-Rumors have it that the character of the "Million Dollar Man" is what Vince McMahon saw himself as if he had been a professional wrestler.
-The character was also, according to some, a response to the 1980s ways of excessive spending and buying, as well as the apparent need to have more and better than the next guy.
-Video vignettes aired hyping the debut of DiBiase in 1987, just after WrestleMania III. During these videos, DiBiase would be portrayed as someone willing to throw money around to get what he wanted. He claimed that "everybody has a price for the Million Dollar Man."
-In 1988, DiBiase vowed to buy the WWE Championship.
-February 5, 1988- Andre the Giant def. Hulk Hogan to win the WWE title in one of the most controversial endings to a match in WWE history. Afterward, DiBiase bought the title from Andre and dubbed himself the new champion. Later, President Jack Tunney announced such actions were illegal and, as a result, the title was held up and proclaimed vacant.
-March 27, 1988- DiBiase entered the WWE Championship tournament at WrestleMania IV. He would defeat Hacksaw Jim Duggan in Round 1, Don Muraco in Round 2, then he would receive a bye to the finals, thanks to the lack of a winner in the match between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. In the finals, DiBiase would lose to Randy Savage, thanks to interference from Hulk Hogan.
-August 28, 1988- DiBiase teams with Andre the Giant in a losing effort against Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan at the inaugural SummerSlam pay-per-view in New York City.
-October 16, 1988- Ted DiBiase wins the annual King of the Ring Tournament. He would defeat Brutus Beefcake, Ken Patera, Ron Bass, and finally, Randy Savage to win the tournament.
-Lasted until the final two in the 1989 Royal Rumble, eliminated by Big John Studd.
-April 5, 1989- DiBiase and Brutus Beefcake fight to a Double Count-Out at WrestleMania V.
Ted DiBiase had been a very solid worker for most of his career before entering the WWE. But when Vince McMahon called him and pitched him the character of the Million Dollar Man, DiBiase immediately catipulted to main event status.
A millionaire who claimed every man had his price, DiBiase debuted in a series of vignettes that seemed to provide evidence to his claims. He was an elitist villain who had no problem humiliating fans and other Superstars just to prove his point.
Upon his debut, he vowed to buy the WWE Championship from Hulk Hogan. When the moral "Hulkster" refused, he enlisted the services on Andre the Giant. In a controversial moment on the broadcast special The Main Event, it appeared as though his plan worked. In one of the most controversial moments in WWE history, Dave Hebner's "evil" twin Earl entered the match, counted Hogan out and awarded the title to Andre, despite Hogan's shoulders never touching the mat. Andre immediately handed over the WWE title to DiBiase, who celebrated as if he had won it himself.
The title would be vacated but DiBiase would once again get close to the most coveted prize in the company. At WrestleMania IV, he advanced to the finals of the title tournament, losing only after Hulk Hogan appeared at ringside to help Randy Savage capture the gold.
The Million Dollar Man would continue to serve as the company's most hated villain, even when he was not a part of the main event scene. He traveled the country, usually competing in house show main events against Hogan, Savage, or the Ultimate Warrior.
DiBiase's character was a social commentary on the 1980s in general. The decade was one of excess. Everyone wanted bigger, better, and more expensive than their neighbor or their friends. It wasn't uncommon to see a wealthy community with a Ferrari parked in the driveways of every house on the block. Yachts, 24-karat gold living rooms, and trillion dollar sky-rises were the norm.
DiBiase was a millionaire who got what he wanted and if he didn't, he created better. When he failed to capture the WWE title, he created the Million Dollar Belt, a beautiful, diamond-studded gold belt that was the envy of many a WWE Superstar.
Today he is one of the most respected performers of all time. His induction into the 2010 Hall of Fame was a feel-good moment that many believed was far overdue. As popular as he is with today's audience, however, there is no denying the fact that in his prime, there was no man more hated by the fans of the WWE than the Million Dollar Man...except for, perhaps, the next Superstar on the list.