I recently interviewed former WCW World Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page last month to discuss the special Resurrection of Jake The Snake movie screenings taking place across the country. As noted, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will be participating in a Q&A session at the Resurrection of Jake the Snake movie screening this Wednesday, October 14th, at the Arclight in Culver City outside of Los Angeles. Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Diamond Dallas Page will also be appearing, and there will be autographs and photo ops after the Q&A session. You can get more details or purchase tickets at JakeTheSnakeMovie.com by clicking here.
Below is part two of the interview. Click here for part one of the interview, where DDP discussed the documentary, how his surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble happened, if Cody Rhodes should keep the Stardust gimmick, Sting signing with WWE, his relationship with Dusty Rhodes and more.
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Did you know Roddy Piper much before he came into WCW?
"I didn't know him personally, of course everyone knew the legend. We got to work with each other. He gave me a big rub. We did a nice tribute to him, too. We got to be really tight the last 5 years. I think he started to do his original podcast 5 years ago, and I was an early guest. He had seen the disabled veteran Arthur that I helped heal, and helped walk again. Him and I were already on great terms, but that peeled a layer off the onion. Then when he saw what was happening with the Resurrection of Jake The Snake, he loved Jake. He said that if I could help Jake, that would be humongous. He saw what happened over the period, and we were really tight.
"I spent some time with him and his son, Colt. I couldn't get up to the funeral, but Colt called me to come up to the memorial, and I shifted all my stuff around to fly out to LA from Atlanta for the day. I got up and told some fun stories about Roddy. Chavo Guerrero, his stories were awesome. What a great kid he is. Roddy really took a lot of people's youth. Him and Dusty both. It's really cool to see how many people you inspire that become a big part of your life. Dusty was a big part of my life as a wrestling fan before he ever became my friend and brother. Dusty would say 'There are five people I consider my closest friends, and you're one of them.' People will say that it's about who you know, but that has nothing to do with it. It's about who's willing to say they know you. Who's willing to put their name on the line for you. Dream did that for me a ton of times, and so did Piper. He'd put my stuff out there big time, which was really cool."
Do you have a favorite Roddy Piper angle or match?
"I think one of my favorite matches with Roddy that showed what a great worker he was the WrestleMania match with Bret Hart. He wasn't the polished worker that RIc Flair is, but his work was so real and believable. I would watch that match over and over. The psychology in that match, and that finish. What a great finish.
"My favorite moment with him, and I talked about it in my tribute, was when we were going through the crowd. I asked him if he wanted to do it, and he said 'you go through the crowd?' I didn't take into consideration the guy's been stabbed three times out in the crowd. It's a different time, but people are getting crazy again. I loved that. When people ask what I miss the most, it's that. I can get the same crowd and energy from teaching a DDP Yoga class, because sometimes I get 100 to 150 people doing my workout with me in a workshop, so the energy is insane. When you're going through the crowd and they're screaming and touching you because they can't believe you broke the fourth wall. Piper and I are going through it, reaching to touch you, but they're not touching you, their hands are coming 80 miles an hour and they're smacking you. So you're getting clubbed to a degree (laughs). It was like time stopped for a moment. Piper's looking up at me with a white in his eyes and said 'so ya do this every night, do ya? God bless ya.' He's like 'I'm outta here' (laughs)"
That time is looked at really fondly, like a glory age. What do you think is keeping wrestling from getting back to that point?
"It'll never happen again. I don't care who puts what kind of money into any organization. I would bet in my lifetime no one will ever catch WWE again. To be honest, I didn't think it would happen when we were going for it. Eric Bischoff saw it in his third eye, and he would tell me about it. I would be like 'what are you smoking, dude? We're not going to beat Vince McMahon. Be realistic. We're doing good at number 2.' He saw that all the way through, and because he was such a fighter. At first, Vince wasn't going to put him over at all, and why should he? We were a distant number 2. When it started to become relevant and we weren't a number two, it cracked me up when Eric went out and challenged Vince to a street fight. He was dead serious, but he also knew Vince would never take you up on it, but he wouldn't have cared, he'd have loved it. A lot of people think of him as evil Eric Bischoff, trying to shut Vince McMahon down. That isn't what he was trying to do, he was trying to win the fight. That guy only knows one way; I'm going to win and I'm going to knock him out.
