Diamond Dallas Page is one of the toughest guys to ever lace up a pair of boots and step into a wrestling ring. An underdog champion in the truest sense, Page is the kind of guy who makes the best of any situation and rises to the top of whatever industry he’s a part of.
A former WCW/WWE champion on multiple occasions, Page started wrestling at the ripe age of 35 and didn’t hit his prime until the age of 40. He was winning matches when wrestling was at its peak – back during the now-famous Monday Night Wars. Nowadays, he’s revolutionizing another industry. Yoga. Yoga? Really? Oh hell yes really. DDP has taken a timeless practice and added in his own personal flair and, by doing so, he’s developed a literally life-saving workout.
I had the opportunity to chat with DDP following his appearance on Shark Tank.
Geeks of Doom: Well, first and foremost, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk to me. And also, I just wanted to thank you for creating the program that allowed one of my childhood heroes to walk out on RAW a couple of weeks back. I saw the Shark Tank episode and I was pretty taken back that the Sharks didn’t offer you a deal. I just wanted to get your initial reaction from the episode itself and what the next step is for the program.
Diamond Dallas Page: Well for starters, I love the show. I know a lot of people would be disappointed, and say, “How could they not offer him a deal?” But for me, we won the minute we got selected. I think that some of the things that didn’t come out — and it was a great edit that those guys did, cause they really believe in what we are doing — the actual show itself, and the reasons some of the guys didn’t go in was they already had other projects that were fitness projects that didn’t pan out the way they wanted them to. So that was some of the response we got as to why they didn’t really do it, which was cool, because as far as I am concerned, the way that show was edited, oh my God, it was like a ten-minute film. (laughs) A mini-infomercial of what we are doing, and all the guys put us out there big time at the end, so I couldn’t have been any happier. And it’s really blown up. Our sales are through the roof and more than anything it’s out there now, and it’s really been amazing.
GoD: I noticed right after the episode, both Shark Tank and DDP Yoga were trending and I was through the roof about that. I was just so happy to see that happening, because my girlfriend and I just picked up the program, and we’re starting this week and we couldn’t actually be more excited about it. And that actually leads into my next question, I am a completely out-of-shape unemployed writer right now, how user friendly is DDP Yoga for a novice such as myself or others, who may be intimidated by getting into an extensive workout program?
DDP: Well I will give it to you like this, you saw the disabled veteran right?
DDP: You saw what he went through. His success through it, we developed, there’s someone always modifying the position, and what’s really interesting is Arthur did my first set of workouts, that’s how he lost all the weight.
And what we did with the next set of workouts was take him to the next level, never forgetting to have that person who is modifying the position, so when you literally start the program, and the first thing is the Diamond Dozen, and I really break it down so every nuance of the moves I’m showing you. So, if you are doing a workout, I couldn’t take as much time to tell you all of that, the workout wouldn’t be as smooth, it would have slow spots. So I eliminated all that by breaking it down and really giving you a total tutorial by Diamond Dozen moves. And then in the first workout, that is energy, and that’s only twenty minutes, and there’s no modifying the position, but the person who is doing it at its most challenging, is Arthur. So you start out doing the workout, with Arthur Boorman, right there. Ten workouts in between that, and then you go from 20, 30, 50, 70 minute workouts, it’s all different, so you can build up, you can combine workouts together.
In the most challenging workout, The Double Black Diamond, one person will be modifying the position, and it will be four other people besides me – and the person who will be doing the most challenging moves, again, will be Arthur. I designed it that way. I got a guy named Slim, who started with us a little over a year and a half ago, and he started at 601 pounds. At the one-year date, he had lost 203 pounds. He’s probably about 380 right now, it slows down once you lose that main amount of weight, but he is still consistently losing, and I have a video of him – you see how Arthur and me both lifted our foot over our head? That’s a different level of core strength, and I have a video of Slim at 380, lifting his foot over his head and holding it there.
He couldn’t lift his foot off the ground when he took the original picture. So it’s all about your physiology, your flexibility, your core strength. And it’s all done with minimal joint impact so it doesn’t beat you up – and you will see when I go through the workouts. I am always saying, “Listen, if you need to, lower to a knee right now. Step in, don’t work as hard. Look at your heart monitor.”
