WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase, a prominent figure during an era teeming with larger-than-life wrestling legends such as Jake "The Snake" Roberts and the iconic Junkyard Dog (real name Sylvester Ritter), recently took a trip down memory lane on his podcast, "Everybody's Got A Pod." Fondly recalling his encounters with Ritter, DiBiase revealed how their camaraderie blossomed into a profound friendship, cemented by mutual respect and admiration.
Returning to Mid-South in the summer of 1981, DiBiase found himself alongside Junkyard Dog, who was already making waves in the promotion. Their initial meeting left a lasting impression on DiBiase, who was struck by Ritter's genuine kindness and infectious sense of humor.
Both starting out as babyfaces, they found themselves on a parallel journey in the wrestling world.
Junkyard Dog's Captivating Charisma
Junkyard Dog's in-ring prowess might not have been that of a technical virtuoso, but he possessed an unrivaled charisma that captivated audiences.
His prowess on the microphone compensated for any shortcomings he might have had inside the squared circle. DiBiase, reflecting on their time working together in the ring, spoke of the challenges in crafting their matches to highlight Ritter's strengths and work around his limitations.
The bond between the two men grew stronger over time, and their friendship extended beyond wrestling. So deep was their connection that when Ted DiBiase tied the knot, Junkyard Dog stood as the best man at his wedding, symbolizing the genuine affection and camaraderie they shared.
Their on-screen rivalry was just as electrifying as their friendship was heartwarming. Engaging in fierce battles for both the Mid-South North American Championship and the Mid-South Tag Team Championship during the early 1980s, DiBiase and Ritter showcased their skills and entertained fans night after night.
Sadly, the wrestling world was shattered when Junkyard Dog's life was tragically cut short in an automobile accident on June 1, 1998, at the age of only 45. Despite his untimely passing, his legacy endured, and in 2004, he was rightfully enshrined in WWE's Hall of Fame.
Two years later, DiBiase himself was inducted, celebrating his illustrious career and cherishing the memories of his cherished friend and fellow Hall of Famer, Junkyard Dog.