had all but given up on getting Diamond Dallas Page into this issue. His manager and I had gone back and forth for about a month until we got to the point where he told me the interview wasn’t going to happen. Then, one afternoon while I was stoned and hanging out with a friend who had disappeared into an Indian mountaineering school for fifteen months before suddenly returning to Toronto, I got a call from DDP's manager. He wanted to do the interview right then and there. So, luckily Pat Maloney was into it and this is what we got. Dallas is into yoga now. And rambling. The guy doesn’t make a lot of sense. But hey, he’s a wrestling legend and I think this provides a great portrait of what sports entertainment will do to your brain. - Ed.
What inspired you to become a wrestler?
I wanted to be one since I was a little kid. I tried it when I was twenty-two and it didn’t work out. Then when I was almost thirty-two, I was in the friggin’ night club I was running watching a Cindy Lauper video and I was like fuck, I should have been a part of wrestling. I was with all my buddies and I told them how I tried it when I was a young kid under the name “Handsome Dallas Page” and we were all getting fucked up drinking and one of the guys suggested I try “Diamond Dallas Page”. Cause diamonds are a girl’s best friend. So I thought, what if I had a whole slew of women that were like, stripper hot that could accompany me to the ring. We could call them the “Diamond Dolls”. That’s how it all started. 1988.
What was the worst injury you ever got?
I’d say the worst one I came back from was when I ruptured my L4 and L5. My career didn’t take off until I was forty. I was one of the top guys in the world. I had three different doctors tell me my career was over but I just signed a multi-million dollar contract. It was the first time I ever got paid. Long story short, I was married at the time and Kimberly suggested I take yoga to heal my body. Actually I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying “f--- that, I wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga”. So I started doing some yoga and I was blown away by how much it helped me with my flexibility and strength. Have you ever done yoga before?
Um, kinda! Just with my girlfriend. A little bit. Some Youtube tutorials.
Do you know what isometrics are?
Uh, not so much no.
If you were to push against a wall, or a car, and you really had to move the car. It would engage your feet, your calves, your thighs, your quads, your hands, your forearms, your shoulders. You’re engaging every muscle but you’re not moving! That’s an isometric.
Ok. What was the worst part of being a wrestler?
The traveling. I was on the road 375 [sic] days a year at times. I was actually wrestling all those days. Even when I was doing Craig Kilborn or Hollywood Squares or doing a movie I still worked 275 [sic] days a year. You’ve gotta have that fucking conditioning and drive and work ethic to not let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do.
For sure. So, who was the easiest person to wrestle with?
I loved working with Randy [Savage] because Randy made me. I loved working with Sting, I loved working with Raven... all the Flock guys. I loved working with Benoit. Eddie Guerrero. It was Eddie who really showed the boys that I had it. No one thought I could really work that well until I started working with Eddie. Me and Eddie were doing shit that no one was doing.
What made you want to retire from wrestling?
I was forty-six years old man. I almost broke my neck. Do you know how much it hurts to hit that fucking ring?
Yeah... it doesn't look like it's too relaxing to hit the mat.
There’s nothing relaxing about it! Put your bed on the floor and just fall on that and then count that times ten. Have Randy Savage come off the top rope and smash your face. It was all 255 pounds of him landing on ya. I felt like my intestines were going to shoot out of my body when he landed on me. You can’t fake gravity.
Originally published in Spring 2011, Issue 5.2