"I met Eric in AWA, and it turned into a pull-apart fight. We were both sh-tfaced, and wound up. We never got near each other. From there, I went out with Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond, and I'm pretty sober. He must have been drinking the whole time, because he got off the elevator a little after us with his wife, the ring announcer Larry, and Chip Shields. He started in on me again, and I went at him again. Everyone was like 'Diamond, go to your room,' and he's like 'let him go!' He was sh-tfaced! The next morning I go by his room to see how bad ass he is at 8 o'clock in the morning. I put on my jeans, I put on my boots and I hear a knock. I thought it was the cleaning lady, and it's him. He's got his leather jacket on and his gray hair at the time. I was 31, he was 32, and his hair was halfway down his back and silver. When I opened the door, he's standing there looking like he'd been rode hard and put away wet. He said 'I heard I was a real asshole last night.' I said he was, and told him I was on my way to his room, and he told me that he saved me the walk. He said 'there's two ways we can handle this. One, accept my apology and shake my hand.' He had like three teeth in a bridge. He was a black belt, he wasn't afraid of anybody, he would fight at a drop of the hat. He pulls his f-ckin' teeth out and says 'or you can punch me in the mouth. Whatever you think works.' I just started laughing. I was like 'dude, I've been running nightclubs since I was 22. I've heard every excuse to get back in the bar. I've never heard that one. I'd much rather shake your hand.' That was that. Two years later, he came into WCW for a tryout and Dusty asked me if I knew Eric Bischoff. I told him I didn't really know that name. Dusty told me that Eric said I worked with him around that time and if I liked him to help him out.
"I went down there and I'm late, and I have to make it to TV, so we don't see each other before. He shows up and he look like the guy you see on TV. He looked like a Ken doll. Short, black hair, I'd never seen that guy, but I knew his face. We did the play-by-play and color, and I told him they weren't looking for him to do color, they wanted him to do play-by-play, and I'd do color. We start again, and he's still doing color, and I ask them to stop the tape. I said 'Eric, you don't know how to do play-by-play, do you?' and he said 'not really.' I said 'look at this, collar and elbow lock up.' I start telling him what to say, and we tried again, then I taught him some more, then we tried again. This went on for about six or seven takes. I had to make it to TV, so I told them to get it done.
"He stopped me and asked if I remembered who he was, and I said 'yeah, you're the guy I got into the fight with in the AWA.' He thought I hated him, but I thought that was the greatest comeback ever!"
A big turning point for WCW was Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. A lot of the things you see now identify you as being a part of it, and got them to jump ship.
"I stayed in contact with both of those guys. Kevin was one of my closest friends. Scott and I were good buddies, because that whole thing that became Razor Ramon, started as the Diamond Studd. All they did was put some chains around his neck, and had the stuff Scott added to it. Scott was definitely in, he was coming. Eric and I were sitting at the bottom of my garage, because there's streaming water and stuff down there. We'd go through a case of Coors Light, and started talking about Scott coming in, which was awesome. Then he said something about Kevin and I put him over. Eric said that Kevin was a jerkoff and a scumbag and a liar, but not those exact words. I said 'what!? No he's not!' I asked him why he felt that way and he said Kevin lied to him. Kevin came to him and asked for his release, and said he wanted to go back to the bar business, not that he wanted to go back to New York. Eric told Kevin he really wanted to do something with him, but Kevin had heard that for three years. He was wasting his life in WCW. It was costing Kevin money to be a wrestler after the hotels, gimmicks and sh-t on the road. I told him that's not who Kevin is, he's a straight shooter, but the bottom line is WCW was screwing him. He had to leave, and look what happened when he left. He became the world champion in less than a year. I said that he might wanna come too, and Eric said 'you think you can get ahold of him?' and I said 'I talk to him all the time.' I put those two together. I could understand the push I got in WWE if they knew about that, but they didn't know that back then! It was great thing for business, and the best thing that ever happened to WWE. In retrospect it was better for WWE than it was for WCW!
"I remember back when Kevin and I were the Diamond Exchange, no one ever thought we'd be anything. I never say that about anybody, because I want to see what their work ethic and ability to play well with others is, then I'll tell you. People call it politics, but it's really who are you willing to care enough about to help enough to say 'this guy is a good guy, you have to take care of him.' That's what I did for Kevin. Kevin had done that for me a bunch of times, and my career never takes off if not for Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Maybe I never work with Randy if Scott Hall doesn't take the Diamond Cutter. I was getting so jerked around by that time, because the booking committee didn't believe in me. I was over it, like I was outta there. My last ditch effort was coming up with the idea. Those guys were killing everyone, but I was in the midcard, so they're completely leaving me alone, and I'm getting the Diamond Cutter over every day. I pulled Kevin aside and said 'here's my idea.' They knew what I did for them. Kevin in his Hall Of Fame speech said 'if it wasn't for Dally, I'd have probably quit.' You can love or hate Kevin Nash, he's one of the biggest stars ever in our business.
