Wrestling: Ted DiBiase

Remember when guys like this were a parody of Wall Street?

(moneyy moneyy moneyy moneyy monneeyyyyy-eeyy ♪)


Listen up, you nickel-and-dime peons: "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase was one of the premier Heels in the "federation years" of the WWE. Now retired, he was inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame in 2010, and has since been keeping a watchful eye over his son Ted DiBiase Jr. in his WWE run. He is a 3x WWE World Tag Team Champion with Irwin R. Schyster (Mike Rotunda) as Money Inc, a 1x WWF North American Heavyweight Champion, a 2x All Japan PWF World Tag Team Champion with Stan Hansen and 1x All Japan Pro Wrestling World Tag Team Champion also with Hansen, and held various territorial titles in the late 1970s and through most of the 1980s before arriving in WWE in 1987.

As usual, That Other Wiki has a more detailed run-down of his career.

"Every man has his trope":

  • Affectionate Nickname: Nicknamed "Teddy Bear" by his moll, Sherri, an oblique reference to being her sugar daddy. She kept right on calling him that, even in retirement.
  • Arch-Enemy: Junkyard Dog, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Dusty Rhodes, Virgil, the Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon), the Legion of Doom, Razor Ramon, the Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott)note , The Undertaker, Lex Luger, Diesel, Bam Bam Bigelow (after he quit/was fired from the Million Dollar Corporation), Savio Vega.
  • Author Avatar: Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Man character was based on the type of wrestler WWE boss Vince McMahon wanted to be. This was years before Vince himself would turn heel following the Montreal Screwjob and become the Big Bad we know today.
  • Badass Preacher: Became one after his wrestling career petered out; he frequently worked with Nikita Koloff on combined Christian/wrestling events. And he does weddings, too.
    Redditor : He also insisted that we do counseling with him pre-wedding, so we spoke with him about life and love and lovemaking (which he referred to as "romp-and-stomping" in his thick Mississippi accent—hilarious, but a touch awkward, too).
  • Bash Brothers: With "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, "Maniac" Matt Borne, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Virgil, IRS, Stan Hansen
  • Battle Butler: Virgil, Wrestling Superstar. Amusingly, in 2013 Ted let slip the reason he left WCW was because he refused to be "Hogan's Virgil".
  • Beard of Evil
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Not sanctioned by the WWF, the Million Dollar Belt was more a huge piece of jewelry than anything else. Taking a belt shot covered in diamonds? That'll leave a mark.
  • Catch Phrase: "Everybody's got a price for the Million Dollar Man!"
  • Demoted to Extra: As with so many other stars, Ted was kept on WCW's payroll despite rarely appearing on television.
    • Ted was one of the first WWF Superstars to jump ship to WCW, and also one of the first to jump right back. The idea was that Ted bankrolled the NWO, with Hogan and the others providing the muscle. He turned face and disappeared from WCW programming later that year, and his boss role was subsumed by Eric Bischoff. According to Ted, it slowly dawned on Eric that he was essentially paying someone to play himself, but DiBiase had signed a three year contract. When he kindly pointed this out, Turner Entertainment realized that had no choice but to keep employing him, so Ted became a road agent for Nitro. He really took them to the cleaners.
  • Dirty Coward: Whenever he couldn't buy his way out of a situation, he folded like a lawn chair.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Sang his WWF entrance theme.
  • The Dog Bites Back: From his "servant," Virgil.
  • Evil Knockoff: When Yokozuma bested The Undertaker at the '94 Royal Rumble, he finally broke Paul Bearer's hold over the zombie wrestler. DiBiase declared that everybody from there to Timbuktu was searching for The Undertaker's remains, but had come up short. Using his vast money and resources though, the Million Dollar Man claimed he did indeed find the casket first and signed a contact placing Taker (actually an impersonator, Brian Lee) under his control. Paul called B.S. on this, as not even he knew where Taker was buried. In due course, Paul unsealed the power of the urn and the real Undertaker re-materialized to take the imposter out. It's interesting how DiBiase is basically arguing over Taker like he's a piece of land, something to be bought.
    RocketHideout: At the end of the SummerSlam match, when his Undertaker was lying prone and helpless, I think Ted DiBiase took a closer look at his Undertaker and saw on the bottom of his boot those three words nobody wants to see when they buy something. Made in China.
  • Evil Laugh: Ted Dibiase is always laughing; he must be very happy.
  • Expy: Claimed in his autobiography Every Man Has His Price that Vince McMahon described the "Million-Dollar Man" gimmick to him as a wrestling version of Donald Trump.
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • Fiction 500: Daddy Warbucks with fists.
  • Finishing Move: The Million Dollar Dream submission hold.
    • He also used the Cobra Clutch combined with a Russian Legsweep, a top rope backwards elbow drop, and a Spinning Toe Hold at different phases of his career.
    • His unique fist drop was sometimes used as this or as a Signature Move.
  • Happily Adopted
  • Heel: Probably one of the best-known characters of this archetype.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: After the famous incident in 1993 where The 1-2-3 Kid beat Razor Ramon, Ted challenged the Kid to a match to prove how easy it was to beat "a nobody." During said match, Ted kept picking the Kid up at the count of two just to inflict more punishment. When Razor himself showed up, Dibiase decided to rub it in by attempting the most nonchalant cover imaginable... only for the Kid to crucifix him for the win. Razor, his Heel-Face Turn now complete, cracked up laughing on the outside.
  • "I Am Great!" Song: MoneyMoneyMoneyMoneyMoney
