Ted DiBiase Jr has opened up about his departure from WWE in September 2013.
The third generation Superstar signed for the company in 2007, and was earmarked for success almost immediately. Ted DiBiase debuted on television the following year teaming with Cody Rhodes. The pair known as The Legacy later won the WWE Tag Team Titles on two occasions.
However, despite the resurrecting of his father’s famous Million Dollar Championship, DiBiase Jr slowly began to slide down the card.
During a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, DiBiase Jr reflected on his the end of his WWE tenure. The third generation star revealed that mental health issues and the recent birth of son led him to want to leave, despite being offered a five year deal.
“I was offered another 5 year deal. It was generous, but when it came down to it, I was battling some things internally,” DiBiase Jr. said. “There were some mental health issues. I was going through depression and anxiety, and also being a new father. I just knew. What I didn’t have growing up, although I had this iconic father I love dearly, he wasn’t at my birthdays. He also wasn’t there for my football or soccer games. I believe the greatest asset we have in our world is time. You’re not guaranteed more and you can’t get it back. That was one of the greatest gifts I could give my son.”
Expanding further, DiBiase said that he was “dying internally,” adding that he lost sight of who he was.
“With no plan I left and we are doing good. I thought I was going to wrestle and have a long career, but I really believe it’s not what we do that defines us but who we become along the way. I spent a lot of time while I was there trying to climb the ladder. But I realized that’s not who I am. My core values are faith, family, love, wisdom, service, in that order. I was dying internally and losing sight of who I was. I love helping and serving people, and also entertaining people. To be able to walk into a hospital or a base and bring a smile onto the face of a family or a veteran, that was such a blessing.”
The former Million Dollar Champion also revealed that at the time he had expected to return to the company. However, he wanted to just be himself, explaining how tough the industry can be.
“There really wasn’t a lot of back and forth. I think at that time in my career it was kind of part of me thinking I was just going to come back. I was going to figure this out, but that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t the usual best of luck in your future endeavours. I quit on YouTube or Twitter, I did a video and announced [I was leaving]. I just wanted to be me, I wanted to let people know how grateful I was and let WWE know how grateful I was. Also, I was walking out on my own accord for personal reasons. There wasn’t any back and forth. There’s tons of guys sitting in the wings waiting to take that spot. That’s what makes this industry hard to get into and even harder to hang onto.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, DiBiase Jr discussed how he didn’t fully commit to his character, and how that may have had a negative impact on his WWE run.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.