This was filmed in 2007
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
This is a two-disc set. Disc One runs at 112 minutes and Disc Two runs for 104 minutes long.
The interview starts off by asking DDP if he was a wrestling fan growing up. He talks about how he watched if briefly as a kid but stopped once he got older and started playing sports. He did say that Handsome Jimmy Valiant, Superstar Billy Graham, and Dusty Rhodes all caught his attention first as he also loved Freddie Blassie and Capt. Lou Albano were his favorites as they could all talk.
DDP said he got into it more in his late teens/early 20’s and would see WWWF shows with his friend as he would want to get into the business. He talked about seeing Gorilla Monsoon leaving the arena and asked about getting into the business as he gave them the name Tito Torres, a prelim wrestler who had a small room that could only fit a ring and trained once a week, joking that was not a way to learn much. He did say he had long blonde hair and had a good look but no fucking idea what he was doing.
He tells a story of getting stiffed a lot in a tag match and fought back with a clothesline then ended up getting the shit kicked out of him. Back in the locker room, they all lauded him for fighting back but he was worried his knee was hurt, as he got into a car accident as a kid where he was told by the doctor if he kept up with sports, would need to walk with a cane by the time he was 40.
In the late 70’s, he stopped pursuing wrestler and worked at a night club, noting how pissed he was at himself for not staying with wrestling as he talks about having to stay with wrestling.
After being in the bar and party scene for a while, DDP had a goal of owning his own night club. However, during this time in the 80’s, drunk-driving became such a problem as the bar he has working at in New Jersey became a problem because two of the three roads to get to the place were blocked off and everyone was getting popped for DUI’s so he went with a friend to Fort Lauderdale, Florida as DDP notes it was a crazy scene with a lot of drugs. It was there that he always saw Jake Roberts and Ted DiBiase, two big-time partiers, and treated them well as DDP notes DiBiase was a really nice guy. He then went to Fort Myers and got fucked over by the club owners so went across the street and took it over where they put that club under.
DDP talks about doing a lot of impressions of wrestlers then would do his Dallas Page character. He then talks about meeting Smitty Smith, a boxing interview who was still just a local guy in the Tampa area, and how he should get into wrestling and gave him the number for someone in the AWA. He thought he could become a manager, thinking he was too old to start wrestling again at age 32 so he started thinking he could have a stable called the “Diamond Exchange” and could be accompanied by females called the “Diamond Dolls.” He then sent into a tape of some stuff and two weeks later got called and while originally thinking it was a joke, he was asked to come in for a tryout. The stuff he sent in had some friends of his on the tapes that were not wrestlers but looked like they were as the company told him he never heard of them before. He then had to fly himself in for a tryout and was told to bring his clothes and all the girls for his one shot.
While at the tryout in Vegas, he met Verne Gagne and told he would be managing the Tag Champs, Badd Company. Verne also told DDP he was the tallest manager he has ever met. He puts them both over as guys and how their matches against the Rockers were ahead of its time and how they told great stories. He then tells the story on the first time he met Shawn Michaels. DDP said he was going into a room with all the guys where Verne introduced him as a new manager. Michaels got up from the couch and joked that Pat Tanaka should be the one managing DDP.
He laughs when asked about any road stories from the AWA. DDP talked about Michael Hayes and how they were a lot alike and notes that he had to change what he did in wrestling at first because he came off like Hayes. He was in the back of Jerry Jarrett’s car with Hayes and someone else. DDP noted that Jarrett treated the Freebirds like shit when they first came through Memphis. They were drinking in the back seat as this was the TV episodes leading up to the AWA Superclash. Jarrett hated cigarette smoke so Hayes kept smoking and would slowly blow the smoke right at Jarrett. He talks about being friends with Hayes still to this day.
DDP also talks about developing a relationship with Curt Hennig, who told him he was going to ask the WWF to bring him in as his manager for the Mr. Perfect character. He then talks about how Freddie Blassie loved his work and sent it to Pat Patterson, who also thought it was great but said DDP was way too tall and they did not bring him into the company.
After that, he sent the tape to Mike Graham, who called and left a message for him as Dusty Rhodes just left the NWA and they wanted to build up Florida again. However, DDP had strep throat and could barely talk. At the time, DDP was still working at a night club and making about $1,500 a week while having all the “broads, booze, and pussy” he wanted and did not want to leave all that to make about $200 as a wrestling manager. Anyway, he was in a room with Dusty, Steve Keirn, and Gordon Solie and said he wanted to make him a color commentator, like the “Jesse Ventura of the 90’s.” After DDP said he didnt know any of the holds, Dusty said Gordon Solie would walk him through it as DDP put over Solie for making wrestling sound like it was real. As this was going on, DDP said he would train with Keirn once a week to know what it meant to be a worker and use that to help his commentary role.
He talks about Bam Bam Bigelow, who he knew back in Jersey, and how he was drinking in clubs at age 17, because he was about 360lbs and no one would fuck with him.
