Professionally-speaking, there is nothing traditional about Diamond Dallas Page. While many wrestlers become managers or announcers after they’ve hung up their boots, Dallas became a wrestler in his 30s, after years as a manager and announcer. Prior to his entry into the wrestling business, he was in the nightclub world, where he ultimately worked his way up from a barback to a proprietor. In turn, there is little surprising about DDP’s success as an entrepreneur in his post-wrestling career.
Although DDP still pops up at wrestling events and on WWE TV from time to time, he’s mainly known for DDP Yoga, the yoga-based program he developed with Dr. Craig Aaron. Hundreds of thousands of DVD sets of DDP Yoga have since been sold, and DDP Yoga recently began reinventing itself as a subscription-based app for smartphones and tablets. This is the same program that Chris Jericho and A.J. Styles have said that saved their wrestling careers. And the same program that arguably saved the lives of Jake “The Snake” Roberts — as documented in the DDP-produced film, The Resurrection Of Jake The Snake — and Scott Hall.
So the app you’ve shown me has original content, and you produced the new movie The Resurrection Of Jake The Snake. Do you have plans to produce more videos and features in general? Or is DDP Yoga it?
Diamond Dallas Page: A year from now, I’ve gotta get our shit down first, but we will be a full-blown production studio. I did three of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s podcasts with a green screen behind him and added in all the shit for him.
The recent one with Shawn Michaels that just aired?
D: No, it was with me, Jake [Roberts] and Scott [Hall]. He wanted them just for demos to show WWE up. When he does their shit, they feed him a bunch of shit, he hates that. He wants to do bootlegs and get on the program to promote his podcast because he’s fucking great at it.
He’s a natural at it.
D: He’s a natural, but he put a lot of work into it, too. I was there day one and where he is today, he could become the Howard Stern of podcasts, if he really puts money back into it. That’s where Steve and I…he goes, “Dude, you put so much money in this thing.” I go, “Yeah, how much money am I making?” I just wanna be ahead, I don’t want to think about money, that’s my goal. I don’t want to be in a spot where, “Oh god, how am I going to pay my bills?” That’s the wealth that I want, and also I’m going to be fucking 60. I don’t want to be thinking about that when I’m 80.
So I’m gonna build the empire now so that as it rolls forward, I’ll be doing the workouts on these channels forever. I’ll bring people, like Stevie’s going to do live workouts, this girl Christina will do live workouts, I’ll have them so people have different takes on different ones. Now we’re doing DDPY Power, which is like a power yoga but not. It all revolves around our tone and attitude. Yoga is a very “namaste,” DDP Yoga, “way more T&A.” It’s all about the tone and attitude. [DDP is then approached by fans] What’s up, buddy? Good to see you.
I must assume that with running nightclubs helped you develop street smarts, which ultimately got you into wrestling. Do you think that you would be here today had you not run nightclubs?
D: No way. They called “POP” back then, “Prince Of Promo.” It’s so funny to me, with some of the Internet people will bust my balls about being a shameless self-promoter. Muhammad Ali was the greatest self-promoter of all-time. Of all-time, you know? What they don’t get is that it’s the greatest compliment you could give me. They’re saying it in a way like, “Hey, he’s always pitching his shit.” It’s like, “Hey fuckwad, I believe in what I’m saying, what do you believe in?” I’ll take anybody on, face to face, on anybody if I believe in it…I’m not gonna go against how I live my life.
Did you know all of this about yoga before you had your back problems?
D: I was learning it. There’s a guy named Dr. Fred Bisci, my brother’s mentor. When I met him, he was 75, he’d still run 20 miles on the beach. He’s 87, he can still run 20 miles on the beach. He’s from right over there in Staten Island. A rawist since he was 27 years old. For 60 years, he’s only putting fruits and vegetables in his body. The only thing that’s screwed up with him is his shoulder, and he wants them to operate on him without anesthesia, because anesthesia will kill him. They wouldn’t do it, of course, but if it weren’t for that, the guy would be in amazingly-shaped 50-year old in his 80s. The food, the food, the food…
Everyone in America should be forced to watch Food, Inc., Genetic Roulette, and GMO OMG. You’re never going to see that on television, because when you’re having Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s or Procter & Gamble’s commercials out there, you really can’t have these healthy things that say, “You can’t eat that shit.”
[DDP points to his salad] You see what I’m eating? I don’t eat gluten because they change the wheat. I would eat organic wheat. It’s not great for you, it’s not bad for you, it’s just hard to digest. The wheat they created today is fucking poison. It’s the food, I get people eating real food. There’s thing about organic, “organic this, organic that.” You know what organic means?
