The Million Dollar Man, Wrestling, and The Price of Fame (A Movie Video Review)

John FarrellBy John Farrell4 Minutes

Ted DiBiase may not have grown up around a lot of money, but that all changed when he joined the ranks of professional wrestling and adopted the moniker “The Million Dollar Man.” DiBiase grew up around the sport since his stepfather was known in the professional wrestling ranks as “Iron Mike” DiBiase. Unfortunately, however, the senior DiBiase suffered a fatal heart attack in the ring when his stepson was only 15. Despite his stepfather’s passing, the younger DiBiase stuck with wrestling and shortly thereafter was on his way to the professional ranks himself.

DiBiase debuted in 1974 with the NWA Western States in Texas; however, he started out as a referee rather than a competitor. It wasn’t long before he took the ring as a wrestler himself. It wasn’t until he started wrestling on the Mid-South Wrestling circuit that his popularity began to grow, becoming a five-time North American Champion and a six-time Tag Team Champion. He briefly joined the WWE’s precursor WWF in 1979, returning in 1987. Shortly after returning to the WWE, after several years on lesser-known circuits, he was given the nickname “The Million Dollar Man.”

The pseudonym was the brainchild of WWE owner and wrestling promoter Vince McMahon. It was McMahon’s idea to turn DiBiase into a bully who had no regard for his fame or wealth. They would fly him around the country first class, have limousines escort him around town, and put him up in the nicest hotels, all while throwing stacks of money at him. He’d trick fans by offering them money if they could perform a menial task only to revoke the offer or sabotage the participant from winning and thus winning the money. For all his years of bullying competitors and fans ringside and away from the ring, he is remembered as one of greatest villains in wrestling history.

With this new-found persona, fame, and wealth, DiBiase’s life wasn’t as perfect as many assumed it was. At the height of his popularity, he struggled with infidelity and his second wife was on the verge of leaving him. He let fame and the desire for money become his idol.

It wasn’t until he found Christ, thanks to his wife Melanie, that he turned his life around. He finally walked away from wrestling as “The Million Dollar Man” in 1998, when he tired of playing a character who idolized money instead of Jesus; however, he worked in the industry for years afterward as a manager and promoter. Today, DiBiase travels around the country as an ordained minister speaking at churches about his past and his transformation since rededicating his life to Christ.

It’s DiBiase’s past life and transformation that are the subject of the 2017 documentary, The Price of Fame, which can be seen on Inspiration TV. However, before you watch the film, you will want to catch Inspiration Ministries’ John Farrell and Julia Page McCarley video review below.

Learn more about The Price of Fame here

Check out the Inspiration TV Livestream

Show Times

Saturday, September 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET | 14:30 UK