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DiBiase: From villain to witness for faith
By CHRIS KITCHING - Winnipeg Sun


Ted DiBiase appeared to be living the high life at the height of his pro wrestling career.

He was known around the world as the Million Dollar Man, a villainous character that created hostile environments in packed arenas and stadiums.

The World Wrestling Federation, as it was known then, afforded the wrestler-turned-pastor a lavish lifestyle to make fans believe he was an actual millionaire.

Despite the fame and perks, however, it's his new role as a minister, away from the spotlight, that is his most satisfying career.

"A lot of people who knew me when I was a wrestler see me today and say, 'Wow, you're not the same guy.' I go, 'You're right, I'm not.' I was born again," DiBiase, founder of Heart of David Ministry, said earlier this week from Clinton, Miss.

"I had everything and was able to become a superstar. In spite of that, when the fame wasn't enough to fill the void I turned to drugs, alcohol and other women."

DiBiase travels to dozens of churches annually to talk about how he overcame his mistakes and found God. He is speaking at Church of the Rock and Springs Church in Winnipeg this weekend.

"His character lived the life of what success is supposed to be but he discovered that isn't really what true success is," said Kirk Giles of Promise Keepers Canada, which is hosting DiBiase at Church of the Rock.

"We've asked Ted to share his own experiences and what he's learned, in some cases the hard way, of what real success and real significance looks like for a man."

DiBiase became a Christian in 1992, on the road with WWF, after he cheated on his wife. The couple is still together and stronger due to faith, he said. He was ordained in 2000.

Due to WWF's efforts to market the Million Dollar Man character, DiBiase travelled first-class, got people to perform humiliating acts in exchange for cash, and carried a wad of $100 bills.

"I'd buy a newspaper and throw down a $100 bill or I'd go in a restaurant and announce I was going to buy everybody lunch, pay the tab and walk out," DiBiase said. "It was all to promote this image."

RELATED LINK

  • Ted DiBiase bio and story archive


    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • Classic Ring Giants Wrestling Figure: Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
  • FanSlam Q&A - Dec. 2003 Double DVD-R