Our Full Interview With DDP: Early WCW Days, WWE Regrets, DDPYoga, Savage, Guererro, More
When I tore my rotator cuff, they fired me. Bill Watts came in, and I knew he was going to let me go, so I quit before he let me know. So I started doing independents and I was looking at Jake Roberts and trained with him for three months. He taught me A LOT. A lot about psychology, and that's the key to wrestling. When you go out there in front of 20,000 people and they know and you know who's going to win, how do you make them give a f--k? That's the art that people really don't understand about professional wrestling, it's its own art form.
There was a point in time that I'll never forget, I finally realized why my matches were… they're good, but why am I not getting the right psychology. And then I realized, I knew I had 12 minutes for this one match and after six minutes they're sending me home… they were short-cutting me.
So I'm in this match with Alex Wright for one of the Clashes or Primetime, and I'm gonna finally beat somebody who means a little bit of something. They gave us like 12 minutes or something like that and they sent me home like really early… like right when I started my heat. I was like, "f-ck that," and I kept going. Freakin' [referee] Charles Robinson – I think it was Charlie – was saying, "Diamond! They're saying to go home!" I said, "I got it" and I kept going. Now I've got Alex on the ropes and they're screaming in the back, "GO HOME!" And Alex is saying, "Diamond, we should go home, we should go home!" I said, "Don't worry about it kid, I'll take the heat." Charlie's yelling at me to go home, and I said, "SHUT THE F-CK UP MOTHER F-CKER, I'm taking the heat but I'm going to do what I wanna do!" I went another five minutes! When I hit Alex with the Diamond Cutter, the place blew up!
When I went to the back, I knew Kevin [Sullivan] was going to chew my a—out. He walks up to me, throws out his hand and says, "great match, kid! Tonight, you became a worker!"
WrestlingINC.com: Shortly after you returned to WCW you defeated Renegade for the WCW TV Championship. What was it like to win your first title?
Page: What you don't know is that I was there, they were using me sporadically. They didn't even know I was there. I really came out when Hulk [Hogan] came in. After one of my matches in Germany - I was a curtain jerker - he grabbed me and pulled me over and said, "I've been watching your matches the last couple of nights. You're getting so much better. I've seen you on TV sporadically, here and there and when I do, you've got something new… You've got that it thing going. They've got you on the road like this to keep getting you better at your craft, right?" I said, "No, this is the first time I've been on the road in like three months. The only reason why I'm on this tour is because my last name is really Faulkenberg and the Germans know it. And I've got a smokin' hot wife that walks to the ring." Hulk said, "somewhere down the line, if you keep doing what you're doing, you and I are doing to draw huge money together. You have the ability to draw huge money with me." I told Hulk, "I'm over this place and I'm ready to get the f--k outta here. I said, "My best friend, Kevin Nash, is the heavyweight champion up there... I'm going up there. [to WWE]" And Hulk grabbed me later that night and took me to Eric [Bischoff] and said, "I know this guy's your buddy, but you need to do something with this guy."
I don't think they wanted to put the TV strap on me more than they just wanted to take it off of poor Renegade, who was the sweetest kid and ended up killing himself. He was the nicest guy who loved wrestling and they gave him the gimmick of The Warrior, no one can just play the Warrior. They tried doing that later on when they tried to replace Nash and Hall. You can't do that.