Ted Dibiase Sr. Talks Leaving WWE, Retiring, Hating His Time In WCW, How Andre Made A Wrestler Quit
So I decided, it wasn't like I was going to quit wrestling or quit the business, but I at least was going to get out of the ring. When I left the WWF after SummerSlam '93, I didn't leave there thinking this is the end of my career. A couple of months later, when the neck injury took place and everything and I had that conversation with the doctor, I took the insurance and I got out of the ring. I stopped wrestling, physically stopped wrestling and at that point, I really wasn't sure what I was going to do. I had some time to think about it and I had the disability. I went out to California. I had gotten kind of out of shape and I went back out there to get in shape and I got a call from Bruce Prichard and he said hey, Ted, he said Vince wants to know if you'd be willing to do color commentary with him.
WrestlingINC: You had mentioned Bruce [Prichard] contacted you about wanting to return to the WWF and do some commentary.
Dibiase: Right, so I went to Providence and did the color commentary with him for Royal Rumble. He said I did a pretty good job for first time. I said well I'd like to give this a try and he said why don't you come to Wrestlemania and make a cameo appearance at the show and we'll talk about it. So I went to Wrestlemania 10, and that was in Madison Square Garden, and we actually didn't get around to talking about it there. He called me late that night, two or three o'clock in the morning, and said hey, you still want to try that commentating? And I said yes, sir. Well, he said, the limo will pick you up at the hotel at seven o'clock in the morning. So, I started doing the color commentary and I worked with Gorilla Monsoon. I did Wrestling Challenge. As I started doing that I got back involved, not wrestling, but in a managing role. By '94, February, March, April of '94, I was back in the business. I was back in the WWF, or WWE, but I wasn't wrestling anymore. I was a manager commentator. I had no idea that my life would take that course and those things would happen in that period of time, but they did.
WrestlingINC: You had mentioned when you were wrestling how you had a hard time separating your lifestyle from being a wrestler. Was it different when you returned as a commentator and as a manager?
Dibiase: It was because again, the danger signal for me was being constantly on the road. When you're on the road all the time, you're in an environment where you're with a bunch of guys who are we're going downtown to town, and it's just the way the culture was then. It was kind of like rock stars. It was the next town and the next show, the next bar and the next girl and all that other stuff. My attitude had changed and that's what I was afraid of, but when I went back to work I was never on the road. The only time I was on the road was at television tapings which was two days every three weeks and I was spending one day a week in the studio in Stamford. It was a much better atmosphere. And it stayed that way for a while until Vince decided he wanted to take me out of the commentating booth and physically put me back on the road and I think basically to help groom a couple guys.
I know that I managed Bam Bam Bigelow for a while. I was on the road with Sid Vicious. And then, of course, the last guy was Steve Austin. I just wasn't, again, it wasn't as bad. I had had my fill of the road. So this was about the time that guys were starting to jump over to WCW and go to the other company and I basically found out in a roundabout way that I could go to WCW and have a managing role and a commentating role, the same thing I was doing. And, it would only require me to be there Monday nights and pay per views. So again, I made a choice to leave the company.