Recently, Talesfromtheturnbuckle.com had a chance to catch up with the one and only Diamond Dallas Page. DDP himself!
He had a lot to say, so much, we had to make the interview a two parter. The man is every bit as interesting and exciting as you could imagine. He’s also very passionate about a great many thing’s and people. It was really a pleasure for TFTTB to have this opportunity with him. Former Tales writer, Drew Gilbert had the honor of chatting with DDP and did a bang up job.
Now, you may know the man as a legend of the squared circle and master of the Diamond Cutter, but DDP bets pretty soon you may know him as something else…a yoga teacher. You read right. But it’s not just any Yoga, it’s DDP Yoga, a ground breaking new form of Yoga created by the man himself. It’s clear this isn’t some fly by night, he has put a lot of work into creating this new yoga system that has changed lives. No bullshit. He even has my lazy ass signing up.
Read on and see for yourself as part one of the DDP interview is all about DDP Yoga. Just remember, it ain’t your mama’s yoga!
GM: Recently you won the Jason Sanderson Humanitarian award and Men’s wrestling award from pro Wrestling Illustrated. I imagine that feels good.
DDP: Yeah, it felt really good, mainly because the CAC (Cauliflower Alley Club) was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, so it was pretty cool to be brought in on that day. I was actually the first guy to ever get two awards at the same reunion which was very cool. Originally they called me up because they wanted to give me the Humanitarian award, which is funny because a few years ago I was being interviewed by a guy named Brian Alverez who asked me where do you see Diamond Dallas Page in the next five years? I said that in the next five years, DDP will be the next Jack Lalanne/Tony Robbins/the straight Richard Simmons, which he got a big kick out of. I explained to him that in all honesty, at some point, DDP Yoga would dwarf my wrestling career. He was like “Wow, that’s a bold statement! Do you really believe that?” I said yeah. I had helped this disabled veteran lose 140 pounds and more importantly lose his knee braces so that he was able to not only walk, but run. So I knew what was possible, it was just a matter of time, just never giving up. Then actually last year I received the Frank Koch award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Waterloo Iowa, and that award was for my work OUTSIDE of wrestling. Then this year, when I received the Humanitarian award from the CAC, I thought, ‘My god, this is actually happening!” At first I stopped and thought “Do I really like that?” I mean, I’ve worked really hard on my wrestling career ya know? ::laughs::
So when they called me from the CAC about the Humanitarian award, a guy named Carl, who was president at the time, and I said, “Carl, let me ask you something. What do you think of my wrestling career?” and he said “Oh man, it was awesome! Ya know we’re giving you a wrestling award as well.”
I was like “Seriously? That’s really sweet.” So yeah, I get that this is going to overshadow my wrestling career, like monstrously overshadow it, especially in the next three years. It’ll be crazy. People will know me more for DDP Yoga and probably forget I ever wrestled. I don’t want them to forget though; I worked too hard on it, to get there. It was an amazing career.
GM: I don’t think they’ll ever forget. As you said, it was an amazing career. Definitely not something wrestling fans will ever not remember. Speaking of DDP Yoga, you have a DDP Yoga Performance center opening right?
DDP: Yeah, in fact I’m there right now. It’s about 90-95 percent completed on the interior and the exterior was just started today.
Ya know I didn’t just buy the building; I had to buy a bunch of little homes behind it and tore those down. I thought I’d just throw down some asphalt down back there. But when it came time to take it to the town, it turned out I have to make a little park. So it ended up being so much more money than I first thought. ::Laughs::
It’s going to look beautiful though. The center itself is really, more than anything, a production studio. We have 4000 square feet of office space, editing bays, and lockers rooms. Then we have about 2300 square feet of production studio which includes three different sets. We’re gearing up to take DDP Yoga to live streaming. Every live stream workout will go to a queue, sort of like Netflix. You’ll be able to have beginner, advanced, extreme. So there will be a ridicules amount of ways to do DDP yoga with me.
We also have Stevie Richards from BWO. Stevie worked with everyone from WWE to ECW and WCW. He’s one of the first of the boys who got certified in DDP Yoga. He works for me here along with two beautiful women who are also transformations and who will be teaching some of the live classes as well.
Directly across from this area that’s 60 x 40 is a green screen that’s 30 feet wide, 20 feet high, and 20 feet deep. We’re going to be doing things with it like DDP Yoga on the moon, which is actually going to be one of the first things I do. ::laughs::
We’ll be doing a lot of things with it, having it look like we’re in different places, like we’re really there. This will be really good when working with kids. We’re going to be doing whole workouts for kids. A kid’s channel. One thing I noticed is that a lot of people do these workouts with their kids. Now my videos aren’t not kid friendly, but there not geared for kids, yet for some reason these kids are drawn to workout with me, so I decided to make videos that are very kid friendly just for them. With the green screen we can basically do anything. So that’s another thing we’re working on. No one has really done anything like that yet.
