WWE Hall of Famer Ted Dibiase sat down with fellow Hall of Famer Booker T on the latter’s Reality of Wrestling podcast. The two compared their era to the modern era of wrestling, and Dibiase pointed out some key differences he felt have hindered the modern product.
“I would say a lot of the guys today, through know fault of their own…I mean my generation and your generation were the last to learn the business the way it was always taught,” Dibiase said. “A guy would take you in the ring and teach you out to take the basic bumps to protect yourself. And then you’d just get in the ring and go.
“But they would put you in the ring every night with an experienced guy who could lead you. And over time we acquired this gift to read the crowd. You could have a match with a guy one night, and if you tried to duplicate that the next night you may do it, but you might not get the same reaction.
“That’s the deal. If they don’t react the way you expect them to, then we had to learn to think on your feet, shift gears and do something different. I still say, to me, that’s what’s missing in wrestling today.”
Dibiase would later come back to the subject when explaining why he feels so many fans believe his era was superior. He also revealed that he’d soon be working with a current NXT star.
“We go somewhere to sign autographs and I hear it,” Dibiase said. “Day in and day out. ‘You guys between the mid 80’s and mid 90’s, you guys were the last great era of wrestling.
“I don’t want to take anything away from the young guys today. It’s just everything has changed. I’m supposed to go down to the Developmental Center pretty soon. I think I’m going to do something with their new money guy, Cameron Grimes or something?
“The guys down there that instructing the talent, those are guys I know and their good. I don’t know, I really don’t know what it is. I think it’s, more than anything, they don’t have the time. They don’t have the time we had to get in the ring and have a 25 to 30 minute match every night. And to learn to feel the business.”
You can watch the full interview below.