My workout is the first workout to incorporate a heart monitor, and you don’t have to have it, but I will give you an example. If you are driving down the highway, listening to music, be-bopping down the road, and all of a sudden you see a cop dead ahead of you, and you got one of those radar guns looking in that direction, where you are with a bunch of other cars, what’s the first thing you are going to do after you hit your brakes? You are going to look at the speedometer and see how fast you were going. You want to know. So that’s what makes it different as well. And because of the dynamic resistance, which is what makes the DDP Yoga different than any workout out there, engaging of the muscles, the flexing and engaging of muscles that you move from one position to another, which I teach you how to do. Your heart rate gets jacked up, literally standing still.
GoD: That’s incredible. I am so excited to start this program. We looked at other exercise programs, and we have an elliptical that we now use as a coat rack, but this is the first thing that I am really optimistic about, and it’s realistically because I have been such a huge fan of yours for years, that I know if you are putting your name on it, it’s not going to be bullshit. So leading into my next question, you have really found success in just about everything you have ever done, between DDP Yoga, multiple championship runs in WWE, WCW, the works. You’re a stellar genre actor.
GoD: No seriously, I love your horror work. I’m an independent director myself, and I would love to work with you one day. So I guess my rambling question is, what’s next for DDP?
DDP: We are working on an APP. When we went to talk to the Sharks about the APP, we were already in the process of doing it. We don’t wait for anybody to do anything. The APP we are working on, the DDP APP, will change the face of fitness. There are good APPs out there, with good workouts on them and multiple different workouts, but no one really knows who those people are. They don’t have any following or Q Rating, or anything like that, of course Tony Horton does for P90X and Shaun T for Insanity, with their amazing coverage of their infomercials. But they haven’t developed an APP yet that will have you there and in the way that we are going to do it. I don’t want to talk too much about what’s going to happen, but I will say that’s it’s going to change the face of fitness, and a lot of people are turning their way towards us.
Meaning that people will steal things to make their own and not so much steal, but look at what someone else does and say, “God that works, I want to do that too.” As a writer, you get that, someone writes some movie that’s really successful like, I don’t know, 300, next thing you know, Gladiator I think was before that, before you know it, there’s twenty movies that are out there coming out about guys who were in that time, and Romans and all that stuff. If there’s a ship sinking, people are going to write about that. Whatever is the hot thing. And we are doing this with no other backing but my own. Meaning that, there’s no big corporation behind us. We have built ourselves up from nothing, and I think that’s the American skill.
People who know Diamond Dallas Page the wrestler – this is going to dwarf what happened and at some point DDP Yoga will dwarf what I did in professional wrestling, which is a pretty bold statement, because I had a pretty amazing career [laughs] at a time when wrestling was at its hottest, and it’s most fun. Eventually, it will be a whole different, people look at me as a wrestler and certainly not a fitness guy.
GoD: It’s funny how you brought up how it could dwarf your accomplishments in wrestling, because you realize, I have to ask a wrestling question or two. Is there one particular match or angle that stuck out to you from your career that was your most favorite or even your least favorite? It could be both or either one, whatever you are cool answering.
DDP: Well for starters, with Randy “Macho Man” Savage, the late, great Randy “Macho Man” Savage, that was timeless. You could pop that feud in any wrestling era, from the 80s and 90s to 2050, and that feud, which was The Feud of the Year in Pro Wrestling Illustrated, would be relevant. And I will never forget the first time that Randy ever got hit with a diamond cutter, it was in South Carolina, we had shot an angle, and we were white hot. We got to do anything and people were going crazy and the intensity was so there, spot on. So we got to South Carolina, and it was a house show, meaning there’s no cameras or any of that thing, and so I had about nine or ten matches with Randy, out in front of the house, which was packed. The energy was white hot, and every night, as soon as I got him where I wanted him, here comes the NWO, (laughs) and he would just be laying in a pool.
