Q&A: Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page is a legendary professional wrestler, turned fitness instructor. He invented the DDP Yoga program, which has helped people all around the world. Dallas is currently in the UK for his DDP Yoga tour, and in this ASBO exclusive, he talks about helping people, his documentary: The Resurrection of Jake The Snake, and then some...
ASBO: Hello, Dallas! I just want to let you know before I start, I woke up early this morning, and I did my DDP Yoga to get ready for this interview.
DDP: Oh, that’s awesome!
ASBO: It is an awesome program.
So, I wanted to start off by asking you about how your legacy has changed. For years, people knew you as the legendary professional wrestler. Today, when someone mentions Diamond Dallas Page, they think DDP Yoga or the guy that saved the lives of Jake Roberts & Scott Hall. How do you feel about your post-wrestling work becoming even bigger than your wrestling career?
DDP: You know it’s really funny because seven years ago, I was being interviewed by Bryan Alvarez for figure-four weekly. He said to me "where do you think you’ll be five years from now?" I said to him ‘Five years from now, I will be the next Tony Robbins meets Jack LaLanne meets Richard Simmons’. Of course, he laughed. And I said, "I honestly feel that DDP Yoga is going to start to dwarf my wrestling career". That was a really bold statement seven years ago.
There’s so many people, and now those who do DDP Yoga, they're everywhere. My wife and can’t go places without people coming up to us and talking to us about the people, whose lives have changed. I bet you, by the time we do all the workshops; we’ll have easily seen four to five-hundred people that’ll be working out with us over this tour. We’re gonna see so many lives that have been doing the program, and have been changing, and it’s super humbling.
I saw John Cena do an interview, where he was talking about this one kid, and the kid popped through the wall and he start saying "oh my god, you changed my life". And he’s like "stop it, stop it" (laughs). The guys who really make a difference, get that all the time. So, you get humbled by it, but at the same time you just keep doing what you’re doing.
ASBO: What you do is inspirational, and I think that is the best word to describe it.
I know you are taking DDP Yoga all over the UK for your UK tour. I recently read some statistics that said 27% of adults in England are obese, and 36% are overweight. As someone who preaches a healthy lifestyle and staying in shape – how do you react to such statistics?
DDP: Well, there are more than that in the United States. These are the people that I’m getting. You have to remember that DDP Y and that’s how I’m going to be branding it from A to Z, within the next three years; eighty-percent of the people will be calling it DDP Y. Only cause I don’t want them to call it yoga because it’s not really yoga. It’s inspired, but it’s not really yoga. The more people I get to understand that, the more people are gonna do it.
DDP Y was never a weight loss program. But it turned out to be this amazing side-effect. It was to heal my body, and was something I really love. A lot of people that are really big, they’re really beat up. So, they’re big, they’re beat up, and they feel miserable. Getting to help all the way around like that, it’s crazy, man. It's all about putting the work in, because if you don’t, then nothing works.
ASBO: I want to go back to Jake Roberts & Scott Hall for a moment. Your documentary, The Resurrection of Jake The Snake was one of the most powerful films I have ever seen. You were, of course, a big part of the film, and I just wanted to know how do you feel when you watch the film back now?
DDP: Oh, god. I could watch that film a thousand times. In the beginning, I hate what my guys came up with because they were just on the wrong path, they didn’t get the movie. They didn’t get the documentary and what it was about. And then, by the second, they did. Then it was changing and every time it would choke me up, tear me up, and then I started getting a little bit immune to it. You know, it still choked me up, but it didn’t tear me up. Then they did that last edit, the one everybody sees today. And Brenda said, "you haven’t seen this one yet". At some point, it just grabbed me again and tears rolled down my eyes. And that’s the storytelling, because everything was there, but the storytelling of Steve Yu, the director was really amazing. In retrospect, if I could go back in time, I would have done it as a nine-episode series though.
ASBO: It could have been, yeah.
DDP: Easily. I could have done fifteen-episodes (laughs). But, it’s a phenomenal movie; it’s a phenomenal ninety-three minutes. Right now, it’s the second highest rated sports doc and the highest rated biopic.
ASBO: I’ve told everyone - wrestling fan, non-wrestling fans, they have to watch this. It’s just an incredible story.
DDP: People who hate wrestling need to watch it. They would come away with a different outlook.
ASBO: You were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. Where does that rank in your career achievements?
DDP: Number one (laughs). You know, without Dusty Rhodes there is no Diamond Dallas Page. Without Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts there is no three-time world champion. And without the both of those guys, there is no Hall of Fame. My only regret is that he (Dusty Rhodes) wasn’t there. Bischoff did such an amazing speech, and he knew Dusty should have been there. It was... you know it was everything.
The voice that was going on inside my head was, "This is going to be the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I’m going to blow people away with this talk. I’m gonna make them laugh, I’m gonna make them cry, but most importantly, I’m going to help them – to believe in themselves. That’s what I kept saying over and over again.
ASBO: I’m sure you have heard the good news that Ric Flair is making a successful recovery from his recent health issues. At WCW Spring Stampede 1999, you pinned Ric Flair to win your first world title. I wanted to know, what does Ric Flair mean to DDP?
DDP: Flair and I... you don’t have to look far to hear both of us talking s**t about each other (laughs). We’ve had heat with each other over the years, but I always loved Flair. He didn’t have to put me over that night. You know, he’s Ric Flair, he could have just said ‘f**k you, I’m not doing it’. For him to take the Diamond Cutter (Page’s finishing move) in the middle, the way he did. With Savage handing me that World title belt, I mean, you talk about, wow. I put that a millimetre behind the Hall of Fame.
ASBO: And finally, do you have a favourite memory of performing in the UK?
DDP: You know, one of the biggest things happened to me... I don’t remember what building we were at, but it was Hulk Hogan’s first tour and it was 1994. I come through the curtain, I’m done. I’m the first match, I’m the curtain jerker. As I walk through the curtain, Hulk grabs me and says |How you doing it?" I’m like, "How am I doing what, like what I do wrong?" That’s the first thing I’m thinking, because Hulk Hogan pulls you over. I never really talked to him, and he pulls me over and says, "You’re not doing anything wrong" than, "How are you getting so much better?" but, he answers the question for me: "This is what they’re doing with you. They’re putting you on the road like this, so you can learn your craft". I said, "Nope, Hulk. This is my first show in four months."
He said, "I watch you on TV, but I only see you once in a while, because they weren’t really using me." He goes, "Whatever you’re doing just keep doing it. Because if it’s not next year, the year after or even the year after, but somewhere down the line, you have the ability to draw huge money with me", and then he walked away. Four years later, here I am with Karl Malone, Dennis Rodman, and Hogan and we are facing off and throwing it down on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in the middle. It really put WCW on the map. It was the biggest pay-per-view in the history of WCW. So, I guess he was right about drawing money (laughs).
ASBO: Thank you for your time, Dallas. And, I just want to say a quick thank you for something you did for me and my uncle about three years ago. We attended a Q&A, and meet and greet with you at Leicester Square Theatre in London. You were so kind to all the fans, you gave us so much time. You were talking to all of us, and that is actually where I purchased the DDP Yoga DVD’s, from you, at the show.
DDP: Oh, you’re kidding. That is awesome.
ASBO: I remember, we left and we were both thinking that was one of the most incredible experiences we had meeting a star. So, thank you for that.
DDP: Thank you.
Fans can purchase tickets to DDP’s upcoming DDP Yoga workshops, and Q&A shows right here in the UK at http://www.ddpyogaworkshops.com/uk/. If fans buy one ticket, they can get fifty-percent off a second ticket.