Ted DiBiase has shared his testimony in churches and prisons across the globe for years, but now he’s telling his story of personal salvation on a national stage.
On November 7, “The Price of Fame” comes to more than 600 select movie theaters across the United States for one-night only, chronicling DiBiase’s journey from being adopted to honing his craft in the territories to hitting the jackpot in WWE, and then almost losing it all.
For an hour and 45 minutes, we watch his rise and fall and long road to redemption through the eyes of his son, Ted DiBiase Jr. It’s a heart wrenching ride as Ted wrestles with conflicting emotions about his father: pride for his in-ring accomplishments, gratitude for his unwavering support and frustration over his adultery. While living the glamorous, rock star lifestyle of the Eighties, indulging in pro wrestling’s mainstream popularity, DiBiase enjoyed the excesses of constant booze, drugs and women. Funded by his boss, he maintained the Million Dollar Man character outside the ring, blending fantasy and reality to fool the fans and ultimately, himself.
“It’s great to walk into a coliseum and there’s a whole bunch of people shouting your name,” DiBiase told The Wrestling Estate in a recent interview. “But when that show is over and you go back to that hotel at night and your family is 2,000 miles away, that becomes a very lonely place. That’s how all those other things start.”
As many of his peers did during that era, DiBiase proved unfaithful to his wife.
However, he got caught. In one phone call, the Million Dollar Man realized he was morally bankrupt. That’s when his journey toward Christianity began, reawakening his mind, heart and soul to the true pleasures in life: the love and commitment of his family.
Similar to the “Resurrection of Jake the Snake,” the documentary methodically weaves DiBiase’s career with his personal life, tiptoeing the balance between pure wrasslin’ film and Hallmark special. Several of his wrestling contemporaries are featured in the film, including cameos from the late “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and George “The Animal” Steele, and DiBiase even goes back to Trump Plaza in Atlantic City to reminisce about WrestleMania IV, which he calls his “finest hour.”
But make no mistake – this is a religious movie with a pro wrestling backstory. Produced by Engage Media Partners, a Christian media consultative agency, “The Price of Fame” aims to inspire viewers to strengthen their relationship with God and take accountability in their lives. The PG-13 film serves as a heartwarming, family-friendly story for the holidays, as well as a cautionary tale for aspiring and current pro wrestlers.
“My hope is that people come away from this with an understanding that all the things they think are important, you know, to have happiness I need to make a lot of money and have a good job and a nice, cozy house and a good car. Man, wouldn’t it be great if I could be famous and be on TV like one of those guys? I want them to understand that it’s not what you think it is. The things that are really valuable in life are the love and commitment of a family. There’s nothing more important in my life today than the relationship I have with my wife and my children,” DiBiase said.
The timing of the film’s premiere couldn’t be worse, as it airs the same night as Ric Flair’s highly anticipated “ESPN 30 for 30.” I recommend you make time to see both, heading out to the theater for DiBiase’s film in the early evening so you can get back home in time for Flair’s special.
For ticket prices and a list of theaters showing the film, visit www.thepriceoffame.com.