearing on The Tonight Show and having his own CBS Saturday morning cartoon titled Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling. Hogan went on to headline eight of the first nine WrestleMania events, and he also co-hosted Saturday Night Live on March 30, 1985 during this lucrative run. AT&T reported that his 900 number information line was the single biggest 900 number in the industry from 1991 to 1993. Hogan operated the 900 number through his stint in WWF and then recreated it when he joined World Championship Wrestling.
On the October 5, 1985 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, he successfully defended the title against Nikolai Volkoff in a flag match. He met long-time rival Roddy Piper in a WWF title match at the historic Wrestling Classic pay-per-view (PPV) event. Hogan retained the title by disqualification after Bob Orton interfered and hit Hogan with his cast. Hogan had many challengers in the way as the new year began. Throughout 1986, Hogan made successful title defenses against challengers such as Terry Funk, "The Magnificient" Don Muraco, King Kong Bundy (in a steel cage match at WrestleMania 2), Paul Orndorff, and Hercules Hernandez.
In the fall of 1986, Hogan occasionally wrestled in tag matches with The Machines as Hulk Machine under a mask copied from New Japan Pro Wrestling gimmick "Super Strong Machine." At WrestleMania III in 1987, Hogan was booked to defend the title against André the Giant, who had been the sport's premier star and was pushed as undefeated for the previous two decades. A new storyline was introduced in early 1987; Hogan was presented a trophy for being the WWF Champion for three consecutive years. André the Giant, a good friend came out to congratulate him. Shortly afterwards, André was presented a slightly smaller trophy for being "undefeated in the WWF for 15 years." Hogan came out to congratulate André, who walked out in the midst of Hogan's speech. Then, on an edition of Piper's Pit, Hogan was confronted by Bobby Heenan, who announced that André was his new protégé, and Andre challenged Hogan to a title match at WrestleMania III. At WrestleMania III, Hogan successfully defended the WWF World Heavyweight Championship against André the Giant. During the match, Hogan bodyslammed the 520-pound Frenchman and won the match after executing a scoop slam and a leg drop.
Hogan remained WWF Champion for four years and 13 days (1,474 days). He became the third longest reigning WWF Champion in the process, only after Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund. In front of 33 million viewers, however, Hogan finally lost the belt to André on the February 5 edition of The Main Event after a convoluted scam involving "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and "evil" twin referee Earl Hebner (in place of the match's appointed arbiter, his twin brother Dave Hebner). After André delivered a belly to belly suplex on Hogan, Hebner counted the pin while Hogan's left shoulder was clearly off the mat. After the match, André handed the title over to DiBiase to complete their storyline business deal. As a result, the WWF Championship was vacated for the first time in its 25-year history. At WrestleMania IV, Hogan participated in a tournament for the vacant WWF title to regain it and faced André in the tournament quarter-finals but their match resulted in a double disqualification. Later that night in the main event, Hogan interfered and helped his on/off friend "Macho Man" Randy Savage in beating Ted DiBiase to win the vacant WWF title. The relationship between the two would lead to the main event of the following WrestleMania.
Together, Hogan, Savage, and manager Miss Elizabeth formed a partnership known as The Mega Powers. After Savage became WWF Champion at WrestleMania IV, they feuded with The Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase and André the Giant), and defeated them at the main event of the first-ever SummerSlam. The Mega Powers, however, soon imploded from within in 1989, due to Savage's burgeoning jealousy of Hogan and his paranoid suspicions that Hogan and Elizabeth were "more than friends." This all started at Royal Rumble 1989, when Hogan accidentally eliminated Savage from the Royal Rumble match. They began a feud with The Twin Towers, and defeated them on the February 3, 1989 edition of The Main Event, but with controversy. During the match, Savage collided with Miss Elizabeth when he was thrown through the ropes to the floor. Hogan took her backstage to receive medical attention, thus abandoning Savage. He quickly returned to the ring but Savage slapped Hogan and turned on him by leaving the ring. Hogan later won the match by himself. After the match, Savage attacked Hogan backstage and the Mega Powers exploded, which started a feud between the two. Their feud culminated in Hogan beating Savage for his second WWF Championship at WrestleMania V.
Hogan's second run lasted a year, during which time he starred in the movie No Holds Barred. The film was the inspiration of a feud with Hogan's co-star Tom Lister, Jr., who appeared at wrestling events as his movie character, Zeus. Zeus was a monster heel who was "jealous" over Hogan's higher billing and wanted revenge. Hogan, however, was easily able to defeat Zeus in a series of matches across the country during late 1989, beginning with a tag team match at SummerSlam, in which Hogan and Brutus Beefcake topped Zeus and Savage. Hogan and Beefcake defeated Zeus and Savage in a rematch at the No Holds Barred pay-per-view to end the feud.
Also during his second run, Hogan won the 1990 Royal Rumble match. He dropped the title to Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior in a title vs. title match at WrestleMania VI. It was the first time in over seven years that Hogan suffered a defeat with a clean finish. This title match was unique because the two wrestlers were both faces, and Hogan graciously handed Warrior the belt and hugged him at the conclusion of the match.
Hogan soon became embroiled in a heated feud with the 468-pound Earthquake, who gained infamy by crushing Hogan's ribs in a sneak attack on The Brother Love Show in May 1990. On television, announcers explained that Hogan's injuries and his WrestleMania VI loss to The Ultimate Warrior both took such a huge toll on his fighting spirit that he wanted to retire. Viewers were asked to write letters to Hogan and send postcards asking for his return (they got a postcard-sized picture in return, autographed by Hogan, as a "thank-you"). Hogan returned by SummerSlam 1990 and for several months, dominated Earthquake in a series of matches across the country. His defeat of this overwhelmingly large foe caused Hogan to add a fourth demandment: believing in yourself. He would also be known as "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan.
Hogan became the first wrestler to win two Royal Rumble matches in a row, as he won the 1991 Royal Rumble match. At WrestleMania VII, Hogan stood up for the USA against Iraqi-sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter, defeating him for his third WWF Championship. Hogan started a feud with The Undertaker in the fall of 1991 and lost the WWF title to Undertaker at Survivor Series due to interference from Ric Flair. Just six days later, Hogan regained the title in a match held on a special pay-per-view named This Tuesday in Texas, beginning his fourth WWF Championship reign but due to the controversy surrounding the end of both matches, the title was again declared vacant.
The WWF Championship was decided at the 1992 Royal Rumble in the Royal Rumble match. Hogan was eliminated by storyline friend Sid Justice and failed to regain the championship. The two patched things up and teamed up together on the February 8, 1992 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event against the new WWF Champion Ric Flair and The Undertaker. Sid turned heel by abandoning Hogan but Flair slapped the referee, which gave Hogan and Sid a disqualification victory. This began a feud between Hogan and Sid. In the ensuing months, Hulk Hogan announced he was contemplating retirement from wrestling and would "bow out" after his match against Sid at WrestleMania VIII. Hogan eventually won the match via disqualification due to interference by Sid's manager Harvey Wippleman. Hogan was then attacked by Papa Shango (who was scripted to cause the disqualification, but arrived too late) and was saved by the returning Ultimate Warrior.
Hogan returned to the WWF in January 1993, helping out his friend Brutus Beefcake in his feud with Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) and officially renamed themselves The Mega-Maniacs. At WrestleMania IX, Hogan and Beefcake took on Money Inc. for the WWF Tag Team Championship but ended up losing the match by disqualification. Later that night, Hogan won his fifth WWF Championship by pinning Yokozuna only moments after Yokozuna's defeat of Bret Hart. At the first annual King of the Ring pay-per-view on June 13, 1993, Hogan defended the championship against the former champion, Yokozuna, in his first title defense since defeating Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX. During the course of the match, Yokozuna kicked out of Hogan's signature leg drop. The bout came to its close when a "Japanese photographer" (actually a disguised Harvey Wippleman) got on the apron and distracted Hogan, before shooting some sort of fireball out of the camera and into Hogan's face. This was followed by Yokozuna hitting a leg drop on Hogan for the pin. After his victory, Yokozuna proceeded to give Hogan a Banzai Drop. As Yokozuna celebrated, Hogan was helped back to the locker room by ringside officials as he clutched his face. Hulkamania had seemingly taken its final breath. This would be Hogan's last WWF pay-per-view appearance until 2002, as both he and Jimmy Hart were preparing to leave the promotion. Hogan would continue his feud on the house show circuit with Yokozuna until August 1993. After that, Hogan would sit out the rest of his contract which expired later that year.
In 1994, a steroids scandal threatened the WWF, and Hogan testified in court that he had used steroids over a period of 12 years "to get big" and had also introduced WWF Chairman Vince McMahon to steroids during the filming of No Holds Barred. Both men also had Pennsylvania doctor George Zahorian send steroids to WWF's corporate office via FedEx. Hogan, however, never accused McMahon of distributing steroids himself, but Hogan also testified that steroid use was rampant in the WWF. His testimony may have kept McMahon out of prison, but it hurt both Hogan and the WWF's public image.
After Hogan left the WWF in the summer of 1993, he decided to take a few months off from wrestling to concentrate on movies, television, and his family. In June 1994, Hogan signed with Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and began appearing on television the next month. Hogan won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in his debut match, defeating Ric Flair in a 'dream' match at Bash at the Beach. After overcoming the likes of Flair, The Butcher (former partner Brutus Beefcake), Vader, and the Dungeon of Doom for the next eighteen months, Hogan dropped the belt to The Giant at Halloween Havoc 1995 via DQ. Following the controversial loss (which was due to a "contract clause"), the WCW title became vacant.
In early 1996, Hogan feuded with The Giant and with the Alliance to End Hulkamania. After coming out victorious from his feuds, Hogan began to only appear occasionally on WCW programming. It was also around this time, WCW fans began to grow tired of seeing Hogan's "red-and-yellow good guy" persona they had seen for ten years in the WWF. This led to one of the most talked about moments in wrestling history in the summer of 1996. During a six man tag team match at Bash at the Beach, Hulk Hogan interfered on behalf of The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall), attacking babyface Randy Savage. This action caused Hogan to turn heel for the first time in over ten years. After the match, Hogan delivered a now-infamous promo, accosting the fans and WCW for underappreciating his talent and drawing power. This culminated with Hogan's announcement of the formation of a "New World Order of Wrestling" This statement gave the trio its iconic name: the New World Order (nWo).
This would come to fruition, as the stable, known officially as the New World Order (nWo), would gain prominence in the coming weeks and months. Hogan grew a beard alongside his famous mustache and dyed it black, traded his red and yellow garb in for black clothing, renamed himself Hollywood Hogan, and returned to WCW programming eight days after his heel turn. Around this time, he began to use his celebrity status and wrestling clout to bring in various celebrities, such as Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman into wrestling.
Hogan won his second WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Hog Wild, defeating The Giant for the title. He spray painted a black "nWo" across the title belt, scribbled across the nameplate, and referred to the title as the "nWo title" during this and any other time he held the title while in the nWo. Hogan then started a feud with Lex Luger after Luger and The Giant defeated Hogan and Dennis Rodman in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach.
On the August 4, 1997 edition of Nitro, Hogan lost the WCW title to Luger by submission via Luger's Torture Rack submission finisher. Five days later, at Road Wild, Hogan defeated Luger to regain the WCW title and begin his third WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Hogan then lost the belt to Sting in a hugely-hyped, eighteen-months-in-the-making match at Starrcade. In the match, WCW's newly-contracted Bret Hart accused referee Nick Patrick of fast-counting a victory for Hogan and had the match restarted—with himself as referee. Sting later won by submission. After a rematch the following night, where Sting controversially retained the title, the WCW Championship became vacant. Sting then went on to win the vacant title against Hogan at SuperBrawl VIII.
