Today the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling finds out what exactly is the "Price of Fame" as we welcome WWE Hall of Famer "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase. Discussing his new documentary, Dibiase takes the listeners on a very emotional ride through his life and career as we learn just exactly what the former Million Dollar Champion nearly lost after years of living his gimmick to the fullest. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.
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The time it took to put together his story and Ted Jr.'s role:
"We put this thing together and it was like a three year process with a lot of setbacks but now it is done. My son Ted Jr. who was with the WWE for five years and was rocking had done a movie The Marine 2 and got a lot of accolades for that and he has met a lot of people, had come along and he interjected that we should tell my story. Your story, Mom's story and our story but how about we tell it seen through my eyes and I thought WOW. I do a lot of speaking to men and I talk about the significance of having a wonderful Dad in your life and how important it is. So that is what we did. When we completed the project, Ted said that he knows the marketing people who marketed some of the biggest faith based movies in the country (Gods Not Dead, Fireproof) and was sending them the documentary. They had said they would get back to him after Christmas and this was actually a week before Christmas. He calls me the next day and told me they had called him back and said how they loved it and they wanted to help us get it out there."
The role Bill Watts played in his career:
"I give Bill Watts credit more than anyone in my career for what I know about the wrestling industry. In my opinion there is not a guy sharper in terms of his understanding of the psychology of what we do. Granted, Mid South was four states (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi) and there were some long trips and there were days where we had to stay over but we were never away from home or where we were totally gone for a week. You were gone for a day or two and maybe even at the most three but you were never that far away from your base of where you were staying. You may still be wrestling every night but at least you had the day at home and you were around your family. With the WWF, once you'd leave your home than you were gone and you weren't back for three weeks and Mid South was not like that."
How his heel persona was perfected in Mid South:
'The last little bit of my run in Mid South before going to the WWF and becoming the Million Dollar Man set the stage for me. I believe that Vince brought me in as this heel and it was because he saw the kind of heel that I had been. I was the kind of heel that even though you didn't call me the Million Dollar Man talked down to the crowd and talked real big and even though I could wrestle when confronted you become a coward. You never get tired of seeing a bully get his butt kicked."
What led to the creation of the iconic Million Dollar Championship:
"The whole set up for Wrestle Mania 4 was brilliant. The rematch with Hogan and Andre from Wrestle Mania 3 and it was the first time that wrestling was on live network television since the 1950s and the story is of Hogan and Andre but the real story is me having Andre selling me the belt after he beats Hogan, setting up Wrestle Mania 4. Initially at WrestleMania 4 it was thought that they would find a way for me to buy the title or to screw Hogan out of it but Pat Patterson said to me that lets say I don't win at WrestleMania 4 and that fans in reality are expecting that to happen. But what about if it backfires on you and because of your arrogance you create your own title? As soon as he said it I thought that is brilliant. So now I am going to have this Million Dollar belt and I am going to parade this belt around and declare myself the champion and nothing can put more heat on me and it really was a stroke of genius. We had a lot of fun with it."
Hulk Hogan press slamming Earl Hebner during the closing moments of being given the WWF Championship:
"I was like: "Oh my gosh" and I was just hoping and praying that he didn't get hurt seriously and I think we were all in shock because he (Hogan) gave Earl a heave-ho. Andre, who was a foot taller than me even with his arms out stretched missed him. That was a scary moment and I'll be honest with you that Earl is lucky he didn't get hurt worse because it is like from the floor to the ring apron is three feet and you've got Hogan standing there in the ring and he is 6'6'' and he is holding Earl over his head so Earl is twelve-fifth-teen feet off the ground. It was unbelievable."
Any disappointment in never being World Champion:
"People always ask if I am sad that I was never the World Champion. I always say that it would have been nice but the reality is that wrestling is a business and the titles are props. They are a prop. Some guys need the prop and other guys don't. I didn't need the World Title to get over and be a major heel."
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