Ted DiBiase is a WWE Hall of Famer and one of the most iconic figures in pro wrestling history. Now he’s on the Turnbuckle Weekly with Chuck Carroll.
The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase will forever be synonymous with WWE (WWF if you want to be picky about it).
Had it not been for a change of heart by Eric Bischoff, he would have built a duel legacy in WCW, much like Hulk Hogan.
DiBiase was originally hired to be the mouthpiece for the nWo, but once the popularity of the anti-establishment group began to skyrocket plans changed.
The WWE Hall of Famer said his former boss’s ego and jealously were squarely to blame.
“Quite frankly I think Eric (Bischoff) saw how hot the thing was getting and decided to put himself in my spot,” DiBiase told me.
DiBiase said he spoke about his concerns with Bischoff, who was running WCW at the time, once he began to see what was happening. He refused to play a silent-type role, such as his Virgil counterpart in Vince McMahon’s promotion.
“I’m not going to walk out there every week and just hold the belt for Hogan,” he said. “That’s not an ego thing, that’s just business.”
DiBiase said he gave Bischoff an ultimatum: give him something more worthwhile to do or send him home.
Bischoff chose the latter but later brought him back to manage The Steiner Brothers.
DiBiase also told me he feels Bischoff gets too much credit for turning WCW into the white-hot promotion that almost put WWE out of business during the Monday Night Wars era.
Bischoff’s idea for the nWo borrowed heavily from a successful invasion angle involving rival Japanese promotions that occurred earlier that decade. Ironically, the concept of using veteran wrestlers that established themselves elsewhere would ultimately lead to the demise of WCW.
“The difference between Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon is Vince McMahon knows how to create a star,” DiBiase said. “Eric took a company and took it down.”
He told me that he saw the writing on the wall long before WCW’s ratings began to lag behind WWE’s.
“I remember a conversation one night after one of the shows, and Eric said he was going to put Vince out of business,” DiBiase recalled. “I just laughed at him and said ‘are you kidding me?’ Even if Vince retreats a little bit, he ain’t going away. I don’t think you or anybody else are going to run him out of business.”
Bischoff wasn’t too happy about those remarks, according to DiBiase.
Long before NXT was in the picture, WWE was a breeding ground for talent — creating one star after another. Ultimate Warrior, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Undertaker, Kane and countless others cut their teeth there.
As many see it, Bischoff created one star: Goldberg.
This is part two of my interview with DiBiase, which was taped shortly before he appeared at Masters of Ring Entertainment‘s Tribute to Jim Cornette.
Here’s everything we covered.
– Why he doesn’t watch WWE as much these days
– His thoughts on WWE’s current product
– Pro wrestling would be dead if not for Vince McMahon
– His funny conversation with Stephanie McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin
– Disagreeing with Vince McMahon
– Candid thoughts on Eric Bischoff
– His original role in WCW
– How his role changed when he began appearing on Christian television
– Bischoff getting too much credit for nWo
– A kid he did an infamous basketball spot with was eventually drafted by the Lakers
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @TheChuckCarroll.