GM: Sounds like a sweet setup you got there. Place seems to have it all.
DDP: Yeah, and I didn’t even tell you about the kitchen. On one side of the wall in the green screen room, we got a kitchen set I installed that would make the Food Network jealous! ::laughs::
It’s really high end with ovens and other assortments of equipment. What we’ll be doing there is teaching people how to make delicious healthy meals. People think because something is healthy that it must taste bad. I eat healthy and I ain’t eating anything that taste bad. ::laughs::
GM: Seems like you have a lot going on at the center. Aside from the center and the videos, you also have an app coming out. The DDP Yoga Now app?
DDP: Yeah, that’s the name of the app we have coming out, DDP Yoga Now. It’s funny, because HBO has come out with HBO Now, but we’ve had DDP Yoga Now registered at least six months before they even announced their name. The app just makes it so easy to be part of this lifestyle, because it is easy to be part of it. That’s why I built the DDP Yoga Performance center.
GM: This is pretty awesome man! You know, as much as you say you put your heart into wrestling, it’s seems you’re doing the same with Yoga.
DDP: You can’t call it Yoga though bro, especially you, a jersey boy. ::laughs::
GM: My bad…DDP Yoga.
DDP: ::laughs:: I’ll even let people get away with DDPY.
GM: DDPY, I like that! You know, I think what your doing is so important. More important than I think people understand. The benefits of health are more relevant now than ever, and it’s so important to get involved in these sorts of things, especially children. You’re doing that, you’re introducing people to this healthy way of life, getting them involved.
DDP: Well, here’s the method to my madness; I was that guy who would have never been caught dead doing yoga. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, you just didn’t do stuff like that; it’s how we were raised. You know the whole macho thing. So I would have never gotten into it if not for wrestling. If you look at my wrestling career, I didn’t start wrestling till I was 35 and my career didn’t really take off till I was 40 years old and that was in 96-97. I was on top of the world, wrestling 270 plus days a year with traveling in between. My body was hitting the mat 270 plus days a year. That’s a lot of wear and tear. I don’t care what people say about professional wrestling being fake. You can’t fake gravity.
At one point I was power slammed by Kevin Nash and my body shouted “That’s it, I’m done!” I’d end up rupturing my L4 and L5. What that means is this: In between our vertebra that runs through our spine there is these sort of shock absorbers. They are these little rubber discs that are full of fluid, but they’re really tough, but the more you beat the hell out of them playing baseball, basketball, rugby, or anything you’re doing to put wear and tear on your body, well, when you rupture a disc, picture slapping a jelly donut as hard as you can until your hand hits the table. Now that jelly donut is everywhere. That’s what happens when you rupture a disc and it’s VERY painful. I had three of the top spine specialist in the world telling me I would never wrestle again. Now at the time I had just signed a multi-million dollar deal. Up until then I had never made any real money, despite having headlined 13 out of 24, either main events or semi-main events for pay per view. I was finally getting paid and I threw my back out.
I ended up not listening to the doctors. I was married to Kimberly at the time and she bullied me into trying yoga and I said “Fuck that, I’m not doing Yoga!” But really, I didn’t have a choice. I’m so glad I was put in that position, because even though I tried a bunch of different places because I’m not into that spiritual mumbo jumbo, not that there’s anything wrong with it, just not my gig; I ended up finding this one guy who I thought taught pretty good. I started to modify different positions myself. In a few weeks I started to notice a significant difference. So one night, while I was still doing rehab for my shoulder, I started mixing the rehab exercises with the yoga. Then I threw in some old school calisthenics like pushups and squats, but I did them in a more slow burn-out way, with reps and numbers, lower them up and down. I’d lower them to 3 or 5 for 10 seconds. I felt my body getting stronger. In less than 3 months, I was back in the ring.
What I had done was I had created a work out by doing those reps. I realized that every time you flexed or engaged your muscle your heart has to beat faster to get the blood to the muscle. So what I had developed was completely by accident, but is a kickass cardio-vascular workout. DDP Yoga, kick ass cardio workout, dramatically increase your flexibility, and strengthen your core like never before with minimal joint impact.
At 42 they told me my career was over, at 43 I’m heavy weight champion of the world. So I decided to keep doing that. I made it part of my life style and took it to a whole other level. But when I started teaching people what I’d created, my own form of yoga, which I called DDP Yoga, tagline “It ain’t your momma’s yoga”, I didn’t have to be funny to make people smile, to break down there walls. I didn’t make this for Yogi’s. I didn’t make this for the 20 million people who already do yoga; I wasn’t trying to convince them to try my yoga. I made this for the men and women who wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga. This isn’t like going the path less travelled, it’s like going where there is no path in the forest, grabbing a back hoe and a bulldozer and knocking down one tree after another and making it part of the program. Obviously it’s been pretty damn rewarding, but it’s taken about 10 years to be an overnight success. Presently we have 168,348 people involved in the program, though I say they owned their lives. But yeah, 168,348 people. You know what that means? It works.
