Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17, and injured WWE superstar Ted DiBiase Jr. will be spending it with family including newborn baby boy, Tate McKinley, and father, WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase.
If he wasn’t injured, DiBiase would probably be involved in the WWE No Way Out pay-per-view on the road on Father’s Day, instead of enjoying a cookout at home.
WWE is his passion, his livelihood, but spending time with family is also important. A balancing act, of sorts, is a routine challenge for any WWE superstar or diva. They travel 300 days a year, missing holidays, birthdays and other family related events, but they know what to expect, if aspiring to work the big time. It’s the nature of the WWE business.
This is Part 2 of a Father’s Day Edition with Ted DiBiase Jr.
• Growing up what were some of the best things about being the son of the Million Dollar Man?
“One time I stole the Million Dollar belt, when I was in fourth grade, and I took it to school for Show-n-Tell,” DiBiase said. “So I had access to that thing. He kept it in the house in the Halliburton briefcase, and I knew the code. It was so cool the day I popped that thing open. It was awesome.
“Also, whenever we went to Disney World or any place like that, we always had like a personal guide. I think I’ve always been a compassionate person, and I kind of felt bad for the guide, but after riding Space Mountain six times in a row without having to wait in line, that was pretty awesome. So getting some VIP treatment here and there.
“Of course, you had the down side, with your father being on the road all the time, missing a lot of football games and birthday parties, but that’s the sacrifice we make.”
• Was it hard to understand that at times?
“There were only a couple of times it really upset me,” DiBiase, 29, said. “I didn’t really hold on to it. I was a very active kid, constantly in sports.
“The great thing about my dad is he was very, very involved. If he was on the road, he was always very good about calling home — wishing me luck before the game, calling me up after the game, seeing how we did, calling at night. He was always in contact with us. It was almost like he never really left sometimes, because I was constantly talking to him on the phone.
“So he was very good about communicating with his kids, but it was tough growing up. Of course, now we have FaceTime. So I’m pretty excited about that. Now that I have a kid, I can use FaceTime, when I’m on the road, and be able to see him and my wife.”
FaceTime is a video calling (video telephone) software application, developed by Apple Inc.
• How can you be a good husband, a good father and a good WWE superstar with such a busy travel schedule?
“You have to remain grounded,” DiBiase said, “and I think a lot of that comes from where you come from, how you’ve been raised. What matters most to you? In reality, this is my job. I go on the road.
“Why I am doing this? Am I doing this selfishly? Yea, a little bit, because it’s always been my dream, but now there’s other factors. Now I have greater responsibilities. I have a wife to take care of, and now I have a child to provide for. I’m thinking about his future, his education, his health, my wife’s safety, all of those things. It really changes your perspective on life.
“You transform from this selfish person who wanted to be a wrestler and be on TV and be famous to a person who wants to do well for his family, to take care of and provide for them and give them a great life. So you become this unselfish person. It’s a really neat transformation, and it’s been an amazing experience with a new perspective. It teaches you a lot of things about life.
“In order to do those things, you have people who hold you accountable, remind you of why you’re there, remind you of who you are. Don’t get lost in the character like my dad did. He really lived The Million Dollar Man [lifestyle] for a little while.
“When you come home, you be dad. When you talk to your son, when you’re on the road, you be dad and your wife, you be husband. You only transform when you walk through that curtain, and that’s the biggest thing.”
• What did you learn from dad about wrestling and the business?
“I learned that it would be extremely hard,” DiBiase said. “It would be a lot of time away from home. That your body was going to hurt.
“My dad never really taught me wrestling moves. When I started, I went to Harley Race in Eldon, Missouri. Then I went from there to Japan. From Japan to FCW in Tampa, and now I’m on TV.
“My dad taught me a lot about the business, the behind the scenes stuff, just things you wouldn’t know going into it.
“I learned to love it and respect it from him.”
• Did you learn anything from him about life on the road and dealing with temptations and trying to deal with family life?
“Absolutely,” DiBiase said. “He didn’t want me to wrestle for the longest time, until my last year of college, because of those things, because it was so hard for him. It really almost destroyed our family.
“He’s a minister now, and that’s his Testimony.
“I love my dad, and I’m so proud of my dad, because he gave up wrestling to save his family, to save his marriage, to save his relationship with his kids.
“It is hard because you spend more time with the guys on the road than you do with the people you love at home. It’s easy to lose yourself because it’s almost like a fantasy world. It’s not reality.
“He taught me to stay in contact with my wife, to have accountability back home. People who I constantly talk to, they hold me accountable. They ask me the tough questions.
“Who you are behind closed doors is who you really are, and that’s what integrity is.
“Making those tough decisions when nobody might not find out, you’re faced with those constantly.
“So I was very lucky to have my father here and be able to warn me and help hold me accountable and encourage me, when those times get tough.”
• DiBiase and his wife, Kristen, named their first born, Tate McKinley.
“T-Mac,” DiBiase said with a chuckle. “That’s going to be his wrestling name, if, God help me, he decides to do this.”
So how did he get that name?
“Tate is a family name on my dad’s side of the family. McKinley, we liked the name, and it makes for a good nickname,” DiBiase said. “I couldn’t bring myself to name him Theodore Marvin DiBiase III. Two is enough, but it does keep the initials TMD, so I can still pass down my shirts and my cufflinks and stuff.”
• Best present (purchased or homemade) you gave your father for Father’s Day.
“I’m terrible with presents,” DiBiase said, “but my dad’s always been a gadget guy. So we gave him DVDs and now an iPhone, an iPad, but I think the best one was the first big screen TV we ever got him.
“Man, he was obsessed and excited about that thing. We all hid it and surprised him with it. Wow, that was a long time ago. That was when big screens first came out. That was fun.”
• DiBiase loves to fish and hunt and golf.
Even with an injured ankle and shoulder, DiBiase participated in the WWE WrestleMania Pro-Am Golf Tournament during WrestleMania Week Miami at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa. He looked like the Spirit of ’76 with some of the protective injury garb, but he gave it a go on the famous Blue Monster golf course.
“I did my best,” he said. “I had a boot on my leg, and I just had shoulder surgery. Considering the circumstance, I thought I did pretty good.
“It was fun. I love Miami. I wasn’t going to pass up being in that weather on a golf course in Miami, Florida. There’s nothing like it.”
• DiBiase, a new dad, is also giving back to others.
The Ted DiBiase Foundation offers individuals with life threatening illnesses or disabilities can meet DiBiase at WWE live events. More is also being planned.
• DiBiase’s YouTube show “The DiBiase Posse” focuses on his life outside the ring.
• For all things Ted DiBiase go to http://dibiaseposseparty.com/.
• The WWE No Way Out pay-per-view is 8 p.m. EST Sunday, June 17 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. The New Jersey/New York area will be home to WrestleMania 29 Week in 2013.
No Way Out matchups
John Cena battles the Big Show in a steel cage. If John Cena wins, Raw/SmackDown General Manager John Laurinaitis will be fired. If Big Show wins, Cena will be gone.
WWE champ CM Punk vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan. Who will AJ help?
Sheamus defends the World title against Dolph Ziggler with Vickie Guerrero.
Intercontinental champ Christian vs. former champ Cody Rhodes.
WWE divas champ Layla vs. former champ Beth Phoenix.
Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez in a Tuxedo match.
Pre-show match: Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga.
Triple H will make an appearance.
The No Way Out theme some is “Unstoppable” by Charm City Devils.