96. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE
Real Name – Page Joe Falkinburg
Aliases – Handsome Dallas Page
Hometown – Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Debuted – 1988
Titles Held – WCW World; WCW United States;
WCW Tag Team; WCW Television; WWE World Tag Team;
Other Accomplishments – WCW Lord of the Ring in 1995;
WCW BattleBowl in 1996; WCW MTV Tournament in 1999
Diamond Dallas Page is probably the least likely major company world champion of the past 3 decades (excluding celebrity and booker champions). He first burst on to the scene as the driver of Greg Valentine and Honky Tonk Man’s pink Cadillac at Wrestlemania VI. Many people who did not recognize him at the time would later point out this fact whenever they were asked to come up with a cool wrestling trivia question.
Page joined WCW as the manager of Scott Hall (The Diamond Studd at the time) and the Fabulous Freebirds. He started wrestling as a jobber, finding little to no success until he found himself a partner in Kevin Nash (Vinnie Vegas at the time). With Nash by his side, DDP was kicked off television until 1994 while they did other stuff with Nash.
But return DDP did in 1994, and he brought his hot wife Kimberly with him. Suddenly fans cared more about the nearly 40 year old guy who gave himself high fives. He was subject to a bunch of jobber feuds and took the TV Title from the Renegade (in many regards starting Renegade on the road to his eventual suicide). He won a Battlebowl but never got his title shot thanks to the introduction of the NWO.
With the NWO now ruling WCW, Page was cast as one of the main WCW heroes. He feuded with Randy Savage for a time and won WCW Magazine’s wrestler of the year for 1997 when he was 41 years old. Page started gaining more and more main stream success, teaming with Karl Malone and Jay Leno against Hulk Hogan who partnered with Dennis Rodman and Eric Bischoff respectively.
Page won his first World title in 1999 after a Diamond Cutter on Ric Flair, a moment that Ric Flair is still proud to be a part of. To quote Flair, “Page was a nice guy who I think respected me, but his rise to the top will go down in history as one of the biggest jokes ever perpetrated on our industry.” He lost the title 15 days later to Sting but won it back the same night. He shortly lost the title to Kevin Nash. He then teamed with Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Kanyon, did that for a bit, helped David Arquette become world champ, sucker punched Scott Steiner and got jobbed out to him. Then WCW was sold to Vince McMahon.
In the WWE, DDP had, well, hm. He was pretty old by this point. I liked his Positively Page character with his gigantic smile. He turned out to be the stalker of Undertaker’s wife. Really, he was, you know… hm. Let’s not talk about the WWE run so much.
I think Ric was kind of harsh on DDP. He had a bunch of good matches. The guy worked really hard to improve, studied tape, kept himself in shape, invented the RKO, took on the title of People’s Champ before Rock did, so on and so forth. Who cares that maybe, MAYBE, unfounded rumor, he wife swapped with Eric Bischoff from time to time? I’m sure lots of guys let Eric screw their wives but they weren’t made WCW champion. DDP was an 8 year veteran when he won his first title, his “Bang” was a major catchphrase, he sold t-shirts and could go in the ring. Yeah, Flair was being a dick because he hated all things associated with Bischoff. DDP earned every title and PPV main event and perhaps deserved more of a push from Vince.
Diamond Dallas Page is currently a somewhat successful author and trainer who practices and teaches yoga. He also sleeps in the nude according to Mick Foley.
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