Interview: Diamond Dallas Page (DDP)

Diamond Dallas Page wrestled for both WCW and WWE holding numerous titles during his spells with both companies including being a three-time world champion.

The 60-year-old who resides in Atlanta, Georgia also has his own fitness brand, DDP Yoga which has helped numerous wrestling legends most notably Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and Scott Hall on their road to recovery and fitness.

Page is being inducted into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame not just for his work inside the ring but also out of the squared circle. We caught up with DDP to talk about his plans for WrestleMania week in Orlando, who else was in the frame to induct him into the Hall of Fame, the benefits of DDP Yoga and much more.

You’re going to be inducted into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame, what is that moment going to be like for you?

I guess I really summed it all up on the inside of the Hall of Fame ring, WWE ask for an inscription on the inside of the rings and I just wrote, “Work ethic equals dreams! DDP”

All of the hard work and not ever listening to all the people who told me I could never do it. It wasn’t really that I wanted to prove them wrong as much as it was wanting to prove myself right. When you look back at my career and the way I got to the Hall of Fame, it started at WrestleMania VI driving Rhythm and Blues (Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine) down to the ring in a pink Cadillac convertible, that was my car and the car got the gig not me, I was just a driver.

To go from that to 27 years later being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is super special. I heard Eric Bischoff who is going to be inducting me say being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame was the holy grail and I had never thought of it like that until he said it, and it kind of is.

The key is trying to trim my speech down so it’s not too long. I know when people are listening and watching the Hall of Fame there are some people that can hang on your every word and there are other people going, when his he going to finish. I’m up there for the people that helped me get to where I am and I’m going to tell some stories, I’m going to have some fun with it and I’m looking forward to it.

As you mentioned Eric Bischoff is going to be inducting you into the WWE Hall of Fame, was anyone else in the frame?

WWE wanted a couple of names from me because they have certain things that they’re doing and it’s their TV. I put down five names, guys I would have loved to induct me because of the relationship we have and one of those was Eric.

Jake Roberts and Scott Hall were also on the list, along with Steve Austin and Mick Foley. Any of those guys doing it would have worked for me, the WWE picked Eric and I thought it was a great pick. Eric and I go back to the AWA days, I actually met Eric in a bar brawl fight with each other, we both had quite a bit to drink that night! As time went on we became close friends.

If Dusty Rhodes was still alive he would have been the guy to induct me into the WWE Hall of Fame, he knows that and we had actually spoken about it. He was supposed to induct me into the Cauliflower Alley Club which is a big deal for us as well, of course the top of everything is the WWE and Dusty was going to do that and he would have done this.

Two people you’ve worked with closely using DDP Yoga, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and Scott Hall were both inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014, what was the like for you?

To me it kind of feels like I’m going in twice, because when both Jake and Scott were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014 I felt like I had gone in with them.

Actually, being able to induct Jake myself that was a super honor for me considering I always say without Dusty Rhodes there is no Diamond Dallas Page and without Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts there is no three time World Champion and definitely no Hall of Famer.

When I look back at that, I saw Dusty later on that night and he gave me a big hug and he told me I made him all teary eyed out there because I said a lot of things about Dusty and how he was the only reason why I was standing up there. That was really special for me to do that during Jakes induction and getting to share that because I didn’t get that opportunity when I go in and he knew how I felt about him and vice versa.

Inducting Jake was super special because here’s a guy that I met in my bar back in 1986 and then in 2014 inducting him into the WWE Hall of Fame, it was a huge honor for me to do that, then to see Scott inducted in the same year was really special. Jake, Scott and I without our journey together, I know I don’t have the life I have without them, so it’s a pretty cool circle of what the business is all about.

As a kid when I was 22-years-old I heard Zig Ziglar say something that I would make my mantra and it was, “You can get whatever you want as long as you help enough people get what they want.” I live by that.

There are a number of current wrestlers on the WWE roster that are doing DDP Yoga including Chris Jericho and Mick Foley, what have you made of their latest runs in WWE?

Chris Jericho is the best example, Jericho‘s was about pain, Jericho’s was about his career ending over five years ago now. Chris is the guy who I helped relieve his pain after a spinal specialist had told him he was never going to be able to wrestle again. I was able to help Chris, he is one of the really smart ones, a lot of people that do DDP Yoga feel better then they will stop and maybe they will feel good for a while without going back to it but then they will get hurt and come back to it.

What they should do is keep doing the DDP Yoga because of odds of getting hurt have dropped considerably and that’s what it’s about. Getting yourself into Jericho’s position, he wants to own his life and he pretty much does now at 46 and in Chris’ case 46-years-young he is hanging and banging with every 20-year-old and 30-year-old out there and no one is doing anymore than he is doing. He is the biggest and most amazing promoter for our product because he lives it; it is all authentic with Chris.

Then you look at Foley, I helped him relieve his pain but also drop 100lbs, Mick and Chris are two really good friends of mine and there is nothing better than helping your buddies out.

When you came into the WWE you worked with The Undertaker, did you ever think back then that he would still be competing at WrestleMania 33?

Knowing Mark (Calaway) as well as I do now, I think he can go as long as he wants to go. He still produces but he only does one or two matches a year now, but he prepares all the up to those matches so he is ready. He might even go a few more years, we’ll just have to wait and see.

