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Million Dollar Man Ric Flair

Hey Scott,

So back in the day, from what I understand, basically Ted Dibiase was in line to receive the NWA World Title but went to WWF, ironically, for more money. If we did a whole "What If" Scenario and had Ted stay with the NWA, how do you see that playing out? Would Ted have overtaken Ric as the Man? Was he just going to be a Transitional Champ, with Ric always staying in the top spot?

On a related note, had Ted overtaken Ric, would they have essentially switched roles? Would Ric have taken the gimmick in WWF and essentially just been Ric Flair with McMahon's Money behind him instead of Crockett? Would someone else have taken the gimmick? If so, is there anyone you could imagine, from that era, playing that gimmick as well as Ted did?

Thanks and Happy Belated Father's Day

Let's not go crazy here, Ted Dibiase was no Ric Flair.  He might have been a placeholder guy in between Flair reigns, but it's not like he was going to take friggin' Ric Flair's spot in 1987 around the peak of Ric's drawing power.  

Comments

  1. Million Dollar Man Ric Flair would have been unspeakably awesome.

    Just...wow.

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  2. In this universe, Ronnie Garvin would never have been a world champion.

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  3. I think he's just trying to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible and to Hell with long term consequences. The world is full of guys who know how to launch a crappy business, get some funding, and cash out.

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  4. Jarrett did do some good things with TNA, he was able to somehow get them 2 TV deals. Of course it took the backing and money of a big company to help out, but still.

    The GFW thing honestly doesn't make any sense so far, but you never know.

    Smaller companies are successful because they are different than WWE and don't try to challenge them. If GFW tries, they will be squashed just like TNA.

    It will take another Ted Turner type to want to have a big wrestling company before anybody can even remotely think about challenging WWE.

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  5. Things worked out fine as they did. Ric Flair as the million dollar man fits him perfectly, but Dibiase....I honestly can't think of someone who could have done a better job than he did.

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  6. If you're holding shows inside of high school gymnasiums, get the fuck out. Striving to be PWG or Chikara with a crap setting like they have will get you no where.

    Now, empty baseball stadiums also suck, so GWF isn't looking too good.

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  7. Ted DiBiase in Mid-South was boring as fuck, not as boring as his kid, but close. It's a miracle he made it like he did.

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  8. That Million Dollar Man outfit is actually a step down for Ric.

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  9. I still think the MDM is the best heel of all time. He played that so perfectly

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  10. Oh yeah, he was great as MDM but watching clips of him in Mid-South he seemed really bland.

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  11. Million Dollar (in Debt) Man Ric Flair.

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  12. I'm almost thankful it didn't happen though, because Ric Flair without the MDM gimmick is still the greatest entertainer in wrestling history. DiBiase without the MDM gimmick is a solid midcard hand with little appeal. We got two very memorable characters the way it played out.

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  13. I know I'm in the minority here but I always found DiBiase to be boring even as the million dollar man

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  14. It was his laugh. If they made him into a plumber but let him keep the laugh, he would still be awesome.

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  15. The reason his moves don't make sense is because you're comparing them to what someone would do if they were trying to build up a wrestling promotion. Jarrett has no TV deal, a very weak crop of wrestlers, and a need to carny people. I mean, he carnied Dixie to have him come back to TNA.

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  16. I don't know - it was such a rich, smug laugh that was tailored for the gimmick. Plus I love him berating people for failing in his challenges. The best was when he hired some jobber to face another jobber b/c he "wasn't about to work up a sweat for that level of competition". His hired help lost, and then he and Virgil beat him up. It was awesome

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  17. Now he'd be grabbing back the $$$ he threw on the floor at people

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  18. It's hard to argue against Flair being the greatest heel of all time (imho), but I would even contend that Vince himself was a more effective heel than DiBiase as far as the WWF/E is concerned. It was always said that Vince wanted to be the Million Dollar Man himself, had his father allowed him to be a wrestler. He essentially was playing that very character as the wealthy, corrupt CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation. Except his credibility as the "boss" made him even more believable in the role than DiBiase was.