DDP talks about learning how to do the Diamond Cutter at the Power Plant in WCW and how Randy Orton actually called him up about using it as his finish to see if it was okay as DDP said he was respectful and told Orton how he was retired as he talks about how the move is made for a babyface as you get beat down then come back with it to get the win. DDP also puts over Orton as a great, young talent. He also said that Christian is a great talent as well.
On driving Rhythm & Blues to the ring for their WrestleMania VI, entrance, DDP said the company liked his shit and how he got teased a bit to see if he could handle it as DDP said you just no-sell everything. They then had him tryout as a replacement for Jesse Ventura on commentary as he laughs over the fact he could ever replace him. So, he did color commentary as Lord Alfred Hayes did was the lead announcer then they switched roles with Hayes putting him over as DDP said he took everything he learned from working along Gordon Solie in Florida.
He then jumps ahead and goes into the stalker angle he had with the Undertaker, joking how everyone knew his wife, Kimberly, and how she was one of the most beautiful women on the planet and its ridiculous to have him stalk someone else’s wife as a result. DDP also said the fans did not buy the angle, comparing it to flopping like if John Wayne played a gay character.
He is asked about Eric Bischoff and tells a story from when they were doing the search for the “Diamond Doll” contest back in the AWA. DDP talks about being in the bar business and how he pulled all sorts of smoking hot girls for hot legs and wet t-shirt contests in Florida but they were in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota, as DDP joked that they all looked like “cows.” DDP said he was drunk and that Bischoff told him to show respect and they went after each other until they were separated. DDP said he left and ate then got back to the hotel and got off of the elevator at the same time and they had more words as DDP said when Bischoff drinks, he is not afraid of anyone. The next morning, DDP said he was getting ready and an extremely hungover Bischoff knocked on the door and apologized for being a dick and told DDP he could shake his hand or punch him in the face as an apology so DDP shook his hand. DDP says this is how he remembered the whole story anyway.
On Scott Hall, DDP said that Hall would call him up and that DDP asked him how he felt about dying his hair black, as everyone had blond hair then. DDP then talks about watching a George Michael video on MTV and thought Hall should get rid of his mustache and have the stubble that Michael was sporting at the time. DDP then tried to sell Hall to the rest of the roster but was told he failed to get over two other times. Hall came in but only used some cheap brown hair dye so DDP had someone die his hair and made him wear his coat and shades and Dusty was the only one to recognize him. DDP was not surprised Hall left WCW as they never used him the right way then jokes how he was mad that he gave Hall the toothpick gimmick but is glad Hall got it over and helped him out.
DDP tells a crazy on how he got ribbed during a battle royal. Rick Steiner decided he was going to rip off his trunks but when he did, DDP had another pair of running shorts on underneath. After ripping DDP’s shirt to shreds, Steiner then ripped off the shorts but DDP did not have underwear on and was naked. Oliver Humperdink was part of the match and gave his t-shirt to DDP to put over himself but when he went to cover himself up outside, the shirt fell off and he was naked as the crowd went insane. DDP said that Steiner got in trouble over that but he though the whole thing was funny.
He puts over guys like Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit who would always help him out and offer advice after his matches. DDP also puts over the ability of Jake Roberts, Curt Hennig, Terry Funk, Randy Savage, and Dusty Rhodes.
After tearing his rotator cuff, DDP said his contract was up and knew WCW was not going to renew it so he quit. He then talks about how watching wrestling on the couch with Jake Roberts taught him more than anything else and he came back but signed a two-year deal for $85,000 per year, which DDP was dumb on his behalf.
DDP loved teaming with Kevin Nash as they were two guys from the bar scene who know one thought would amount to shit.
On Ric Flair, DDP talks about Flair not liking him as a wrestler. He then says how he does not respect Flair as a person but that his character was one of the best ever in the business. DDP talks about how he never thought Flair was trying to sabotage him at the beginning when he was at the bottom of the card in his late 30’s but he did do what was best for business in the ring.
He talks about riding with Steve Austin a lot and that Austin would put his beers on his ice packs. DDP puts over Austin for being a student of the game. He then said that guys like Austin, Regal, Scott Levy, and Regal would watch the matches and do running commentary.
DDP jokingly refers to the Battlebowl as the “Jabroni Bowl” and how he was originally supposed to win as he would get tossed over the top but skin-the-cat as Savage would kick Flair over the top rope as he tried a figure four and Savage would act like he won but DDP would throw him out for the win. However, they were also involved in other angles and politics made it so they had a bunch of midcard guys in the match. DDP was with Chris Kanyon and they talked about the finish as they came up with DDP hitting the Diamond Cutters on everyone. The day of the show, he asked the booker who he was working against and he then gave him his plan for the finish. However, the agent told him he had to tell the others in the match about the finish as DDP told them all, who he said were all guys he was friends with. He tells the Barbarian that he was going to win by ducking under him and throwing him over the top rope as Barbarian looked at him and said “no brother, I’ll take your finisher, its your time.” and that is what ended up happening as DDP said he gave Barbarian a hug. He then jokes about how he never got a feud after that for some reason but the next night, he threw up what would be known as the Diamond Cutter sign for the first time and kept doing it every match after that in his enhancement matches. The crowd started to pick up on it and they ended up turning him babyface.