Hogan then developed a rivalry with former friend (and recent nWo recruit) Randy Savage, who had just cost Hogan the title match at SuperBrawl by hitting him with a spray can. The heat culminated in a steel cage match at Uncensored, which ended in a no contest. Savage took the World Championship from Sting at Spring Stampede, while Hogan teamed with Kevin Nash to take on Roddy Piper and The Giant in the first-ever Bat match. Marking the breakup of the original nWo, Hogan betrayed Nash by hitting him with the bat and then challenged Savage the following night for his championship. In the no disqualification match for Savage's newly won title, Nash entered the ring and powerbombed Hogan as retribution for the attack the previous night, and Bret Hart turned heel by jumping in to attack Savage and preserve the victory for Hogan, who regained his fourth WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Hogan defended the title until July of that year, when WCW booked him in a match against newcomer and then WCW United States Champion Bill Goldberg, who had yet to lose a match in the company. Late in the match, Hogan was distracted by Karl Malone, who delivered a Diamond Cutter to nWo member Curt Hennig, the latter of whom was approaching the ring to assist Hogan. A spear and a Jackhammer from Goldberg then followed, and the rookie pinned Hogan to win his first and only WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
Hogan spent the rest of 1998 wrestling celebrity matches. His second tag team match with Dennis Rodman pitted them against Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone at Bash at the Beach and at Road Wild, he and Eric Bischoff lost to Page and Jay Leno thanks to interference from Kevin Eubanks, who leveled Bischoff with a Diamond Cutter. Hogan also had a highly hyped rematch with the Ultimate Warrior at Halloween Havoc, where his nephew Horace aided his victory. On the Thanksgiving episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Hogan officially announced his retirement from professional wrestling, as well as his candidacy for President of the United States. Campaign footage aired on Nitro of Hogan and Bischoff holding a press conference, making it appear legitimate. In the long run, however, both announcements were false and merely done as a publicity stunt attempting to draw some of the hype of Jesse Ventura's Minnesota gubernatorial win back to him.
After some time off from WCW, a still "retired" Hogan returned on the January 4, 1999 edition of Nitro to challenge Kevin Nash for the WCW title. He controversially regained his fifth WCW World Heavyweight Championship in what was later dubbed the Fingerpoke of Doom. This reformed the divided nWo branches—nWo Hollywood and nWo Wolfpac—which began feuding with Bill Goldberg and The Four Horsemen.
He then lost the title to Ric Flair at Uncensored in a Steel Cage First Blood match. A heavily bleeding Flair won via pinfall thanks to biased referee Charles Robinson. During that match, however, Hogan began to show some signs that a face turn was imminent, showing off some old tactics like his "Hulking up" no-sell. On the July 12 edition of Nitro, Hogan made his grand return as a full-fledged face and accepted a challenge from Savage, who had gained the world title at Bash at the Beach the night before. Thanks to interference from Nash, who had lost the title to Savage, Hogan defeated Savage to win his sixth and final WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
On August 9, 1999, he started the night dressed in the typical black and white, but after a backstage scene with his son, Hogan came out dressed in the traditional red and yellow for his main-event 6-man tag team match. Injuries and frustrations were mounting up however, and he was absent from television from October 1999 to February 2000. In his book Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Bollea said that he was asked to take time off by newly hired head of creative booker Vince Russo and was not told when he would be brought back at the time. Despite some reservations, he agreed to do so. On October 24 at Halloween Havoc, Hogan was to face Sting for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship (which he had lost to Sting at Fall Brawl the previous month, when Sting beat Hogan by cheating and had turned heel in the process). Hogan, however, came to the ring in street clothes, laid down for the pin, and left the ring.
Soon after his return in February 2000, at Bash at the Beach, Hogan was involved in a controversial, real-life incident with Vince Russo. Hogan was scheduled to wrestle Jeff Jarrett for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Before the match, there was a dispute between Hogan and Russo. Unbeknownst to Hogan, Russo told Jarrett to lie down in the middle of the ring and asked Hogan to pin him straight away. A visibly confused Hogan complied with a foot on Jarrett's chest after getting on the microphone and telling Russo, "Is this your idea, Russo...? That's why this company is in the damn shape it's in, because of bullshit like this!" Russo responded by coming out and saying that "From day one, that I've been in WCW, I've done nothing... nothing... but deal with the bullshit of the politics behind that curtain." Since Hogan refused to job to Jarrett, a new WCW World Heavyweight Championship was created, setting the stage for a title match between Booker T and Jeff Jarrett later that night. Whether or not the whole incident was a shoot or a work is still a hot debate. As a result, Hogan filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Russo soon after, which was eventually dismissed in 2002. Russo claims the whole thing was a work, and Hogan claims that Russo made it a shoot. Eric Bischoff contends that Hogan winning and leaving with the title was a work, claiming that he and Hogan celebrated after the event over the success of the angle, but that Russo coming out to fire Hogan was an unplanned shoot which led to the lawsuit filed by Hogan.
In the months following the eventual demise of WCW in March 2001, Hogan underwent surgery on his knees in order for him to wrestle again. As a test, Hogan worked a match in Orlando, Florida for the X Wrestling Federation promotion run by his longtime handler Jimmy Hart. Hogan defeated Curt Hennig in this match and felt healthy enough to accept an offer to return to the WWF in February 2002.
At No Way Out in 2002, Hogan returned to the company that had made him a pop culture icon. Returning as leader of the original nWo with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, the three got into a confrontation with The Rock and cost Stone Cold Steve Austin a chance at becoming the WWF Undisputed Champion against Chris Jericho in the main event. The nWo feuded with both Austin and The Rock, and Hogan accepted The Rock's challenge to a match at WrestleMania X8. At the event, Hogan asked Hall and Nash not to interfere, wanting to defeat The Rock by himself. Despite the fact that Hogan was supposed to be the heel in the match, the crowd favored Hogan throughout it; this effectively turned him face. The Rock cleanly won the contest but befriended Hogan at the end of the bout and helped him fight off Hall and Nash, who were upset by Hogan's conciliatory attitude. After the match, Hogan was a definite face again, siding with The Rock, though he continued wearing black and white tights for a few weeks after WrestleMania X8 until he resumed wearing his signature red and yellow tights. During this period, the "Hulk Rules" logo of the '80s was redone with the text "Hulk Still Rules." Hulk wore the original "Hulk Rules" attire 12 years earlier, when he headlined WrestleMania 6 at the same arena, in the SkyDome. For a time, he was still known as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, notably keeping the Hollywood Hogan style blond mustache with black beard while wearing Hulkamania-like red and yellow tights and using the Voodoo Child theme music he used in WCW. At Backlash, he defeated Triple H for his sixth and final WWF "Undisputed" Championship. He lost the belt to The Undertaker at Judgment Day.
On the July 4, 2002 edition of SmackDown, Hogan teamed with Edge to defeat Billy and Chuck and capture the WWE Tag Team Championship for the first time. They celebrated by waving the American flag as the overjoyed audience sang along to Hogan's theme song "Real American." They later dropped the titles to The Un-Americans (Lance Storm and Christian), at Vengeance. After an angle with Brock Lesnar, which saw Lesnar hand Hogan a defeat in August 2002, Hogan went on hiatus. He returned in early 2003 to battle The Rock (who had turned heel) once again at No Way Out and defeated Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XIX in a match billed as "20 years in the making." He then had another run as Hulk Hogan, shaving off the black Hollywood beard and dropping "Hollywood" from his name.
Later, he had a run as the masked Mr. America. The persona was supposed to be Hulk Hogan in disguise, wearing a mask. He used Hulk Hogan's "Real American" theme music and used all of Hogan's signature gestures, moves, and phrases. He was the subject of a storyline that took place after Hulk Hogan was forced by Vince McMahon to sit out the rest of his contract. After Hogan won at WrestleMania XIX, McMahon, in storyline, was frustrated with him and wanted Hulkamania to die. A WWE pre-debut push took place with mysterious Mr. America promos airing for weeks during SmackDown!. There was also on-screen discussion on SmackDown! between then General Manager Stephanie McMahon and other players concerning her hiring Mr. America "sight unseen." On May 1, Mr. America debuted on SmackDown! on a Piper's Pit segment. McMahon appeared and claimed that Mr. America was Hulk Hogan in disguise; Mr. America shot back by saying, "I am not Hulk Hogan, brother!" (lampooning Hogan's use of "brother" in his promos). The feud continued through the month of May, with a singles match between Mr. America and Hogan's old rival Roddy Piper at Judgment Day. McMahon tried desperately to prove that Mr. America was indeed Hulk Hogan but failed at all attempts. Mr. America even passed a lie detector test.
Mr. America's last WWE appearance was on the June 26 edition of SmackDown! when The Big Show and The World's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) defeated the team of Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, and Mr. America in a six-man tag team match when Show pinned Mr. America. After the show went off the air, Mr. America unmasked to show the fans that he was indeed Hulk Hogan, putting his finger to his lips telling the fans to keep quiet about his secret. The next week, Hogan quit WWE due to frustration with the creative team. On the July 3 edition of SmackDown!, Vince McMahon showed the footage of Mr. America unmasking as Hogan and "fired" him, although Hogan had already quit in real life. The Mr. America gimmick came under fire briefly from Marvel Comics, who anointed it a rip-off of Captain America, citing costume similarity; the single star on the mask was also a trademark on Captain America's chest piece. This was also adding fuel to the fire over the rights to use the Hulk Hogan name because of Marvel's ownership of the Incredible Hulk character. Because of these problems, WWE was forced to edit out all references to the "Hulk Hogan" name, including pictures which featured Hogan wearing memorabilia that said "Hulk" (a majority of them) and started to refer to Hogan under the "Hollywood Hogan" name he used in WCW. It was later revealed that Hogan was unhappy with the payoffs for his matches after his comeback under the Mr. America gimmick. Vince decided to terminate Hogan's contract, and Hogan left WWE in 2003.
A few months afterwards, Hulk Hogan worked a match for New Japan Pro Wrestling, beating Masahiro Chono at the Ultimate Crush II event, an event that featured both pro wrestling and mixed martial arts matches.
According to various reports, Hulk Hogan was approached by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2003 regarding appearing at a planned event titled Bound for Glory, a three hour pay per view event in October meant to be the annual alternative. Hogan willingly took a guitar shot from Jarrett during a press conference in Japan to hype the storyline, but withdrew from negotiations citing knee problems that would require surgery and prevent him from participating. "I was getting ready to go to TNA, was hoping of working with Jarrett and those guys, and giving McMahon a run for his money one more time," said Hulk Hogan on the Main Event radio show in December 2006. The footage of Jarrett breaking a guitar over Hogan's head was thereafter frequently used by TNA. Hogan would soon return to WWE in 2005 to be inducted to the Hall of Fame Class of 2005.