But the Friday night before we headed out, it was a Friday night, cause Saturdays we would always go on the pay-per-views, and the Friday night before, I am sitting in the locker room, and in comes Arn Anderson who was the agent at the time. Me and Randy were both putting on our stuff, and Arn walked in and he said, “so Randy, what do you want to do?” Now, no one told Randy, “oh, you are going to put Dallas Page over tonight” cause that’s not the way his contract went. He made all the decisions, for his own contract, unless it came to Hogan. So I don’t know how that worked exactly either to tell you the truth, but for me, I know when Arn walked in there and said, “what do you want to do tonight”, Savage looked up at him – he was lacing up his boots – and he said, (imitates Randy) “well Arn, I think I wanna put Diamond over.”
Arn basically fell over and died. And Arn and I had a little bit of a feud back then, and I don’t mean for TV. (laughs) You have got to love Arn Anderson. But at the time, me and him weren’t really clicking at all. And he looked at me, and he had told me a year or so before that, that I was never going to be a top guy. He literally told me that the only way you can become a top guy is if Hogan, Sting, Luger, Flair or Savage puts you over. He literally told me, they are never going to put you over. And now Macho is telling him, I want to put Diamond over. (laughter) So, Arn looks me and he goes, “well Diamond, I hope you understand how important this is to your career.” And I love Arn now and I looked at him and went, “yeah Arn, I do.” And we went out there and we were the main event. It wasn’t a 22,000 seat arena, it was more like 11,000, it was like a hockey arena. So they squished every last person, there probably was 13,000 people in there, and it was hot as hell, but you didn’t care because it was such fever pitch, and we went out there and it was a hell of a match. Randy beat me down and I would fire back up, and he would beat me down I would fire back up, and he was just totally in control of the match. And then, right at the end, I blew my comeback, and boom, he shut me down and he went to slam me, and I turned it into the Diamond Cutter, and the roof exploded.
GoD: I remember those old WCW matches. I went to a couple of house shows, I went to a couple of Nitro tapings, and it’s so different than it is nowadays, the places were electric and we don’t have that same thing anymore.
DDP: Well, our ship was different, it was a different time. I think that as far as the time, it was really like the WWF versus the WCW. That was real and everybody taking their game to the next level. I think the guys are doing that today on Raw too, I just think that we had a lot of characters. And the biggest thing that everybody forgets, pretty much all the really over guys was 35 and up. I mean, I was in my 40s, I didn’t start Wrestling until I was 35, and my career didn’t take off till I was 40 and that was in 1996. 1997, 1998, I was 42. Kevin Nash, he was 39, Scott Hall was 39, Hogan was 45, Randy was 44. I mean, all the top, top guys were over 35 years old. I don’t think Randy Orton is 32 yet.
GoD: Yeah and other guys like Daniel Bryant are ridiculously over now – it’s pretty wild how there has been such a paradigm shift in wrestling. I wanted to ask you about that, and what your thoughts are on the shape of wrestling now and if you really think the dynamic has kind of been hindered by the WWE being the only game in town or if it’s really improved it?
DDP: Well, I think it’s a cyclical thing. As far as wrestling goes, it goes up and down. Right now, Hogan is coming to Wrestlemania, so Wrestlemania is going to be hot. The WWE Network, how hot that is. They got shut down last night, a couple of times I saw it, but I know some people that tried to get on, but so many people wanted to be a part of it. (laughs) Because there is everything in the WWE Network. Now, if you are a young guy who has only heard or seen a couple of matches on YouTube of the war days, the WCW and the WWF, Monday Night Wars, well, they got a whole section in there, of the Monday Night Wars now. So you can watch it all. And that’s just one section, they got Wrestlemanias, the Legend House, this is going to be the most awesome thing to ever happen to wrestling, without question. And Vince the WWE are very lucky that they got to see Oprah try to do her own network before they did, because there was talk for years to make their own network and with all the programming they have, they could do it. But Oprah had problems doing it. If the Queen of television has a problem with her own network, maybe WWE would. Then they looked at the success of Hulu and Netflix and went, “what were we thinking?” I don’t know who the brainchild was who really came up with it, but it was sort of obvious. When you first saw Hulu and Netflix, you went “hmm, what are they trying to do? Oh, let’s see, the internet, will become the entertainment center of the world.” That’s where the DDP Yoga APP comes in. I am going to be the first one to change the face of fitness.
