Ted DiBiase, The Million Dollar Man and member of the WWE’s 2010 Hall of Fame Class, visited Golden Acres Baptist Church in Phenix City, Alabama on May 23 and I had the opportunity to speak with him on a range of topics.
This testimony to the church included giving his life story. He spoke about losing his adopted father “Iron” Mike Dibiase due to an in-ring heart attack when he was 15 years old. He shared his experience of the lavish life of being “the Million Dollar Man.”
He also discussed the pitfalls of life on the road. His biggest personal flaw was adultery and talked about his life-altering moment after WrestleMania 8 in 1992 when his wife Melanie nearly split over his transgressions.
WWF The Main Event – 2/5/88:
“It’s really hard to pinpoint one moment in a 19-year career, but as someone who was raised in wrestling it was huge for me. Even though it was billed as (Hulk) Hogan versus Andre (the Giant) for the first time since Wrestle Mania 3, it was really based around my character. I had bought the services of Andre and said I was going to buy the world title. It was the first time wrestling was live on national TV since the 1950’s.”
Not winning the WWF Title at WrestleMania 4:
“I have said it the past that wrestling title are props. Back then you had a WWF, NWA and AWA champion. You had to be the caliber of a wrestler to work with anyone and carry other people as a champion. I do wish I had a run at it, but I don’t think it hurt my career. I was in line for a run at the NWA title; it just didn’t happen. They wanted to put as much heat on me as possible and with Pat (Patterson) suggesting that I create my own title was the ultimate sign of ignorance. Looking back at it now, I probably got more over with the Million Dollar Title than I ever would have as the WWE champ. That was a baby face territory and even if I had won it, I probably would have had to drop it a few months later. Heel champions were transitional in the WWF at that time.”
Working with The Undertaker:
“People look at me as the guy who introduced him, but I was just doing my job. It wasn’t that I discovered him. I am not sure anyone thought back then (1990) that he would become what he has been. Kudos to him for everything though. I have always liked Mark, I just wished I had the chance to work with him more.”
Shawn Michaels, Road Warriors and Lex Luger:
“The first time I saw Shawn was in Mid-South Wrestling. I told him the one thing the business can’t deny you is your talent. I knew he had it and he knew he had it. The change in Shawn started when his wife had given him some books to read. We talked and I took him to a conference and I think it really had an impact on his. He is the real deal! The Road Warriors and Lex Luger are also guys that have been strong Christians that were a part of the business. I know Mike (Hawk) had given his life to the Lord when he died. Lex was such a narcissist (in the mid 1990’s), but now he is one of the sweetest guys you will ever want to talk to.”
DiBiase said the success of WrestleMania 3 in Pontiac, Michigan was the main deciding factor as he was approached by the WWF and the NWA in 1987.
“When you can pack 90,000 plus in the Pontiac Silver Dome, I think that speaks for itself.”
Chad Dixon (@Dixon23rtr)