As I continue my reminiscing drift through the history of the WWE, I stumbled upon some footage from the period of late 1994 to 1996, not the greatest time in the history of the WWE. One of the mainstays of that time was the Million Dollar Corporation, led by Ted DiBiase. Whilst operating for the best part of two years in the WWE, the group achieved very little in the way of in-ring success, but is that really all that surprising?
No, not really. Not when you look at the roster of largely washed up, or at best mid carders, that filled the stable. The initial incarnation of the group included Nikolai Volkoff, whose best days were gone by the mid-eighties; Bam Bam Bigelow and DiBiase’s former tag-team partner IRS. They were soon joined by the fake Undertaker and Tatanka. Not the most dominating of forces.
When you consider how long the group existed, officially from April 1994 until May 1996, the group had a staggeringly bad record at winning titles with the only listed accomplishment being the Million Dollar Title held by The Ringmaster (Steve Austin) but even that was presented to him. Sure, one of their guys headlined a Wrestlemania. But he, Bam Bam, lost to an American Footballer, Lawrence Tayler, in the main event of Wrestlemania XI which is arguably the weakest Wrestlemania of all time. And what about the other charges that were to join the group? Well, you had King Kong Bundy who again was past his 80s best, Kama, The 1-2-3 Kid and Pyscho Sid. Am glossing over Xanta Klaus because thankfully that was very short lived.
It’s not at all surprising that the grouping failed. Baring really Steve Austin, they had very little in the way of potential talent with the bulk of the group being those on their way down, if you will and even Austin himself found his fame after the group. Now, the idea of the corporation itself was a good one. A corporation founded round the idea of having wealth is always going to draw heat from the crowd, heck, you only need to see how over Vince McMahon’s Corporation was some years afterwards to see how well such an angle gets over. Another example is of course the JBL character which was built around the idea of being wealthy and better than most.
Unfortunately, for DiBiase, his stable was doomed from the outset. Containing guys whose best matches were long behind them – Volkoff, Bundy and IRS; mid-carders – 1-2-3 Kid and Tatanka and with only, at that time, Bam Bam and latterly Psycho Sid being anything like credible main eventers, the group never stood a chance. Perhaps there best success came when the Corporation Team defeated Lex Lugar’s team at the 1994 Survivor Series but after that, although involved in and around the main event, they never really challenged the top faces in the company at the time. On top of that, a number of skits and segments are best forgotten – namely the fake Undertaker and that brutal main event at Summerslam 1994, Kama melting the Taker’s urn to forge a gold chain for himself and IRS travelling around graveyards finding dead tax cheats.
Perhaps the longevity of the group highlights the problem with the WWE at the time, relying on washed up talent while at the same time the WCW was using high flying and innovative cruiserweights and by 1996 relying on a stable made up of mid-carders whilst the WCW were creating the NWO which changed the Wrestling landscape forever. Is it the worst stable ever? Certainly in terms of time existed compared to success, few can rival The Million Dollar Corporation when it comes to that!