We’ve seen many professional wrestlers find successful careers after their days in the ring come to an end. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has gone onto become the biggest star in Hollywood, Mick Foley has written books and done stand up shows, but there is arguably no former wrestler who has helped as many people change their life for the better than former WCW champion Diamond Dallas Page. Not only did he help change the life of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, but he has also now partnered with the NFL Alumni to work with retired football players.
In an exclusive interview with VultureHound, Dallas Page discusses DDPY’s new partnership with the NFL Alumni, his new book Positively Unstoppable, and his thought process behind writing the book. He also delves into Cody Rhodes career, AEW, and Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch. DDP pulled out all the stops to ensure VultureHound, and its readers feel the “bang!”
You announced DDPY’s partnership with the NFL Alumni, how did that come about?
Oh, man, I’ve been working on it for so long. More than anything, it’s putting it out there in the universe that I want to work with the guys that are beat the f**k up (laughs). I try to take care of all those guys. Anybody who put their body on the line for the fans whether it’s football players or country singers, I try to do it. So a good friend of mine, Kent is friends with a guy named Kyle Richardson who played for the Ravens for about seven or eight years, and Kent was telling him about the program, and he loved it. And I always say, it’s not about who you know, it’s about who is willing to say they know you.
So Kyle tried it, and he told me that it would be amazing for all the retired guys on the Alumni. Kyle phoned Bart Oates, who is the president of the overall Alumni, and next thing you know, I’m on the phone with him. But it took over a year though, figuring out how we’re going to do this. I didn’t want any money out of it; just having the affiliation is huge for me. If you can make a difference on the level we do, it’s pretty rewarding.
Before you started to work on Positively Unstoppable, did you look around and see all the other wrestling autobiographies and think, “I want to do something different?”
I didn’t really think about the other wrestling books because there have been so many of them, and my original one, Positively Page, was one of the first wrestling autobiographies. I had to do some memoirs throughout Positively Unstoppable because I’m using examples of overcoming adversity. I brainstorm so much of my stuff with my business partner Steve Yu, who is the director of The Resurrection of Jake The Snake Roberts, and one of the main things we said is let’s use Jake and Scott Hall.
With Jake and Scott, I was trying to get them to stop living in the past. Stop all the negativity. When Jake did his Hall of Fame speech, he said he wasted a lot of his youth, and so it was all about getting him to stop beating himself up. So he went from saying “I’m a loser” to “my history is not my destiny,” and there is a whole chapter on that.
Now with DDPY, they’re not just getting the DVD’s, the DDPY App, the cooking shows, and the motivational Monday’s, but I wanted to give them a workbook. All my successful people did what I told them to do, that’s why I use Arthur and Stacey as an example, normal people who went from dark places to positive places. It all comes down to the story we tell ourselves from A to Z and explaining how you do it in your everyday lives. That’s really why I wrote it.
One of the things that is great about the book is it’s so simple; anyone can follow it and benefit from reading it. Especially the story where you detail an argument you had with your wife Brenda, and you tell her to change her mindset. It was incredible because it was so simple, and it makes you think.
I said to her you can literally change your mindset, and she said: “Bullshit, that’s crazy.” You really can do it, in an instant, but you have to want to do it. You have to change what you’re focusing on, and you have to stop telling yourself all that negative shit, and it can literally just go away (laughs). But then you have to work on it. You have to put in the work, and I say that all the way through.
Like my boy, Cody Rhodes, doing something super special right now. But I’ve been watching his whole life, I’m like the uncle (laughs), watching everything he’s doing. When he was at All IN, he had one of those weightlifting belts on, and on the back of it, he had four very important words: “Put. The. Work. In.” The people that say they don’t have the time, it’s bullshit, stop going online, and get your shit done first.
Also, you had Mick Foley write the foreword, which was great. But at this point, you could have chosen a lot of people to write that foreword. What led you to pick Mick over say, Jake or Chris Jericho?
You know, I tried to get Mick to do the program five times, and then, one day, he called me up out of the blue and told me that he didn’t want anyone to know yet, but he had been doing the program. He was doing his own version of it because I always say make it your own, and he was down forty pounds. He said he wanted to lose fifty pounds and announce it on Austin’s show, and I told him that was awesome. Then he got to a hundred pounds down.
Mick had to change the story he told himself on such a different level. Mick is one of the smartest guys I know, I mean, brilliant. And it took him a long time, but then he got it. Chris Jericho never had to change the story he told himself. He gets owning it at a different level (laughs). That would have been my second choice because Chris put me on the map, he gave me a different level of credibility with the boys, and I don’t forget that.
But I also thought Mick would be the most entertaining too, and I would have never guessed he would tell a story about going twenty-five years back in time and him talking to a ghost. What a creative way to do it, I think it’s one of the best forewords I’ve ever read.
Rey Mysterio, that man is still moving like he’s twenty years old. But he said on a recent podcast with Lillian Garcia he talked to you about DDPY on the Jericho Cruise, has he reached out to you yet?