In 2005, weeks before WrestleMania 21, it was announced on all WWE programming that Hogan would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. On April 2, Hogan was inducted by actor and friend Sylvester Stallone. Hogan was applauded for several minutes before he was able to make a speech. When he paused during his speech, the crowd chanted "One More Match! One More Match!" The fans also chanted "Austin, Hogan" (referring to a Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan match); Hogan responded "that may be a good match someday". At WrestleMania 21 on April 3, the "American Patriot" Hogan came out to rescue Eugene, who was being attacked by Muhammad Hassan and Khosrow Daivari. Some of the build-up to Hogan's induction into the Hall of Fame and preparation for this angle were shown on the first season of Hogan Knows Best.
The next night on Raw, Hassan and Daivari came out to confront and assault fan favorite Shawn Michaels. The following week, Michaels approached Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff demanding a handicap match with Hassan and Daivari. Bischoff refused but told Michaels if he found a partner he would be granted a tag team match. Michaels then made a plea for Hulk Hogan to come back and team with him. On the April 18 episode of Raw, Hassan again led an attack on Michaels until Hogan appeared, and saved Michaels and accepted his offer. At Backlash 2005, Hassan and Daivari lost to Hogan and Michaels.
Hogan then appeared on July 4 edition of Raw as the special guest of Carlito on his talk-show segment Carlito's Cabana. After being asked questions by Carlito concerning his daughter Brooke Hogan, Hogan proceeded to attack Carlito. This was then followed up by an appearance of Kurt Angle, who made comments about Brooke, which further upset Hogan. Hogan was eventually double teamed by Carlito and Angle but was saved by Shawn Michaels. Later that night, Michaels and Hogan defeated Carlito and Kurt Angle in a tag match. During the post match celebration, Michaels delivered Sweet Chin Music to Hogan and walked off. The following week on Raw, Michaels appeared on Piper's Pit and challenged Hogan to face him one-on-one for the first time. Hogan appeared on Raw one week later and accepted the challenge. The match took place at SummerSlam. The "Legend vs. Icon" storyline was the main event for the Raw brand going into SummerSlam. The match went back and forth, with two referees getting "knocked out" and Michaels using a steel chair to try to gain an advantage. Even after Michaels hit his Sweet Chin Music, Hogan still kicked out and mounted some offense against Michaels, finally hitting him with the legdrop and scoring the victory. Michaels extended his hand to him, telling him that he "had to find out for himself," and Hogan and Michaels shook hands. Michaels left the ring to allow Hogan to celebrate with the crowd.
Prior to WrestleMania 22, Hogan inducted friend and former announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund into the WWE Hall of Fame. Hogan returned on the July 15, 2006 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event with his daughter Brooke. During the show, Randy Orton flirted with Hogan's daughter, and he later challenged Hulk to a match at SummerSlam, which Hogan won.
In December 2007 on the 15th Anniversary edition of Monday Night Raw, Hogan came back for a one night appearance coming to the aid of Hornswoggle against The Great Khali. During his in-ring speech, Hogan said to never say never about another match and alluded to his longtime rival Randy Savage using his signature catchphrase of "Oh Yeah!".
After a brief fall out with McMahon and WWE, Hogan was lured to Memphis Wrestling with the proposal of wrestling Jerry "The King" Lawler. The match had been promoted on Memphis Wrestling Prime Time for several months. On April 12, 2007, however, Lawler announced in a news conference that WWE had barred him from wrestling Hogan on the basis that NBC performers (including Lawler, on the basis of co-hosting the NBC-owned USA Network's WWE Raw and his appearances on the biannual WWE Saturday Night's Main Event) are contractually prohibited from appearing on VH1, the channel on which Hogan Knows Best airs. The situation resulted in a lawsuit being filed against WWE by event promoter Corey Maclin. Lawler was replaced with Paul Wight, formerly known as The Big Show. Hulk Hogan defeated Paul "The Great" Wight at PMG Clash of Legends on April 27, 2007 when he picked up and bodyslammed Wight and pinned him following the Atomic Leg Drop.
Hulk Hogan's crossover popularity led to several television and movie roles. Along with Rocky III (1982) and No Holds Barred (1989), he starred in the family films Suburban Commando (1991), Mr. Nanny (1993), Santa with Muscles (1996), and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998). He starred in his own television series, Thunder in Paradise, in 1994. He is the star of The Ultimate Weapon (1997), in which Brutus Beefcake also appears in a cameo.
Hogan plays an old guy in a bar in Colma: The Musical (2006) in which he sings and dances about being single. Hogan also starred in a pair of television movies, originally intended as a pilot for an ongoing series for TNT, produced by Eric Bischoff. The movies, Shadow Warriors: Assault on Devil's Island and Shadow Warriors: Hunt for The Death Merchant, starred Hogan alongside Carl Weathers and Shannon Tweed as a freelance mercenary team. In 1995, he appeared on TBN's Kids Against Crime.
Hogan made cameo appearances in Muppets from Space, Gremlins 2: The New Batch (the theatrical cut) and Spy Hard as himself. Hogan was offered the role of Zeus in Little Hercules in 3D on an episode of Hogan Knows Best and was shown during the filming of the movie. He also had a cameo at the end of the movie Little Monsters. Hogan also made two appearances on The A-Team (in 1985 and 1986), and along with Roddy Piper, Hogan lent his voice for a few episodes of the stop-motion animation skit show, Robot Chicken. He guest-starred in a two-part episode of Suddenly Susan in 1999. In 2001, Hogan guest-starred on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger, playing a reformed criminal now operating a Christian Community Center and helping Walker steer teenagers away from gangs.
On July 10, 2005, VH1 premiered a new reality show titled Hogan Knows Best which centers around Hulk Hogan, his wife Linda, and their children Brooke and Nick. Set in their home in Clearwater, Florida, the show follows the family in their efforts to fulfill the dreams of their children while still maintaining their sense of closeness. At the show's onset, 16-year-old Brooke is trying to break into the music industry while younger brother Nick (age 14) goes through a series of career aspirations including becoming a professional race car driver and following in his dad's footsteps as a pro-wrestler.
As of July 2008, Hogan Knows Best transferred its focus into a new show called Brooke Knows Best which focuses on his daughter's move into a new apartment to continue her pursuit of a music career.
Hogan hosted the comeback series of American Gladiators on NBC in 2008. He also hosted and judged the short-lived reality show, Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling.
Hogan released a music CD, Hulk Rules, as Hulk Hogan and The Wrestling Boot Band. Also, Green Jellÿ released a single, a duet with Hogan, performing Gary Glitter's classic song "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)". He has also made cameos in several music videos. The music video for Dolly Parton's wrestling-themed love song "Headlock on my Heart" features Hogan as "Starlight Starbright". In the music video "Pressure" by Belly ft. Ginuwine, Hogan and his daughter Brooke both made brief cameo appearances.
In an interview on both the Tonight Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Hogan claimed that the George Foreman Grill was originally offered to him, but he failed to respond in time. George Foreman was called and he chose to endorse the grill instead of a blender. This claim was validated on an episode of Hogan Knows Best, in which his wife Linda and the family are worried about Hogan's wrestling career and plead with him to take up a career in marketing. Hulk explains about turning down the Foreman grill, and his choice to invest in a shake-mixer instead, saying that whenever he thinks about investing in something "big", he thinks about what happened with the grill and the shake-mixer. However, he has since endorsed a similar product known as "The Hulk Hogan Ultimate Grill".
In 2006, Hogan unveiled his own energy drink, Hogan Energy, distributed by Socko Energy. It was featured in an episode of Hogan Knows Best.
His name and likeness are also applied to a line of microwavable hamburgers, cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches sold at Wal-Mart called "Hulkster Burgers".
During an interview with The Sun, Hogan claimed to be planning his own federation to compete against Vince McMahon. Hogan says he has raised $40 million of the $80–$100 million goal and his venture is something that will eventually revolutionize the sport of professional wrestling.
In April 2008, Hulk Hogan announced that he would be lending his license to video game developer Gameloft to create "Hulkamania Wrestling" for mobile phones. Hogan stated in a press release that the game would be "true to experiences in wrestling" and use his classic wrestling moves like the Doublehand Choke Lift and Strong Clothesline.
In October 2007, Hogan transferred all trademarks referring to himself to his liability company named "Hogan Holdings Limited". The trademarks include Hulk Hogan, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Hulkster, Hogan Knows Grillin, Hulkamania.com, and Hulkapedia.com.
His net worth, according to divorce papers made public on September 5, 2008, is estimated to be $26.7 - $32 million.
On December 18, 1983, Bollea married Linda Claridge (born August 24, 1959). They have a daughter Brooke (born May 5, 1988) and a son Nick (born July 27, 1990). Bollea made his personal life the centerpiece of the television show Hogan Knows Best, which includes his wife and two children.
Bollea's 17 year old son Nick was indicted as an adult on November 7, 2007 on four criminal charges. The charges stemmed from an August car accident which seriously injured the passenger in Nick's car, John Graziano. Nick pleaded no contest and was sentenced to eight months in jail on May 9, 2008.
In 2007 while the Hogan family was shooting Hogan Knows Best, Hulk Hogan cheated on Linda Hogan with a female friend of his daughter's, Christiane Plante. Plante, the one to confess to the affair with Hulk Hogan, worked with Brooke Hogan on her 2006 album. Plante is 21 years younger than Hulk Hogan.
This is a simple divorce — there’s no custody, there’s just a big pile of junk that we’ve accumulated. We should split it however the judge wants it and walk away, but, you know, my wife’s lawyer has told different magazines there’s gonna be a war... This is the money that I saved for my family, and money that Linda could walk away with, money that I saved for my children, that they’re just, they’re just wasting and burning up.
After filing for divorce in November of 2007, Linda (48 at the time) began dating Charlie Hill (19 at the time) in December of 2007. Hill was a student at Brooke and Nick's highschool, one grade above Nick and one grade below Brooke. Linda and Hill broke up in May of 2008. In November of 2008, Linda revealed to the public that she made the decision to end her marriage after finding out about Hulk Hogan's affair.
Bollea was honored as the 2008 king of the Krewe of Bacchus, a New Orleans carnival organization. As Bacchus XL, he joined the ranks of Charlton Heston, Jackie Gleason, and Bob Hope. Hogan visited the Children's Hospital of New Orleans and rode in the parade where he threw doubloons with his likeness. Hogan received the honor in part because meeting Hogan is one of the most requested "wishes" of the terminally ill children benefited by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Bollea is currently living with his daughter, Brooke, who stars in the VH1 reality series, Brooke Knows Best.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963) is a retired American professional basketball player and active businessman. His biography on the National Basketball Association (NBA) website states, "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.
After a stand-out career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jordan joined the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1984. He quickly emerged as one of the stars of the league, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line at Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness." He also gained a reputation as one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat." Though Jordan abruptly retired from basketball at the beginning of the 1993-94 NBA season to pursue a career in baseball, he rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three additional championships (1996, 1997, and 1998) as well as an NBA-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 season. Jordan retired for a second time in 1999, but he returned for two more NBA seasons in 2001 as a member of the Washington Wizards.
Jordan's individual accolades and accomplishments include five MVP awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game appearances and three All-Star MVP, ten scoring titles, three steals titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He holds the NBA record for highest career regular season scoring average with 30.12 points per game, as well as averaging a record 33.4 points per game in the playoffs. In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press's list of athletes of the century. He is currently a finalist to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Jordan is also noted for his product endorsements. He fueled the success of Nike's Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1985 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred in the 1996 feature film Space Jam. He is currently a part-owner and Managing Member of Basketball Operations of the Charlotte Bobcats in North Carolina.
Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Deloris (née Peoples), who worked in banking, James R. Jordan, Sr., an equipment supervisor. His family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, when he was a toddler. Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he anchored his athletic career by playing baseball, football, and basketball. He tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year, but at 5'11" (1.80 m), he was deemed too short to play at that level and was cut from the team. The following summer, however, he grew four inches (10 cm) and trained rigorously. Upon earning a spot on the varsity roster, Jordan averaged about 20 points per game over his final two seasons of high school play. As a senior, he was selected to the McDonald's All-American Team after averaging a triple-double: 29.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 10.1 assists.
In 1981, Jordan earned a basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in cultural geography. As a freshman in coach Dean Smith's team-oriented system, he was named ACC Freshman of the Year after he averaged 13.4 points per game (ppg) on 53.4% shooting (field goal percentage). He made the game-winning jump shot in the 1982 NCAA Championship game against Georgetown, which was led by future NBA rival Patrick Ewing. Jordan later described this shot as the major turning point in his basketball career. During his three seasons at North Carolina, he averaged 17.7 ppg on 54.0% shooting, and added 5.0 rebounds per game (rpg). After winning the Naismith and the Wooden College Player of the Year awards in 1984, Jordan left North Carolina one year before his scheduled graduation to enter the 1984 NBA Draft. The Chicago Bulls selected Jordan with the third overall pick, after Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets) and Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers). Jordan returned to North Carolina to complete his degree in 1986.
During his first season in the NBA, Jordan averaged 28.2 ppg on 51.5% shooting. He quickly became a fan favorite even in opposing arenas, and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the heading "A Star is Born" just over a month into his professional career. Jordan was also voted in as an All-Star starter by the fans in his rookie season. Controversy arose before the All-Star game when word surfaced that several veteran players, led by Isiah Thomas, were upset by the amount of attention Jordan was receiving. This led to a so called "freeze-out" on Jordan, where players refused to pass him the ball throughout the game. The controversy left Jordan relatively unaffected when he returned to regular season play, and he would go on to be voted Rookie of the Year. The Bulls finished the season 38–44, and lost in the first round of the playoffs in four games to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Jordan's second season was cut short by a broken foot which caused him to miss 64 games. Despite Jordan's injury and a 30–52 record, the Bulls made the playoffs. Jordan recovered in time to participate in the playoffs and performed well upon his return. Against a 1985–86 Boston Celtics team that is often considered one of the greatest in NBA history, Jordan set the still-unbroken record for points in a playoff game with 63 in Game 2. The Celtics, however, managed to sweep the series.
Jordan had recovered completely by the 1986–87 season, and had one of the most prolific scoring seasons in NBA history. He became the only player other than Wilt Chamberlain to score 3,000 points in a season, averaging a league high 37.1 points on 48.2% shooting. In addition, Jordan demonstrated his defensive prowess, as he became the first player in NBA history to record 200 steals and 100 blocks in a season. Despite Jordan's success, Magic Johnson won the league's Most Valuable Player Award. The Bulls reached 40 wins, and advanced to the playoffs for the third consecutive year. However, they were again swept by the Celtics.
Jordan led the league in scoring again in the 1987–88 season, averaging 35.0 ppg on 53.5% shooting and won his first league MVP award. He was also named the Defensive Player of the Year—a rarity for a guard—as he had averaged 1.6 blocks and a league high 3.16 steals per game. The Bulls finished 50–32, and made it out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in Jordan's career, as they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. However, the Bulls then lost in five games to the more experienced Detroit Pistons, who were led by Isiah Thomas and a group of physical players known as the "Bad Boys".
In the 1988–89 season, Jordan again led the league in scoring, averaging 32.5 ppg on 53.8% shooting from the field, along with 8 rpg and 8 assists per game (apg). The Bulls finished with a 47–35 record, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks along the way. The Cavaliers series included a career highlight for Jordan when he hit a series winning shot over Craig Ehlo in the closing moments of the deciding fifth game of the series. However, the Pistons again defeated the Bulls, this time in six games, by utilizing their "Jordan Rules" method of guarding Jordan, which consisted of double and triple teaming him every time he touched the ball.
The Bulls entered the 1989–90 season as a team on the rise, with their core group of Jordan and young improving players like Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, and under the guidance of new coach Phil Jackson. Jordan averaged a league leading 33.6 ppg on 52.6% shooting, to go with 6.9 rpg and 6.3 apg in leading the Bulls to a 55–27 record. They again advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals beating the Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers en route. However, despite pushing the series to seven games, the Bulls lost to the Pistons for the third consecutive season.
In the 1990–91 season, Jordan won his second MVP award after averaging 31.5 ppg on 53.9% shooting, 6.0 rpg, and 5.5 apg for the regular season. The Bulls finished in first place in their division for the first time in 16 years and set a franchise record with 61 wins in the regular season. With Scottie Pippen developing into an All-Star, the Bulls elevated their play. The Bulls defeated the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers in the opening two rounds of the playoffs. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where their rival, the Detroit Pistons, awaited them. However, this time when the Pistons employed their "Jordan Rules" defense of doubling and triple teaming Jordan, he picked them apart with passing. Finally, the Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons in a surprising sweep. In an unusual ending to the fourth and final game, Isiah Thomas led his team off the court before the final minute had concluded. Most of the Pistons went directly to their locker room instead of shaking hands with the Bulls.
The Bulls compiled an outstanding 15-2 record during the playoffs, and advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, where they beat the Los Angeles Lakers four games to one. Perhaps the best known moment of the series came in Game 2 when, attempting a dunk, Jordan avoided a potential Sam Perkins block by switching the ball from his right hand to his left in mid-air to lay the shot in. The play was the last in a sequence of 13 consecutive field goals made by Jordan. In his first Finals appearance, Jordan posted per game averages of 31.2 points on 56% shooting from the field, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.4 blocks. Jordan won his first NBA Finals MVP award by a unanimous decision, and he cried while holding the NBA Finals trophy.
Jordan and the Bulls continued their dominance in the 1991–92 season, establishing a 67–15 record, topping their franchise record from 1990–91. Jordan won his second consecutive MVP award with a 30.1/6.4/6.1 season on 52% shooting. After winning a physical 7-game series over the burgeoning New York Knicks in the second round of the playoffs and finishing off the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals in 6 games, the Bulls met Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trail Blazers in the Finals. The media, hoping to recreate a Magic-Bird rivalry, highlighted the similarities between "Air" Jordan and Clyde "The Glide" during the pre-Finals hype. In the first game, Jordan scored a Finals-record 35 points in the first half, including a record-setting six three-point field goals. After the sixth three-pointer, he jogged down the court shrugging as he looked courtside. Marv Albert, who broadcast the game, later stated that it was as if Jordan was saying, "I can't believe I'm doing this." The Bulls went on to win Game 1, and defeat the Blazers in six games. Jordan was named Finals MVP for the second year in a row and finished the series averaging 35.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, and 6.5 apg, while shooting 53% from the floor.
In 1992–93, despite a 32.6/6.7/5.5 campaign, Jordan's streak of consecutive MVP seasons ended as he lost the award to his friend Charles Barkley. Fittingly, Jordan and the Bulls met Barkley and his Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals. The Bulls captured their third consecutive NBA championship on a game-winning shot by John Paxson and a last-second block by Horace Grant, but Jordan was once again Chicago's catalyst. He averaged a Finals-record 41.0 ppg during the six-game series, and became the first player in NBA history to win three straight Finals MVP awards. He scored more than 30 points in every game of the series, including 40 or more points in 4 consecutive games. With his third Finals triumph, Jordan capped off a seven-year run where he attained seven scoring titles and three championships, but there were signs that Jordan was tiring of his massive celebrity and all of the non-basketball hassles in his life.
On October 6, 1993, Jordan announced his retirement, citing a loss of desire to play the game. Jordan later stated that the murder of his father earlier in the year shaped his decision. James R. Jordan, Sr. was murdered on July 23, 1993, at a highway rest area in Lumberton, North Carolina, by two teenagers, Daniel Green and Larry Martin Demery. The assailants were traced from calls they made on James Jordan's cellular phone, caught, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. Jordan was close to his father; as a child he had imitated his father's proclivity to stick out his tongue while absorbed in work. He later adopted it as his own signature, displaying it each time he drove to the basket. In 1996 he founded a Chicago area Boys & Girls Club and dedicated it to his father.
Those close to Jordan claimed that he had been considering retirement as early as the summer of 1992, and that the added exhaustion due to the Dream Team run in the 1992 Olympics solidified Jordan's feelings about the game and his ever-growing celebrity status. Jordan's announcement sent shock waves throughout the NBA and appeared on the front pages of newspapers around the world.
Jordan then further surprised the sports world by signing a minor league baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox. He reported to spring training and was assigned to the team's minor league system on March 31, 1994. Jordan has stated this decision was made to pursue the dream of his late father, who had always envisioned his son as a major league baseball player. The White Sox were another team owned by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who continued to honor Jordan's basketball contract during the years he played baseball. He had a brief professional baseball career for the Birmingham Barons, a Chicago White Sox farm team, batting .202 with 3 HR, 51 RBI, 30 SB, and 11 errors. He also appeared for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the 1994 Arizona Fall League.
In the 1993–94 season, the Jordan-less Bulls notched a 55–27 record, and lost to the New York Knicks in the second round of the playoffs. But the 1994–95 version of the Bulls was a shell of the championship squad of just two years earlier. Struggling at mid-season to ensure a spot in the playoffs, Chicago needed a lift. The lift came in early 1995, when Jordan decided to return to the NBA for the Bulls.
On March 18, 1995, Jordan announced his return to the NBA through a two-word press release: "I'm back." The next day, Jordan donned jersey number 45 (his number with the Barons), as his familiar 23 had been retired in his honor following his first retirement. He took to the court with the Bulls to face the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, scoring 19 points. The game had the highest Nielsen rating of a regular season NBA game since 1975.
Although he had not played in an NBA game in a year and a half, Jordan played well upon his return, making a game-winning jump shot against Atlanta in his fourth game back and scoring 55 points in a game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 1995. Boosted by Jordan's comeback, the Bulls made the playoffs and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals against the Orlando Magic. At the end of the first game of the series, though, Orlando's Nick Anderson would strip Jordan from behind, leading to the game-winning basket for the Magic; he would later comment that Jordan "didn't look like the old Michael Jordan", after which Jordan returned to wearing his old number (23). Jordan averaged 31 points per game in that series, but Orlando prevailed in six games.
Freshly motivated by the playoff defeat, Jordan trained aggressively for the 1995–96 season. Strengthened by the addition of rebound specialist Dennis Rodman, the Bulls dominated the league, starting the season 41–3, and eventually finishing with the best regular season record in NBA history: 72–10. Jordan led the league in scoring with 30.4 ppg, and won the league's regular season and All-Star Game MVP awards. In the playoffs, the Bulls lost only three games in four series, defeating the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA Finals to win the championship. Jordan was named Finals MVP for a record fourth time, surpassing Magic Johnson's three Finals MVP awards. He also achieved only the second sweep of the MVP Awards in the All-Star Game, regular season and NBA Finals, duplicating Willis Reed's feat during the 1969-70 NBA season. Because this was Jordan's first championship since his father's death, and it was won on Father's Day, Jordan reacted very emotionally upon winning the title, including a memorable scene of him sobbing on the locker room floor with the game ball.
