WWE Hall Of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase Sr. recently appeared as a guest on The Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast to promote his new documentary, “The Price Of Fame.” Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On how he handled retirement and wishing he was more active in his son, Ted DiBiase Jr.’s WWE career: “Yeah, I mean, I really didn’t have any trouble because people ask me that all the time, they say, ‘don’t you miss it? I mean, man, you were the guy.’ And it’s like, I had a 19-year active career and overall I was in the industry as a full-time participant for 25 years. That’s long enough. And when I transitioned out of this, into the ministry, the ministry began to consume me in the same way. And so, I kind of feel for the guys because there [are] a lot of guys that have a real hard time making that transition, but I didn’t. I didn’t. And people ask me all the time, ‘don’t you miss it? Don’t you ever just wish you could get back in there again?’ and I go, ‘I really don’t.’ I say, ‘now maybe if I see a really good match or I see a young guy and I see a lot of talent, I go, ‘man, if I could get in there and have a match with him, it would help him a little bit.’ Something like that. But wanting to be the guy again? No problem. There was one [up-and-coming star he regrets not working] for sure, my son.”
On first meeting Virgil and his first thoughts about working with him: “Well, actually, I can’t claim Virgil because I didn’t even know Virgil until they introduced me to him in the office, so I’m not sure who found Virgil. But they hired Virgil. I mean, he had the look and he had the guns. And I guess that’s about all I can say about that! Yeah, I mean, here’s the thing about [Virgil]. He wasn’t a bad guy. I mean, he showed up on time. He didn’t smoke or drink or do drugs. I’ve been told that he likes to gamble, but other than that… But I did realize that [he] wasn’t the smartest book on the shelf. No, not at all. And what we could’ve done if Virgil had some really, really good or decent wrestling skills, we could have had a heck of a run, but that wasn’t in the cards.”
On Ted DiBiase Jr.’s reaction to being paired with Virgil years later: “When he told me, ‘they’re going to put Virgil with me – it’s very brief, very, very short,’ but i think the idea was that they were trying to do a thing whereby he keeps saying, ‘I’m not my dad,’ but he keeps acting like me, right? And so, the first night Virgil is on TV with him, I’m watching the live show and it’s over, well, I live in the central timezone, so it’s over at 10 o’clock my time. At 10:05, my phone rings and it’s Teddy. He said, ‘dad, how did you put up with this idiot for as long as you did? He’s driving me crazy!’”
On his reaction to his son leaving WWE: “I was proud of him. I mean, he called me before, just before, and he said, ‘dad, I just wanted you to be aware of something,’ and he said, ‘but before I tell you, the first thing you’ve got to promise me is you won’t say those words.’ I said, ‘what words might that be?’ ‘I told you so.’ And so he told me, he said ‘my contract’s about up and they want me to re-sign.’ And he said, ‘I’m not going to go back.’ And I said, ‘really?’ And he said, ‘yeah,’ he said, ‘because basically, you’re right.’
“Nobody works harder in that company than Vince [McMahon], himself, and it’s just going to be expected of you and he got that. He understood that, but that’s also what he understood. He said, ‘if I do that, it’s not fair to my wife and it’s not fair to my child.’ And I said, ‘I won’t say those words!’ And I said, ‘but I’m glad you figured it out and I support you’ and I know he bowed out gracefully. And, I mean, if he wanted to go back, he probably could.”
Check out the complete episode of The Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast featuring the Ted DiBiase Sr. interview at NotSam.com.