DDP Talks His Early WCW Days, RVD Inspiring Him, Eddie Guerrero, Being Fired By WCW, Hogan & More
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WrestlingINC.com: You started out in the business as a manager. Tell us about your start in the business, did you always want to be a manager?
Page: Well I tried wrestling when I was 22 and I had three matches and it didn't work out for me. I got hurt in my knee. I got hit by a car when I was a kid. When I was 12 years old, a car hit me on my right side of my knee. My face bounced off the hood, I flew 42 feet… they thought I was dead. So my right knee was always a major hindrance to me. They wouldn't let me play football or hockey anymore. Long story short, I came back and played basketball which is a game I hated mostly because I sucked at it, but I did get good at it because I worked my ass off like I do everything else.
Long story short is I tried it when I was a kid but in my third match, I tore the s--t out of my knee. It put me out so I started running night clubs. At 23 years old, it was the booze, the broads and the party so I never went back. And then when wrestling blew up huge, I stopped watching because I was so pissed at myself because I knew that I would have been in the middle of that s--t. I just knew it.
When I was 31 and a half and I was running a club in Ft. Meyers, FL and one night we were closing down and my DJ was playing "Girls Just Want To Have Fun." You know, Captain Lou and a couple of the boys were in that, Nikolai and a few others and I thought, I just looked at this and said, "I can wrestle. I should have been a part of that."
And that night we were going back outdoors and he says, "What do you mean you should have been a wrestler? Back there when you talked about being a wrestler, what are you talking about? You wrestled?" I said, "I tried and it didn't work out." He goes, "What was your name?" And I was a big "Handsome" Jimmy Valiant fan and I was like, "Handsome" Dallas Page. We just started drinking that night and we drank into the wee hours of the morning doing shots of Goldschlager and drinking beers and I said, "What about Diamond Dallas Page? I can hear them chanting DDP now!" And I thoughtm "I'm too old to be a wrestler but what about being a manager?"
Jimmy Hart's got the Hart Foundation, what if I had "The Diamond Exchange" with a valet here and a valet there. You had Miss Elizabeth, who was girl-next-door hot, what if I had a stripper-hot valet and called her "The Diamond Doll." DDP, The Diamond Exchange and the Diamond Doll?! That is b-a-double d BADD! But I felt that I was too old to be a wrestler, so I became a manager.
WrestlingINC.com: How did you get your start with the AWA?
I made this video and sent it to the AWA, and they called me back two weeks later. It didn't work out at that time… It's all about timing, just like my DDPYoga right now. At that time in my life, it was a hobby to me. Paul Heyman left the AWA with the Midnight Express and went to the NWA, which it was before it became WCW. That left a huge hole for a guy who could talk and people could get energized about.