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In a new interview, former WWE tag champion Ted DiBiase, Jr. identified two main reasons why he left WWE – an empty feeling after achieving his goal of wrestling at WrestleMania and personal issues while on the full-time WWE schedule.
DiBiase’s first Mania match was the Legacy Explosion match at WM26 in 2010 when Randy Orton beat him and Cody Rhodes in a three-way match. After that, DiBiase floundered until leaving WWE in 2013.
“My dream was to wrestle at WrestleMania, and WrestleMania 26 I walked out in front of 73-74 thousand people in Scottsdale, Arizona, and I don’t know how many million watching around the world. I was out there for about 10 minutes, our match lasted that long, because it got cut like three times. I remember getting back to the locker room, and I was like, ‘Wow. Is that it?’ It was like, ‘What do I do now? What’s next? I just did it.’ I had focused and worked so long to get to this point, and really had not thought beyond that,” DiBiase told Chris Featherstone of the Pancakes & Powerslams podcast.
DiBiase said the overall “ups and downs” being on the road and going through personal struggles as a family man and man of faith convinced him that “I really needed to get out, because, man, I had some struggles.”
Going back to the fall-out from WM26, DiBiase said he felt like there was a chance to make him a bigger star when Legacy broke up. However, things did not go according to plan, as a potential face run turned into an entitled, arrogant heel.
“They wanted to make Randy (Orton) a babyface. That is were things could have probably gone different for me, if they would have capitalized on the momentum I had,” DiBiase said.
“The crowd was kind of wanting me to turn face. Randy and I did a match where I let him just beat me up, and I shoved him back once, and it exploded. That was probably one of the coolest matches. I didn’t fight back at all. I shoved him as he walked around me and I let him do his creepy faces, and he RKO’d me. We were going to have a match at ‘Mania, and it was going to be a singles match. They were like, ‘Well, that is not fair,’ and I think there were some politics there.
“It would have been weird to just have me and him have a match and not Cody. So, ‘We’ll make Randy face and break Legacy up.’ I don’t know who made that call. I didn’t really agree with it, and wished they would have kept it a little bit longer. Even just me and Cody tagging for a little bit longer, because then they had no idea of what to do with me. All of that build-up, and then the implosion. Me and Cody could have feuded. There could have be a lot better, but all they were worried about was Randy.”
Related to Cody’s exit from WWE three years after he left, DiBiase identified what he thinks pushed Cody to the point of walking away from the company.
“He has an incredible mind for the business. He loves it. He has more passion for this industry that anybody I know. He constantly, still to this day, watches old tapes. He wanted it so bad, and he would go above and beyond. He would pitch more ideas, and they would be home runs. He would keep pitching, and [WWE] would turn them down,” DiBiase said.
“That’s what is so hard about this industry. Even if you go above and beyond, even if you are capable, it doesn’t matter. It’s not like a sales position, where you are working commission and the more you sell, the more money you make. In this industry, it’s not like that, because you can put in the most time, you can put in the most pitches, you can be the biggest guy, you can have the best mic skills. But if it doesn’t all add up on the right day at the right time, in front of the right person, it will not happen.”