Abandoned: The History of the Million-Dollar Wrestling Championship
Throughout history, professional wrestling has seen many championships.
In WWE, there are six major titles. Not many know that the company has had a total of at least 19 different titles, 13 of which have been abandoned for one reason or another.
The other two major companies owned by WWE are WCW and ECW, which have at least 15 abandoned and forgotten titles between them.
For as long as it takes, I will be concentrating on those forgotten titles.
Each slide will feature the champion, who they defeated, where and when they won it, the length of their title reign, any special circumstances that happened during their reign and a bit of commentary.
Belts with a lengthy history will get their own articles and may be broken up into two depending on the length.
For this Christmas edition of Abandoned, I present the Million Dollar Championship.
The title was created in 1989 by the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase due to his failure to win the WWF World Championship.
The title was abandoned three times throughout its history in 1992, 1996 and 2010.
There have been 11 people to hold the title, though four of them stole it while one was handed the title before its third abandonment.
Out of the 11 champions, only five of them were official holders of the title. So let’s get started.
Where: Binghamton, NY
When: Feb. 15, 1989
Title Reign: 321 days
Due to his failure to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, Ted DiBiase created the Million Dollar Championship for himself.
When he lost in the finals of the WrestleMania IV tournament to Randy Savage, he tried to buy the title. He hired Andre the Giant to take the title away from then-champion Hulk Hogan.
Andre won in controversial fashion and handed the title to DiBiase. After the title was taken away from him, he eventually introduced this belt.
The title was rarely defended, as it was never an officially sanctioned title of the World Wrestling Federation.
Where: Birmingham, Ala.
When: Jan. 2, 1990
Title Reign: 89 days
At the time, Roberts was in a feud with DiBiase. After the Million Dollar Man defeated a jobber on an episode of WWF Superstars, The Snake attacked DiBiase and stole the title.
Jake Roberts is definitely one of the best in-ring psychologists and mic workers in the history of the business. Unfortunately, drug problems would hinder his career.
Roberts would retire from the ring earlier this year.
Defeated: Took Back
When: April 1, 1990
Title Reign: 512 days
Despite having the title stolen from him, DiBiase was technically still the champion.
At WrestleMania VI, DiBiase defended the title against Roberts and won the match by count-out.
After the match, DiBiase’s bodyguard Virgil took the title and gave it back to the Million Dollar Man.
Defeated: Ted DiBiase
Where: New York, NY
When: Aug. 26, 1991
Title Reign: 77 days
Sick of the treatment he was receiving, Virgil turned on DiBiase. They began feuding and Virgil eventually won the title, making him only the second official champion.
After WWF, Virgil spent time in WCW before retiring in 2000.
This would be the only title he would hold during his time with the two wrestling giants.
He became a math teacher before returning to the ring in 2006. He was last seen in WWE last year as Ted DiBiase Jr.’s bodyguard.
Where: Utica, NY
When: Nov. 11, 1991
Title Reign: 88 days
The Million Dollar Championship was abandoned on February 7, 1992 when DiBiase won the WWF World Tag Team Championship with Irwin R. Schyster.
Ted DiBiase would retire in 1994 and became a manager. He found himself in WCW as a member of the nWo before managing the Steiner Brothers.
He is now an ordained minister and appears for WWE once in a while.
Where: Newark, Del.
When: Dec. 18, 1995
Title Reign: 152 days
The title was revived when Ted DiBiase awarded the title to his new protégé, “The Ringmaster” Steve Austin.
It would be abandoned again, though, on May 28, 1996 when Ted DiBiase left the WWF for WCW.
Steve Austin would become one of the biggest stars in the history of the WWF.
He won the 1996 King of the Ring, which is when Austin 3:16 was born. From there, he went on to win the Intercontinental and Tag Team Championships.
While winning the Royal Rumble three times, he has also won the WWF World Championship six times.
In 2009, Steve Austin was immortalized more than he already was when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Ted DiBiase Jr.
Where: Moline, Ala.
When: April 5, 2010
Title Reign: 182 days
Since his son was now wrestling for WWE, DiBiase Sr. awarded the title to his son DiBiase Jr.
Junior is still with WWE and is a two-time tag-team champion with Cody Rhodes.
After they split, Rhodes has become a real star, while DiBiase entered into low-card obscurity.
Since he created the DiBiase Posse, he found a new life in WWE and he looks to be back on track.
Where: Wichita, Kan.
When: Oct. 4, 2010
Title Reign: 35 days
For weeks, someone had been teasing Ted Jr. and his valet Maryse. The mystery person had been saying “You will be mine” in various ways.
The couple would fight, thinking that the notes were talking about the other.
The mystery person was finally revealed to be Goldust and he wasn’t interested in either DiBiase or Maryse. He wanted the Million Dollar Championship.
He attacked DiBiase, then scared Maryse enough to be able to steal the title.
Goldust is a former WWF/E Intercontinental and tag-team champion who hasn’t found the same kind of success in recent years.
Where: Manchester, England
When: Nov. 8, 2010
Title Reign: Seven days
A few days earlier, Goldust and Aksana were unhappily married on an episode of NXT.
On Monday Night Raw Goldust and Ted Jr. went at it and during the match Maryse tried to take the title back for her man.
Aksana then ran down and attacked her. She then proceeded to grab the title but instead of giving it back to Goldust, she took the title for herself.
Aksana is still with WWE on the SmackDown brand as the love interest to general manager Teddy Long.
Where: Hershey, Pa.
When: Nov. 15, 2010
Title Reign: ~one minute
The title would be stolen again a few days later as Goldust and his father, Dusty Rhodes, trapped Aksana under a net.
As she was trapped, Goldust grabbed the title.
Since going down with an injury, Goldust now works as a producer backstage. He does make some appearances on television and could be returning to the ring full-time.
Where: Hershey, Pa.
When: Nov. 15, 2010
Title Reign: 30 seconds to one minute
As Goldust grabbed the title away from Aksana, he decided that he was giving the title back to its rightful owner.
At that moment, Ted DiBiase Sr. appeared and Goldust handed him the title.
DiBiase tried to give the title back to his son, but he wouldn’t accept it.
Since the Million Dollar Man is not a regular character on WWE television, the Million Dollar Championship was once again abandoned.
Earlier that year, DiBiase was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Statistics and Final Thoughts
Most Reigns: Ted DiBiase (4)
Longest Single Reign: Ted DiBiase (512 days)
Longest Combined Reign: Ted DiBiase (1,010 days)
Shortest Reign: Ted DiBiase (30 seconds to one minute)
The Million Dollar Championship was never an officially sanctioned title in the World Wrestling Federation.
It was basically a big piece of jewelry held by Ted DiBiase to help sell his Million Dollar Man character.
It was defended very few times, which is why it only officially changed hands twice.
The only other champions to officially hold the title would be Steve Austin and Ted DiBiase Jr. when the Million Dollar Man awarded them the title.
The title was never really a title of importance and was only around when Ted DiBiase was around.
There’s no surprise that it was scrapped so many times and it would be quite surprising if the title was ever brought back again.
The Million Dollar Championship is gone and hopefully it’ll stay that way.
Thanks for reading! Come back on Wednesday for the WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship!
And have a safe and merry Christmas!
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