On Monday, third-generation wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. announced via Twitter and YouTube that he had opted to not renew his contract with WWE. He cited personal reasons, including wanting to spend more time with his family and be a dad, as to why he had decided to leave.
It had been a rocky couple of years for DiBiase, as he had been struggling with injuries. In January 2012, he broke his wrist. He continued to wrestle through the injury, until he was shut down almost two months later with a broken ankle. During his time off, he also announced he would be having surgery to repair an issue with his shoulder.
After accomplishing several things including winning the WWE Tag Team Championships and competing at WrestleMania, DiBiase said he wanted to focus on a few things outside of the company:
I wanted you to hear it from me. I have decided NOT to resign with WWE and renew my contract. It's kind of bittersweet, but it's just something that's personal and what's best for me and my family right now.
I have had just amazing life experiences with WWE. I've done some amazing things and traveled the world, wrestled at WrestleMania. I've filmed a movie, I've really lived a dream and it's been a childhood dream come true. I'm not saying that this is forever, but at this time in my life, there's other dreams and passions I'd like to pursue. One of those is being a dad. Everyone knows the life that we live is very hard. It's something I need to do right now.
I'm going to miss every one one of you. I'm going to miss the guys in the locker room, and I'm going to miss you fans, the WWE Universe. It feels like we're all a big family, you're a family away from family. I'm really going to miss you guys.
I just wanted you to hear this from me. I just want to say thank you. It's not a big sendoff, and that's okay. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate what you've given to me and the love you've shown for me. I thank WWE for all the opportunities.
I'm very proud of what WWE does, not just as an entertainment company, but what they do outside of the company with Make-A-Wish and Be A Star. I was so proud to be a a part of the Army National Guard. I took a lot of pride in that, and it opened up a lot of doors for me.
So this is me saying thank you guys, thank you WWE, and thank you to the fans. Without you guys, we'd be absolutely nothing. Thank you guys so much, I love you guys, I really do. I'm not saying this is forever, hopefully there will be some good times in the future too. We'll see. But until then, I'm going fishing.
DiBiase followed the footsteps of not only his father, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, a family that included his grandfather and two brothers that both wrestle as well. He claimed the WWE World Tag Team titles twice with Cody Rhodes, and was introduced by his father as the "Million Dollar Champion." in 2010. He began his training in Amarillo, where he was trained by former WCW wrestler Chris Youngblood.
Outside of the ring, DiBiase has been running his own non-profit organization called the Ted DiBiase Foundation. As part of that foundation, individuals with life-threatening illnesses or disabilities are offered the chance to meet him at WWE live events during his "DiBiase Posse" tailgating parties before events. Programs for youth leadership and community causes are currently being developed for his foundation.
In an update, prior to announcing his departure, his father talked to PWTorch regarding the situation. He had a few things to say as to why his son had not been on TV:
The reason he's not been back on TV is they don't want to just throw him back out there. I've had a lot of frustration there too, as a dad, in trying not to be biased. I asked all my friends - Arn Anderson, Mike Rotunda, the guys who are the producers now - I said "Did I miss something? Is there something wrong with my kid, does he not have it?" They said, "Oh no, he's one of the best wrestlers we got." When I asked what the deal was, they said "We just have to find something for him."