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  19. Jeff Jarrett, the man who kept himself on top of TNA for 3 years despite fans preferring essentially anyone else on top, is returning to compete in a ridiculous gimmick match he invented so he can leave TNA on his terms, as the conquering hero, as opposed to the guy who was pushed out because he was banging another wrestler's wife. Also, he and said wrestler's wife and now a happy little family who have poured their heart into a wrestling promotion that thus far consists of t-shirts and two shows seen by a combined 800 people.

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  20. Yep, but Vince had the perfect foe to go against which made it even better. But yeah, anyone saying Vince is the best heel of all time isn't a reach at all.

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  21. "You don't get the money WOO!! If you don't do the job WOOO!!!"

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  22. Ironic that Vince's greatest foe and the representation of the "everyman" debuted in the company as DiBiase's Million Dollar Champion.

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  23. He was a pretty lousy manager. That much is for sure. I think 90's era Teddy Long had more positive impact on his clients' careers.

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  24. You still have to give him credit. Jarrett isn't an idiot like most wrestlers. Jeff knows how to secure deals from money marks.


    Airing a NJPW event under the GFW banner was a genius move since it was incredibly low risk. I suspect Jeff is using Dixie again just as he did after convincing her to fund TNA initially.


    Ain't he great?

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  25. I still don't get what they're merging exactly. Assuming reports are right, TNA is basically insolvent right now and GFW is new and has like 8 people that attend shows.

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  26. But even as a wrestler, I've never seen a wrestler fall from relevance so steadily. He went from feuding with Savage for the title to feuding with Virgil to being a tag wrestler to being a crappy manager. And the creation of the million dollar championship belt hurt him in my eyes when I was a kid. What type of loser creates his own belt when he can't when the real one?

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  27. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonJune 25, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    Million Dollar Man Ric Flair > Gladiator Ric Flair.

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  28. "I'll bounce his ball 20 times for $100, whooo!"

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  29. Agreed! I even liked how that belt legit cost more than the eagle wing title but it looked stupid IMO. Shit the UWF Belt looked cooler to me.

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  30. And Luger would've actually not choked a zillion times...

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  31. "The MILLION!!!...DOLLAR!!!!...MAN!! WHOOOOOOOO!!!"


    I can see it.

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  32. One cannot stay a challenger to the world title forever. I actually felt he did quite good for himself in the WWF. He never fell below a certain level on the card. He was always in the upper midcard mix and had a tag title reign or two. He certainly did a lot better than most top contenders who are often spit out into irrelevance after their main event run.

    Heck if most of today's midcarders were used like DiBiase, the midcard would be a lot healthier.

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  33. It was a good character but his matches never entertained me that much.

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  34. TBF, Flair did incorporate little things of the MDM, flaunting his wealth (jets, limos, women), but whereas the MDM would degrade you with it, Flair just made you feel inferior because of it.

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  35. "And why associate yourself with a loser brand like TNA that's getting cancelled anyway?"


    Because Jarrett doesn't have a TV deal and his live events can't even draw fleas, he probably thinks having some kind of TV presence is better than no TV presence at all. What Jarrett doesn't realize (probably because he co-founded TNA) is that TNA is damaged goods and anything associated with is doomed to ridicule and failure, which is why an increasing amount of talent has been jumping off the sinking ship.

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  36. While i can see Ted sliding into a nice upper mid-card role in Crockett Promotions after the UWF buyout i can't see him as a legit World Champ when Slick Ric was doing everything he could to hold onto that title for dear life at the time.


    I mean could he have subbed in for Ronnie Garvin? Sure, but so could half a dozen other guys who wanted nothing to do with being cast as another Ric Flair victim.

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  37. The thing with Jarrett is that he's a good upper mid-card guy but thinks he's on the same level of stardom as Hogan or Flair. That influenced a lot of TNA's "let's turn into WWE NOW rather than slow build" mentality that's hurt them so much and don't see this working well either.

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  38. This is like having an old guy days away from death in his hospital bed, adopt a mentally retarded, badly deformed new born baby.

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  39. I thought the Million Dollar Belt was a good way for Ted to keep his dignity while not winning the big one.

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  40. But that's what WWF heels did. Going back to the earliest days of Bruno's reign. Get a shot at the champ, then slide down the card. It happened with Andre (going from Hogan to Duggan to Jake to getting squashed by Warrior to tags) and the Boss Man (Hogan to Demolition to Dusty) as well.

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  41. Lots of online hate for an indie fed that has only run two shows, no?

