Diamond Dallas Page or DDP, as he is known to millions, is inspirational. Watch his WWE Hall of Fame Speech, read about his career, spend time listening to him lead you through his DDP Yoga workout or speak to him on the phone for 30 minutes and you will be left charged with positive energy. He has done it all. From nightclub owner to pay-per-view headliner and now the leader of the worldwide phenomenon that is DDP Yoga. Intrepid yogi's should beware though, this is 'Not Your Mama's Yoga'! A session of DDP Yoga uniquely incorporates different strands of other exercise and rehabilitation techniques. If you want to read what it's like doing the sessions, read our review from a few years ago.
The best news is that DDP is coming to the UK in September for a lengthy tour of the country incorporating both live DDP Yoga sessions ('inspiration meets perspiration') and Q&A's with meet and greet options included. The full list of tour dates is available from DDPUKTour.com. We had the chance to speak with DDP and the man knows how to tell a story! As a result, we are going to upload them in parts in the coming weeks starting today. Enjoy and make sure to see the man himself when he comes across the pond!
You're coming to the UK - what's your best memory from over here?
I guess it was on that first tour with Hulk [Hogan]. He had just come into the company [WCW] and I can't remember what arena we were in but I was actually wrestling and I was stretching out - and I wasn't doing DDP Yoga back then, it was just stretching - but Hulk comes up to me and he goes, I want to talk to you when you get out of the ring. I was about to go and they were playing my music. So I get done with my match and I come through the curtain and he grabs me and pulls me over and he says "how you doing it?" and I'm like "how am I doing what, Hulk?" and he says "How are you getting so much better?" Then he answers my question for me. This is 1994 and he says, "This is what they're doing with you. They're putting you on the road so that you can learn your craft, right?" and I said "no Hulk, this is the first road show that I've been on in the last four months". He says "seriously", I say "yeah" and he says "how are you getting so much better?" So I tell him I went back down to the PowerPlant and he asks what it is and I tell him that's where the guys train and there's like three rings and I've started to teach and the more I'm working with these young guys, the more I teach, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I get something different and you're seeing it. He says "whatever you're doing, you have to keep doing it". "If it's not this year or next year, the year after, but you're one of the guys". He'd just come into the company and I'd never even met him until this tour - I'd had a few words with his at Wrestlemania 6. He says "somewhere down the line you have the ability to draw huge money with me" and he walked away. I was blown away that he was even talking to me, especially about my work and that we could draw money. Four years later we're shooting the angle on the Tonight show, me and Karl Malone against Rodman and Hogan. So what he said on that tour happened four years later and was so much bigger than I ever could have dreamed.
You worked with the Undertaker in a 'stalker' angle, how did you feel about doing that?
So far as 'Take, I love Taker. I think he's awesome. It was the sh**s for me because it took me so far out of character but that's sort of like what the goal was. To beat down the WCW guy and you know what, it taught me so many lessons. As far as business is concerned, you guys are the originators of the show Shark Tank- Dragons Den. It's a huge show. They make you go through like five different interviews - video, phone - you have to put a whole pitch together before they accept you. We got to the end and the last part of the deal is you basically sign your life over to them for the opportunity that they'll let you be on their national TV. So they control what you do in terms of promotion - YouTube, Twitter. Those were the early days of the show but they wanted control over anything PR. I was getting ready to leave for Chattanooga, Tennessee from Atlanta and go up there which is about 90 minutes from my house - there was no DDP Yoga performance centre back then. I'm getting ready to leave and my business partner Steve Yu, who's also the Director of the movie the Resurrection of Jake the Snake, says to me "what are we going to do because we've got to sign all that paperwork for Shark Tank - are we going to do it or not?" I say "Here's what to do Steve. I want you to send them an email saying thank-you so much for the opportunity; we love the show but were going to pass". He's like "What!? But we've been working on this for