How would you sum up your spell in WWE and what was the highlight for you?

It’s not what I wanted it to be by any stretch of the imagination but there were a couple of really good moments. The first day I turned up on live TV and took the mask off that was a humongous pop and a damn good promo.

The last thing I did during my spell in WWE was at WrestleMania with Christian and we had a hell of a match, we had the people in the palm of our hands. That was part of the resurgence of losing the stalker character and transiting to Positively Page and DDP the bang guy. That was the direction I was taking it but then I hurt my neck. I was beat up, I had my run, I was 46-years-old and it was time for me to leave. If you had given me a choice, we could have done peoples champion v peoples champion (The Rock v DDP), you could have had an amazing two-year run because I was 46 so I didn’t have the longest shelf life.

Or I could have had this second part of my life that started at 55-years-old when I did the first Best of Nitro DVD and I would go onto do two more, and they would bring me back for some Old School Raw episode and the Raw 1000th episode. Getting to do a bunch of Diamond Cutters in the Royal Rumble and they bring me in to induct Jake into the Hall of Fame on the same night Scott goes into the Hall of Fame, appearing at WrestleMania 32 last year in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal two days before my 60th birthday, and this year WWE are bringing out a DVD about me, Positively Living, which is awesome to being inducted into the Hall of Fame, I would pick the latter every single time.

If you look at the guys they bring back for the Old School Raws, almost all of them are Hall of Famers, there’s a reason they bring you back and the fans react to you appearing. The night I appeared on Old School Raw the WWE really let me do an infomercial in the back with Booker T for DDP Yoga. How many people get to wear their company name on their shit whilst on WWE television like I’ve done? Rock and Brock can do whatever they want to do and Stone Cold Steve Austin but everyone else they play by the rules. I was really thankful for that, doing that segment on WWE television shut our website down due the amount of traffic we got. We learnt from that experience for when I went on Shark Tank, we had 25 servers and five backup servers, so my site wasn’t going down when I got the biggest push ever with Shark Tank but if I don’t do WWE that maybe doesn’t happen.

You worked with Goldberg during your time in WCW, what have you made of his current run in the WWE?

Goldberg is there at the age of 49-years-old but he hasn’t had a match yet. A bit like Takers slot, Goldberg is going to deliver for that one match at WrestleMania against Brock. As soon as a saw the finish of their first match at Survivor Series I knew that everything was building to this match at WrestleMania. As far as I’m concerned it is awesome booking, some people may not like it but then they don’t really understand wrestling because that match was not a Royal Rumble match or Backlash, there was only one place that match was ever going to take place and that’s at WrestleMania. They have done a tremendous job building the match and Brock has done an amazing job with the business, Brock kills guys, that’s what he does but he has built Goldberg.

Brock v Goldberg is the match I’m most looking forward to at this years WrestleMania. I’m hoping that Bill can be the athlete that he is and I hope that he doesn’t get hurt out there with the beast. For me Brock Lesnar is as tough as it gets from A to Z.

All WCW will be loving this match, that is how Goldberg should’ve been brought into his original WWE run, that is how we all should’ve been brought into the WWE from WCW.

How would you compare your two bosses, Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon?

They both want to be number one, Eric was the young upstart that actually knocked Vince on his butt for a while and that is the reason why I believe Eric deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame and I hope somewhere down the line he is inducted. This might be the stage of Eric getting inducted himself because I gave them five names and Jake is the one I really wanted and I told them that but Jake has already gone through everything. They always look to feature someone that they can bring back and there couldn’t be a better way of bringing Eric back.

Vince was always spot on with my career, he was tough, we would not push me at the times when my stuff was happening. I respected it but it did piss me off sometimes, however it made me work harder and made me better, so it was a good thing.

Have you got any special events planned for WrestleMania week in Orlando?

It’s funny because my wife talked me out of doing a workshop for DDP Yoga because she wanted me just to enjoy the time. I then got a call from WWE and they said that Susan G Komen are running a yoga event and they want me to host it.

What I do is the anti yoga and I developed DDP Yoga for the people that wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga, hence why I don’t let anybody call what I do yoga. The people at Susan G Komen love what we are doing and there is a company called Manduka who do have clothing and mats, their mats are the best and mine are the second best. Manduka are a strong company and they are co hosting the event along with Susan G Komen called project: OM, and I’m now onboard as well.

That is going to be on the Saturday morning at Full Sail University where WWE film NXT after my Hall of Fame induction. If people get there at 9am I know Manduka are giving away one hundred mats for people and I know a lot of people who are in Orlando for WrestleMania are going to show up to this event. When I usually do a workshop it’s about $70, this event is free and will consist of 45-minute work out followed by a Q&A session.

As well as that I’m also going to be at WrestleCon, which is the only places I’m doing signings and I’ll be there between 1-3pm on Saturday and then I’ll be heading over to WrestleMania Axxess where I’ll be doing a Q&A session.

For more information about DDP & DDP Yoga follow @RealDDP & @DDPYOGA on Twitter and visit DiamondDallasPage.com

For more information on the Manduka & Susan G Komen project: OM visit Manduka.com/projectom

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