Ted Dibiase Sr. Talks Managing Steve Austin, If He Was Misused In WWE, His Son's Release, Mid-South
The WWE Mid-South DVD release and his time with the organization: Well, I think the thing that will surprise some people is that, of course I haven't seen it yet so I don't know what matches they have of mine, but the better part of the early part of my career I was a babyface, or "good guy", and, you know, WWE fans don't remember me ever being a "good guy" and, actually, I turned heel the first time when shooting an angle with Junkyard Dog.
But I think one of the things that's on the DVD is a match that Ric Flair and I had where I actually had been a heel for a very long time, and Bill Watts, in my opinion, his knowledge and psychology for the wrestling business are remarkable. I mean he turned me back babyface in one night. There was a scheduled match where somebody gets a shot at the World Heavyweight Champion and it ends up being me, and as this match is about to start, Dick Murdoch interrupts, and everyone knew that Dick Murdoch and me had a history where I was his protégé and he broke me into the business and brought me into Mid-South. So he comes up to me and says "hey kid, you know this is my time, this is not your time, you know." And I said "your time? Your time is way past, pal. Hit the road." And of course he busted me open before the match starts, and so I go back into the dressing room and they tape me up and do the old spirit of '76 thing where, I guess there isn't going to be a World Title match tonight and then I come out to the ring and have this match and I'm bleeding and what really made it exceptional was I actually really hit myself pretty hard with the blade back when we were bleeding and the bandage actually came off and every time my heart would beat it would just shoot ha-ha. But anyway we get to the end of the match and, as a babyface; my finish was that I would do a Funk Spinning Toehold into a Figure Four Leg lock. And of course Flair's finish has always been the Figure Four Leg lock as well so I go for this move and he kicks me off and I take this bump over the top rope to the floor and I get counted out but it's like in the mind of the people it was the most valiant fight of my life and the whole thing with Murdoch turned me babyface and then Murdoch comes out and looks like he's going to help me up off the floor and he picks me up and gives me a brainbuster on the floor on the outside, so it started another program. So it's one of those matches where you just go "Oh my god, wow".
Playing the Million Dollar Man Character in and out of the ring: Well, I think everyone would agree that Vince McMahon, although he doesn't get it right every time, he gets it right most of the time, and he is a marketing genius. The way that he has marketed wrestling is just incredible, and one of the things he told me is that one of the ways we are going to market your character, of course they did vignettes and all that stuff, but nothing spreads faster than the word of mouth. He said, so every time the people see you they should see the picture of wealth. So we're going to fly you first class to everywhere you go, you won't be staying in anymore Red Roof Inns, it'll be the Hilton, Hyatt, or the Marriot, and every time you walk out of a hotel or out of an airport or out of a coliseum people will see you getting into a limousine.
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