He is a phenom. I don’t know how he’s able to do what he is doing, and I know he is sore because we talked about it. I set him up with the app, I don’t know how much he is doing it, I don’t know, but he’s a freak of nature. Eventually, I’m going to get all of them, all the guys who are willing to put the work in. And Rey’s one of those guys, but he’s just so busy. So we’ll see. I love watching that kid work, but he’s not even a kid anymore, he’s in his forties (laughs).
He’s one of the guys I watch, and Drew McIntyre’s one of my boys. I have to watch his stuff. He’s a great kid, does my program religiously. Once he hurt himself, he called me and asked me to set him up with the app. I told him he needs to come up here and spend some time with me. So he started doing it, and then he came up, and he was blown away by how much I just tweaked everything and helped take it to a different level.
He actually drove seven and a half hours to work out with me. Stayed with me for five hours, turned around and drove seven and a half hours back. That’s the kind of work ethic McIntyre has.
All Elite Wrestling, they’re already making big moves in the world of wrestling. The ALL IN crew is taking over; they’ve signed Chris Jericho and PAC. It’s early days, of course, but what do you think we can expect from AEW in a year or a few years time?
You know it’s interesting because I did an interview with Cody a little over a year ago, and I just wanted to bring people up to speed with where he was at and what he was doing. Also, I wanted to give him Dusty’s coat, which Dusty gave to me. And it’s really amazing how much his life changed over that one year. This year, we did it again. I did a motivational Monday on my DDPY app with Cody, and it was pieces of our interview, and it was looking at how much your life can change in one year when you’re owning it.
Cody has been around me since he was eight years old, and I don’t mean around like we just say “hey, how are you doing?” I’ve been mentoring him for f*****g twenty years. He’s one of my favourite people on the planet. So seeing what they have done, and how it’s all come together over this last year has been amazing. It was so cool to be backstage at ALL IN and watching him talk to the boys before the show and telling them to have fun. He’d hear people out if they had an idea, but he told them how to do it because he had a vision.
He and I spoke before ALL IN; we talked about how it might be his one chance to do a show like that. Obviously, that’s not the case now. It’s turned into this thing with Tony Khan, and they are doing something that is ridiculously extraordinary. They’ve got their Double or Nothing show, and I think they have another show planned, and they are working on their TV show. I don’t know exactly where that is right now; we help him shoot videos that he needs because our quality is so high. We help him do that, just because he’s my boy.
I don’t get involved any more than just being a sounding board for him. I think there is a lot of potential there, but it will all come down to what the TV looks like. The biggest thing for him is the fans, and keeping that one on one relationship, and having that interaction with them. That’s going to be interesting to watch as they move forward because as they get bigger and bigger, then it’s tough to be so relatable. So far, he’s a hundred percent relatable.
Becky Lynch has taken the wrestling world by storm, and she’s even going toe to toe with John Cena, and everyone is behind the idea of Lynch vs. Ronda main eventing Wrestlemania this year. Do you think that’s the match that needs to be in the main event?
Well, I think there’s no bigger draw than Ronda (laughs). I heard her say in an interview one time that everything in her life prepared her for this (wrestling), and Becky can go out there and have a hell of a match with her. She (Becky) is like a female Jake Roberts. She has all the tools. She’s got an amazing look. Has all the tools in the ring, and she is believable as a son of a b***h, but she can also make her opponent look unbelievable. Ronda’s still finding her way, she’s doing very well, and she’s going to be amazing.
So I think they can carry it, but they never do one main event at Wrestlemania anyway, there is always a couple of them. It’s not all on one match. But when it was Rock vs. Hogan – that was the main event (laughs). When it was Austin and Rock – that was the match. But since then, they’ve spent a lot of time having a couple of featured matches because they have such a big talent pool. But they could absolutely be one of the main events at Mania.
We mentioned Ronda Rousey. You were one of the few that really went out of your way to tell everyone she was going to deliver at last year’s Wrestlemania. How satisfying is it for you to see where she is now?
She’s a world class athlete. And she didn’t just come in and think, “Oh, I think I’ll wrestle now.” She’s a fan. So when you grow up a fan and you use the moniker of ‘Rowdy’ that was made famous by Roddy Piper, and Roddy gives you his blessing to use the name, that’s something. So I knew she had all that in her. And again, work ethic at a different level. And I’m really surprised her husband, Travis Browne is not down at the WWE performance centre, because he loves wrestling too. He’s money. He actually sent me a picture a few months ago of him and Ronda doing DDPY in the ring.
Her whole Four Horsewomen do the program. They’ll put up videos of them doing DDPY. Those girls at the P.C work so hard and I was really excited to see Lacey Evans get the call up to the main roster. We became good friends, and I mentor her, she does the program all the time. I have so much respect for what these girls are doing.
The bottom line is after all this time, everything we’ve been doing, it’s finally taking off. There is a quote that I use which says: “It’s okay to want to be rich and famous. You just can’t want it first.” There is a lot of work that goes into being rich and famous. It’s the message that I try to put out there, just put the work in, keep moving forward, and anything is possible.
Positively Unstoppable is now available in Hardcover, Kindle, and Audio format: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Positively-Unstoppable-Diamond-Dallas-Page/dp/1635650208/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1549554994&sr=8-1&keywords=ddp+positively+unstoppable