DDP Talks His Early WCW Days, RVD Inspiring Him, Eddie Guerrero, Being Fired By WCW, Hogan & More
They [AWA] called me up two weeks later. "You bring yourself in, we'll give you a tryout." This chick that I was f--king at the time, who was this hot blonde, and I said, "Do you want to be on TV?" and she said "Sure" and we went to Vegas and she was sick because she was no nervous.
WrestlingINC.com: Was this [Diamond Doll] Tonya?
Page: No, it was actually LeAnne, It's funny you say that. Tonya, she actually bartended for me. She was one of the few chicks I wasn't f--king. [laughs] She was a buddy of mine.
I worked for the AWA for a year or so, and I did one show a week. When they were doing the buildup for Superclash is when I built an amazing relationship with Michael P.S. Hayes. He realized that I wasn't just in this like so many people to be a TV star, I loved this sh-t like he did.
Later on, I became tight with Dusty [Rhodes] too, who was in WCW, and he loved me man. He said that I reminded him a lot of him. So Dusty and Michael P.S. Hayes called me back and brought me in [to WCW].
You went from managing in WCW to becoming a wrestler yourself. What prompted you to make the change?
Page: I came into WCW and The Freebirds were the first guys I managed and Hayes, because of the relationship we had built over the year, told Jimmy [Garvin], "let him talk… Let's put our backs to the camera and let him talk, the guy's got great mic skills." And I was like, "holy f-ck! Here are two of the best talkers EVER and they're going to let me talk with their backs to the camera!"
Magnum T.A. said to me, "DDP, with the hair, the rings, the locks, the broads… what we should do is put you in a pair of boots and tights and have you do this s--t!" I had seven months left in my deal and I said, "f--k this! I'm going to go down to the Power Plant and I'm going to learn how to wrestle." I didn't get in this s--t to become a manager, I got in this because I'm a wrestler.
They tried to run me off, beat me up… Anybody who tries to get in this business, the first thing they do is try to run you off. If you stick to your initiation, that means that at least you've got some balls and you have some kind of work ethic. They realized that I wasn't going anywhere and I started getting mad props at the Power Plant.
WrestlingINC.com: Who was your first match with?
Page: My first match was with Scott Hall, we tagged together. My first match, in the ring, was with Scott. Tony Schiavone came back to me after the match and looked at me after I was changing and said, "DDP, I've gotta tell you. That's one of the best first matches I've ever seen anyone have in the business. You suck, but if you keep doing what you're doing, you've got potential kid."
WrestlingINC.com: Just when it seemed like you were getting some TV time, you were paired with Kevin Nash and then got injured. That led to you being fired, right?
Page: Yeah, I tore my rotator cuff. That was my first major injury.
I was the first professional wrestler to ice my body because I started at 35, I iced my body. I didn't really get the flexibility part until later on in my career… I stretched out a little bit, like every other joker does, but it wasn't Rob Van Dam-type stretching. He's the one who quietly, while never saying anything to me, inspired me to f--king try yoga, even though Rob wasn't doing yoga, he was doing his own kind of yoga.