He had no idea that Scott Hall & Kevin Nash were coming into WCW as Bischoff “kayfabed” him about it as he puts them over for changing wrestling.
DDP is asked about several workers. He said that Brian Pillman became a supporter of his after seeing how hard he trained but at first, would tell him that he was awful and should quit. He loved working with Goldberg and said he probably got the best matches out of him. DDP loved working with Jeff Jarrett because he worked towards getting a reaction and was a good technician in the ring.
At Halloween Havoc 1996, DDP said that Eddie Guerrero was supposed to go over but ended up tearing a muscle in his rib cage and could not do the frog splash. Eddie then kept yelling “diamond cutter” to DDP so he could hit the move and get the win.
He addresses those who only think he got a push due to being friends with Bischoff by giving us a Scott Hall quote of “If being someone’s friend will prevent me from getting a push, then I do not think I would want to work here any longer” as DDP talks about the angle how he turned down the nWo offer.
On his feud with Randy Savage, DDP said that he became more like himself after Savage told him he had too many gimmicks going on and to lose the gum and cigar so he did that before a match and drew up the Diamond Cutter sign coming out to the ring and the whole crowd followed suit. He then laughs about how off camera, Savage worked light as a feather but when the cameras were on he was hard-hitting.
DDP talks about Karl Malone seeing him twenty rows up at a Jazz game and how he gave the Diamond Cutter symbol. He then said that Charles Barkley, who was a friend of Ric Flair and a big drinker, pulled him aside and they drank. He also said that Warren Moon was there too and they were all talking. Later on, DDP went to Bischoff’s house and pitched the idea of Dennis Rodman & Hogan vs. Malone and himself. Bischoff thought it would be great for Malone to team with Savage but DDP said fuck that as Malone was his buddy. After the Jazz swept Shaq and the Lakers, Bischoff told DDP to call up Malone and make it happen. DDP puts over Malone’s work ethic and how Rodman had the heel act down but did not have the same work ethic as Malone and thought he would be a great heel if he worked that hard. He also said that Hogan laid out that match, which was probably the first time in his life he ever did that.
He laughs over the fact David Arquette won the World Title but said that he never wanted it in the first place and gave all the money he made to Melanie Pillman.
On the time he dressed as La Parka, DDP said he spent hours with him trying to copy his mannerisms and that he did not speak any English. DDP said he felt like La Parka when he was out there but no one else knew he was under the hood.
He talks about how if it wasn’t for AOL, there would still be a WCW as there are a lot of wrestling fans still out there but they do not like Vince McMahon’s product.
DDP talks about how it was his choice to go to the WWE and he is not going to make excuses for himself as to why it didnt work out there. He is thankful for getting to work with Christian at the end, putting him over again as a great worker.
On the WWE locker room, DDP said looking back the WCW guys were treated as outsiders and they made an example out of Buff Bagwell, who he puts over for being entertaining.
The Positively Page character was his idea because he needed a drastic change from the stalker gimmick and it instantly got over but the gimmick was squashed because he was supposed to be a heel and he believes some guys complained about that. DDP then said that Vince could not think he could work until his feud with Christian.
He left the WWE after he got knocked out by Bob Holly with a suplex and was out on his feet during the match and attempted a superplex but was afraid to hurt Holly and ended up hurting his back badly to the point his fingers were numb. Vince then made the call to stop using him as a wrestler.
DDP talks about his “Yoga for Regular Guys” and how he got Jean Claude Van Damme to get into it and Van Damme even wrote the forward to his book.
On his divorce from Kimberly, DDP said that they love each other but have different interests, such as she likes to hike and mountain climb while he does not care for that stuff.
DDP tells a story of how he was leaving the WWE locker room with Big Show and how the Rock was in the corner of the room, putting on his Versace shirt, where he shouted out to DDP that there was only one “people’s champ” as Big Show started laughing at DDP, who told the Rock that he was right. DDP said he would have loved to work a program with the Rock revolving around the “people’s champ” premise.
He talks about learning about power yoga and how he wants to expose it to guys who normally would never be caught dead doing it as he puts over his website. He also talks about not adapting the whole “Yogi” lifestyle and that he eats food that tastes good.
DDP closes this out by plugging his book and how if he can better his life, so can everyone else.
Final Thoughts: This was a long interview but it was enjoyable. DDP comes across as a great guy here. He goes talk a lot, much more than he needed to on some subjects, but its tough to come away from this hating the guy.
It was interesting to hear him talk about his career in the bar/night club industry as he seemed like he partied a ton. I bet stories on just that would be insane. Anyway, I thought his wrestling stories here were pretty good themselves.
Its amazing to see how he went into wrestling at the age he did and how quickly he improved.
Anyway, I’d recommend this interview. Its long but DDP is an engaging speaker and makes it entertaining.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/9/88
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 1/21/82
Sunday: WWF Boston Garden 10/10/88
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 10/15/88
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/16/88
Wednesday: EVOLVE 64 7/16/16
Thursday: Shoot Interview Recap TBD