It's safe to say that there would be no Diamond Dallas Page without Dusty Rhodes. The American Dream turned DDP from a nightclub manager into a pro wrestler in the early 90s as Rhodes saw something in Page that Page himself didn't even see.
Nearly 30 years later and another Rhodes is on the promoter scene as Cody is one of the Vice Presidents of AEW. DDP spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast about Cody following in his father's footsteps and if he would ever consider a return to the ring.
"People always say, 'Do you miss it?' Well a little bit, but not really [laughs]. To watch the way the kids work today, they are athletes on a different level," said Page. "Ricochet, A.J. Styles, Hangman Page, Kenny Omega – they are athletes on a different level. The stuff they can do with their bodies and the punishment they can take. The Young Bucks – I watch their matches and I get sore watching their matches."
"For me, there's not a better time to be a wrestler right now except when I was doing it. Because when we were doing it, it was red-hot. But also, it created more money to be made. If anybody needs to be taken care of, it's the wrestlers because we don't have unions or retirement built in like the NBA, MLB, NHL. They all have that. We don't," stated DDP.
DDP was brought to WCW by Dusty Rhodes who also helped train him. Dusty was already 25+ years into his pro wrestling career at that point and Page was asked about comparisons between Dusty back then and Cody today.
"You can't compare a young man who is just starting out in this spot. He's been around and sat at the foot of the master and has a lot of knowledge. But when you think about Dusty, you think about Dusty in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. He is one of the greatest minds in the world for what he did. You can't compare a young guy who is just starting out," Page said before adding that it would be like comparing a football player just out of college to Jim Brown or Tom Brady.
Page also said that Cody has a good team around him and this is the right time for AEW.
"I think the business is in a spot right now where maybe they wouldn't have got it a couple of years back, but I think they're ready for it now," stated Page. "His outlook on the business is unique and it's not what the WWE is doing.
"The WWE has its own niche. Wrestling is cyclical – it comes up and goes down all the time. The WWE may not be at the highest ratings right now, but their matches look amazing."
Even though Page says that wrestling is cyclical, he admits that he couldn't do the same stuff in the ring that the current crop of wrestlers are currently doing.
"I was at All In and was standing next to Jeff Jarrett. We were watching and these guys were doing such high-impact matches, that I looked at him and went, 'Man. I'm sort of glad that I'm not doing it anymore.' I get sore watching these matches," said Page.
"It's kinda like what the X-Games brought in. Everything just got more extreme. Thank God they changed the way they hit each other in football because they are bigger, stronger, faster."
Page then talked about how he works with the NFL Alumni and works with many former football players. He states that their bodies are beat up from the gridiron, but DDPY has helped them and others heal.
One of those others is Chris Jericho who had serious back issues years ago and turned to DDP for help.
"The same thing happened to Chris Jericho eight years ago when he blew his back out. Three different spine specialists told him his career was over. He said, 'Dude, you tell me what to do and I'll do it.' Three months later Chris was back and headlining WrestleMania. Now, he's gonna headline Double or Nothing and the cat's gonna be 49," said DDP.
"Chris works in some MMA training, but his hardcore base is DDPY and that's what keeps him in the ring. You can listen to any podcast and he'll tell you that you need to do the program."
DDP will be a part of Starrcast which takes place on Double or Nothing weekend in Las Vegas. He talked about what he'll be doing there for Starrcast and also for DDPY.
"My buddy Conrad Thompson puts on a hell of a deal with that whole Starrcast phenomenon," said DDP. "There will be a lot of legends there doing signings and autograph sessions. It's gonna be a great weekend – Memorial Day Weekend, May 25th.
"Inspiration Meets Perspiration" Double or Nothing workshop and after that we're gonna see the show."
DDP will be appearing at Starrcast II and will be hosting a DDPY seminar the morning of Double or Nothing. For more info visit www.Starrcast.com.
DDP's full interview with Wrestling Inc was included in a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard in the embedded player at the bottom of this post. In it DDP discusses his DDPY seminar the morning of Double or Nothing as part of Starrcast II, WWE's current creative product, how AEW may help WWE's ratings, Cody Rhodes transitioning into a promoter and more.