WWE superstar Ted DiBiase Jr. has learned a textbook’s worth from his legendary dad, The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. The lessons not only prepared him for in-ring battles and backstage barriers but also extended to life on the road and at home.
DiBiase, the WWE Hall of Famer, lived like a rock star, traveling 300-plus days a year, everywhere, as a WWF superstar. Alcohol, drugs, women, money squandering. That was the norm during those days.
It also didn’t help that everybody had a price for the Million Dollar Man, who lived the persona away from the ring. The real-life price he paid for that party-esq lifestyle nearly cost him his most prized possession -- not the belt -- his family.
With the help of God, the elder DiBiase turned his life around, becoming a better person, a better husband and a better father. Just ask Ted Jr.
• How did your father’s turnaround and his religious spiritual findings impact you?
DiBiase said: “Tremendously. It really changed the outcome of my life and the outlook that I have on life.
“Luckily that happened around when I was 9, 10-years-old, an impressionable age, right before I got into junior high, high school and college. Those are years that really form who you are and who you might be or what you might be like the rest of your life. Those were the years that my father instilled the importance of having character and integrity.”
He continued: “I definitely strayed. I had my hiccups and my own problems, but because of him, I have those things in my heart, and I’d been instilled those things from such a young age that it’s easy to fall back on them. When you mess up and you go through something really hard, you look back, and you have that to rely on. You have those teachings. You have good advice that my father gave me to pull from. Without that, I’d be a mess.
“I give him and my mother a lot of credit for who I am today, and hopefully I can be the same father that my dad has become, the same man to my son and be a positive influence to him and teach him these things that really matter, and that will make his life more enjoyable as a human being. Things that are priceless.”
• Having a baby is one of those things.
DiBiase and his wife, Kristen, recently celebrated the birth of their first child, a son, Tate McKinley, born on May 15. Because of an ankle and shoulder injury, DiBiase was with his wife for the delivery.
“For me, I’m a believer. I believe in God, and I think this was God’s doing. He broke my ankle so I could be home for the birth of my child and not only the birth but the first month and a half so I could help my wife,” DiBiase said.
“It’s been nice. It’s given me a chance to recharge the batteries, gain a new perspective and go back at this grind with a new outlook and positive thoughts, and I’m very excited about it, but I’m also very Blessed to be home on Father’s Day.”
When you’re a WWE superstar traveling different cities each week or touring internationally, you’re on the road more than 300 days a year.
“I don’t remember my dad ever being home on a Father’s Day [when he was a professional wrestler],” DiBiase said. “It was always calling him on the phone to wish him a Happy Father’s Day.”