In the 1996–97 season the Bulls started out 69–11, but narrowly missed out on a second consecutive 70-win season by losing their final two games to finish 69–13. However, this year Jordan was beaten for the NBA MVP Award by Karl Malone. The team again advanced to the Finals, where they faced Malone and the Utah Jazz team. The series against the Jazz featured two of the more memorable clutch moments of Jordan's career. He won Game 1 for the Bulls with a buzzer-beating jump shot. In Game 5, with the series tied 2–2, Jordan played despite being feverish and dehydrated from a stomach virus. In what is known as the "flu game", Jordan scored 38 points including the game-deciding three-pointer with less than a minute remaining. The Bulls won 90-88 and went on to win the series in six games. For the fifth time in as many Finals appearances, Jordan received the Finals MVP award. During the 1997 NBA All-Star Game, Jordan posted the only triple double in All-Star Game history in a victorious effort, however he did not receive the MVP award.
Jordan and the Bulls compiled a 62–20 record in the 1997–98 season. Jordan led the league with 28.7 points per game, securing his fifth regular-season MVP award, plus honors for All-NBA First Team, First Defensive Team and the All-Star Game MVP. The Bulls captured the Eastern Conference Championship for a third straight season, including surviving a grueling seven-game series with Reggie Miller's Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals; it was the first time Jordan had played in a Game 7 since the 1992 series with the Knicks. After prevailing, they moved on for a rematch with the Jazz in the Finals.
The Bulls returned to Utah for Game 6 on June 14, 1998 leading the series 3–2. Jordan executed a series of plays, considered to be one of the greatest clutch performances in NBA Finals history. With the Bulls trailing 86–83 with 40 seconds remaining, coach Jackson called a timeout. When play resumed, Jordan received the inbound pass, drove to the basket, and hit a layup over several Jazz defenders. The Jazz brought the ball upcourt and passed the ball to forward Karl Malone, who was set up in the low post and was being guarded by Rodman. Malone jostled with Rodman and caught the pass, but Jordan cut behind him and swatted the ball out of his hands for a steal. Jordan then slowly dribbled upcourt and paused at the top of the key, eyeing his defender, Jazz guard Bryon Russell. With fewer than 10 seconds remaining, Jordan started to dribble right, then crossed over to his left, possibly pushing off Russell, although the officials did not call a foul. Jordan then released a shot that would be rebroadcast innumerable times in years to come. As the shot found the net, announcer Bob Costas shouted "Chicago with the lead!" After a desperation three-point shot by John Stockton missed, Jordan and the Bulls claimed their sixth NBA championship, and secured a second three-peat. Once again, Jordan was voted the Finals MVP, having led all scorers by averaging 33.5 points per game, including 45 in the deciding Game 6. Jordan's six Finals MVPs is a record; Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson, and Tim Duncan are tied for second place with three apiece. The 1998 Finals holds the highest television rating of any Finals series in history, and Game 6 holds the highest television rating of any game in NBA history.
With Phil Jackson's contract expiring, the pending departures of Scottie Pippen (who stated his desire to be traded during the season) and Dennis Rodman (who would sign with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent) looming, and being in the latter stages of an owner-induced lockout of NBA players, Jordan retired for the second time on January 13, 1999.
On January 19, 2000, Jordan returned to the NBA not as a player, but as part owner and President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards. His responsibilities with the club were to be comprehensive, as he was in charge of all aspects of the team, including personnel decisions. Opinions of Jordan as a basketball executive were mixed. He managed to purge the team of several highly paid, unpopular players (such as forward Juwan Howard and point guard Rod Strickland), but used the first pick in the 2001 NBA Draft to select high schooler Kwame Brown, who did not live up to expectations and was traded away after four seasons.
Despite his January 1999 claim that he was "99.9% certain" that he would never play another NBA game, in the summer of 2001 Jordan expressed interest in making another comeback, this time with his new team. Inspired by the NHL comeback of his friend Mario Lemieux the previous winter, Jordan spent much of the spring and summer of 2001 in training, holding several invitation-only camps for NBA players in Chicago. In addition, Jordan hired his old Chicago Bulls head coach, Doug Collins, as Washington's coach for the upcoming season, a decision that many saw as foreshadowing another Jordan return.
On September 25, 2001 Jordan announced his return to professional play with the Wizards, indicating his intention to donate his salary as a player to a relief effort for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. In an injury-plagued 2001–02 season, he led the team in scoring (22.90 ppg), assists (5.2 apg), and steals (1.42 spg). However, torn cartilage in his right knee ended Jordan's season after only 60 games, the fewest he had played in a regular season since a broken foot cut short his season in 1985–86.
Playing in his 14th and final NBA All-Star Game in 2003, Jordan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in All-Star game history. That year, Jordan was the only Washington player to play in all 82 games, starting in 67 of them. He averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He also shot 45% from the field, and 82% from the free throw line. Even though he turned 40 during the season, he scored 20 or more points 42 times, 30 or more points nine times, and 40 or more points three times. On February 21, 2003, Jordan became the first 40-year-old to tally 43 points in an NBA game. During his stint with the Wizards, all of Jordan's home games at the MCI Center were sold out, and the Wizards were the second most-watched team in the NBA, averaging 20,172 fans a game at home and 19,311 on the road. However, neither of Jordan's final two seasons resulted in a playoff appearance for the Wizards, and Jordan was often unsatisfied with the play of those around him. At several points he openly criticized his teammates to the media, citing their lack of focus and intensity, notably that of number one draft pick Kwame Brown.
With the recognition that 2002–03 would be Jordan's final season, tributes were paid to him throughout the NBA. In his final game at his old home court, the United Center in Chicago, Jordan received a four-minute standing ovation. The Miami Heat retired the number 23 jersey on April 11, 2003, even though Jordan had never played for the team. At the 2003 All-Star Game, Jordan was offered a starting spot from Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson, but refused both; in the end, however, he accepted the spot of Vince Carter, who decided to give it up under a great public pressure.
Jordan's final NBA game was on April 16, 2003 in Philadelphia. After scoring only 13 points in the game, Jordan went to the bench with 4 minutes and 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter and with his team trailing the Philadelphia 76ers, 75-56. Just after the start of the fourth quarter, the First Union Center crowd began chanting "We want Mike!". After much encouragement from coach Doug Collins, Jordan finally rose from the bench and re-entered the game for Larry Hughes with 2:35 remaining. At 1:45, Jordan was intentionally fouled by the 76ers' Eric Snow, and stepped to the line to make both free throws. After the second foul shot, the 76ers in-bounded the ball to rookie John Salmons, who in turn was intentionally fouled by Bobby Simmons one second later, stopping time so that Jordan could return to the bench. Jordan received a three-minute standing ovation from his teammates, his opponents, and a crowd of 21,257 fans.
Jordan played on two Olympic gold medal-winning American basketball teams. As a college player he participated, and won the gold, in the 1984 Summer Olympics. Jordan led the team in scoring averaging 17.1 ppg for the tournament. In the 1992 Summer Olympics he was a member of the star-studded squad that included Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and David Robinson and was dubbed the "Dream Team". Playing limited minutes due to the frequent blowouts, Jordan averaged 12.7 ppg, finishing fourth on the team in scoring. The team cruised to the gold medal, restoring the United States to the top of the basketball world. Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and fellow Dream Team member Chris Mullin are the only American men's basketball players to win Olympic gold as amateurs (all in 1984) and professionals.
After his third retirement, Jordan assumed that he would be able to return to his front office position of Director of Basketball Operations with the Wizards. However, his previous tenure in the Wizards' front office had produced the aforementioned mixed results and may have also influenced the trade of Richard "Rip" Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse (although Jordan was not technically Director of Basketball Operations in 2002). On May 7, 2003, Wizards owner Abe Pollin fired Jordan as Washington's President of Basketball Operations. Jordan later stated that he felt betrayed, and that if he knew he would be fired upon retiring he never would have come back to play for the Wizards.
Jordan kept busy over the next few years by staying in shape, playing golf in celebrity charity tournaments, spending time with his family in Chicago, promoting his Jordan Brand clothing line, and riding motorcycles. Since 2004, Jordan has owned a professional closed-course motorcycle roadracing team that competes in the premier Superbike class sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). Jordan and his then-wife Juanita pledged $5 million to Chicago's Hales Franciscan High School in 2006, and the Jordan Brand has made donations to Habitat for Humanity and a Louisiana branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. On June 15, 2006, Jordan became a part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and was named "Managing Member of Basketball Operations." He has the largest individual holding in the team after majority owner Robert L. Johnson. Despite Jordan's previous success as an endorser, he has made an effort not to be included in Charlotte's marketing campaigns.
Jordan was a shooting guard who was also capable of playing small forward (the position he would primarily play during his second comeback with the Washington Wizards). Jordan was known throughout his career for being a strong clutch performer. He decided numerous games with last-second plays (e.g., The Shot) and performed at a high level even under adverse circumstances (e.g., Flu Game). His competitiveness was visible in his prolific trash-talk and well-known work ethic.
Jordan had a versatile offensive game. He was capable of aggressively driving to the basket and drawing fouls from his opponents at a high rate; his 8,772 free throw attempts are the ninth highest total of all time. As his career progressed, Jordan also developed the ability to post up his opponents and score with his trademark fadeaway jumpshot, using his leaping ability to "fade away" from block attempts. According to Hubie Brown, this move alone made him nearly unstoppable. Despite media criticism as a "selfish" player early in his career, Jordan's 5.3 assists per game also indicate his willingness to defer to his teammates. In later years, the NBA shortened its three-point line to 22 feet (from 23 feet, 9 inches), which coupled with Jordan's extended shooting range to make him a long-range threat as well -- his 3-point stroke developed from a low 9 / 52 rate (.173) in his rookie year into a stellar 111 / 260 (.427) shooter in the 1995–96 season. For a guard, Jordan was also a good rebounder (6.2 per game).
In 1988, he was honored with the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award and became the first NBA player to win both the Defensive Player of the Year and MVP awards in a career (since equaled by Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, and Kevin Garnett; Olajuwon is the only player other than Jordan to win both during the same season). In addition he set records for blocked shots by a guard, and combined this with his ball-thieving ability to become a standout defensive player. His 2,514 steals are the second highest total of all-time behind John Stockton, while his steals per game average is third all-time. Jerry West often stated that he was more impressed with Jordan's defensive contributions than his offensive ones.
Jordan led the NBA in scoring in 10 seasons (NBA record) and tied Wilt Chamberlain's record of seven consecutive scoring titles. He was also a fixture on the NBA All-Defensive First Team, making the roster nine times (NBA record). Jordan also holds the top career and playoff scoring averages of 30.1 and 33.4 points per game, respectively. By 1998, the season of his Finals-winning shot against the Jazz, he was well known throughout the league as a clutch performer. In the regular season, Jordan was the Bulls' primary threat in the final seconds of a close game and in the playoffs, Jordan would always demand the ball at crunch time. Jordan's total of 5,987 points in the playoffs is the highest in NBA history. He retired with 32,292 points, placing him third on the NBA's all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.
With five regular-season MVPs (tied for second place with Bill Russell; only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has won more, six), six Finals MVPs (NBA record), and three All-Star MVPs, Jordan is the most decorated player ever to play in the NBA. Jordan finished among the top three in regular-season MVP voting a record 10 times, and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.
