Ted DiBiase Jr recently discussed his tenure in WWE, sharing his thoughts on following in the footsteps of his Hall of Fame father, ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase Sr.
Professional wrestling is home to many family dynasties. Legendary names such as the Hart’s, Orton’s and Rhodes’ all have generations of performers who have stepped between the ropes and left a lasting impression on fans and peers around the world.
The DiBiase name has been present in pro wrestling since the 1950’s. “Iron Mike” DiBiase would become one of wrestling’s early stars, and in the years that followed his adopted son would make his way to the WWF and become forever known as The Million Dollar Man.
More recently, DiBiase Jr quickly rose to prominence with WWE, making his main roster debut less than a year after joining the company. Aligning himself with Cody Rhodes, the pair would capture the Tag Team Championships before being joined by Randy Orton and becoming known as The Legacy.
However, following WrestleMania XXVI, Ted Jr would reprise the role his father portrayed years before him, and re-debut the Million Dollar Championship. This would ultimately lead to DiBiase Jr falling down the card, even competing in dark matches prior to televised events.
In a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, Ted Jr reflects on his time as the Million Dollar Champion. With hindsight, DiBiase Jr admits he was reluctant to embrace the character asked of him:
“That started with WWE. I think that was one of the things that felt like a downfall. You go from up here to working the dark matches. That was probably a test. But I just never owned that, because there was that part that was this is my dad.
That was stupid on my part, because this is entertainment. I should have owned it, made the most of it and be as authentic as you can. I think I had some subconscious barriers that kept me from getting into that character or developing that character. When you don’t know who you are, or feel separated from that character, it does not come off well.”
The Million Dollar Championship was first introduced by Ted DiBiase in 1989. Frustrated that he could not win the WWF Championship, DiBiase simply invented his own. The championship was rarely defended, having only been held by Dibiase Sr & Jr, Virgil, Steve Austin and in it’s latest incarnation, LA Knight. With the title was most recently being brought back at NXT Takeover: In Your House.
Ted DiBiase Jr opted not to renew his WWE contract, leaving the company in September 2013, seemingly retiring from in-ring action in 2017.
He currently acts as Vice President of Business Development for insurance company, One Life