Recently on The Ross Report, 'Good Ol' JR' Jim Ross welcomed fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Ted DiBiase to the show. Among other things, DiBiase discussed WWE's current product and what is missing, regretting not talking to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon about his personal demons on the road, and his failed attempt at working as a booker.
According to DiBiase, times have changed, but WWE is still doing well from a business standpoint. Moreover, 'The Million Dollar Man' would like to see more action and less talking on WWE programming.
"I hear the same stuff all the time from fans everywhere. Of course, they are fans that are my age or older, and remember me, and they go, 'it's just not the same anymore.' I said, 'I agree with you.' I said, 'but, like, the fish's still selling out!' They're still selling out and I'm not going to be one of those old farts that just knock the business and everything because things do change and there [are] reasons why they change. We can talk about that stuff all day. Maybe there's hope that it'll go back to more action and not so much talk, but who knows?"
In DiBiase's expert opinion, WWE's current product is missing the selling of bygone eras. Also, DiBiase, who is quite possibly the greatest heel in WWE history, opined that there are no true heels nowadays and that the closest thing to a true heel in WWE is the son of DiBiase's former Money Inc. tag partner.
"[Selling]'s missing. The other thing and I don't know if it's the company. The company is a publicly held company and I don't know if there are restrictions now or what, but there aren't any real heels." DiBiase continued, "I guess the closest in my book, and I'm not watching close enough anymore, but as far as character and realism, I thought Bray Wyatt, Mike [Rotunda]'s kid, came across as one of the most genuine heels we had recently."
During the podcast, DiBiase shared that he regrets not talking to McMahon about his problems being on the road.
"When I left and went to Japan, it wasn't because I was disappointed or unhappy. I just had to separate myself from the environment. And the next time, when I came back as a manager and a commentator, and I left and went to WCW, that's when I should have had a talk with Vince because Vince took me, when I went back to work for him, the managers then, they only did TV and they didn't go on the road. And then, I was doing one day in the studio every week up in Stamford [Connecticut], so I was home all the time. Well, Vince put me back on the road. He put me on the road with Sid, then put me with Steve Austin, and I get that. Of course, my attitude then was, 'okay, the guy's running a business. He's putting me where he thinks I can best help his business. He's not interested in my personal problems.' And I had a chance to have that conversation with him after Hawk died. When Hawk died, I spoke at the funeral and Vince was actually there and I got him off to the side and we had the opportunity to have that conversation and I guess mend that fence because it was never anything about me being unhappy with business. It was just I was afraid of the road. And, of course, he told me, he said, 'you should have come and talked to me.' I mean, you can talk to the guy."
Apparently, DiBiase attempted to take on role with WWE creative, but his talents did not translate well behind-the-scenes insofar as DiBiase knew how to be 'The Million Dollar Man', but he did not know how to create stars.
"I understand the psychology of the business. I understand who I am and I know how I interact with other people, but that's a gift, the storytelling. Not everybody has that gift and it's kind of like the way I work. And Vince finally looked at me one day and he said, 'you remind me of Ray Stevens.' I said, 'how's that?' He said, 'well, Ray was one of the greatest workers we ever had. So are you.' He said, 'but if you ever asked Ray why he did anything, at any given time, he couldn't explain it.' And I said, 'exactly, Vince!' And see, Vince doesn't understand that because he [has] never done it."
Check out this edition of 'Slobberknocker Audio' here https://www.podcastone.com/episode/Ted-DiBiase--WWE-Payback-Review-with-Jason-Powell. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit The Ross Report with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: The Ross Report