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  42. I think your timing is a bit off. The rumor (at least that I've always heard) was that DiBiase was on the short list of people being considered for an NWA reign around 1982-83..or maybe even a bit earlier. (so before Flair was given the ball for real and became RIC FLAIR. It would have been after being a proven draw in Georgia, MidSouth and St. Louis - plus two well-received tours of All Japan. So, it was never a choice of "Go be NWA champ" or "go to the WWF" since he went to New York years later.

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  43. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonJune 25, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    "My SHOES cost MORE...than your house..."

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  44. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonJune 25, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    He had the talent, but the WWF gave him the gimmick.

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  45. I think the anger is the frustration at the assbackwards-ness of it all. Running shows in 5,000 seat baseball stadiums with talent that can't draw more than 300 people, promising a new exciting approach to wrestling and delivering the same old, same old, partnering with TNA, which is a failed brand, etc.

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  46. I was about to write the same thing. Dibiase was out of the UWF a couple months before the Crockett buyout and would have never even been involved in that discussion in 1987. Although it would have been cool to see a face Dibiase stay onboard and come over to JCP to oppose Flair.

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  47. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonJune 25, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    That was in my top 10 of the ugliest belts that I've seen

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  48. I was really excited about GFW after Wrestle Kingdom 9. I thought there would be more outside the box ideas like that. Maybe give a AAA show the same treatment. I think there could have been something there. Just producing big foreign shows for American TV. Of course, Jarrett then goes on to basically recreate TNA and run a minor league baseball tour like he's an 80's indie promoter.


    As much as people trash Dixie, Jarrett is just as much to blame for the sorry state of TNA.

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  49. Buffalo HopscotchJune 25, 2015 at 12:42 PM

    It honestly wouldn't surprise me if the entire thing became some elaborate ruse to shutdown TNA, whose image and perception has been damaged beyond repair, and relaunch it under the Global Force Wrestling neon green logo. It'll be the same old shit with the same wrestlers, but they might think it's enough to give them a boost.

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  50. Even with the WWE behind it, NXT still started out as essentially a regional promotion until it got buzz and is now a touring brand and legitimate #2 promotion.

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  51. Double J thinks he's a modern day Jim Crockett or Verne Gagne going up against the Billion Dollar machine that is the WWE.


    Problem is, in reality he's really a modern day Herb Abrams.

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  52. It's not striving to hold shows in a gym, it's trying to start somewhere. There's a difference.

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  53. He couldn't make some money as a legend at NXT?

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  54. King Kong Bundy fell steadily. He went from main eventing to squashing midgets. Yeah, Ted Dibiase fell down the card but he was always in a featured program in the upper midcard. He often feuded with faces near the top of the card. When his singles run ran its course he formed a tag team that was always in the tag team title mix. Unlike today, guys did not stay in the main event mix forever but at Dibiase always maintained his credibility as a threat unlike someone like Greg Valentine who lost all credibility by the end of his run.
    Feuding with Dibiase meant something and thus beating him meant something. In fact, Ted Dibiase should be the model of how a top WWE heel should be used.

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  55. Razor getting to beat DiBiase at SS93 felt like it was a great step up for him, so I fully agree.

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  56. That would be a very TNA-way of dropping the TNA image.

    I remember Hogan going off in an interview about how hard he tried to convince Dixie to change the company's name to "Impact Wrestling." Dixie refused because TNA was the company's "brand."

    However, when a "brand" is worthless, you get rid of it.

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  57. He broke over 6000 guitars but never drew a dime.

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  58. "​This is the same guy who thought that weekly wrestling PPVs would revolutionize the business."


    This is an idea that would work better today with online streaming & a lower price point. They'd need to upgrade the talent pool, but it would have legs. Maybe like $5 per show, start selling some subscriptions. It'd be better than being on a channel no one watches.

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  59. CruelConnectionNumber2June 25, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    DiBiase wasn't Denzel. But maybe Denzel's friend.

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  60. CruelConnectionNumber2June 25, 2015 at 1:30 PM

    Global Farce is flying people in from Japan to wrestle in front of 200 people.

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  61. Chikara is supposed to be this high minded, deep thinking promotion and yet I see are fucking backboards.

    I love the Lucha Underground set. It looks professional and gritty all at the same time.

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