There would likely not be a Diamond Dallas Page without Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes took Page from the club business and helped mold him into a WCW Heavyweight Champion and eventual WWE Hall of Famer.
Page joined today’s WINCLY podcast right here on Wrestling Inc. where he discussed the influence that Rhodes had on his career and how he’s helping out Rhodes’ son, Cody, to this day.
“It was not so much the character, it was more of the confidence,” DDP said of Rhodes’ influence on his wrestling career. “Never underestimate the power that someone gives you by believing in you and Dusty believed in me when nobody did.
“He never really believed in me as a wrestler until they wouldn’t let me manage anymore. Then I started wrestling and he was super-cool to me? He got me booked and I got to learn.”
In the early 1990s, DDP tore his rotator cuff and was released by WCW. He was then rehired almost a year later and trained at the WCW Power Plant where Rhodes happened to be one day.
After one day of training, Rhodes approached DDP and said, ‘You know D? I know you always had this vision of yourself as a top performer in our business. But I gotta be honest with you?I never thought until yesterday [you could actually be that].’
“Then he said to me, ‘You know D? If you keep doing what you’re doing, you just might live this dream.'”
Page told that story in Dusty Rhodes’ oft-imitated voice and he said Ric Flair praised his Dusty impression during his WWE Hall of Fame speech.
“Flair loved it! It was awesome to hear Flair go off about it,” said Page.
DDP had a who’s who of wrestling legends who helped him get to where he is today.
“First guy [who believed in me] was [WCW Hall of Famer] Jody Hamilton,” stated Page. “Next guy was Jake [Roberts]. Next guy was Dusty. And the next guy was Hulk [Hogan]. So, I had some pretty big players that loved me for my work ethic.”
Page then talked about the next generation of the Rhodes family and what Cody is doing with All Elite Wrestling.
“It’s f***ing amazing,” said DDP. “I’m about to put an interview out with him ? the last two years we’ve filmed me talking to Cody of what happened last year. Last year he came light years from leaving the WWE and this year it’s like warp speed. He’s like my nephew and I’m enjoying watching it. It’s amazing.”
DDP was at All In in support of Cody and he described the energy in the room at All In.
“Insane,” Page said of All In. “That crowd of people…if they can, at Double or Nothing, recreate that, who knows where the f*** it’s gonna go? I want him to have the greatest success ever.”
Page said he still considers himself a “WWE dude,” but he also feels like a proud uncle of Cody and wants the best for him.
The wrestling world could possibly be on the verge of another Monday Night Wars depending on how AEW plays out from here. Page was asked if he sees that as a possibility.
“It’s the closest it’s ever been [to the Monday Night Wars era]? Gotta see what’s gonna happen,” stated Page.
He then mentioned the belt that Cody wore on his waist and how he exemplifies the phrase that’s on it.
“If you look at the belt that Cody was wearing around his waist, on the back it said ‘Put the work in’ so he gets that,” said Page. “He doesn’t have to read my book, he’s around me all the time.”
The full audio from DDP’s exclusive interview can be heard in the WINCLY podcast episode below. In it he also discusses his new book Positively Unstoppable, David Arquette’s return to pro wrestling and more: