Diamond Dallas Page was the latest guest on Chasing Glory With Lilian Garcia and the founder of DDPY talked about several topics in his wrestling career, both the “then” and the “now” as he readies himself for his return to the ring this week on AEW Dynamite.
If you know DDP, he is all about positivity and part of keeping such an optimistic mindset involves “repetition of affirmations.” This means believing and stating to yourself that you can do something, therein creating confidence in yourself at accomplishing a goal. DDP used that method when he had to do his induction speech into the WWE Hall of Fame and because of that (along with the support of friends and family) it became his favorite moment of his wrestling career.
“It’s the only voice in my head and when I went out there and Eric Bischoff gave me a phenomenal introduction, I gave him a big hug, I had all four of my girls with me, the Diamond Daughters, and I ran up there and felt as good as you could feel,” said Dallas. “I think – when people say to me what is your favorite moment in professional wrestling, that was it because of the accumulation of the entire journey.”
DDP believes belief this mindset is key for any person.
“Repetition of affirmations leads to belief and once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen,” he told Lilian.
Dallas may have started his full-time in-ring career at the age of 35, but he did happen to have some matches both in the late 70s and late 80s. He and Lilian talk about him reaching the milestone of wrestling in his sixth decade and which talents inspired him during those early years.
“It feels crazy cause I had three matches in 1979. I even have a card cause someone has sent me on paper, you just print it off you turn them into a little folder and there on the folder on the front page of it is ‘Handsome Dallas Page.'” Dallas called himself that because of his admiration for one “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant.
“I’m not doing this if it’s not for ‘Handsome’ Jimmy Valiant because he made me really as a 17 year old kid made want to do it and try it and I tried it when I was 23. I had three matches, I sucked, I hurt my knee again.”
That’s when Dallas got away from wrestling and focused on running a bar, but when the late 80s hit, that’s when he got the wrestling bug once more and he first caught sight of Jake Roberts.
“I was so mad that I did not pay my dues and I wouldn’t watch wrestling. One day I was flipping the channels and I see Gorilla [Monsoon] and Jesse Ventura and I’ve never seen a guy like Jesse before and I thought, ‘This is the coolest cat alive.’ And the first match that came out, the guy had a bag over his shoulder and it’s Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and I’m like, ‘Who the hell – this guy is real!’ This other stuff may be fake, but this is real!'”
This prompted DDP to send a tape into the AWA and it was to his surprise when he happened to hear back from the promotion. His run in the company got tabled once they figured out he and his cohorts couldn’t wrestle, but serendipity later came into play.
“Luckily Paul Heyman left and went to the NWA, left a big whole in the AWA and that’s how I got my opportunity and I worked with them for a little over a year and a half, but I also got to work with Dusty Rhodes in Florida Championship Wrestling and that’s where my second match comes in, in the 80s.”
“There’s four matches in two decades, but I did four. Three in one and then the 90s of course, 2000s of course and when it came to 2010, a decade ago, I was in LA and I got a call and they asked me if I could do this tag in Rome, GA. which like 30 miles away from where I live in Atlanta and I thought, ‘What the hell, I’ll have five decades in if I do that,’ never thinking there’s going to be a sixth decade but now there’s a sixth decade so now it’s really cool.”
Lilian asked DDP if he feels ready for this Wednesday. Dallas had a bit of issues starting off, but now with the help of Dr. Craig Aaron (aka: “The Yoga Doc”) “The Master Of The Diamond Cutter” is good to go.
“I feel great now. I’m ready to go, we’re going to get out there, we’re going to tear it down and have some fun and then it’ll be over.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
DDP also details to Lilian about his broken childhood and how he overcame such to keep a positive outlook on his life and career. You can listen to the entire episode of Chasing Glory below: