Even his good friend, Michael P.S. Hayes, laughed, when Diamond Dallas Page decided to become a pro wrestler.
How can you blame him for chuckling.
What person can start pro wrestling training at age 35 and still believe he can compete on the grandest of stages?
Well, with three world titles under his belt and participation on the biggest shows in WCW and WWE -- including Halloween Havoc, Royal Rumble, Starrcade, WrestleMania -- DDP is the one smiling wide.
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He’s had a Hall of Fame type career. Not bad for someone who began his in-ring career in his mid-30s.
“In the beginning of 1996, I had a match with Sting, and we tore it down,” DDP recalled. “No one had ever seen me work with Sting. No one had ever seen me in a featured event like that. It wasn’t the main event, and it was before everything blew up. So no one had ever seen that in me, yet. I went out there with Sting, and we did like 10 minutes.
“The next morning I was home, and the message machine on the phone went on, and I could hear the person talking, saying, ‘Page, P.S., Hey kid,’ and so I pick up the phone. ‘Hey Mike. What’s up?’
“He goes [Page now talks in a southern accent when recounting what Hayes said], ‘God [bleep], son of a [bleep], mother [bleep]..’
“I go, ‘What’s the matter? Mike, you all right?’
“He says, ‘Yea, Page, you know sometimes you just don’t want someone to pick up the phone.’
“I said, ‘You want me to hang up so you can leave a message?’
“He goes, ‘No, you’re on the phone.’ So he said, ‘We saw you last night, and never have I been so happy to eat crow ever...You tore it down. Everybody up here is talking about it. If you want to come here, when your contract is up; just letting you know there’s a red carpet from Atlanta to New York with your name on it.’”
DDP met Hayes when they worked in the AWA in the late 1980s. Hayes, who now works behind the scenes in WWE, was a member of the legendary Fabulous Freebirds.
“We just bonded right away,” DDP said. “We’d only known each other one night, but he gave me his number, and he always called me back. If I called him, he would call me back. I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a guy that you hit with,’ and he would be a friend of mine for life. I was so happy to see him finally get inducted into the [WWE] Hall of Fame.”
DDP is not only a good friend, too, but he is an inspiration.
“Never underestimate the power you give yourself by believing in you,” DDP said. “No one ever believed I would become a wrestler, when I told them I would do it. Nobody believed in me, but I proved them all wrong, because I would fight and scratch and work five times harder than anyone.
“Then when I threw my back out, they said I was done, and I said, ‘No, I’m not,’ and I came back doing my version of yoga [DDP Yoga]. They laughed at me. They were laughing at me when I put ice on my knees. When I’m filming my videos, when I’m drinking organic juice, they laughed; they laughed; they laughed. They laughed when I told them I was doing yoga. Then they so laughed at me when I said I was gonna develop my own yoga for people who wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga. Talk about the path less traveled.
“Now we’re one of the hottest young companies out there.”
5 More Minutes
Not an easy task, DDP appeared on “Shark Tank” on ABC, pitching DDP Yoga to the sharks.
“Shark Tank” is a reality television series, where aspiring entrepreneur-contestants make business presentations to a panel of ‘shark’ investors, who then choose whether or not to invest. The successful sharks are Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, and Mark Cuban.
DDP did not get a deal, but he still left the “Shark Tank” alive and kicking.
“I’m in a building right now that I built. I own. It’s just under an acre of land. It’s about two miles from the brand new [Atlanta] Braves stadium. It’s 6,300 square feet, and it is a production studio,” DDP said. “We film all of our workouts there. We film everything there. We’ve got five edit bays. All the stuff that you see from us on YouTube is all done there. We do it all. We contract nothing out. It’s about 2.4 million dollars, and I don’t owe a thing on it. I call it the house that ‘Shark Tank’ built.”
DDP continued; “You get great exposure on the show. Where people [screw] up is they’re not prepared. They don’t have any sales figures. They don’t have any history. Now there are people who can do that without a history, but they got to have an unbelievable idea. The sharks are looking for what have you done with this. Are you making any money?
“Our first year as DDP Yoga we did 2.4 million dollars. When I started eight years earlier, all I did was put money into the company. At one point, I put $548,000 of my own money in.”
That challenged DDP.
“There were points where I started to get depressed, like pulling myself down,” he noted, “what I call emotional gravity, but then I would kick out, because I would start to focus on what I did have, as opposed to what I didn’t have. I started really imagining in my brain what was going to happen with this. Like Arthur’s video, it’s all based on, ‘Never give up.’”
If disabled veteran Arthur Boorman doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.
DDP developed a yoga fitness program initially called Yoga for Regular Guys Workout or YRG after recovering from ruptures to his L4/L5 discs in 1998. Once again overcoming obstacles, DDP’s new-found fitness routine sparked his return to the ring. Discovering the health benefits of yoga through his former wife, Kimberly, who is his friend, DDP put his own spin on it with a power yoga format.
It’s not your momma’s yoga. It’s DDP Yoga.
Because of DDP Yoga, at age 60, DDP was able to participate in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in April at WrestleMania 32 before a WWE record crowd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington/Dallas.
You can meet DDP at Florida Supercon from July 1-4 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
About Florida Supercon
Florida Supercon is the largest Comic Con in South Florida, and pro wrestling will be well represented.
Florida Supercon is July 1-4 at the Miami Beach Convention Center and Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, 1901 Convention Center Dr., 33139. Call 305-673-7311.
Pro wrestling guests include Road Warrior Animal, Demolition (Ax and Smash), Mick Foley, The Godfather, Mickie James, Michael Kingston, and Diamond Dallas Page. Jerry The King Lawler will not be appearing.
Find the best in Comic Books, Media Guests, Anime, Animation, Video Games, Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Pop Culture in South Florida. Florida Supercon is 4 days of fun featuring celebrity guests, comic book creators, voice actors, industry guests, cosplayers, artists, writers, panels, Q&A’s, films & shorts, costume & cosplay contests, vendors, parties, anime, workshops, video gaming and more.
Call Supercon at 954-399-1330.
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