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Wrestling, Movies And Yoga?

Through Hard Work And Dedication, DDP Proves Anything Is Possible


By Patrick Hickey Jr


DDP after winning the WCW title in 2001

Known the world over from his three reigns as the WCW (World Championship Wrestling) World Heavyweight Champion, his roles in the movies “Ready To Rumble” and “The Devils Rejects” and most recently, his current lawsuit against rapper Jay-Z, Diamond Dallas Page has captured the world’s attention in and out of the ring with a positive attitude and an unbreakable drive to succeed in any facet of life.

Already making a name for himself in the literary world in 2000 with his autobiography “Positively Page,” Page has written a new book, “Yoga For Regular Guys,” in an attempt to educate the world about yoga, the form of exercise that saved his career after a devastating injury.

“Yoga changed my life in a way that, at 42 years old I ruptured my L4 and L5 so badly in the lower part of my back that three separate doctors told me my wrestling career was over,” said Page, via telephone in
Los Angeles. “Just so you understand, your discs are like jelly donuts and when you keep banging the hell out of them, it’s like stepping on that jelly donut. Now what comes out of that jelly donut runs down around your nerve areas. Simple things like sitting down are excruciating.”

Sick of seeing her husband in pain, Page’s then-wife, Kimberly Page, suggested that he try yoga as a way to rehabilitate from the near-crippling back injury he sustained from years of bumps and bruises in the ring.

“My wife at the time, Kimberly, was trying to get me to do yoga, to help heal my body.  I was like, ‘Yoga? That crap is for sissies,’ I was wrong,” Page says. “I learned probably the most valuable lesson when it came to adaptation; I had to become pliable; I had to become flexible, so to speak. Not just in my body, but in my mind, to the thought of doing yoga.”

While performing the yoga exercises themselves prolonged Page’s wrestling career, the concept of actually considering yoga as possible rehabilitation for his injury opened up his mind.

“Once I did become flexible in the mind to the thought of doing yoga, I realized what a great workout it was,” said Page emphatically. “I was back in the ring in three months. The doctors told me three months before this, my career was done.”

Now some of you may be thinking: why would a 42-year-old man with a bad back want to get back into a wrestling ring? Unlike many professional wrestlers, DDP didn’t begin his career until his mid-thirties. Blessed with a body that refuses to age and an unmatched work ethic, Page was determined to make the most out of his professional wrestling career, despite injuries and naysayers that said he’d never amount to anything.

“My career didn’t break until I was 39-years-old. I didn’t blow to the roof until I was 40. I was just on the ride, 40, 41, 42; I was in one main event after another. I had just finished doing the stuff with Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman, where we shot the angles on The Tonight Show with Hogan. We followed that with the Jay Leno stuff. I was doing Hollywood Squares; I was doing everything,” said Page. “That’s what you work so hard for- to get those accolades and be able to increase your brand and they told me it was over.”

“I didn’t start wrestling until I was 35 years old. I tore my rotator cuff at 36 and they (WCW) fired me. They hired me back at 37 because I set a good example and because I had a great workout, but no one ever thought I’d be shit. It all comes down to believing in yourself and work ethic. I just kept working my ass off and eventually it came through.”

Slowly but steadily, Page garnered an almost cult-like following, amassing legions of loyal “diamond cutters” on every road trip that acknowledged his ability and respected him even more for his hard work in the ring. It was only a matter of time until someone else noticed.

“What people don’t know is every time I’d come off the road, for almost my entire career, I’d be in that power plant (WCW’s training facility) practicing new stuff and that’s how I got noticed. It wasn’t by anyone else but Hulk Hogan”, said Page. “He’s the one that came up to me when they weren’t doing s*** with me and said, ‘How do you keep getting so much better? Every time you go out there, you do something different. ‘Someday, it’s going to be me and you; keep doing what you’re doing.’ This was what he said to me when I was 38-years-old.”

“Four years later, I was the World Champion. When I walked through the door, after the match, I saw him (Hogan) sitting there, like the gladiator he is, with both knee braces on and he tells me, ‘That’s the way it should be. To have someone who has worked as hard as you have, that no one ever thought would be, or should be world champion. You earned it, man.’ You can say what you want about my career, but when someone like Hulk says something, it means a lot.”

“Without the yoga, I would have never been able to come back. It saved my career. I knew at 43- years-old that when I turned 50, that everything was going to rocket for me, because I was finding ways of turning back the hands of time.”

By 2001, Page was a household name in the wrestling business and after WCW was bought by the now WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), Page signed on with the company, but wasn’t thrilled with the way his character was being developed.

“It was one of those things where I lost sight of my goals for someone else,” said Page. “I thought, ‘They know what they’re doing with me. They’re spending a s***load of money to bring me in here,’ so I went with what they gave me, I did the stalker thing. (A story angle that was much different than what Page was accustomed to as “The People’s Champion” in WCW, having him stalk the wife of The Undertaker.)

“People have come over to me and asked me how it felt to have Vince screw my career. Vince didn’t screw me; I screwed myself. I have nothing but respect for Vince, because without Vince and Hogan, we would have never had this business.”

After Page’s angle with the Undertaker lost its steam, the creative minds at the WWE began using him in an angle that depicted him as a motivational speaker (a job that Page performs regularly around the country). While it took a few months for the angle to catch on with fans, Page eventually got involved in a feud with young superstar Christian (now Christian Cage in TNA) and it looked like the legions of “diamond cutters” were again screaming for the 6 foot 4 superstar like they had a few short years before. Unfortunately, soon after, another injury sidetracked his career.

