Ted Dibiase Sr. Talks Working In WWE Creative, How Ted Jr. Was Used In WWE, Religion, More
WrestlingINC: Was this a case of your faith was always there and it became stronger later on, or were you reborn?
Dibiase: As a young man, I had a strong faith in God. It dwindled and I pretty much abandoned it when I went to college. Basically, what I tell everybody is what took over my life was my pride. And it became a big ego trip. I went through a failed marriage and I got married a second time and you know, wonderful wife who gives me two children. I get my son back from my first marriage. On top of that I get the biggest break of my wrestling career and things are going really good. But, in spite of all that's going good, because I'm traveling and being gone all the time, I'm just falling into the same junk that everybody else is. I was never addicted to drugs or alcohol, but I did my share of drinking and drugging and of course, I guess the real demon in my life was womanizing.
That's the deal. It's like, you know, just after Wrestlemania 8 my wife confronted me. She discovered what was going on and that was the wake up call. It was kind of like, you've blown it, I really thought my marriage was over. Just looking in the mirror, it's like I have blown the best thing that's ever happened to me and why? To have a good time just to stroke my ego. It's pretty hard to face. Again, that's another reason I speak to a lot of men. I tell 'em, I say this all the time, I say all you guys that think your masculinity is measured by the size of your biceps and how much beer you can drink and how many women you can bed, well, I've got two words for you. Grow up. Because your manhood is measured by the size of your character and your integrity. So those are the things I had to gain. Those are the things I had to work on and in doing that, I turned back to my faith in God. It changed my life, I mean totally changed my life. Totally changed the way I look at everything. From that time to today, the most important thing in my life is my wife and my family, not my job, not my career, not me me me me me. It's them.
People say, you know what, Ted? If you'd have wrestled a couple more years and the reality was, I probably could have. My doctor told me, "I recommend you retire." He said you can probably have the surgery and go back to work, and several guys have had that surgery and gone back, but I chose not to. And I chose not to for my family. I never said that to anybody at the time, but that's really why I made the choice. I'm going to do this right this time. Maybe I would have had one of those million dollar contracts that Ted Turner was giving away if I had stayed a little longer. People say, "don't you regret missing that?" And I do not for a day. That's because what I have now is far greater. I have the love and respect of my wife and my kids. I could look in the mirror and I'm happy with that guy now. He's okay. He's not a schmuck.
WrestlingINC: What were your thoughts when your sons said they wanted to break into the business? Were you concerned at all, or were you fine with it?
Dibiase: I was like, are you kidding me? My boys were obviously old enough by that time to, I wrote a book about my story so they got a bit of understanding about what went down. They know what went down. They see me. Up until this past December, I was hobbling around because my knees were horrible. I've had them both replaced now. When they said they wanted to wrestle, they knew that's not what I wanted for them, but because they loved me and I guess idolized me, they wanted to try it and I knew if I said no or went against that, that they would just do it. Even if they didn't do it, they would always wonder, "could I have done it?" I'd have been blamed. So it's one of those times that as a parent, you have to just let them go and say okay. And of course Brett, my youngest, he was doing great down there in the developmental program and then he just kept getting hurt. He had like four knee surgeries in two years and a neck fusion. He finally realized that Dad, I don't think I was made for wrestling.
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