AS an evil wrestling villain, Ted DiBiase was the ultra-arrogant Million Dollar Man who loved nothing more than to make kids cry.
He was the baddie with a trademark “evil laugh” who became infamous for offering a young lad $500 if he could bounce a basketball 15 times – only to boot it away after the youngster had counted to 14.
But, while his wrestling character was just for show, he had his own flaws in reality as he cheated on his wife and dabbled with drugs.
Now the retired WWF grappler is a born-again Christian who prefers to spend his time passing on wise words to the youth of today.
The 57-year-old was a special guest at Paisley’s Castlehead High School, where he entertained over 400 kids with stories of taking on ring legends like Hulk Hogan and André the Giant.
But he also gave the young pupils some words of warning on how to steer clear of life’s temptations after overcoming his own demons.
Ted’s step-father, “Iron” Mike DiBiase, died in the ring following a heart attack when Ted was just 15 but, despite that tragedy, the teenager decided to become a wrestler too.
But life on the road led the father-of-three – whose son Ted is a current WWE superstar – to make some bad choices, including cheating on his wife and taking drugs like cocaine.
After his partner Melanie discovered his adultery, Ted was left with a stark choice – change his life or lose his family.
Now a reformed character, Castlehead High’s depute headteacher Liz Harris said his inspirational talk to her pupils was an eye-opener.
She said: “The whole visit went really well and was a wonderful lesson for the kids.
“Ted spoke to the pupils from S1 to S4 and told them how throughout his career, he had money, women and fame. But he told them he made bad choices and that it had a negative effect on his life.
“He recalled how his stepdad had died in the ring when he was only 15. His step-father had been an inspiration to him.
“At that point, his life could have gone either way. However, he put his energy into his wrestling career – but that led to further temptations.
“He wasn’t very nice to people but now he wants to share that story with people. He stressed how he can’t blame the circumstances they find themselves in and neither should they. He told the kids to take responsibility for their own actions.
“He told the kids how important it is for them to make the right choices in life and they listened intently to his message. I think they all took a lot from the talk. It was a very positive message.”
The kids were even treated to a wrestling demonstration by Paisley ring stars Eric Canyon and Andy Anderson, while Ted took time to chat to pupils and sign autographs.
One young fan, Keiran Dollan, 12, was left smiling when Ted signed his championship belt.
Ms Harris added: “Keiran is a young fan who loves wrestling. He was so excited to meet Ted and even brought in his own wrestling belt, which Ted signed.
“Ted was great with the other kids too and took his time to sign autographs and speak to the pupils. The all enjoyed it and it was a great success.”