WWE Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase Sr. recently took some time to participate in an exclusive in-depth interview withPWMania.com. DiBiase, now retired from active wrestling, serves the public as a minister for Heart of David Ministry and had a lot to say about his new profession, wrestling, his family and more including Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, The Undertaker, WCW and the attitude era. Here are some highlights from the interview:
Vince McMahon and The Million Dollar Man Character: It all has to do with marketing. The greatest marketing is word of mouth. Nobody can disagree that Vince is extremely good at marketing. He has marketed WWE so well and even the name Wrestlemania is synonymous with events like the Super Bowl. Now, this past Super Bowl was terrible. But, it’s a brand, just like WWE is a brand. People will still watch that brand. Wrestlemania will sell out because of its strength as a brand.
Grooming Steve Austin: I was really happy for him. I told him when I managed him the reason Vince put me with guys is because he hoped I would groom them. I told Steve at the time to keep doing what he was doing because what it is believable. You may not get over as fast, but you will last longer than guys who get over real fast and then their popularity dies out. Once you get over, you can do whatever you want. I don’t think anybody expected his character would grow to be as big as it did.
The Attitude Era and Steve Austin: But, as far as still managing him if I was still there, I wouldn’t be with him. As a Christian, I had an issue with the Attitude Era. If Stone Cold’s character was the heel, I’d be okay with it. But because he was drinking beer, flipping the bird and cursing…and getting cheered for it? And he becomes a babyface? That sends a message to teenagers that it’s ok to do all those things. That didn’t sit well with me.. The same thing was true with the NWO because we were the bad guys. But the bad guys were becoming the cool thing to be. There are good guys and bad guys in wrestling and I feel the story that should be told is that the good guys in the end win. If we send that message to kids, we are sending the right message. The Million Dollar Man character always got his butt kicked in the end.
The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Appearances: Regarding his once-a-year Wrestlemania appearances, I can only think “Mark, how many times can you do this?” Every year I think he would be getting closer to the end. But the fact that he only makes this one-time appearance is great because fans of the Undertaker will be there and will look forward to seeing him. One of the reasons Elvis Presley was famous is because the only time you ever saw him was when he walked on stage. He would walk on stage, would perform and literally left the building. It adds to the mystique. The less you see something you like, the more you want to see it.