Million Dollar Championship
|The Million Dollar Championship|
The Million Dollar Championship
(February 1989–November 2010).
|Date established||February 15, 1989|
|Date retired||November 15, 2010|
The Million Dollar Championship was an unsanctioned professional wrestling championship in World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly World Wrestling Federation) created for "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase. The Million Dollar belt was designed by Terry Betteridge of Betteridge Jewelers in Greenwich, Connecticut. It is gold plated, made with cubic zirconia, with three small diamonds on the back. DiBiase claimed the cost was around $40,000, although Bruce Prichard claimed on his podcast Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard that the belt cost close to $50,000.
Ted DiBiase was unable to win the WWF Championship, having lost the final match of the WWF Championship tournament at WrestleMania IV to "Macho Man" Randy Savage. During the Summer of 1988 DiBiase teamed with André the Giant, in a team known as "The Mega Bucks", while chasing the WWF Championship.
A frustrated DiBiase decided that if he couldn't win or buy the WWF Championship he would purchase his own championship belt. In 1989, DiBiase unveiled a new championship belt, which he called the Million Dollar Championship. This belt never was officially sanctioned by the WWF, and DiBiase would rarely put his "title" on the line in matches.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts stole the belt during their feud in early 1990. This also led to a face turn for the Big Boss Man who resented his manager Slick selling his services to DiBiase in order to retrieve the belt from Roberts. After attacking Jake and stealing the bag containing the belt and Roberts's pet python, Damien, DiBiase, the Boss Man and Slick headed for The Brother Love Show where DiBiase bragged about buying the Boss Man's services. The Boss Man then told both Slick and DiBiase that he couldn't be bought and immediately returned the bag to Roberts, who had been left handcuffed to the ring ropes. The Boss Man then released Roberts, walked back to the Brother Love set, pushed Slick, and again told an irate Million Dollar Man that he couldn't be bought before walking off to the cheers of the crowd, cementing his face turn. DiBiase had his bodyguard Virgil get the belt back from Roberts back at WrestleMania VI after Jake was counted out during their match at the SkyDome.
In 1991, DiBiase's bodyguard Virgil rebelled, turned face and trained with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper to face DiBiase at SummerSlam for the Million Dollar Championship. Virgil won the match, making him the only wrestler to win the belt in the ring. However, DiBiase regained the belt with the help of Repo Man at Survivor Series Showdown. When DiBiase and IRS won the WWF Tag Team Championship on February 7, 1992, DiBiase abandoned the Million Dollar belt.
Ted DiBiase would later go on to award the belt to his newest protégé, The Ringmaster, on his arrival in the WWF in early 1996. After his protégé lost a match against Savio Vega on May 28, 1996, DiBiase was (kayfabe) forced to leave the WWF.
After a 13-year absence, the belt reappeared on WWE television in 2009 when DiBiase, the guest host of the night, appeared on the July 6 episode Raw, carrying the Million Dollar Championship as he carried out his duties. Nearly a year later, when DiBiase was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 27, 2010, he had the Million Dollar belt with him, saying he "never leave[s] home without it". On April 5, DiBiase's son, Ted DiBiase Jr., after disbanding the tag team Legacy, came out holding the championship belt, claiming his father had given it to him. WWE's official website confirmed the reactivation of the unsanctioned belt under DiBiase Jr.'s profile. On the October 4 episode of Raw, Goldust attacked DiBiase Jr. and gained possession of the championship. On the November 8 episode of Raw, Goldust's own wife Aksana stole the Million Dollar Championship from him. On the November 15 episode of Raw, Goldust stole the belt back and returned it to DiBiase, Sr., who then offered to return it to his son, who rejected the offer.
|No.||Overall reign number|
|Reign||Reign number for the specific champion|
|Days||Number of days held|
|No.||Champion||Championship change||Reign statistics||Notes||Ref.|
|1||Ted DiBiase||February 15, 1989||Superstars of Wrestling||Binghamton, New York||1||922||DiBiase had the title created for himself and unveiled the belt during a segment of "The Brother Love Show". This episode aired on tape delay on March 4, 1989.|||
|2||Virgil||August 26, 1991||SummerSlam||New York, New York||1||77||Virgil is the only wrestler to have "won" the unsanctioned belt in a match.|
|3||Ted DiBiase||November 11, 1991||Survivor Series Showdown||Utica, New York||2||88||This program aired on tape delay on November 24, 1991.|||
|—||Deactivated||February 7, 1992||House show||Denver, Colorado||—||—||DiBiase abandoned the title upon winning the WWF Tag Team Championship with Irwin R. Schyster on February 7, 1992 in Denver, Colorado.|||
|4||The Ringmaster/Stone Cold Steve Austin||December 18, 1995||Raw||Newark, Delaware||1||152||The title was awarded to The Ringmaster (who became Stone Cold Steve Austin shortly thereafter) by DiBiase during a segment of "The Brother Love Show". This episode aired on tape delay on January 8, 1996.|||
|—||Deactivated||May 28, 1996||—||—||—||—||Austin abandoned the title following DiBiase's departure from the WWF on May 28, 1996.|||
|5||Ted DiBiase Jr.||April 5, 2010||Raw||Moline, Illinois||1||224||DiBiase was given the championship by his father, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase.|||
|—||Deactivated||November 15, 2010||Raw||Hershey, Pennsylvania||—||—||Title returned to "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase.|||
|Rank||Wrestler||No. of reigns||Combined days|
|2||Ted DiBiase Jr.||1||224|
|3||The Ringmaster/Stone Cold Steve Austin||1||152|
- Ted DiBiase: The Million Dollar Man, p.167, Ted DiBiase with Tom Caiazzo, Pocket Books, New York, NY, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4165-5890-3
- Ted DiBiase: The Million Dollar Man, p.168, Ted DiBiase with Tom Caiazzo, Pocket Books, New York, NY, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4165-5890-3
- Varbie, Aaron (12 January 2017). "10 Things We Learned From Bruce Prichard's Million Dollar Man Podcast". Featured. Still Real To Us. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
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- "Money Inc.'s first World Tag Team Championship reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2005-11-29. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- "Stone Cold's WWE Profile". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2008-02-24. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
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- "Ted DiBiase's Wrestling Biography". Wrestlin Rollercoaster. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- Ted DiBiase: The Million Dollar Man, p.193, Ted DiBiase with Tom Caiazzo, Pocket Books, New York, NY, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4165-5890-3
- "WWE In Your House: Beware of Dog Results: Part 2". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
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- Keller, Wade (2010-11-15). "Keller's WWE Raw report 11/15: Special three-hour old school Raw with great angle at end, Jim Ross returns, Piper steps up, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2010-11-16.