WWE Hall Of Famer Ted DiBiase Explains Origin Of Million Dollar Belt

One of the greatest championship belts in wrestling history in terms of the pure visual aspect was specifically designed for Ted DiBiase's "Million Dollar Man" persona in the late '80s. One could argue that wrestling's predetermined nature makes every belt a prop, but the Million Dollar Championship embodied this concept since it was mostly used as a tool for DiBiase's character to flaunt his wealth. 


On a recent episode of "Everybody's Got a Pod," DiBiase said it was Pat Patterson who originally approached him with the idea for his own belt.

"At the time it was maybe going to be me and Hogan, and I'd beat Hogan and I'd have the [WWF World Heavyweight] belt for while," DiBiase recalled. "But then, obviously, if you're a heel in the new WWF, you're not going to be the champion very long, because kids want to see their champion, the good guy, have the belt. But [Pat] says, here's the deal. In your arrogance, you basically say, 'I don't need your stinkin' belt. I'll create my own championship' ... And that's how the whole Million Dollar Championship came to pass."

Beginning in late 1988, the WWF began airing vignettes with DiBiase overlooking the belt's making at Betteridge Jewelers in Greenwich, Connecticut, where the belt was legitimately crafted. Though its cost was not actually a million bucks, DiBiase estimated the original price tag to be around $40,000 due to the roughly 700 cubic zirconias used in its design. It's estimated the current value could be north of $200,000. 


Aside from DiBiase, the Million Dollar Championship has been weaved in and out of storylines involving the likes of Steve Austin, Ted DiBiase Jr., and LA Knight.