In the glorious era of larger-than-life wrestling icons, WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase was surrounded by legendary stars such as Jake "The Snake" Roberts and the unforgettable Junkyard Dog, whose real name was Sylvester Ritter.
In a heartfelt episode of his podcast, "Everybody's Got A Pod," DiBiase took a trip down memory lane and fondly recollected his encounters with Ritter, revealing the special bond they developed as fellow Hall of Famers. Returning to Mid-South in the summer of 1981, DiBiase was introduced to the magnetic presence of Junkyard Dog, who had already made his mark in the wrestling world.
It didn't take long for the two to strike up an unbreakable friendship. DiBiase's initial impression of Ritter was admiration, as he found him incredibly amiable and possessed a great sense of humor.
Forming a Magnetic Tag Team Bond
Both grapplers began their Mid-South journey as babyfaces, but Ritter's exceptional charisma and microphone skills set him apart.
DiBiase acknowledged that while Junkyard Dog might not have been a technical wizard in the ring, his unparalleled charisma compensated for perceived shortcomings. When they teamed up for matches, DiBiase tailored the experience to Ritter's strengths and limitations, creating captivating performances for the fans.
As their friendship blossomed, it became evident just how close they had become. So close, Ritter stood as the best man at DiBiase's wedding, solidifying a bond beyond the squared circle. Yet, their camaraderie didn't prevent them from having intense in-ring rivalries.
Throughout the early 1980s, they fiercely battled for both the Mid-South North American Championship and the Mid-South Tag Team Championship before their paths eventually led them to the grand stage of WWF (World Wrestling Federation).
Tragically, Sylvester Ritter's life was cut short on June 1, 1998, when he died in a devastating automobile accident at age 45. His untimely passing left an indelible mark on the wrestling community, prompting WWE to honor his contributions by inducting him into the prestigious Hall of Fame in 2004.
DiBiase, following in his dear friend's footsteps, received his Hall of Fame accolade in 2006, forever enshrining their remarkable legacies in the annals of wrestling history. Ted DiBiase's heartfelt recollections of his time with Junkyard Dog remind him of the deep bonds forged within the wrestling fraternity, transcending rivalries and echoing through the ages.
Their tale remains an enduring testament to the camaraderie and brotherhood that underpin the world of professional wrestling.