Wrestling: The History of the Million Dollar Championship
Some younger fans might wonder what are the origins and the history of the Million Dollar Belt, held by Ted DiBiase Jr since April 5, 2010.
On the other hand, many older fans (like me) see, in that huge jewelery piece, an important part of WWE history.
There will never be a DVD covering this Title, but it certainly deserves a slideshow.
So, let's go back in time and take a look at what is behind this unique Championship.
To make a long story short, this is the first and only unsanctioned Title in WWE history.
It has been introduced by The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase on the Brother Love Show in 1989.
It all started in 1987-88 after many unsuccessful attempts to win the WWF Title against Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage.
The Million Dollar man also tried in vain to buy the Championship from Hogan.
When he finally put his hands on the coveted gold, it was for just a short moment, not aknowledged by the WWE even today. It happened at the end of 1987, when Andre The Giant handed him the belt, after a controversial win on Hogan. But, as stated in the rules book, a Championship could not be handed, so the WWE Title has been vacated.
Following those years of frustration at not winning or buying the WWF Championship, DiBiase awarded himself The Million Dollar Belt.
The $100,000+ golden belt has been designated by an actual jeweler; it was made with gold plating, cubic zirconia and three miniature real diamonds.
DiBiase held the expensive Title for a total 1010 days and almost never put it on the line.
The Precious Belt Has Been Stolen
Not long after the 1990 Royal Rumble, in the middle of a raging feud started the previous year, Jake "The Snake" Roberts stole DiBiase's gold.
The rivalry culminated at Wrestlemania VI when The Million Dollar Man defeated Roberts by countout and took back his cherished belt.
The Title was said to be on the line, but it didn't officialy change hands since "The Snake" didn't actually win it.
The Title Defenses
The Million Dollar Championship only changed hands twice in the middle of the ring.
The first time was at Summerslam 1991, when Virgil defeated his ex boss to win the Gold and he held it 77 days.
DiBiase regained the Championship in November the same year but abandoned it few months later, in February 1992. He did it after he won his first official WWE Championship (the Tag Team Title with I.R.S.).
The expensive belt remained unseen until it re-appeared in January 1996 in the hands of a future icon and hall-of-famer.
The Belt Awarded To DiBiase's Protégé
On a reborn Brother Love Show, the belt was given to none other than the Ringmaster, also known as Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Despite it's not a sanctioned Title, Austin is one of the selected few who can brag to have been a reigning Million Dollar Champion.
In May 1996, the Title was abandoned again when DiBiase left for WCW.
The Re-emergence Of The Belt
After 13 years of absence, The Million Dollar Man brought back his mega jewel on TV twice, once in 2009 and once in 2010.
On the July 6 2009 episode of Raw, he carried it when he was the guest host of the show.
He also had it with him at the 2010 Hall Of Fame ceremony for his induction.
Then, in April, he gave it to his son, Ted DiBiase Jr who holds it since then.
We can wonder if the Title will be on the line again or if it still has its place in today's WWE, but it's nice and weird to see that relic again.
That being said, here is what Ted DiBiase Jr had to say about holding the belt:
"It's fun. It's a good feeling. It was a nice gesture by the old man to let me take it over." (1)