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Million Dollar Man turns Messenger
By ALLISON WALL - Lloydminster Meridian Booster


Ted Dibiase is honoured at the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

The Million-Dollar Man is sharing his message of hope in Lloydminster this weekend.

At the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), formerly the World Wrestling Foundation, wrestler and million-dollar man Ted Dibiase is sharing his personal story about his rise to the top, fall to the bottom, and how he picked himself up again.

"I am a former wrestler, now full-time evangelist, ordained minister, so it's (the prayer breakfast) right up my alley," said Dibiase. "Because it's my first time here, I'm going to share my story with the folks. I hope always, even though it's not a church service, per se, through what they hear, some lives might be touched and some hearts might be changed."

Dibiase has been part of the world of professional wrestling his entire life, with his stepfather, wrestler Iron Mike Dibiase, influencing him as a child. In his junior year at West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas, Dibiase also stepped into the ring.

After wrestling in Amarillo and Baton Rouge, Dibiase moved to Atlanta to continue his career. There he met and married his wife.

But wrestling took him away from his new wife, while ego, pride and money replaced centre stage in his life. After the birth of the couple's first son Teddy, the family moved to Mississippi where he wrestled for Mid-South Wrestling and was noticed by the former WWF, now the WWE, who developed him into the Million Dollar Man.

As Dibiase rose to the top, money, limousines and life in fast lane surrounded him, but he soon learned it wasn't all he'd bargained for and almost lost his family and himself in the process.

"For that period of time my god had become fame, recognition, money, all the things that go with success," he said. "I had a beautiful wife, healthy kids, very happy with that, but yet, in spite of all that I had, there was still a void because if there wasn't a void then I wouldn't' have been doing drugs and alcohol and chasing other women I believe that everyone has a God-sized hole, a void, an emptiness."

Dibiase said the only thing that fills the emptiness is a personal relationship with Christ.

"What it took was being confronted by my wife with adultery, and that was the crisis point," he said. "That was the point in time in my life where I had to take a long, hard look in the mirror and see Ted for who Ted had become, and when I did that, that was the turning point. I realized I'd risked the most valuable things in my life."

Dibiase is a spokesperson for the Sunshine Foundation, an organization granting wishes for critically ill children. As well, he founded the Heart of David Ministries and travels the globe sharing the Gospel, along with his prayer of hope against drug and alcohol abuse to youth in motivational assemblies across the United States. Dibiase speaks at men's meeting, church congregations, special events and encourages youth to stay in school, set reachable goals and be the best they can be.

RELATED LINKS

  • Ted "The Million Dollar Man" DiBiase bio and story archive