Many of Jordan's contemporaries label Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time. An ESPN survey of journalists, athletes and other sports figures ranked Jordan the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century, above icons such as Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. Jordan placed second to Babe Ruth in the Associated Press's list of 20th century athletes. In addition, the Associated Press voted him as the basketball player of the 20th century. Jordan has also appeared on the front cover of Sports Illustrated a record 49 times. In the September 1996 issue of Sport, which was the publication's 50th anniversary issue, Jordan was named the greatest athlete of the past 50 years.
Jordan's athletic leaping ability, highlighted in his back-to-back slam dunk contest championships in 1987 and 1988, is credited by many with having influenced a generation of young players. Several current NBA All-Stars have stated that they considered Jordan their role model while growing up, including LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. In addition, commentators have dubbed a number of next-generation players "the next Michael Jordan" upon their entry to the NBA, including Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Vince Carter, and Dwyane Wade. Although Jordan was a well-rounded player, his "Air Jordan" image is also often credited with inadvertently decreasing the jump shooting skills, defense, and fundamentals of young players, a fact which Jordan himself has lamented.
Although Jordan has done much to increase the status of the game, some of his impact on the game's popularity in America appears to be fleeting. Television ratings in particular increased only during his time in the league and have subsequently lowered each time he left the game.
Jordan is the fourth of five children. He has two older brothers, Larry Jordan and James R. Jordan, Jr., one older sister, Deloris, and a younger sister, Roslyn. Jordan's brother James retired in 2006 as the Command Sergeant Major of the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the U.S. Army.
He married Juanita Vanoy in September 1989, and they have two sons, Jeffrey Michael and Marcus James, and a daughter, Jasmine. Jordan and Juanita filed for divorce on January 4, 2002, citing irreconcilable differences, but reconciled shortly thereafter. They again filed for divorce and were granted a final decree of dissolution of marriage on December 29, 2006, commenting that the decision was made "mutually and amicably".
It is reported that Juanita received a $168 million settlement, making it the largest celebrity divorce settlement in history on public record.
On July 21, 2006, a Cook County, Illinois judge determined that Jordan did not owe a former lover, Karla Knafel, $5 million. Jordan had allegedly paid Knafel $250,000 to keep their relationship a secret. Knafel claimed Jordan promised her that amount for remaining silent and agreeing not to file a paternity suit after Knafel learned she was pregnant in 1991. A DNA test showed Jordan was not the father of the child.
As of 2007, Jordan lives in Highland Park, Illinois, and both of his sons attended Loyola Academy, a private Roman Catholic high school located in Wilmette, Illinois. Jeffrey graduated as a member of the 2007 graduating class and played his first collegiate basketball game on November 11, 2007, for the University of Illinois. Marcus transferred to Whitney Young High School after his sophomore year and is set to graduate in 2009.
Jordan is one of the most marketed sports figures in history. He has been a major spokesman for such brands as Nike, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Gatorade, McDonald's, Ball Park Franks, Rayovac, Wheaties, Hanes, and MCI. Jordan has had a long relationship with Gatorade, appearing in over 20 commercials for the company since 1991, including the "Like Mike" commercials in which a song was sung by children wishing to be like Jordan.
Nike created a signature shoe for him, called the Air Jordan. One of Jordan's more popular commercials for the shoe involved Spike Lee playing the part of Mars Blackmon. In the commercials Lee, as Blackmon, attempted to find the source of Jordan's abilities and became convinced that "it's gotta be the shoes". The hype and demand for the shoes even brought on a spate of "shoe-jackings" where people were robbed of their sneakers at gunpoint. Subsequently Nike spun off the Jordan line into its own division named the "Jordan Brand". The company features an impressive list of athletes and celebrities as endorsers. The brand has also sponsored college sports programs such as those of North Carolina, Cincinnati, Cal, St. John's, Georgetown, and North Carolina A&T.
Jordan also has been connected with the Looney Tunes cartoon characters. A Nike commercial shown during the 1993 Super Bowl XXVII featured Jordan and Bugs Bunny playing basketball against a group of Martian characters. The Super Bowl commercial inspired the 1996 live action/animated movie Space Jam, which starred Jordan and Bugs in a fictional story set during his first retirement. They have subsequently appeared together in several commercials for MCI.
Jordan's year income from the endorsements is estimated to be over forty million dollars. In addition, when Jordan's power at the ticket gates was at its highest point the Bulls regularly sold out every game they played in, whether home or away. Due to this, Jordan set records in player salary by signing annual contracts worth in excess of $30 million US dollars per season.
An academic study found that Jordan’s first NBA comeback resulted in an increase in the market capitalization of his client firms of more than $1 billion.
New World Order (professional wrestling)
The New World Order (commonly known as the nWo, the official typeset in the logo) was a professional wrestling stable that originally wrestled for World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The group later appeared in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) after the purchase of WCW by WWE.
The stable's gimmick was a group of unsanctioned wrestlers aiming to "take over" and control WCW in the manner of a street gang; the group's seven initial members had each gained fame in the rival World Wrestling Federation, although this connection was only implied.
The nWo angle was one of the most influential forces in the late 1990s success of WCW, and was instrumental in turning mainstream American wrestling back into a more mature, adult-oriented product. The brainchild of WCW Executive Eric Bischoff, and fueled initially by the unexpected heel turn of Hulk Hogan, the nWo storyline is generally considered one of the most successful angles in the history of modern-day professional wrestling, spawning several imitations and parodies. It dominated WCW programming throughout the late-1990s and almost until the dissolution of WCW in 2001, during which time there were several, sometimes rival incarnations of the group; the rival WWF even resurrected the angle for a time in 2002.
In 1996, both Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left the WWF to sign with WCW. Hall first appeared on WCW TV live, unnamed, and unannounced on the May 27, 1996 edition of Nitro, by interrupting a match between The Mauler and Steve Doll. He walked through the audience, grabbed a microphone from the ring announcer, and entered the ring. He then delivered his now-famous "You Want a War?" speech, stating that he and unnamed allies had a challenge for WCW Executive Vice-President Eric Bischoff and any WCW superstar. As Nitro neared its end, Hall accosted Bischoff in the broadcast booth and demanded that he tell Ted Turner to pick three of his best wrestlers. The next week, Hall reappeared on Nitro five minutes before the end of the broadcast and again interrogated Bischoff. Sting confronted and slapped Hall after Hall spat a toothpick at him and said he had a "little...no...BIG surprise" for Sting. Kevin Nash was revealed as Hall's surprise the next week, and the two were dubbed The Outsiders.
At The Great American Bash, Bischoff (as Nitro's on-air lead commentator) invited The Outsiders to do an interview. Bischoff promised them a match at the next pay-per-view event, but Hall was skeptical whether Bischoff had chosen his three WCW representatives in the match. This led to Nash powerbombing Bischoff through the interview stage, after Bischoff refused to reveal the identities of his representatives.
Following the Great American Bash, The Outsiders continued to randomly terrorize WCW events, being chased away by armed security guards.
The match Bischoff promised, a six-man tag known as the "Hostile Takeover Match," served as the main event of Bash At The Beach the following month. Hall and Nash came to the ring by themselves, leaving speculation open as to who would be their partner. Gene Okerlund came into the ring immediately following Hall and Nash's entrance and, after discussing the situation with ring announcer Michael Buffer and referee Randy Anderson, demanded that The Outsiders tell him where the third man was. Hall and Nash assured Okerlund that their partner was in the building, but they did not need him at the moment. After Okerlund left the ring, The Outsiders finally found out who they would be facing: Lex Luger, Sting, and Randy Savage. As a show of solidarity, all three men came to the ring with painted faces (which Sting had always done but Luger and Savage had never done).
The match did not start well for Team WCW, as Luger was taken out of the match shortly after it began. While he was being held in a corner by Nash, Sting ran over and hit a Stinger Splash to try to break up the hold but hit Luger at the same time, knocking him off the apron to the floor unconscious. Bobby Heenan was heard asking for someone out to replace the injured Luger since Hall and Nash had a third man waiting. With the matchup apparently even at two a side with Hall and Nash's partner still yet to be revealed, the two sides continued to battle as announcers Tony Schiavone, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes speculated as to who the third man was, at one point even accusing each other of being the third man.
The match reached its climax at approximately the sixteen-minute mark, shortly after a late tag from an exhausted Sting to Savage. Savage beat on Hall and Nash, but was stopped by a Nash low blow, done while Hall was holding on to Anderson to keep him distracted. As Anderson began counting Nash and Savage out, Hulk Hogan, who had not been seen on WCW television for several weeks, made a surprise return run-in. After chasing off Hall and Nash, Hogan then shocked the crowd by legdropping the fallen Savage in the center of the ring, revealing himself to be the third man. After neutralizing Sting, who attempted to save the day, Hogan threw Anderson out of the ring and legdropped Savage one more time while Hall and Nash executed a mock three-count.
After Savage was then carried out of the ring, the fans began showing their displeasure with the now-heel Hogan by throwing cups, garbage, and other assorted debris into the ring. One fan even jumped into the ring in an attempt to attack Hogan but was intercepted by Hall and Nash and whisked away by WCW security.
While debris continued to litter the ring Okerlund reentered the scene, this time demanding answers from Hogan for his actions. Hogan cemented his heel turn by saying that he was tired of the fans that had turned on him despite everything he had done for them over the last two years in WCW, that Hall and Nash were the two people that he wanted as his friends, that he was bored with the way his career had turned out, and that together, the three of them would take over the company and destroy everything in their path in the process. During the course of the interview Hogan dubbed himself, Hall, and Nash as the "new world order of wrestling", and the name stuck.
Soon after the nWo formed, the stable began appearing on Monday Nitro, causing mayhem and attacking WCW wrestlers. After the newly rechristened Hollywood Hogan won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from The Giant at Hog Wild, he spray-painted the letters "nWo" on to the title belt and began to refer it on occasion as the "nWo World Heavyweight Championship". The defacing of the belt was the first step of what they referred to as "taking over" WCW. This tagging would become a signature method of the group's terrorism; they even spray-painted the initials on the backs of wrestlers they had knocked unconscious.
As WCW's annual pay-per-view Fall Brawl was drawing closer, WCW was preparing their team to fight at Fall Brawl 1996: War Games against the nWo. The nWo tricked fans and wrestlers into thinking that Sting had joined the nWo. At War Games, the nWo won the match controversially as two wrestlers in Sting's style of face paint fought in the match: an impostor "nWo" Sting and the real Sting. The real Sting was revealed to be an ally of WCW, however as his fellow WCW wrestlers (including his longtime friend Lex Luger) and the fans had doubted his allegiance, he declared that he would no longer help WCW in the war against the nWo, leading to a nearly year-long retreat from the ring.
During this time the faction began introducing new members, including Ted DiBiase (who was "financing" the group, an implied continuation of his "Million Dollar Man" gimmick in the WWF), Vincent (as "head of security"), Syxx, and The Giant. Referee Nick Patrick became the group's official referee after he began showing partiality to nWo members during their matches. The nWo continued to dominate WCW, with Hogan successfully retaining his "nWo" World Heavyweight Championship against "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Hall and Nash winning the WCW World Tag Team Championship from Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) at Halloween Havoc 1996.
As WCW only recognized Hogan, Nash, and Hall as WCW employees due to their holding WCW titles, the other nWo members went unrecognized as WCW employees. Because of this, they were unable to wrestle other WCW wrestlers, which led to the nWo starting a segment on WCW Saturday Night, called nWo Saturday Night, where nWo stable members wrestled jobbers in an empty arena. The nWo used their financing to purchase ad time during WCW programming, which amounted to low budget anti-WCW propaganda. They would also hijack the broadcast signal on occasion.
