The Million Dollar Corporation
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|The Million Dollar Corporation|
|Debut||April 4, 1994|
|Disbanded||May 28, 1996|
The Million Dollar Corporation was a heel stable in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from April 1994 to May 1996 and was led and managed by the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. DiBiase had retired from active competition after suffering a back injury in a match for All Japan Pro Wrestling in late 1993 and was brought back by the WWF as a manager.
DiBiase's first members were Nikolai Volkoff and Bam Bam Bigelow. They were soon joined by DiBiase's former tag team partner Irwin R. Schyster (I.R.S.). Another infamous addition was made early on, when DiBiase claimed to be bringing The Undertaker back to the WWF after a long absence. The next week a man looking and sounding like The Undertaker was produced by DiBiase on Superstars. Initially, announcers accepted DiBiase's claim, but eventually his man (wrestler Brian Lee) was revealed to be a doppelgänger. After a main event showdown with "the real Undertaker" at SummerSlam 1994, the Million Dollar Man's version was not seen again.
Also at SummerSlam 1994, the Corporation gained another member. For weeks, the WWF had teased a heel turn by Lex Luger as DiBiase's men constantly interfered in matches on his behalf and offered him bribes to join the stable. His tag team partner at the time, Tatanka, became suspicious and challenged him to a match, only to turn and join himself after DiBiase distracted Luger to set up the pin.
Bam Bam Bigelow teamed with Tatanka to challenge for the WWF Tag Team Championship. After the team's loss in a tournament final to determine new champions, Bigelow became involved in a worked altercation with football legend Lawrence Taylor at ringside. The two squared off in the main event of WrestleMania XI, where Taylor was victorious. After his loss to Taylor, relations soured between Bigelow and DiBiase, cooling for months until the former turned face and saved then-WWF Champion Diesel from a beating at the hands of the Corporation.
Throughout 1995, the Corporation continued to feud with the WWF's top faces, including The Undertaker, Luger, Diesel, and Razor Ramon. At the 1994 Survivor Series, the Corporation defeated a team captained by Lex Luger in an elimination tag team match. To fight off The Undertaker, DiBiase recruited King Kong Bundy and Kama, who stole The Undertaker's urn and had it melted down into a gold chain for himself. In a memorable series of skits, IRS traveled to a graveyard in order to "leave no stone unturned" in his investigation of dead tax cheats, and to psych out The Undertaker.
DiBiase added Sycho Sid after Sid turned on Shawn Michaels following WrestleMania XI, and later added The 1-2-3 Kid during Sid's feud with Razor Ramon. However, one by one the Million Dollar Corporation began to disband as its members found themselves out of work. Bundy and IRS left the WWF in 1995, while Kama and Tatanka lasted until early 1996. The 1-2-3 Kid lasted until May 1996, while Sycho Sid entered a temporary retirement due to a severe neck injury. DiBiase, with nobody left to manage, was paired with former WCW star Steve Austin, who was given the name "The Ringmaster" and awarded the Million Dollar Championship by DiBiase, who also taught Austin his finishing move, the Million Dollar Dream. Although "The Ringmaster" name was dropped quickly and Austin adopted the "Stone Cold" moniker he later made famous, he continued to be managed by DiBiase and regarded as the Million Dollar Champion.
DiBiase managed Austin through a feud with Savio Vega, where Austin won at WrestleMania XII after a belt shot with the Million Dollar Championship. Vega and Austin had a rematch at In Your House: Beware of Dog 2 in a strap match. Per the stipulation of that match, Vega would have had to become DiBiase's chaffeur if Austin won but DiBiase would be forced to leave the company if Vega won, which he did. Austin claimed he had lost on purpose in order to rid himself of DiBiase, beginning a character transition for Austin while providing a storyline reason for DiBiase's departure; DiBiase had signed with rival promotion World Championship Wrestling shortly before this and debuted with the company later in 1996 as the financier for the nWo.
- Ted DiBiase (Leader)
- Nikolai Volkoff
- Bam Bam Bigelow
- Irwin R. Schyster
- Ted DiBiase's Undertaker
- King Kong Bundy
- Sycho Sid
- 1-2-3 Kid
- Xanta Klaus
- "The Ringmaster" Steve Austin