As noted, WWE Hall Of Fame Ted DiBiase was recently a guest on The Ross Report podcast. Among many other things, DiBiase talked about whether he regrets never been world champion in NWA or WWE.
According to DiBiase, there were conversations about making him NWA World Heavyweight Champion; however, NWA went with Ric Flair as champion at a time to attempt to make good on a debt owed to Jim Crockett Promotions.
"Here's the thing, there was a lot of talk, at one time, again, before WWE, about the possibility [of being NWA World Heavyweight Champion]. Back in those days, whoever was the NWA World Champion, I think they would put it on one guy and they would leave it there for like four years and then they'd go to somebody else. I think the idea was to move it around a little bit more. And the three names in the hat were Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, and me."
DiBiase continued, "I don't know how much truth there is to this, but I was told that the reason, I can't remember if it was Terry Funků I can't remember who the champion was at the time, they were talking about these three guys, but I was told that Crockett begged them to let it be Ric Flair the first time. He said it was the only way he could get his money, the money back that he was owed, was to have Flair be the champion. And I was like, 'oh my gosh,' but, again, I don't know how much truth there was to that."
Apparently, DiBiase was also considered for WWE's top prize as well - instead of winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 4, 'The Million Dollar Man' created his own championship title.
"There was a lot of talk of that happening at WrestleMania 4. Somehow I win the tournament, and then I have my run with [Hulk] Hogan, and, of course, in the WWF, as it was known then, if you're a heel champion, you're not going to be champion very long. You're transitional. You're either going to give it back to the guy who you took it from, or you're going to be a transitional champion and you're going to lose it to the next guy who will be a babyface champion.
"And there was talk of that, but Pat Patterson said to me one day, he said, 'Ted, we've kicked this thing around and we thought about it, but in reality, because we're pushing you so hard, you're the top heel right now, that's what the people are going to expect. What if we don't give him that? Let's say you don't win the tournament and then in your arrogance, you create your own title and just declare yourself the Million Dollar Champion?' As soon as he said it, I said, 'do that,' I said, 'because that will put more heat on me than anything else we can do.' And, again, that's me the businessman going, 'what's best for business?' and 'what's going to be the bottom line?' And that's what I tell people all the time, 'it would have been nice to be the world champion,' I said, 'yeah, but in this business, the bottom line is titles are props and it's a business, so what was best for business and what was best for me at the time was to go that other way.'"
Check out this edition of 'Slobberknocker Audio' here. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit The Ross Report with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: The Ross Report