GoD: I have zero doubts about that. It’s going to be incredible and yeah, I can’t get over like how awesome it is talking to you. Shit, sorry, I just had a total fan-boy moment really quick.
GoD: Back to professional me: I wanted to switch gears really quick, and bring up your acting career. As far as genre movies and actors, with the exception of maybe probably The Rock, you found the most success and have the most natural storytelling and acting chops out of any of the crossover athletes out there. I just wanted to know personally how you go about choosing your roles, and hypothetically, how one would get you a script?
DDP: Well for starters, I don’t have the luxury The Rock has. (laughs) By the way, no one, I don’t think anyone in the business is prouder of him than I am, because when I look at who is the number one action star in the world, boom, it’s one of our guys. (laughs) It’s the top guy! He transcended it all. When I saw him host Saturday Night Live the first time, I was like “wow, this guy’s career is boundless.” I mean, he will be able to go wherever he wants. And the really brilliant part is, two times in his career, if you look and see his grossing movies were starting to dip, what did he do? He came home. (laughs) Right in the frigging Monday Night Raw ring, and everybody hung on every word he said. And he will be able to do that forever. And the last time that he did it, it was perfect timing when the movies that he had coming out, they just jettisoned to a whole different level. Now for me personally, I don’t have that luxury to do that.
I get offered roles here and there, and the reason why I have the chops that I do for acting, is because I went to Howard Fine’s acting studio, who is the most renowned acting coach in Los Angeles. And I worked with Howard for four years, he’s one of my closest friends. Every time I go to LA, I call him and see how he’s doing – what’s up, let’s go to dinner, whatever. We are good friends. And I bring him my work the same way I used to bring my matches to Jake Roberts. The same deal. And, he would critique me on what he thought. The preparation that really goes into learning how to act, the reason why so many people think, “oh God, they would be an amazing actor”, because when you are watching Robert De Niro or Meryl Streep, people like that, you think it looks so easy.
It’s not. It takes a shitload of preparation. And, the stuff I learned at Howard Fine’s acting studio in Los Angeles, actually Hollywood, things like creating a back story, no matter what. Every time I walk into any scene. And what’s really helped me out is DDP Yoga a lot, because of the breathing, and I can breathe in and out within a minute, twenty seconds in and twenty seconds out, within a minute I can breathe twenty in and out twenty. So whenever I am in a spot where I know I have got a big monologue coming up, like I did in Driftwood, where it’s a two minute monologue, and there’s seventy people out there, and the bottom line is (laughs), it’s probably my third day of shooting, and now I have got to do this big monologue – I know for a fact, Tim Sullivan, who was the director, said that people were going, “he’s never going to be able to do this, he doesn’t have the background, he doesn’t have the chops, he doesn’t have this, he doesn’t have that.”
And Sullivan said, “he can do it, he can do it.” So when I nailed that first take from bell to bell, like, it was as good as we were going to get, the entire place, when they went cut, it was completely silent, and then they went “whoa!” It was like getting a big pop, getting the diamond cutter out of nowhere. People didn’t think you could, and the best thing someone can say to me, is that they don’t think I can do it. I became a wrestler at 35. And Michael PS Hayes, as much as I loved him and he’s like a brother to me, when I told him they weren’t going to let me manage anymore, but I can still do color commentating but at four o’clock in the morning I am gone, I have no choice. I have seven months left in my contract, I want to become a wrestler. Michael fell down on the ground laughing. I just looked up and went “fuck you”, and I went to the ring. He would later call me in 1995, and say how happy he was to eat crow.