  • It Runs in the Family: See Wrestling Family below.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He bought the #30 spot in the Royal Rumble from Akeem in order to have the best chance at winning. Along with that, he tried to buy off Big John Studd so he could win the whole thing. Studd didn't bite, making the Million Dollar Man the last man eliminated. In the subsequent Rumble matches he participated in, DiBiase drew #1 in 1990, #2 in 1992, and #3 in 1993. He was even the first man eliminated from the Rumble in 1992.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: His entrance attire is tuxedo, for crying out loud!
  • Marshmallow Hell: Happened while he was selling a bump, after DiBiase made fun of Sherri's tits once too often.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: A third-generation wrestler, Christian minister, and devoted family man. It's just too bad that, like Big Bossman, one of the most well-adjusted guys in wrestling didn't exactly have one of the best careers.
  • Money Song: His theme, obviously, which is also an Ear Worm.
  • Money to Throw Away: Yes, the Man is so rich he can afford to stuff wads of cash in his opponents' mouths. Also, his entrances. (See below)
  • No Sell: Amazingly, he once did this after the Fabulous Freebirds gave him a spike piledriver on the floor.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: He once attempted to purchase the WWF Championship off of Hulk Hogan. One "Rewriting the Book" article on WrestleCrap explores What Could Have Been if Hogan had taken the deal.
    • Ironically, he actually inverted this earlier in his career. While competing for "Cowboy" Bill Watts' Universal Wrestling Federation in 1986, DiBiase competed in, and was eliminated from, the UWF World Heavyweight Title Tournament on May 30. (DiBiase d. Blade Runner Rock (The Ultimate Warrior) in the First Round and Terry Gordy d. him in a Quarter-Final Match.) DiBiase's former manager, General Skandor Akbar of Devastation Inc., offered him $25,000 to interfere and cost his friend "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan his semi-final match against Akbar's charge Kamala the Ugandan Giant. DiBiase said, "Make it $50,000." Akbar agreed, DiBiase put on his infamous black glove, and nailed KAMALA, giving Duggan the win and sending him into the finals against Gordy. (Duggan lost, but that's another story.)
  • Photo Op with the Dog: DiBiase is remembered for producing a money roll and tossing bills at crowds to buy their support.
  • Power Stable: He was the manager of The Million Dollar Corporation: Irwin R. Schyster, King Kong Bundy, Nikolai Volkoff, Bam Bam Bigelow, the Underfakernote  Tatanka, Kamanote , Sycho Sid,The 1-2-3 Kid, Xanta Klaus (Jonathan Rechner, aka SMW's Boo Bradley/ECW's Balls Mahoney), The Ringmaster ("Stone Cold" Steve Austin).
    • (In Mid-South/UWF): Devastation Inc.
    • (In WCW): The NWO
  • Power Trio: (in "Cowboy" Bill Watts' Mid-South/UWF): The Rat Pack, with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and "Maniac" Matt Borne.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Inverted, in that The Gimmick Writes Real Life: when Ted started working as the Million Dollar Man, the WWF needed him to play the role to the hilt to protect kayfabe, so it gave him a bankroll many guys probably would have killed to have just so he could do things like travel by private jet, ride around in limos, and stay in high-class hotels.
  • Red Baron: "The Million Dollar Man"!
  • Rich Bastard
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: His son is turning into this.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Do we really have to explain this one?
    • Creating his own championship, for a start.
    • Averted in 1988. DiBiase paid André the Giant to win the WWF Championship from Hulk Hogan for him, and detained referee Dave Hebner backstage while Dave's Evil Twin brother Earl impersonated him to help Andre win the title; Andre tried to surrender the belt to DiBiase, but the WWF refused to acknowledge Ted as the champion, and the title was declared vacant. (Andre's brief reign is still the shortest recognized WWE Championship reign in history.)
  • Spiritual Successor: Make way for John Bradshaw Layfield, who is absolutely this trope for the new millennium. Alberto Del Rio has credited (or credi-Ted) the M.D.M. as well.
    • As JBL himself said, three generations of one stolen gimmick.
    • Vince McMahon has gradually turned into a Million Dollar Man, paying unsuspecting fans/wrestlers to perform degrading acts and then stiffing them on the bill.
  • Start My Own: Since Ted literally couldn't buy a WWF Championship reign, he went out and had the "Million Dollar Championship" - a custom belt made of gold and diamonds - created just to prove he was the best.
  • Tag Team: Money Inc., with IRS.
  • Take That: Following victories, DiBiase would stuff $100 bills into his opponents' mouths.
    • This is the kayfabe distinction between the Cobra Clutch and the Million Dollar Dream (they're the same hold, otherwise).
  • Threw My Bike on the Roof: Purchasing a public pool just so he could kick all the kids out.
    • The Million Dollar Man would usually offer rewards to audience members for doing some task, but they could never pull them off. He once offered $500 to a very small child to dribble a basketball 15 times without missing. The boy did surprisingly well... only for Ted to kick the ball out from under him at the fourteenth bounce.
    • Pet the Dog: The boy was later invited backstage, however, where he was given the $500 and got to meet the wrestlers.
    • Funnily, his kicking of Cody Rhodes got him a face pop.
  • Trickster Mentor: To his son, maybe.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: One of the more common elements of Randy Savage's storylines during his face run was the villains either trash-talking or outright physically harming his valet, Miss Elizabeth. DiBiase completely averted this; his focus was plain and simple: Win the title, don't worry about the girl.
  • Wrestling Family: Ted's mother Helen Nevins-DiBiase was a wrestler (as Helen Hilde), as was his adoptive father "Iron" Mike [DiBiase], and his sons Mike, Ted Jr. and Brett have all become wrestlers. Ted Jr. was signed to WWE but has since left as of the end of August 2013.

Some might cost a little
Some might cost a lot
But I'm the Million Dollar Man
And you will be bought! DYAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Alternative Title(s):

Ted Di Biase