like two years! We're going to pass now?" I go "man, here's what I learned from Vince McMahon. Sometimes, you've got to be able to get up and walk away from the table". If you think you're right - like I wanted to do Peoples Champion vs Peoples Champion. I had that idea two years before I ever stepped foot on the floor of WWE Titan Towers. It was an idea inside me, id met the Rock and he was such a cool dude, the little banter we had back and forth, I knew we would be huge money. It's about the only goal in my life where I didn't say No, No No, I'm doing this when they came up with the stalker idea and I didn't follow through with it and I did what they wanted. So I told Steve, "I'm never going to put myself in that position again - this company will either make it or not on the decisions I make, not the decisions someone else makes for me and then I get blamed because it didn't work out". "I take my own destiny in my own hands". So we leave it there. As I'm pulling into Chattanooga 90 mins later, I get a call from Steve. He said, "D, I got the producers of Shark Tank on the phone, they want to talk to us, and they want to fix it" - and I just started laughing. I sent them back three different times because I wouldn't sign the contract until I had total control of my own stuff and that NEVER happens, I'm sure of it. It never happens without making the wrong move like what I went through with WWE. I have thanked Vince McMahon so many times for that I can't even tell you. For me, I just waited it out, just did the right thing whenever it came to anything with WWE and five or six years later they gave me the very best of Nitro, not just one but two and three and bringing me back for all the old school Raws. They were setting me up - you could see - because I was on the show and every one of the guys that was there were Hall of Famers but me and then I get the call. Have you seen Positively Living? It's a 3dvd set they came up with for me - its looks powerful. They did a great thing. I told so many great stories, that whole Hall of Fame week. If people can come out, we'll be telling them pretty much all over your country, man.
What's the best rib that was played on you?
The best rib - of course, everybody knows the story. That is the cookie story that Mick [Foley] did to me, putting cookies in my bed. It wasn't funny exactly in the moment but I knew, after it was over, that it would be funny for years to come. I love how Mick put it into the stand-up act that he did and he would save it for the closer. One of the really great stories is, we were in Chicago and we were up there doing workshops and speaking things with corporations and Mick was doing his stand up thing outside of Chicago. He asked me whether I would come down and be a surprise guest. So he's out there with the late great Roddy Piper. Piper's doing his thing and then Mick his, there's a real back and forth. At some point, Mick does the final story and Piper is playing me. No-one knows I'm in the back, nobody. It gets to the point that I'm jumping up and down and I've taken the cookies and my ass is in the face of Mick and Piper's playing it up perfectly - then all the lights go out. And when the lights come back on, I'm standing there. Now these 300 people there, it was like 30,000, it was so loud - they couldn't even see it coming. That's the Diamond Cutter - the move, it came out of nowhere, it made the people pop. Ask Mick Foley, if you ever get the chance to talk to him, ask him about that show because that was the loudest pop I have ever heard for a crowd anywhere near that. It was awesome. The lights came on and I said "that's not how it ****in' happened". I don't even remember what we did after that - that's how you know it's really working, because you don't remember what you did. It was a lot of fun - if you want to know if DDP Yoga works, ask Mick. Look at how he works today, you've never seen Mick look this good. He's coming off hip replacement surgery, Knee replacement surgery and he's still doing DDP with the rehab they give him as well. So this guy is living proof that man, DDP Yoga works.
Come and be inspired for yourself - we'll see you there. DDP calls at the following: :
Friday 8 September: Q&A, Glasgow, The Class Grand
Saturday 9 September: DDPY Workshop 1-4, Glasgow, Club Kelvin Hall
Sunday 10 September: DDPY Workshop 1-4, Newcastle, Benfield Centre
Wednesday 13 September: Q&A, Manchester, Frog & Bucket
Thursday 14 September: DDPY Workshop 7-10, Manchester, Bell Vue Sports Village
Friday 15 September: Q&A, Birmingham, Glee Club
Saturday 16 September: DDPY Workshop, 1-4, Birmingham, Action Indoor Sports
Sunday 17 September: DDPY Workshop, 7-10, London, Somers Town Comm. Sports centre
Monday 18 September: Q&A, London, The Backyard Club