My Pinterest is Piledrivers: Ted in the Water (Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton)
by James Sawyer on March 14, 2012

Hey, it’s me.  James.  I’ve got work in the morning and these fifty hour work weeks are going to kill me.  Frankly I don’t like working forty hours a week.  Or four.  So let’s get to it.

Last week’s column seemed to get a good response.  I like to think it would serve as a good link to anyone who might wonder “who is this CM Punk and why is he the Best in the World?” or “I saw a dude wearing pink… what’s that about?”  This week I’m going to take a big swerve right into a smaller issue, one single near-forgotten wrestler, Ted DiBiase.

Back in the heady days of Legacy, as a young Theodore DiBiase, Jr teamed with Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton, many looked upon the son of the Million Dollar Man as the breakout of the group.  The guy that would turn face and blow up big.  Batista gave interviews stating his anticipation of great things from the rookie.  Even on this site (the only wrestling site I go to, and the only one you should go to, too) columnists and commenters remarked how he had “it” and that… well, his dad brought the Undertaker in… what if his son would be the one to take him out?  Perhaps at his 20th Wrestlemania appearance?

Well, we now know that isn’t going to happen.

What ended up happening instead is that Randy turned face, and has been operating as the overall “number two” guy for a while in WWE, although an argument could be made that at this point CM Punk is the new number two (although in the hearts and minds of the internet, he’s number one of course).  Cody became a popular heel thanks to a feud with Rey Mysterio and a gimmick that played upon the classic “I could steal your girlfriend” pretty boy heel, combined with elements of “I’m also a complete sociopath” Patrick Bateman edge.  Where did that leave poor Ted?

They tried giving him a hot, snobby girlfriend in Maryse.  They tried giving him the Million Dollar belt.  Right now they’re trying a weird face gimmick where he’s a man of the people feuding with the evil, fake Sin Cara.  I can only assume Sin Cara’s Bizarro twin is named Charitable Acts Rodriguez or something.  Right now it appears he’s out of action with an injury, or on Superstars.  I think they might as well be one and the same.

I’ve never met the guy, nor have I watched all of his matches.  From what I see, he seems to be a good enough guy, nice Southern Christian boy who likes football and fishin’ in his personal life.  He has a good look, certainly more athletic than his dad’s, and has a couple of nice-looking finishers and some potential.  But besides all that, knowing how tough the working world is, I’m never the type to suggest canning a guy.  Everyone can fit in somewhere.  Maybe it’s the bleeding heart in me.  Or the arrhythmia.

So what do we do with Ted DiBiase?

For one-turn him back heel.  Why?  Look, fans might be willing to boo him anyway.  You have to figure he was born rich (maybe not millions of dollars rich, but I’m sure his old man has his share of square footage and speedboats).  That can create easy resentment.  People hate the flaunting of wealth, especially in today’s Occupy Wall Street, One Percent environment.

See how annoying that is?  Thank God MTV canceled that.  It was a miracle we didn’t get another terrorist attack from that show, let alone start WWIII.  Play on that.  Keep Ted off the air while you film vignettes of him in a mansion showing off his possessions as models lounge bored in the background.  Recreate that YouTube video of the guy just silently counting money in the back of his car that I can’t seem to find anymore.  Hell, they kinda got the idea from his old man back in the Eighties anyway.

Bring back the Million Dollar Belt.  Have him defend it, then eventually lose it to a hot new face, only to win it back.  Until he learns to cut promos and talk, match him up with his dad, or see if JBL or some other retired guy is bored enough to want to come back and coach the kid.  Pair him up with Eve, for a gold digger storyline.  Put him in a feud with Golddust so that the veteran can teach him some things.  He’s not gonna improve wrestling other rookies like Jinder Mahal.

I’d say give him a new, improved theme, but at least an autotuned poor man’s Lil Wayne is light-years away from a butt-rock anthem in the vein of Staind, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, Cavo, Nickelback… sigh.  Rock sucks now.

And sure, maybe have him to a face turn where he renounces his wealth, turns his back on the rich, shallow douchebag stable of Rhodes, Ziggler, Swagger, whoever they have him allying with at the time.  Start a gimmick where he doesn’t pay the audience to perform humiliating acts for his amusement, but instead makes it rain for the hell of it.  But get the fun heel stuff out of the way first.  The Million Dollar Dream is such a sweet-looking move, and it works so much better against faces.

You’ve already got the guy on your roster.  Stop burying a guy that was in a major stable and has victories over Triple H and HBK.  Tell him to grow a beard and use him.  There’s enough vaguely smug, cowardly heels on your roster.  Bring in a rich, entitled prick that can win on his own.

Just try not to job him out to the Funkasaurus in the first two weeks.  Please?

THE GREAT BEYOND

Look, I don’t care what anyone says, I’m looking forward to 21 Jump Street.  Tatum is self-aware, Jonah Hill was good in the best movie of last year, it’s got Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper and Ron Bleep Swanson.

 



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James Sawyer

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  • Zork

    Good stuff here, I agree. When he did get the Million Dollar Championship I was really feeling like they were on the right track with him, then he started getting humiliated and was being jobbed out. The only good thing they did with him post Legacy was that short feud he had with Daniel Bryan where he wanted to beat him for his US Championship because he wanted something for himself, not something that was handed down to him from his father. The matches were good too, so that didn’t hurt things.

    Some will detract these ideas and say it’s too similar to his dad’s gimmick, but who cares? It will work. People remember the Million Dollar Man, why not exploit that? It’s certainly better than what he’s doing now. In fact what he has been doing lately could be a good set up for a great heel turn, he turns his back on the goofy fans who don’t really believe in him, freeload off of his dollar in the parking lots after the shows, and is in this business for himself.

    Easy.

  • CB40

    Do NOT bring back the Million Dollar Belt. If anything, Ted, Jr. needs to get away from that Priceless gimmick and find his own way. Case and point: Goldust. Dustin shook off his dad’s huge legacy and found something that worked for him.

  • Anthony J. Zinzi

    Dustin also had to leave WCW to carve out that niche, CB. Maybe that’s what Ted needs to do – and not necessarily go to TNA. Take a page out of MVP’s book and tour Japan.

  • http://twitter.com/Kanta_Mizuno Ryan Alarie

    The sad part is half of the things you suggested were stuff they already tried. They tried making him the Million Dollar Man 2.0; the brought back the belt; they put him with a gold digging diva; they had him feud with Golddust; etc, etc, etc. While it was forgetable and unsuccesful enough to try again, I doubt they could make it work to have him do the whole thing all over again.

  • Zork

    I think if anything, a lot of this stuff proves that the guy may already be damaged goods, like beyond repair. To the point where he’d need “repackaging” like so many others have before. He just never seemed to have the charisma to carry himself on the mic and that hurts him all over. At best he’s merely passable. If the guy can’t get screen time to talk, there’s no hope for him outside of what’s been suggested.

  • CB40

    Good point Anthony, overseas wrestling time may do Ted, Jr. some good.

  • Sideshowbob

    no second generation star should ever come across as too green these days. Should being key word. They have all the knowledge available to them from a lost generation where people traveled the country or world honing their craft. Yet too many times, and Ted is just another example, it almost seems like the 2e are being made into ‘named jobbers’.
    Maybe their parents knew when to stand up for themselves and these kids don’t.. Maybe? I dunno. What I DO know is that (minus DBryan) rookies like wade Barrett, that south African anime kid, the ginja ninja, and DAVID FUCKING OTUNGA are outshining Henning 3e, rotundo, and dibiase.. What the hell..?

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