Ted DiBiase Revives Million Dollar Championship, Will Be Contested at NXT TakeOver: In Your House

Ted DiBiase Million Dollar Championship

This week’s edition of NXT saw an infusion of nostalgia with the revival of the Million Dollar Championship. Over the past several weeks, Cameron Grimes has encountered “The Million Dollar Man,” Ted DiBiase. Whenever Grimes was about to partake in a show of wealth, DiBiase would beat him to the punch. Oftentimes this resulted in Grimes angrily bellowing out the name of the affluent WWE Hall of Famer. As time went on, however, Grimes developed respect for the affluent WWE legend. This week introduced a new wrinkle in the story, as the title belt associated with DiBiase made its return on the black-and-gold brand.

Ted DiBiase stood in the ring to make his “priceless announcement,” beckoning Grimes and LA Knight to join him. DiBiase said that while both men proved themselves worthy of the “Million Dollar Legacy,” he believed it was time for them to “climb the ladder of success.” A gold ladder would descend from the ceiling into the ring; their contest at NXT TakeOver: In Your Games had become a Ladder Match. DiBiase would soon reveal the prize they’d be fighting for: the Million Dollar Championship. Whoever wins at TakeOver this Sunday will be crowned the new Million Dollar Champion.

Weeks ago, Cameron Grimes was approached by Ted DiBiase, who he had multiple run-ins with in the past. When Grimes asked why DiBiase was targeting him, “The Million Dollar Man” said he saw a bit of himself in the young NXT Superstar. DiBiase stated he was looking for that one individual that represented everything “The Million Dollar Man” stood for; specifically, in regard to in-ring performance. DiBiase believed Grimes had lost his focus.

Interrupting the segment was LA Knight, who threw his name into the proverbial ring as the one DiBiase was looking for. While Grimes was aghast, DiBiase expressed interest. DiBiase noted Knight’s success, believing him to be a future megastar as well. Grimes stepped up to Knight, telling him to leave the ring. Knight responded by laying out Grimes, much to the disapproval of the NXT Universe. DiBiase told Grimes, “you’re just never going to get it, through you?”

Effectively, LA Knight threw his name into the proverbial ring as the one to carry on DiBiase’s “Million Dollar Legacy.” From there, Knight would face Jake Atlas in singles competition, DiBiase watching from ringside. Grimes would soon approach DiBiase to make his case for being the one to carry on the “Million Dollar Legacy.” This distracted Knight just long enough for Atlas to hit his cartwheel DDT for the win. Disappointed, DiBiase left, leaving an upset Knight behind in the ring.

Introduced in February of 1988, the Million Dollar Championship was commissioned by Ted DiBiase following his failed attempts to seize the WWF Championship. Though the title was never officially sanctioned by the World Wrestling Federation, DiBiase defended the Million Dollar Title on occasion. DiBiase boasts the longest total number of days as champion, across two reigns, at 1,010 days. His former bodyguard, Virgil, would also hold the belt, as would “The Ringmaster,” Steve Austin; early in his run with the company, the latter was managed by DiBiase. The belt would be rendered inactive in the mid-1990s following DiBiase’s departure from the company.

In 2009, the Million Dollar Championship returned to WWE programming, as Ted DiBiase served as the guest host of Monday Night Raw. The year after, DiBiase presented his son, Ted DiBiase Jr., with the Million Dollar Title. This would lead to a brief feud with Goldust, who longed to hold the title as his own. By the end of the year, the title would return to the elder DiBiase. From there, it was rendered inactive for over a decade.

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