He said he’d never been so happy in his life to eat crow, that I had proved him wrong. But they all also laughed at me when I iced my knees, iced my back, iced my shoulders, they laughed at me when I filmed my matches. Let’s go back to icing, there’s trainers in the back now, they ice them all the time, and I was the only one doing it. I filmed all my matches, everyone of my matches so Jake could critique them or I would sit back with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, have a couple of beers and think what I should do different. Guys now, as soon as they get done wrestling over the weekend, they send me the matches and say, “Diamond, will you please look at this and re-tweak it?” (laughs) So no one was doing that. I did it though. Everybody laughed at me. If you think everybody laughed at me when I told them I was going to be a top guy, oh my God, the ribbing I took, and then, five years later, ain’t nobody laughing anymore.
Until I blew my back out, but that’s where DDP Yoga comes from, blowing my back out, and having three back specialists telling me my wrestling career was over. I am a guy who wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga, first 42 years of my life. Never wanted my name attached to it, but for me to do that, to put my name attached to it, you bet your ass I am going to throw a tagline on. (laughter) But when I tried doing yoga and carrying my mat from building to building with me, oh my God, the ribbing and the laughing at me, but now, I’ve got 40 guys in the WWE doing it, probably more like 70 counting what’s down at the Performance Center – cause I gave all those kids that, they all wanted to do it. Cause again, today, kids cannot take painkillers. I am sure there are some steroids here and there, but overall, there’s like no steroids. I am sure some of the guys are getting away with it here and there, but overall, that’s a clean company right now. And they don’t want these kids having problems with pills. We have seen what happens with that, between the uppers and the downers and the painkillers and all the other shit. Well, you don’t really see that anymore at all, because they test those kids all the time. So they don’t have the luxury taking a painkiller or two or four or five, so what do they need to help relieve their pain? DDP Yoga. It was like crazy. They laughed at me. And they laughed when I told them it was going to become a household name. Not anymore. Because it’s just believing in what you are doing and I don’t give a shit what it is. If you work out, you are going to achieve just about anything.
GoD: Let me ask you this. Any chance or any update on Scott Hall? Like is there any potential that we might see him walk out on a Monday Night Raw?
DDP: You know, I do not know and to be perfectly honest with you, I couldn’t tell you if I did know, because I really don’t. And I heard the rumors and I said Scottie, are they talking to you? And he’s like dude, it’s all rumors right now. So it’s all rumors. But I love that it’s a rumor anyway, cause if you think about it, Jake being out there, Scott coming in and doing the same thing. (laughs) Scottie just built a little spot with me, Jake and my business partner, you have to say business partner today because a lot of guys have other partners, and not that there’s anything wrong with that. I love that Jerry Seinfeld when they were talking about gay this, lesbian that and not that there’s anything wrong with that! (laughter) Brilliant. That was one of the most brilliant shows ever. (laughs) But Scottie had this idea and you will see a thing up on his Twitter today, that will say, “hey, yo, who needs a shark, when you have got a snake?”
(laughs) And Jake said something like, “still love you, Mark.” (laughter) But it’s so much fun, we had such a good time on Shark Tank, and I would like to have had a deal with those guys, but I didn’t go there to get a deal. I went there to get DDP Yoga exposure, and if it didn’t work out along those lines, I honest to God believe everything happens for a reason, and I get to choose whether it’s going to be a good thing or a bad thing.
And I will always try to find the positive, I don’t give a shit what it is, I will find it because it doesn’t do anything for you, to focus on the negative. All it will do is pull you down. And I call it emotional gravity. And the reality is, as a scriptwriter, you know, you are writing shit and you know it’s good, but then you can’t get anybody to read it or believe in it. Well look at someone like James Cameron, when he was taking that script around for Titanic. I mean that was one of the big stories, he went to like eleven different studios. And they all went, “you are smoking crack, this is never going to go.”