“I would have still kept wrestling. I was about to turn what Vince (McMahon) was trying to do with me around. There’s nothing I love more than proving somebody wrong. Vince really didn’t think I had it. Obviously, he had never watched any of my s***,” said Page. “I had just had that great match with Christian at Wrestlemania and my body felt really good. I then had a match with Bob Holly.”

“I gave him a suplex off the top rope and landed on the top of my neck. It was mainly because he kicked me in the head before that, knocking me silly. Then he clotheslined me and literally knocked me out on TV. I wasn’t out cold, but I was like ‘Bobby you got me, I have no idea where I am.’ So then he slammed me and I kicked out and then he goes, ‘I’m going to the top rope, stop me,’ and I dove on the top rope remembering, ‘Ok, I’m going to suplex him off the top, fuck, I don’t wanna do that.’ I should have rolled him down, but being a trooper, going with the flow, I went with it. I was more concerned with laying him flat than myself, which is really your obligation, not hurting the other guy. I was very fortunate there were very few guys that I really hurt in the ring. I mean I busted a few with chairs, but that’s cool. It’s not checkers.”

Taking two and a half years off after the injury he sustained in that match, Page signed a contract with TNA(Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) , wrestling against the likes of Raven, Jeff Jarrett, Kip James and “The Alpha Male” Monty Brown, proving that he could still wrestle with some of the best in the business. Rather than trying to climb the ladder in TNA, Page used his time there to give his hardcore fans what he and they ultimately craved, the original DDP: healthy, with no gimmicks, in the ring.

 “It was about finishing more like Diamond Dallas Page than the characters that I was portraying and getting them their spot on Spike TV,” said Page. It was nothing negative on Vince (McMahon), because to me, Coke needs Pepsi. I don’t know if they ever will, but hopefully, at one point, TNA will break through because they have such a brand name.”

Just when it seemed that Page may have been taking a break from the media spotlight after his active wrestling career concluded, he filed a lawsuit against rapper Jay-Z, who has been using his “Diamond Cutter” hand gesture, to signify his record label, Roc-a-Fella Records. Page, however, has owned the copyright to the hand gesture since 1996.

“We’re waiting for them to respond. They literally told us they need a few more weeks. I originally didn’t want to sue the guy; I wanted to work out a licensing agreement,” said Page. “I have a lot of respect for the guy; he worked his way out of the hood to become a mogul. I worked my way up from being nothing, too and that’s my sign. People keep asking me, why I didn’t do anything sooner, it’s simple, because I didn’t know who Jay-Z was. I never listened to his music or knew about him until about a year ago.”

“People were telling me that Jay-Z was stealing my sign and I’m like, who? I thought it was cool, I thought he was a fan. Herschel Walker did it in the end-zone in 1996 and when they asked him why he was doing it, he told them ‘I’m a big Diamond Dallas Page fan.’ Karl Malone did it in a playoff game. So why wouldn’t I think Jay-Z was a fan?” Page said.

Yoga has played a serious role in DDP's life

“When I first heard about it, I thought he was giving me props. Months later, someone told me that Lebron James did it and I was thinking, ‘How cool is this, a whole other generation’ and I was telling one of my buddies about it and he tells me, ‘Dude, Lebron isn’t doing it for you.’ Then I found out about an interview Jay-Z had courtside during Lebron’s rookie season and they asked him, ‘Why does Lebron keep looking at you and making that sign,’ and he said, ‘That’s my sign’. That’s when I started to make phone calls.”

Page insists that while he respects Jay-Z as a person and for what he’s done in the music industry, the hand gesture is, and forever will be, associated with him and not the rapper.

“I had seven people yesterday, just walking around Los Angeles to the bank and Home Depot, flash me the Diamond Cutter sign. I haven’t really been on TV in four years, but that’s how I’m identified. That’s my sign. His lawyer dissed me pretty hard, so I just said, ‘Let the courts decide,’ said Page. “I’ll bring all my proof and he’ll bring his proof; what he has supposedly before 1996 and we’ll let the courts decide it. I can prove what I have; I can’t wait for this to go to court.”

Rather than focus on the pending case with Jay-Z, Page is determined to bring yoga into the mainstream spotlight. Page’s website, has over 10 case studies that showcase just how successful “Yoga for Regular Guys” can be, if taken seriously. Larry “Smokey” Genta, one of the more successful case studies, lost 70 pounds and 10 inches off his waist in just 180 days using the YRG program. Page believes that if done properly, the YRG program will not only help you shed inches and pounds; it will help you change your life in a much more positive way than a conventional diet that is only temporary.

“You can do this workout anywhere. You just have to kick your ego out the door,” said Page.“When people say that something can’t be done, that really lights a fire under my ass. They’ve been saying that my whole life. Now I’m recreating a 5,000-year-old workout. I don’t call it yoga because I figure the easiest way to get regular guys and gals to do it is to call it something else. It’s like fried chicken and KFC. A lot of people don’t want to eat fried chicken, but they’ll eat KFC. That’s what this is. This is something totally different.”

Whether in the squared circle entertaining thousands or in a book motivating thousands more to look and feel their best, Page’s desire to inspire the masses in so many facets of life and media make him an individual that can stand tall in any crowd.

“I’ve been doing what I’ve wanted to do my whole life, since I was a little kid,” said Page. “I really get inspired to help other people live their dreams.”

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