Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
Photo Credit: Bobby Bank/WireImage

Ted DiBiase Talks Becoming A Pastor After Wrestling Career, The Million Dollar Title, How Vince Pitched The Gimmick To Him

WWE Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase recently spoke with‘s Ben Houser about his life as a pastor after his wrestling career, some career highlights including original plans for him to win the WWE Championship, and more. You can read a few highlights below: 

Ted DiBiase comments on becoming a pastor after his wrestling career was over:  

“I’m preaching the gospel. The last thing I thought I would be doing is traveling the country and traveling the world preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, but God had a plan and nobody is more surprised than me. A lot of people who knew me before have been equally surprised over the years.”

DiBiase talks about how Vince McMahon pitched the Million Dollar Man character to him, and Terry Funk’s advice for him: 

“[McMahon] said ‘I got something for you.’ There have been so many things that have been done, but this has never been done, and just based on what I have seen from you, and your work, you can pull this off — you are articulate. And I go, ‘Awesome, what is it?’ And he goes, ‘Here is the deal — you have got to sign a contract with me before I tell you.’ And [McMahon] said, ‘Here is why.’ He says, ‘If I tell you, and you don’t sign, I have given away a great idea, and I can’t afford to do that.’ I’m like, ‘Wow,’ and I said ‘Okay, I got to have a little time to think about this.'”

“Funk said, ‘Teddy, if Vince McMahon has an idea, and he thinks you are tailor-made for it,’ he said, ‘pack your bag and don’t look back. Go.'”

DiBiase reveals how they came up with his name once he agreed to Vince McMahon’s deal: 

“He said the one thing everybody hates is someone who by virtue of their wealth thinks they are better than everybody. You know, that cocky, arrogant, nose in the air, ‘I am better than you,’ looks down at people [kind of guy]. People like that are stuffy and think they can buy anybody and anything. I start chuckling and say, ‘I hate people like that myself.’ He said, ‘Now, we have not given this guy a name yet,’ and just off the cuff I said, ‘It sounds like a million-dollar man to me,’ and Vince goes ‘The Million Dollar Man he is.'”

DiBiase talks about changing plans to win the WWE Championship by creating his Million Dollar Championship instead: 

“Pat Patterson approached me and said, ‘Rather than do that which is the expected thing, you don’t win it at Mania. In your arrogance, you create your own title.’ And as soon as he said it, I was like, ‘That is the ticket!’ That is going to make everybody hate my guts — design my own belt and declare that I am a champion.”

DiBiase says he made the right decision by leaving wrestling and giving his life to religion: 

“I walked away from a lot, I could have stayed in the industry in some capacity and had a fairly cushy income, and I chose to follow God. If it happened all over again, I would do that same thing.”