Greatest Wrestlers Of The WrestleMania Era: #20 – Ted Dibiase

Ted Dibiase has been one of those wrestlers who’s had success everywhere he went throughout his entire career. But to most, he will be best remembered as the “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, the overbearing, cocky, wealthy snob who was hated by fans in the 80s and into the 90s.

Ted is the son of wrestling legend “Iron” Mike Dibiase, who is one of the few ever in the business to die IN THE RING of a heart attack, witnessed by Ted himself. But that didn’t scare him enough to not enter the business and become a huge success. Ted was a hot-fire babyface in the St. Louis territory, Bill Watts’ Mid-South/UWF, All Japan, and more. In the WWF, Ted was the first WWF North American Champion in the late 70s, a precursor to the Intercontinental Title, but his second run would be his legacy.

Ted Dibiase, in the ring, was one of the absolute finest technical wrestlers in the sport. As The Million Dollar Man, he added a successful gimmick to that, a new layer to his legend. Ted Dibiase came in with his bodyguard Virgil, and WWF filmed vignettes of him using his money and power to bully others and do things that average “nickle and dime peons” as he called them, could not do. His trademark laugh and modified cobra clutch finisher, the Million Dollar Dream, will always be remembered.

Ted had a number of memorable angles in the WWF, but the biggest would have to be in 1988 when he set his sights on becoming WWF Champion. He orchestrated a plan to take the belt from Hulk Hogan, who had it for over three years at the time. Ted’s attempt at “buying” the belt from Hulkster failed, so he had to be crafty. First, Ted purchased the services of Andre the Giant from Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Andre got a near flash-pin and came half a second away from beating Hogan in their Wrestlemania III match PLUS he was the most feared man in the business. Collectively, they were called The Mega Bucks. On February 5, 1988, Hogan and Andre had their historic rematch on a special edition of the Main Event, which to this day stands as the most watched pro wrestling tv show in North American history. Dibiase paid Dave Hebner’s twin brother Earl to screw Hogan out of the title. After the match, Andre handed Ted Dibiase the championship. The next week on TV, WWF President Jack Tunney vacated the belt due to the controversy of the hand-over, which led to the Wrestlemania IV tournament. Little known fact: Ted actually worked a couple of house shows as WWF Champion despite not officially being recognized as one. Ted would go on to make the finals of the tournament and main event the show in a losing effort to Randy Savage.
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2012 Royal Rumble Preview Part 1

We’re going to do a four part preview for the Royal Rumble. The first two parts will be historical while the last two parts will be about this year’s show.

In this first part, I asked the FGB crew about their favorite Royal Rumble moments ever.

Here are the memories:

Alan: Benoit winning in 2004. Sure it’s been tainted by non-wrestling stuff but at the time it happened I was over the moon. It was such a well crafted Rumble from beginning to end, and the finish by taking over Big Show with the guillotine was incredible. I remember really not wanting Goldberg to win and freaking out when Brock caused him to get eliminated.

Duan: Austin’s entrance in 1998. If I was to point to the one time when I was most invested in the WWE product, it would probably be that first quarter of 1998. Stone Cold had picked fights with pretty much everybody in WWE leading up to the Rumble. Watching the packed ring fall deathly still as Austin’s music hit, and he prepared to face down his ten on one odds, was one of the most tense moments the company ever created.

Cactus Jim: The show where the Rock just bashed the shit out of Foley with unprotected chair shots. That was pretty memorable.
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Big D looks at 20 Years of SummerSlam History

Tomorrow night, WWE celebrates 21 years of SummerSlam, the “biggest party of the summer” as they’ve been calling recently. There have been 20 SummerSlam Events since 1988. But were all of them really worthy of being called the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best PPV of the year? Absolutely not. So today I’ve decided to take a look and list what I consider the Top 10 Greatest SummerSlam Pay-Per-Views of All Time! So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

10. SummerSlam 1988

So we begin with the very first SummerSlam in 1988, live on PPV from Madison Square Garden in New York. The whole purpose of the creation of this PPV was for the WWE to compete with NWA’s Great American Bash, hoping to convert wrestling fans to save their hard-earned cash and purchase their show at the end of the summer as opposed to the Bash. This soon became the last of the “Big Four” PPVs, alongside Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and of course, Wrestlemania. The main event was a highly-anticipated tag team match between Hulk Hogan and WWF Champion Randy Savage, collectively known as “The Mega Powers” against Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant, collectively known as “The Mega Bucks”. Savage won a 16-Man Tournament at Wrestlemania IV, last defeating Dibiase to become champion. Hogan had teased prior to the show that Miss Elizabeth would showcase her “eenie, weenie bikini”, which is creepy in retrospect considering she is no longer with us.

Besides that huge match, the most memorable part of this Pay-Per-View was the Ultimate Warrior defeating the longest reigning WWF Intercontinental Champion in history – The Honky Tonk Man. Honky was scheduled to face Brutus Beefcake, but prior to the match, Beefcake was hospitalized by “The Outlaw” Ron Bass. Honky came out on the show and challenged anybody in the building to take the title and the undefeated Warrior came out and pinned him in thirty seconds to take the title, beginning the monster four year run that he would have in the WWF. Tag Team wrestling was definitely one of WWF’s high-points during this era, as Hart Foundation vs. Demolition was easily the best match on the show, followed slightly by the Rougeaus vs. The Bulldogs.

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