"I told him that our back story is one of the only real back stories in this business. I told him to come to me and try to get me into the NWO, and the Diamond Cutter is hot as hell. I told him that I should be like 'F-ck that. What about number 3? I should have been number 3. Or 4. You come to me at number 6? I'm not doing it.' Then they'd come at me like I'd get over it. I put the shirt on, Scotty gives me the high five and handshake, BANG. I backdrop Kevin over the top rope and there we go. Kevin said 'I love it! I'll take the Diamond Cutter too!' I said 'are you smoking crack? No way Bischoff's going to let you take the Diamond Cutter. If Scotty does, it'll be huge.' He said for me to go tell Bischoff, and I said 'I'm not telling Bischoff this, I gotta go ask Scott.' Kevin said 'You don't think Scott wants to do this for you? When his wife was pregnant with Cody, and you got him his job, you don't think he wants to pay you back?' But I wasn't doing sh-t until I talked to Scott.
"I go tell Scott and he says he loves it and it's in. At that point, nobody's touching these guys, nobody had got to them, so I'm not telling Bischoff. I told Scott to pitch it to him, because I wasn't. The cool thing about WCW was you could go to the bar afterwards and watch the show. The four of us go to the bar and Kevin pitches it. Eric shakes his head like 'ah, I dunno.' Scott Hall listened to his answer and says 'well, I don't know. We all know you and Dally are buddies, but if being your buddy isn't a good thing, I'm not sure I want to work here.' That's when Bischoff agreed to it. It was on the TV sheet written on the three hour show 8 times and taken off every week, for one reason or another. The negative side of that was they didn't want me to have that spot. The positive side of it was that the longer they drew that out, they had to do something else with me. It dragged out our storyline to where when It finally happened, we were in New Orleans in front of 30,000 people. The whole match and segment took four minutes, but we rocked it. When I hit Scott with that Diamond Cutter, the f-ckin' roof exploded. Nobody believed it. Nobody was doing sh-t out of nowhere back then. Kevin went over the top rope and grabbed a table on the way down and flung it. If there was a person next to the guard rail, it would have impaled them. It was a crazy night."
That angle worked perfectly. You were a main eventer ever since.
"It brought Randy Savage into my life. He came into my life and put me over in our first PPV, and I was a made man."
How is Scott Hall doing now?
"Back on track, thank you God. He's over a month and doing really well. I'll talk to him, but he's doing this on his own, which has never happened before. You've seen the movie, Jake falls a few times. When you're taking on a serious addiction, there are so many other things that play into it. Being around these two guys that I've been around for 20 years, the last three have been a different level. We're family now. You'll love the new ending. To talk to Scott when he's sh-tfaced, and when he's sober, there's a different sense of clarity. I hope he can stay on it. If he falls, he falls. Hopefully it's not a bad one. Jake's were less and less. It'd be a day and he'd be back on for months. People love Jake Roberts, people love Scott Hall.
"When people see this movie, it's going to take the admiration to a different level. You'll see some tough shots, and they're trying. Right now they're doing, which is even better. Everything we do in that movie is real. We come from a world where everything is predetermined and a work, but this is raw as raw can be. There are no better fans than wrestling fans. I saw what happened when Jake and Scott needed help. The fans rallied to get behind them with the Indiegogo pledges. It was nothing short of miraculous. We couldn't put the part in there about Scott's campaign, because it would have been too long of a movie and it's Jake's movie, but we did add everyone in who donated. Special thanks at the end of the movie. When we have the DVDs ready to burn, they'll be the first to get it. It'll be after the theatrical release and the VOD, then they'll get it. Then we'll go to Showtime and all that and whoever wants to cut a deal with us for it. There's over 4,500 names at the end of the credits for special thanks, so look for your name if you helped out.
"Anybody who wants to know if the movie is coming near you, go to JakeTheSnakeMovie.com. If the theater isn't near you, sign up to subscribe to our newsletter, because we're updating theatrical releases, VOD and DVD releases, so you want to sign up and get on the list."
Click here for part one of the interview, where DDP discussed the documentary, how his surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble happened, if Cody Rhodes should keep the Stardust gimmick, Sting signing with WWE, his relationship with Dusty Rhodes and more. To get more information about The Resurrection of Jake The Snake and screenings for the movie around the country, go to JakeTheSnakeMovie.com for dates and times. Also, you can get more information about the DDP YOGA Performance Center by visiting DDPYOGAPC.com.