WCW President Eric Bischoff was revealed to be a member of the nWo after new WCW arrival Rowdy Roddy Piper exposed Bischoff's membership on-air. Bischoff then threatened the WCW locker room, telling them to either join the nWo or be a target of the group. Soon after Bischoff's threat, Marcus Alexander Bagwell joined the faction, turning on his American Males tag team partner, Scotty Riggs, and renaming himself "Buff" Bagwell. Others who joined the nWo were Scott Norton, Big Bubba Rogers, and Mr. Wallstreet. Japanese wrestler Masahiro Chono also joined the group and established himself as the leader of nWo Japan, a sister stable in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The Giant won a 60-man battle royal at World War 3 1996, earning a title match against Hogan. At Starrcade 1996, Piper defeated Hogan in a non-title match. The next night on Nitro, The Giant was kicked out of the nWo when he refused to choke slam Piper in an nWo assault. At the same event, they stole Eddie Guerrero's newly won United States title belt; Guerrero constantly feuded with mid-card nWo members such as Scott Norton and Syxx.
Toward the end of the year, on an episode of Nitro, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash introduced Kyle Petty from NASCAR as an honorary member of the group, as Petty drove the nWo racing car on the Busch Series circuit (Petty had been previously involved in an angle with Jim Crockett Promotions, the predecessor of WCW, as a "judge" in the "Million Dollar Match" between Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair at Starrcade 1984 that featured Joe Frazier as referee for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship). An angle was run where the Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) "vandalized" the nWo car at a racetrack by peeling off the wrap (NASCAR teams often use vinyl wrap to cover a car instead of painting the car; multiple schemes printed on vinyl similar to decals are positioned, and each may be peeled off to show another scheme for another race), kayfabe scaring off Petty and replacing him with Steve Grissom. In reality, the deal with Dan Shaver Racing had two drivers driving in selected races each. As part of the angle, Grissom's races carried the WCW paint scheme and Petty's an nWo paint scheme.
In the start of 1997, nWo had become so powerful that they had their own pay-per-view event, entitled Souled Out. Hogan and The Giant fought to a no contest in the main event due to the nWo referee, Nick Patrick, being biased in the match. U.S. champion Eddie Guerrero retained his title against Syxx in a ladder match. Nash and Hall lost their WCW World Tag Team Championship to the Steiner Brothers at Souled Out, but were re-awarded the titles the next night on Nitro after Bischoff claimed that Randy Anderson, who ran in to officiate after Nick Patrick was knocked down, was not an official referee for Souled Out.
At Super Brawl VII, Piper wrestled Hogan for the title in a losing effort. This match marked the first time (and one of the few times) that Hogan had successfully pinned Piper. In the same match, Randy Savage returned and defected to the nWo when he attacked Piper during the match. Savage had been previously suspended by Bischoff, who told Savage that he would never wrestle again unless he joined the nWo; Savage thus had no choice but to capitulate to Bischoff's demands. Earlier that night, The Outsiders lost their titles to Lex Luger and The Giant. The next night, Bischoff returned the titles to The Outsiders, only to be suspended by Harvey Schiller, president of Turner Sports, for abusing his power. Later, J.J. Dillon (as Chairman of the WCW Executive Committee) also stripped the nWo of two members, V.K. Wallstreet and Big Bubba Rogers, because they were employees of WCW.
Team nWo, which consisted of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash, won a triple-threat tag team match at Uncensored 1997 against Team WCW, which consisted of Lex Luger, Scott Steiner, and The Giant (Rick Steiner was originally selected to wrestle for Team WCW but was attacked and unable to make the match), and Team Horsemen, which consisted of Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael, Jeff Jarrett, and Roddy Piper. A stipulation was added that if the nWo won, they would have the privilege to challenge for any WCW title at any time or location. The event, however, did end on a happy note for WCW as Sting descended from the rafters and attacked every member of Team nWo with his baseball bat and his signature move the Scorpion Deathdrop, thereby indicating his allegiance to WCW. He also set his intentions towards Hollywood Hogan and the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
At Spring Stampede 1997, the tension within the nWo grew and Nick Patrick quit the group and returned to being an honest referee. While Ted DiBiase quit the night after on Nitro and joined the Steiner Brothers as their manager. The nWo recruited The Great Muta and Hiroyoshi Tenzan several weeks after Spring Stampede; they made occasional appearances on television due to their working for New Japan Pro Wrestling (with which WCW had a working relationship).
Hogan lost the World Heavyweight title on an episode of Nitro to Luger, after Luger earned a title shot defeating Hogan and Dennis Rodman with his partner The Giant at Bash at the Beach 1997. However, Hogan regained the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Luger at Road Wild 1997.
A War Games match was announced for Fall Brawl 1997: War Games, after the nWo mocked The Four Horsemen by dressing as them. Team nWo defeated The Four Horsemen after Curt Hennig, who had joined The Four Horsemen a month earlier, turned on the Horsemen and joined the nWo.
Rick Rude joined the nWo on an episode of Nitro on the same night he made a pre-taped appearance on the WWF's show Raw is War. He spoke of his sympathy for Bret Hart because of the Montreal Screwjob and how he had a grudge against Sting for ending his career in a match in Japan three years earlier. Scott Hall then won a 60-man Battle Royal at World War 3 1997, earning a future WCW World Heavyweight Championship title shot.
Bret Hart made his WCW debut on the December 15, 1997 edition of Nitro. Speculation abounded over whether he would align himself with the nWo. Instead of joining the nWo, however, he agreed to be the special referee in the match pitting Larry Zbyszko against the nWo's Eric Bischoff, with the winner of the match would gain control of WCW Monday Nitro. On the Monday before Starrcade, the nWo staged a complete takeover of WCW Monday Nitro. They tore down the set and ran off commentators Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay. They then replaced all WCW logos with the nWo logo and turned WCW Monday Nitro into nWo Monday Nitro. This event was intended as a legit test run for a permanent changeover of Nitro to an nWo-centric show, with the soon-debuting Thunder becoming the WCW-centric prime-time show. However, due to abysmal ratings following the twenty-plus minutes of the conversion of the set on live television, the plan for an nWo weekly show was quietly dropped, with the only evidence being the occasional nWo Monday Nitro t-shirt being worn by an nWo member.
At Starrcade 1997, Zbyszko defeated Bischoff by disqualification after Scott Hall interfered, giving full control of Nitro to WCW. In the main event, Hogan lost the WCW Championship to Sting. Hogan had originally pinned Sting, but confusion arose when Bret Hart appeared at ringside and accused referee and former nWo member Nick Patrick of making a fast count, claiming "it would never happen again" (referencing the Montreal Screwjob). Hart laid out Patrick and ordered the match to continue with himself as the referee. Hogan then submitted to Sting's Scorpion Death Lock.
Because of the controversy surrounding Sting's title win, James J. Dillon vacated the title on January 8, 1998 on the inaugural episode of WCW Thunder. This prompted Sting to finally speak after 16 months, telling Dillon "You have no guts!" before turning to Hogan and declaring him a "dead man". Meanwhile, Dusty Rhodes, former WWF star Brian Adams, and Hogan's best friend Ed Leslie (now known as The Disciple) all joined the nWo. At Souled Out, now-WCW commissioner Roddy Piper announced a title match between Sting and Hogan to take place at SuperBrawl.
Soon, problems began to arise between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. Savage had attempted to defeat Lex Luger on numerous occasions, but lost because of botched interference from fellow nWo members, including Hogan. This led to heated arguments between Savage and Hogan, and there were near physical confrontations between Savage and Nash. At SuperBrawl VIII, Sting defeated Hogan to win the vacated world title, with help from Randy Savage. The night was not a total loss, though, for the nWo as Hall and Nash regained the WCW World Tag Team Championships from the Steiner Brothers and added Scott Steiner to their ranks, thanks to him turning on Rick late in the match.
After SuperBrawl Savage then made his intentions clear: He did not need the nWo's help, and now that Hogan had dropped the ball, he was intent on beating Sting himself to take the WCW title back to the nWo. Hogan and Savage tried to one-up each other on episodes of Nitro and Thunder. At Uncensored 1998, Savage and Hogan attempted to settle their differences in a steel cage match. The match ended in a no contest. On the same card, Scott Hall received his World War 3-earned title shot against Sting, but lost the match. Savage then stated to Hogan that there were certain members of the nWo who were plotting to throw him out of the group.
The rift between the different factions of the nWo grew wider after nWo member Sean Waltman (Syxx) was released from his contract and Scott Hall was taken off TV. Kevin Nash confronted Hogan and Bischoff on March 26 edition of Thunder. Hulk Hogan stated that Waltman "could not cut the mustard" and that he did not know the whereabouts of Scott Hall. The differences within the nWo were becoming more apparent. Randy Savage and Nash were suddenly realizing that Hogan was only looking out for himself, and the nWo was secondary. Nash sided with Savage after Hogan had interfered in a number of Sting/Nash matches, not wanting to have to face Nash to take back his title. Nash supported Savage in his quest to defeat Sting, but also agreed to team with Hogan against the returning Roddy Piper and The Giant in a Baseball Bat on a Pole Match. Nash made it clear, however, that he would just as soon use the bat on Hogan. At Spring Stampede 1998, Hogan and Nash defeated Piper and The Giant. After the match, Hogan assaulted Nash. Savage beat Sting to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship with help from Nash on the same night. The next night on Nitro, Hogan challenged Savage for the title.
During the match, interference by both Kevin Nash and Bret Hart played a major role. Late in the match, with Hogan appearing to have Savage beat him, Nash powerbombed Hogan and placed Savage on top of him. However, Hart interfered moments later, attacking Nash and Savage and preserving the win for Hogan. Although Nash's interference didn't work out the way he had planned, it signaled the breakup of the original nWo into two separate factions. On May 4 edition of Nitro, Kevin Nash, Randy Savage, and Konnan appeared wearing black shirts with a red nWo logo, as opposed to the familiar white logo. They called themselves nWo Wölfpac, and were joined in the following weeks by Curt Hennig, Miss Elizabeth, and Rick Rude. The Wölfpac became the first nWo incarnation to wrestle as faces. Meanwhile, Hogan's side were the original Black & White, also known as nWo Hollywood: Eric Bischoff, Scott Steiner, Scott Norton, Vincent, The Disciple, and Brian Adams. Bret Hart seemed to be siding with Hogan, but was never officially named an nWo member. nWo members Scott Hall and Buff Bagwell were out of action at this time, and their alliances were not yet known.
At Slamboree 1998, Scott Hall returned wearing the red & black, and joined his partner Kevin Nash in a scheduled tag-team title defense against Sting and The Giant, who had recently rejoined the nWo on Hogan's side (making Sting his unwilling partner in the match, which had been signed prior to Giant's defection back to the nWo). During the match, Hall turned on Nash and joined nWo Hollywood, giving the tag team titles to Sting and Giant. On May 25 edition of Nitro, Lex Luger joined the nWo Wolfpac, stating "it just feels right", and asked Sting to do the same. On June 1 edition of Nitro, Sting also joined the nWo Wolfpac. At The Great American Bash 1998, Curt Hennig and Rick Rude jumped back to nWo Hollywood after attacking Konnan after losing a match to Goldberg. The next night, Nash became a tag team champion again as Sting, who won control of the tag team titles from The Giant in a singles match, chose Nash as his partner.
