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The Unique Post-Wrestling Careers Of Diamond Dallas Page (Video)
Diamond Dallas Page is a three-time world champion in the WCW and wrestled for several years in the WWF, but his post-wrestling career has really taken off – and in an unusual way.
We talked to DDP about his reinvention as a fitness guru (who doesn’t do yoga), as well as his acting career, MMA and his history in the wrestling world. He explained why he’s “the new Jack LaLanne, and the straight Richard Simmons.”
DDP, who I spoke to in New York City days before an appearance at a Mixed Martial Arts expo in which he was participating, is now 54 years old, but he’s in some of the best shape of his life. It all started when he was nursing an injury, and saw his wife at the time doing a videotaped yoga routine. As he reluctantly started it himself, he began incorporating rehab moves, pilates and some calisthenics…and suddenly he had his own workout regimen. Yoga for Regular Guys, or YRG Fitness for short, was born.
“I never call it yoga anymore,” he told me. “Because it’s not yoga for regular guys anymore, it’s become its own entity.”
And the empire is growing, with clients from former All-Pro NFL Linebacker Derrick Brooks to UFC fighter Tito Ortiz to Rob Zombie. Zombie, who directed Page in the movie The Devil’s Rejects, at first said “give me an f-in break, then he got into it.”
The workout is a combination of fitness and diet, and there’s also a social networking element, with a site, Team YRG, which connects those who are doing the workout with each other. DDP calls it “one of the coolest things” he’s ever done. “You’re helping people at a different level, and you’ve got people helping people,” he said.
He’s also gotten involved with MMA. DDP called Ultimate Fighter “brilliant,” and said bringing in Brock Lesnar “was another thing that boosted it. He wasn’t part of wrestling when it was at its biggest, but he was still pretty damn big.” As for boxing? “There’s no way they can compete.”
Looking back on his wrestling career, which started later than some other superstars but ended up reaching the apex of the industry, saw him cross paths with other stars like Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) and Kevin Nash (Diesel).
But what may be the most memorable aspect of DDP’s career was the diamond cutter sign. It started early in his career as an “arrogant thing at the beginning but then people started to do it.” Said Page: “When you think of it as a sport that’s entertainment, that’s really the turning point. How do you get over when the bookers don’t want you to get over?”
When he came over from the WCW to the WWF, he hoped to make his debut with his fellow “People’s Champ” – The Rock (Dwayne Johnson). But according to DDP:
They weren’t going to let anybody from WCW get over. I really picked the wrong spot. I had a vision of me against Rock, People’s Champ against People’s Champ…I had this vision and I let the WWF talk me out of it and do what they wanted me to do. And I didn’t finish the way I wanted to because of it.
But reflecting on his career, DDP remembers the good times. “What team did Michael Jordan play for, the Wizards or the Bulls?” he asked. “When I was on top of the world we were kicking their ass.”
But in some ways, his career in wrestling isn’t over either. Right now he’s got Bret Hart, Steven Regal and Edge using YRG, while the first wrestler to use it was all-time great Shawn Michaels. “Eventually,” says DDP. “I’ll have them all.”
You can see the part of my interview with DDP where he talks about breaking into the top tier of the WCW above.
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- Diamond Dallas Page
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