The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase is a certified wrestling legend.
Over the course of his illustrious career the WWE Hall of Famer appeared with Mid South Wrestling, WCW, All Japan Pro Wrestling as well as the WWE.
While DiBiase had a short stint with WWE in 1979, it wasn’t until his return to the company in 1987, where he came to embody his most famous persona, The Million Dollar Man. It was a character which spawned the Million Dollar Championship as well as his own stable, and still remains popular to this day.
The Million Dollar Championship alongside DiBiase has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent months on NXT. While LA Knight currently holds the legendary championship, DiBiase has opened up about the belt’s origins.
Speaking to Bullet Cast, DiBiase detailed how involved he was in the title belt’s creation.
“When they showed me what the dollar sign would look like, I said, ‘that’s okay.’ Initially, the one that they had, if you look at the belt, there is the great big one, and then there is a smaller one. The smaller one was going to be the [main plate]. I said, ‘That won’t work.’ They made it bigger.”
The multiple-time WWE Tag Team Champion also lifted the lid on how he became the Million Dollar Man. DiBiase explained that it was Vince McMahon who created the character, but that he refused to share the idea until he signed a contract with WWE.
“I tell everybody, Vince McMahon created this character. When I sat and talked with Vince, he said, ‘Ted, I have an idea that’s never been done in wrestling before and you’re the guy that fits the bill. You interview well and carry yourself well. Until you sign a contract with me, I can’t tell you what it is because if I tell you, I’ve given away a great idea and you can run somewhere else to do it.’ I had to have enough confidence in Vince to say, ‘Okay, I’m your guy’ and that’s what I did. When he laid it out for me and said I would be flying first-class everywhere and staying at the finest hotels and having limo service, [I was like] pinch me. He said, ‘I think I can make you one of our hottest deals of all time.’ I said, ‘In the dressing room and out.’ There might have been a little jealousy, but most guys looked at it like, ‘If I had that opportunity, I’d take it.’ I already had a lot of respect from my peers for my ability in the ring,”
Ted DiBiase debuted on NXT in April where he engaged in a feud with Cameron Grimes. This led to a match between Grimes and LA Knight for the Million Dollar Championship at NXT TakeOver: In Your House. While Knight was overjoyed to win the belt and the right to continue DiBiase’s legacy, he later turned on the Hall of Famer.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.