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Authors: Ted DiBiase,Jim J.R. Ross,Terry Funk

Ted DiBiase

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TED DIBIASE

The Million Dollar Man

Ted Dibiase

The Million Dollar Man

Ted DiBiase with Tom Caiazzo

Foreword by Jim “J.R.” Ross

Special Foreword by Terry Funk

Pocket Books
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
www.SimonandSchuster.com

Copyright © 2008 by World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

World Wrestling Entertainment, the names of all World Wrestling Entertainment televised and live programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans and wrestling moves, and all World Wrestling Entertainment logos and trademarks are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. Nothing in this book may be reproduced in any manner without the express written consent of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

This book is a publication of Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., under exclusive license from World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

Photos on pages
12
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17
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22
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24
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40
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66
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96
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98
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126
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178
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183
Courtesy of Ted DiBiase.
Photos on pages
78
,
91
,
108
,
111
,
116
,
132
,
142
Courtesy of
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
Photographs.
All other photos Copyright © 2008 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

First Pocket Books trade paperback edition June 2008

POCKET and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact Simon & Schuster Special Sales at 1-800-456-6798 or [email protected]

Designed by Ruth Lee-Mui

Manufactured in the United States of America

10   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1

ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-5890-3
ISBN-10:        1-4165-5890-X
eISBN-13: 978-1-4165-5920-7

To
MELANIE
the best-looking girl at the pool, for sure!!

CONTENTS

Foreword by Jim “J.R.” Ross

Special Foreword by Terry Funk

1. Forced to Retire

2. World Wrestling Federation Champion—Not Really

3. The Early Years

4. Learning from My Dad

5. On the Road

6. The Challenges of Becoming a Man

7. The Final Two Years of High School

8. West Texas State

9. Refereeing and Wrestling

10. Gaining Experience in the Business

11. Taking Three Steps

12. The Million Dollar Man

13. Commentator and Manager

14. World Championship Wrestling

15. Corporate Man

16. Minister Ted

17. Conclusion

Acknowledgments

FOREWORD

Ted DiBiase may be known as the Million Dollar Man to wrestling fans around the world, but to me he will always be known as simply Teddy.

You see, Teddy and I have known each other for over thirty years, ever since we first got into the sports entertainment business in the midseventies, when we both got our “bachelor's degree” in Wrestling 101 from the same man, “Cowboy” Bill Watts, in the Mid-South territory. Subsequently, we both received our “advanced degrees” in the business from Vince McMahon in World Wrestling Federation. In between, we both had gone on quite a journey, especially Theodore—or Marvin, as “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch used to call the man most people know as the Million Dollar Man.

Ted DiBiase is one of the best in-ring performers I've ever seen or ever will see. As a second-generation wrestler whose mom
and
stepfather were both pro wrestlers back in the day, young Teddy was a student of the game from day one and always seemed to be a natural fit for “the business.” However, the business, especially during the territory days, oftentimes gobbled up
young wrestlers and spit them back out as not-so-changed-for-the-better human beings. The temptations of the road were many, and were often overwhelming for young men who were just starting their adult lives. There was plenty of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll in the wrestling territories back in the seventies, and Ted DiBiase was not immune to these temptations. Neither was I, as best I remember, but somehow we both survived our miraculous journey through the scandalous seventies and the excesses of the eighties.

Ted's story of his life in the wrestling business goes from his early days as a young and impressionable man in a wild and woolly territory—working for a demanding, albeit brilliant boss—to his ascent to the top of the sports entertainment world, working for the most powerful man in the history of the business. Ted's “excellent adventure” documents his interactions with some of the most famous individuals of all time in the sports entertainment field, including: Andre the Giant, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and, of course, Ted's mentor, Dick Murdoch, to name just a few of the legends you will read about through the eyes of one of the most prominent and important figures in the history of what is perhaps the most unique, maligned, and controversial business imaginable.

These stories must be read to be believed, and through the grace of God, Ted DiBiase is still here to tell of his amazing experience in the wrestling and sports entertainment business, one that will never be duplicated. The life's journey of the Million Dollar Man is pure gold.

—Jim “J.R.” Ross

SPECIAL FOREWORD

I had three mentors in the world of professional wrestling: my father, Eddie Graham, and “Iron” Mike DiBiase. All three men were wonderful people, and they taught me so much about the business. Unfortunately, Mike died from a heart attack in the prime of his life. Because of all the things he had done for me, I wanted to do something for his son, Teddy. Initially, it had nothing to do with the wrestling business; I was more concerned with helping Teddy get an education. Although he was offered a football scholarship at the University of Arizona, I steered him to West Texas State University. While I wanted to make sure he finished college and earned his degree, I also wanted Teddy in Canyon for selfish reasons: so that I could watch him play football.

What I didn't realize about Teddy was that he came to West Texas State not only to play football and get a degree, but also to pursue a career in professional wrestling. At the time, West Texas State had produced some of the best wrestlers in the country, including those who had worked in the Amarillo territory: Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, Dory Funk Jr., Ray Stevens, Pat Patterson,
Tito Santana, Tully Blanchard, Dick Murdoch, Dusty Rhodes, and me, among others. When he decided to leave college early and pursue wrestling full-time, I was upset: I wanted him to finish his studies. But he was in love with the business and knew exactly what he was doing.

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