In the meantime, a new contender for Hogan's championship emerged in undefeated rookie Goldberg, who had run off an impressive string of victories and won the United States Championship in the process. On the July 2, 1998 edition of Thunder, Goldberg was granted a title match against Hogan for the July 6 edition of Nitro. Goldberg in fact wrestled two matches against the nWo Black and White that night, the first against Scott Hall with his shot at Hogan on the line. After defeating Hall Goldberg defeated Hogan in the main event and won his first WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
After his loss to Goldberg Hogan turned his attention to celebrity matches for the next two months, wrestling in two tag team matches at Bash at the Beach and Road Wild. Hogan won the first match with Dennis Rodman over Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone. The second match was a culmination of a storyline involving several Tonight Show skits involving Jay Leno making fun of Hogan, which resulted in Hogan and Eric Bischoff kayfabe taking over the show and Diamond Dallas Page coming to save the day. Hogan and Bischoff lost to Page and Leno thanks to interference from Kevin Eubanks.
Meanwhile the feud between Scott Hall and Kevin Nash continued. In July Nash and Sting put their tag team championships on the line against Hall and the Giant, losing the match after interference from Bret Hart. Over the next few months the two wrestlers continued to feud, which would culminate in a singles match between the two.
The nWo Wolfpac became hugely popular amongst wrestling fans in the summer of 1998 while continuing their battle with nWo Hollywood. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan had his own battle to deal with in the form of The Warrior, who returned to wrestling on an August edition of Nitro. Warrior formed his own faction dubbed the One Warrior Nation, which included himself and former nWo member The Disciple.
At Halloween Havoc 1998, Scott Hall defeated Kevin Nash by count out after Nash left the ring following two Jackknife Power Bombs on Hall. Nash later stated that he didn't care about winning the match, he just wanted his friend back. Hulk Hogan defeated The Warrior when Hogan's nephew, Horace, interfered and joined nWo Hollywood. Bret Hart defeated Wolfpac member Sting, putting him out of action for about 6 months.
At World War 3 1998, nWo Hollywood attacked Scott Hall and kicked him out of the group for disrespecting Hogan and Bischoff a few weeks earlier. Kevin Nash went on to win the 60 man battle royal and earned a WCW World Title shot. On the Thanksgiving episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, nWo Hollywood leader Hulk Hogan announced his retirement from professional wrestling. Scott Steiner went on to assume the leadership role in the nWo Hollywood faction.
During that same month, Harlem Heat's Stevie Ray, who had previously flirted with the possibility of becoming a member of the nWo, officially joined nWo Hollywood after turning on Booker T.
At Starrcade 1998, nWo Wölfpac leader Kevin Nash won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Goldberg when Scott Hall interfered and used a stun gun on Goldberg and the oblivious Nash made the pin cover after jackknife powerbombing Goldberg. The next night on Nitro, Randy Savage returned wearing an nWo black-and-white t-shirt, but instead helped Ric Flair defeat Eric Bischoff in a match to determine the WCW presidency.
On the January 4, 1999 edition of Nitro, Goldberg was scheduled to have a championship rematch with Nash. A false imprisonment instigated by the nWo removed Goldberg from the match, causing the match to be replaced with Nash versus the returning Hulk Hogan. In the match, which has been called "the Fingerpoke of Doom" by fans, after the bell rang to begin the bout, Hogan poked Nash in the chest, after which Nash fell to the mat until Hogan was able to get the pin and win the match. The conspiracy led to a reorganization of the nWo, with the nWo elite (Hogan, Nash, Hall, Buff Bagwell, Scott Steiner, Lex Luger and Miss Elizabeth) reunited under the Wolfpac label, while the undercard wrestlers in the nWo continued in the "black and white" faction. This short-lived group was sardonically labeled the nWo B-Team by fans and commentators. Steiner and Bagwell happily joined the Wolfpac while Konnan was betrayed and thrown from the group entirely. This allowed him to align with Rey Mysterio Jr. and feud with the nWo. Sting, a former member of the Wolfpac, had been on hiatus during the nWo reuniting and did not partake in the now-heel stable upon his return.
The reunited New World Order did not last long for either faction.
On the Elite/Wolfpac side they enjoyed initial success with Hulk Hogan as WCW World Champion, Scott Steiner as Television Champion and Scott Hall as United States Champion. However they were wrecked by injuries when Hall's foot was accidentally backed over by a car and he was put on the shelf (and subsequently was stripped of the title) while Lex Luger suffered a torn bicep and as a result he and Elizabeth vanished from television. Hogan dropped the World Championship at Uncensored to Ric Flair and Steiner lost his Television Champion to Booker T after Bagwell accidentally nailed him with a chair. Shortly after Steiner beat him down and threw him out of the group. The following month Hogan was injured during a fatal four way match at Spring Stampede for the world title, which Diamond Dallas Page won. Nash would go on to win the title from Page at Slamboree which by that point spelled the end for the Wolfpac as Steiner reunited with brother Rick and Hogan would return to the red and yellow costume he'd previously worn shortly after his return later in the year. Other minor members would include Disco Inferno, David Flair, and Samantha. Inferno would engage in a feud with Konnan that ended with a loss to him at Spring Stampede 99 (which was the quiet end of his membership) while Flair and Samantha were quietly removed from television following Hogan's title loss at Uncensored.
Hogan and Nash also would enter a feud before the end of the summer. Nash would lose his world championship in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach in July pitting him and Sting against Sid Vicious and the returning Randy Savage as Savage pinned him. The next night Hogan returned to Nitro and accepted a challenge from Savage for the championship; Nash interfered by powerbombing Savage and gave Hogan the victory, but the next week Nash attacked Hogan during a match with Vicious and aligned himself with Vicious and Randy Savage. Over the next few weeks Hogan and Nash, along with Vicious, Savage, and Rick Steiner (on Nash's side) and Sting and a returning Goldberg (on Hogan's side) feuded with each other, culminating in a match at Road Wild where Hogan put his title and career on the line against Nash's career; Hogan won the match and Nash was forced to retire.
In late 1999, the nWo came back for one more run as the silver and black (rather than black and white). This version was also referred to as "nWo 2000" and the word "new" in the "new World order" logo was underlined to emphasize that this was a new version of the group. Consisting of Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and the Harris twins, Don and Ron. Several fitness models (Tylene Buck, April Hunter, Kim Kanner, Midajah and Pamela Paulshock) were brought in to come to ringside with the group, but were usually ordered to the back by Jarrett, a misogynistic character. This nWo lasted into early 2000, but soon faded away, in great part due to the injury and retirement of Bret "The Hitman" Hart, the leader of the group, when he was side kicked by Goldberg. By this point, not only the nWo, but WCW as a whole, had lapsed into what seemed to be an inevitable and permanent decline, constantly bettered by the WWF and relegated to a permanent second-place status, a situation many longtime WCW fans blamed in part on WCW management having stayed with the nWo storyline for entirely too long. In April 2000, WCW management "rebooted" the company, and the nWo's place as the lead heel faction was taken by The New Blood.
After the WWF bought WCW in 2001, Vince McMahon brought in Hogan, Hall and Nash, the original nWo, at No Way Out 2002. In this storyline, the nWo was brought in as McMahon's hired thugs in an attempt to "kill" the WWF so that McMahon would not have to share power with new WWF "co-owner" Ric Flair. They began by targeting the company's two biggest stars, The Rock and Steve Austin. Hogan left the group after he lost his WrestleMania X8 match with the Rock and was assaulted after that match by Hall and Nash. Hogan's comeback to the WWF after 8 years had fans cheering him, more so then The Rock. As a result, he turned face and began feuding with Hall and Nash, with The Rock at his side. Hall and Nash then brought in two former nWo members, X-Pac (formerly known as Syxx), on March 21, 2002, edition of SmackDown! in Ottawa, Ontario and The Big Show (formerly known as The Giant), on the April 22 edition of Raw.
The nWo reunion in the WWF did not last long, however. During an attack on Bradshaw, Kevin Nash injured his biceps and was put out of action for several months. Meanwhile, Hall asked for his release from WWE in May 2002, because he was in the middle of a custody dispute with his ex-wife over their two children, according to Nash (Nash made that statement during media promotions in Detroit for Vengeance 2002). This dispute led to Hall getting drunk on an airline flight back from the U.K. and getting into an altercation. Upon returning to the United States, Hall was immediately fired. Flair became a semi-member of the nWo after turning on Stone Cold Steve Austin. As owner of Raw, Flair set up a lumberjack match with Austin against the newest member of the nWo, which turned out to be Booker T. Booker had just finished a silly skit with Goldust minutes earlier, where he had been wearing a lumberjack costume and fake beard, all but destroying his "tough" momentum going into the match. Nash introduced Shawn Michaels into the nWo on June 3 edition of Raw. Michaels then literally "kicked" Booker out of the nWo one week later. Michaels, then in the midst of a five-year retirement from pro wrestling, would be the first nWo member who had never wrestled in WCW. The nWo would slowy begin to lose members as X-pac would be released from his contract and Big Show would be kicked out of the group. Michaels and Nash set their sights on recruiting Triple H (by using threats and demands) into the nWo, implying that they would re-create on-screen their old backstage group The Kliq. This storyline was ultimately never resolved, as Nash was injured again soon afterwards, the nWo storyline was permanently abandoned, and remaining nWo member Shawn Michaels would inexplicably turn face.
On July 8, Kevin Nash returned to action on Raw, teaming up with Eddie Guerrero, X-Pac, the Big Show and Chris Benoit to take on Booker T, Goldust, Bubba Ray Dudley, Spike Dudley, and Rob Van Dam. Seconds after tagging in for the first time, Nash tore his quadricep while entering the ring, immediately putting him back on the injured list. On the following Raw (July 15), Vince McMahon came out to the ring to the entrance of the nWo, claiming that the group was officially disbanded. This marked the last time anything regarding the nWo was seen on WWE programming.
The nWo storyline was an idea WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff came up with after attending a New Japan Pro Wrestling show. He wanted to do an invasion-type angle where WCW was kayfabe being sabotaged by another wrestling group (initially insinuated as being the WWF, since its founding members formerly wrestled there). The nWo was originally portrayed as a separate entity from WCW (often, propaganda-style vignettes and product commercials concerning the nWo were preceded by an "interruption in the feed", and a voice proclaiming, "The following announcement has been paid for by the New World Order").
Others, such as Scott Hall, television director Craig Leathers, chief WCW booker Terry Taylor, and his assistants Kevin Sullivan and Paul Orndorff all contributed their own ideas to the nWo concept. For instance, the logo was designed by Craig Leathers, Scott Hall is credited with the group's trademark hand-signals, and Taylor belatedly scrawled the group's most popular catchphrase, "When you're nWo, you're nWo 4 life," in one segment he scripted for WCW Monday Nitro in late 1996.
Shortly after the nWo was formed, the WWF filed a lawsuit, claiming that the New World Order storyline implied that Hall and Nash were invaders sent by Vince McMahon to destroy WCW, despite the fact that Bischoff asked both Hall and Nash point-blank on camera at The Great American Bash, "Do you work for the WWF?", to which they emphatically replied, "No." Another reason for the lawsuit was that the WWF claimed Hall acted in a manner too similar to that of his former "Razor Ramon" character, which was a trademark owned by the WWF. The lawsuit dragged on for several years before being settled out of court. In court documents, the WWF argued that, "TBS proposed interpromotional matches in order to associate WCW with WWF" before the New World Order angle was created.