GM: I’d say so.
DDP: It’s funny because I’ve been calling people who invested in the program. If I wasn’t talking to you right now I would be picking up the phone and calling this person who not only got the program but also got the blue tooth heart monitor and they got my 85’ blue mat which is cool as hell. They’re a little bit longer and a little bit wider and our logo is embroidered right into the mat. So they look pretty cool and I’m really proud of them.
So yeah, these people I’m talking about went all in. They from New York and they heard about us on Facebook. Maybe they read about the disabled veteran I helped walk and run again, or maybe they saw a video. I don’t know but I always say, don’t listen to anything I say. It’s my business, my life, don’t just listen to me, go on Facebook. Hell, go to YouTube or anywhere on the internet. Read the reviews. There are so many people that have given amazing reviews to this workout. But if you want to know what people are thinking right now, go to Facebook, our Facebook page and read what people write. You can’t make people do that, it’s impossible. Not that many people. I mean, I’ve been to arenas with 20,000 plus people and 80 percent of them are chanting DDP. You can’t make people do that.
When I showed up at the royal rumble, my birthday was in two weeks. I was literally two weeks away from 59 years young. When I walked out and throw my hands up in the Diamond cutter sign, the WWE got a great shot from the side; EVERYONE stood up and threw up the Diamond Cutter. It was a wave of everyone throwing up the Diamond cutter sign. I threw it up three more times and the pops got louder and louder. Again, how can I do this?
Now I’m 11 months from forty. You know you gotta own those big numbers like 40, 50, and 60 and I’m going to own it all the way up until I’m 90, with one foot over my head, standing on one leg. I’m going to be putting a foot over my head when I’m 90. You have to set goals and reenergize not just your life but your body with what you eat, what you think, and what you do.
GM: As someone who is very health conscious I completely agree. You have to plan for the long haul. You’ve obviously done that and helped a lot of others do that, but I also hear you’ve helped other wrestlers as well.
DDP: Yeah, I have. Plenty of them. Chris Jericho is probably the greatest example I can give. At 40 years old, he herniated his L4. He was doing Dancing with the Stars, dancing, twisting and turning. All that stuff. Constantly starting and stopping. He was practicing something like 10-15 hours a day. Now he didn’t blow his back out doing Dancing with the Stars, that came from bouncing around in the ring since he was 18 years old. Now he can’t wrestle, he can’t even sing with Fozzie. I sent him a video, and if you haven’t seen it you need to go to DDPyoga.com and watch that video.
I sent that video to Jericho and in 5 minutes, the video is only 4 minutes and 43 seconds long, but in 5 minutes Chris called me back and said “Dude, tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” In five weeks he was 85 percent pain free. In three months he was 100 percent pain free and headlines WrestleMania with CM Punk. That was three and a half years ago. Let’s go back three months ago. Chris wrestles for about six months at a time and then tours with Fozzie. He’s touring with Fozzie right now as a matter of fact. But he had a match with Bray Wyatt, and at 43 years young, he jumps off the top of the cage down onto Bray Wyatt. It was pretty crazy man! ::laughs:: I was going “Chris NOOO!!!” but also “Chris, YESSS!!!”
He got EVERYONE in the WWE for me. He got me Channel Sonet yo! The channel on airplanes! Also, while doing his podcast, Talk is Jericho, he had a guest on who was complaining about his back and Jericho was like “Dude, DDP Yoga” ::laughs::
I mean you look at Gold dust out there jumping and flying around that ring like he’s a kid but he’s 46 years old! He’s one of the biggest successes. He came down to my retreat in Mexico.
GM: I got to tell you, Gold dust is looking better than ever! I mean, if that’s DDP Yoga, then I’m in.
DDP: ::laughs:: It’s amazing isn’t it? You know, he talks about that and addiction in the movie “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake Roberts”. Jericho is also in that along with Scott Hall, Jim Duggan, Gene Okerlund, Ted Dibiase. By the way, it’s a great movie about Jake’s life. Nobody thought he could do that. I didn’t do anything. Jake and Scott Hall did all the work. Jake’s been on a roll, I’m so proud of him. He’s doing “The Unspoken Word” at the comedy places. It draws huge crowds and his show’s amazing.
That’s gonna do it for part one. Be sure to check back for part 2. In the mean time, I seriously recommend checking out DDP Yoga. I don’t sell easy, but I did my homework on this and Page ain’t whistling dixie, it’s getting rave reviews, and the results are obvious. Look at Jake the Snake for crying out loud!!!
Here’s the links you need to peep:
www.DDPyoga.com – The place to go to get started. I couldn’t believe how reasonable his pricing is.
DDP Yoga Facebook – As DDP said, go here to read the feed back and reviews.
DDP Yoga Twitter – Go here to stay up to date on the world of DDP Yoga