And the one studio that went with him, whoa, guess what, they were wrong. You have got to believe. The whole Arthur Boorman, disabled veteran, and for those of you who have never seen that video, go to DDP Yoga.com, watch it, sit right there, he started at five six, two hundred and ninety seven pounds. He walked with knee braces and a back brace that his wife had to put on him every day with the sleeves on and with the back brace to help to keep him straight. And then he grabbed those cuffs as he called them, those wraparound canes, which he walked on for fifteen years. And to see that guy strip away one hundred and forty pounds, let me digress a moment – when we first started talking, his goal was to lose fifty pounds. Cause both his knees were fucked. And the doctor at the Veteran’s clinic said that he would not operate on his knees unless he was under 250 and five foot six. That was the goal, to lose fifty pounds. Here’s what happened, because I put him on my healthiest eating plan, which is all about health, he lost 34 pounds the first month, the first two weeks, he lost twenty pounds and four inches off his stomach. He lost 34 pounds the first month. He lost 22 pounds the second month, and he lost 18 pounds the third month. That’s 74 pounds in three months. He lost 140 pounds in ten months. But most importantly, he lost the knee braces, the back brace, and the wraparound canes. More importantly, he has never had the knee operation.
GoD: This is the gentleman from Shark Tank who did the full split right?
DDP: Yes! (laughter) Crazy.
GoD: (laughs) Yeah, shit, if there were any doubters, that was the proof in the pudding right there, not to mention Jake the Snake Roberts, who, in Beyond The Mat, wasn’t exactly looking at his finest. But nowadays, he looks like a completely different person, it looks like Jake the Snake Roberts. It’s incredible the transformation that occurred from this program.
DDP: Yeah. He literally just worked out with me, and him and Scott were both here, and Jake just wants to be in the best shape he can for the Hall of Fame, and he’s got this skin cancer right now, and originally the doctor wouldn’t even touch it, he’s like, “no, you have got to go to the specialist and get this taken out”, cause it’s in layers and it’s ripping into the back of his leg. It looks brutal. And we don’t really know, there’s a lot of people that are trying to get with it today, trying to talk to him. Right now we don’t know. So, there’s no reason to get nervous. And he even had a comment about it, cause he was in the locker room, and someone said, “what’s with the back of your leg?” And he said “well, I have got this skin cancer”, and so they say he’s got cancer. And then it went all over the fucking internet. So the guy from TMZ calls and we trust those guys, so they gave him an honest quote, cause they should have put that Jake has got skin cancer, they shouldn’t put cancer cancer. So the bottom line is, we don’t really want to talk about it until he goes to a doctor, got it removed, and moved on from there.
GoD: Just for the Geeks of Doom audience, living or dead, are there three celebrities or historical figures who you would love to give a Diamond Cutter to? You can give me reasons or you can just leave the names on the table.
DDP: That’s funny, I never thought about that. I thought you’d say who I want to meet.
GoD: (laughs) No, no, you can meet anybody, I’m saying which bastards do you want to drop a Diamond Cutter on?
DDP: I never really thought about that. I am a huge Frank Sinatra fan, so I would love to back and maybe get Joey Bishop with a frigging Diamond Cutter and then go out drinking with those two guys. (laughter) I don’t really have a list. Randy Orton. (laughs) And I’m a huge Randy Orton fan too, big time. But I’d like to slip him in one. And Obama. He needs it. (laughter)
GoD: Thank you so much for taking the time and if you are ever in New York, I would love to buy you a beer.
DDP: Awesome man. Yeah.
GoD: Anything you’d like to plug or anything else to tell the audience?
DDP: I want you to go to TeamDDPYoga.com, make sure you and your girl take those six pictures, you want those six pictures and it’s going to show your physiology, your flexibility, and your core strength over this period of time and you will be so happy that you took them. Make sure you take them and that site has an amazing support system. And occasionally, too, tune into DDPRadio.com on Wednesdays, occasionally I host on that show, but the two people I have doing it are two people who came to my TeamDDP looking for inspiration, and they turned out to be two of the most inspiring people.
I have a gentleman named Sparky, who helped so many people on that site, and a woman named Stacy Mars – and Sparky lost 50 pounds in six months and Stacy lost 185 pounds in eighteen months. That’s pretty amazing and inspiring. Also, go on DDP on YouTube, and it’s DDP The Next Big Thing, and you will see the video we just did for our APP which is funny as fuck.
Follow DDP on Twitter and check out DDP YOGA for all your fitness needs.
Much thanks to Geeks of Doom’s Stoogeypedia for the transcription.