It means that the food is certified, almost like Kosher…
D: The bottom line is, organic means — this is what your great-great-grandparents used to call — “food.” It didn’t need to be called “organic.” Go to Italy, it’s all food, all organic. So the point is that they didn’t poison it, they haven’t genetically changed it to enhance it. That’s the thing, you get people eating real food and it gets them out of pain. Immediately. In two or three weeks they feel better, they feel relief. I give them a workout that breaks up scar tissue and makes them feel better. Now you’re losing weight, these are all wins.
When I started with Jake Roberts, he hadn’t had a win in 25 years. I didn’t realize this until he told me this. “What do you mean it’s giving you confidence?” He goes, “You know, Dal, losing those first seven or eight pounds, that was a huge win to me. I hadn’t lost weight in years…I was just getting more and more disgusting. When I could finally go to the ground on my end and get back up, that was huge, like confidence, I can do this.” I didn’t realize that part of it did it, because it’s not something that I deal with, but I do now. I understand it now.
When you’re not busy with your work, what do you like to do with your free time?
D: Make love to my wife. (laughs) We love what we do. I like watching TV, really good TV, like Sons Of Anarchy and Game Of Thrones. I like great acting, I like great movies.
Brenda Page: He loves to watch anything that’s educationally-inspirational and anything that’s inspirationally-educational, like documentaries on just the most random things just feeds his knowledge base and inspires him.
D: I love it.
DDP & his wife Brenda
So it’s safe to say that coming from a business that’s a work prepared you for the success of DDP Yoga?
D: The movie The Resurrection Of The Jake Snake, I had cameras all over my house. It wasn’t like I had a business at my home, my home was my business. I just happened to live there, something was happening and I felt like, “Whoa, everybody stop. Chris? Nathan? Steve? Somebody’d come running with a camera.” When you see the movie, it’s powerful.
I love doing what they say can’t be done. One of the things that, in the beginning it hurts, but now it’s fuel. When I told everybody I was going to wrestle, Michael “P.S.” Hayes was the first person I told and he fell down on the ground. I’m getting ready, it’s the last time I’m going to introduce him as a [Fabulous] Freebird, and he fell on the ground laughing. He knew how hard it was. When I started to become a wrestler, I iced my body, everybody laughed at me. I was the first person to put ice bags on his knees, on his back, in professional wrestling ever. I was the only one to do it for probably five years, then personal trainers came in and everybody was getting iced.
Filmed my matches, they laughed at me. Filmed every match I ever did, just wish I never overtaped them because it had road stuff and guys would do color. Steve Austin doing color, I finally saved the last one before he ended up leaving for the WWE. I was going to start a series called “The Austin Tapes,” because he was so funny and he’d play Gordon Solie and he’d play [The American Dream[ Dusty Rhodes and do a bunch of shit on there. But filming my matches, everyone laughed at me. Every kid in America, every kid in the world films every match they have and it’s on YouTube right away. I was doing it before anybody.
I told them I was going to be the top guy, they laughed at me. I became a top guy, they laughed. I told them I was going to be a world champion, they laughed. Actually, with Dusty Rhodes, one day I’m talking to him, he was my man. Sometimes he’d let me bend off. This one day I was just on a fucking tear. The booking committee didn’t believe in me and didn’t see it happening, it was 1994. I was like, “Dusty, they’re never going to give me a shot. I never expected to be you or [Hulk] Hogan or [Ric] Flair. I know I’m never going to be the world champion, but they won’t give me the…” And he goes, “Dallas?” What? “Shut up.” He goes, “What did you just say?” I said, “I know I’m never going to be you or Naitch or Hogan.” He said, “No, what did you say after that?” I said, “I know they’re never going to put the world title on me.” He said, “Then what the fuck are you doing it for, Dallas? If you don’t believe that you’ve got the ability to be the world champion, then you need to get the fuck out of my business right now.” Ledger pad next to my phone, I pulled it over and wrote, “I will be the world champion in five years or less.” It was four years, four months and 14 days, April 11, 1999. The next day I was leaving Tacoma to head to Spokane, I got a call from Dream. When I picked up the phone, I knew it was him because his phone number was on there, and I hear, “So how’s it feel?” I said, “It feels real, Dream.” He said, “That’s because it is.”
I learned that, when I told them I was going to do yoga they laughed at me, when I told them I was going to do my own yoga they laughed at me…When someone’s laughing at me, I’m onto something.