Ted DiBiase was not a great person back in the 1980s, and it helped him become the Million Dollar Man all that easier.
DiBiase talked to Sporting News about the upcoming documentary on his life, The Price Of Fame. When discussion coming to the WWE with the Million Dollar Man gimmick back in 1987, DiBiase talked about how the person he was back then made relating to the character that much easier, hence why Vince McMahon probably wanted him to portray the character.
It's based on my experience I already had. I talked down to the people like they were scumbags. And it was the type of heel I was. I was the bully. Bullies always pick on easy prey and they find a way to have an advantage. Of course, the heel always has some of an edge. Plus, you never get tired of seeing him get his butt kicked because that's who he is. He talks real big but when he's confronted, he starts backing up. I showed people that I could wrestle, that I had the goods but I always wanted to take the shortcut. That's what Vince saw. Everyone always expands on how well I interviewed and how I could take the story off the top of my head and do the interviews. I think that's what Vince saw.
The documentary will talk about the bad lifestyle choices he made during his run in the WWE. When asked if things could have been different if he didn't have to portray someone as villainous as the Million Dollar Man, he didn't think so.
Not really, because it wasn't like I became the character. I think wrestling in general, even if it was a different character, all of a sudden we're ... all of us, maybe I was in a first-class seat instead of coach and maybe I was (in) limousines instead of a car, but we were all traveling. All of a sudden, wrestling is bigger than anything would ever dream it would be and we're right in the middle of it. All of us starting traveling like rock stars and it was something easy to get caught up in.
Back in the territory days, it was like you go back to the hotel and you go to bed unless you go to a bar. Now, you go back to the hotel and the bar is full of girls and wrestling fans. There it is. There's the temptation right there. It's like I tell everybody — what do I want everybody to take away from this? Fame and money and all the stuff, it's not what you think it is. Yeah, sure, where you see somebody like you see somebody on the football field or basketball court or whatever that sport is or wrestling, they are in a stadium with thousands of people calling their name and know who they are. It is a high. When the game is over, you shower and you go get something to eat and you go back to your hotel. In football, that's between August and December or February, then you get the other half of the year off. In wrestling, it's year around.
I remember Wembley Stadium — 80,000 people. That's the largest crowd I ever wrestled in front of. You go back, you have something to eat and you go to your hotel room and it's four walls. Your wife's not there, your kids aren't there. Even if you talk to them on the phone, you're alone. You’re alone 300 days a year. You're out there; you're away from your family. Again, it's what you do with it. You can't blame WWE. You can't blame the NFL or anybody else. We all make choices. That's what I tell young guys. If you want to avoid the pitfalls, you have to build accountability of some kind in your life. That was the issue. I didn't have a problem with my marriage. I love my wife, I love my children — I'd die for them — but Ted was on an ego trip.
The Price of Fame will be out on November 7. You can check out showtimes and ticket information here.