RF Video Shoot Interview with Kimberly Page

This was filmed in 2007

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

It runs for one hour and forty-seven minutes long.

The interview starts with Kimberly being asked if she was a fan of wrestling growing up. She said she has first introduced to it in the 3rd grade when one of her friends was a big fan of Dusty Rhodes, even having his posters on her wall. She then watched it at home but Kimberly’s mom told her to turn it off as she thought it was too violent for her to watch. As she got into high school, one of her friends was obsessed with Michael PS Hayes and she began to watch it again then started to watch more as the WWF was starting the Rock n’ Wrestling programming and became a fan of that. She briefly talks about being struck by how beautiful Elizabeth while watching her in the program with Hogan and Savage.

She then talks about how she loved school and graduated from college Magna Cum Laude with a Public Relations and Journalism Degree from Auburn University. Kimberly also said that she started school at a very early age and was 17 when she began college and graduated at age 20. After graduating, she applied to graduate school and got iaccepted into Duke and Northwestern University for Law School and also got accepted to Northwestern for a Marketing and Communications Program, which is what she ending up doing.

Kimberly first met DDP while partying in Florida. She was teaching aerobics at a Women’s Health Club at the time and walked into a nightclub and met DDP. She was on a date with another guy at the time, who walked ahead of her on the floor. DDP then swooped in and they did a few shots when DDP noticed that Kimberly, who was a few days shy of her 21st birthday, did not have a bracelet indicating that she was old enough to drink. She left and he saw him again a few days later and said that he had a lot of “good lines” as he talked to her about what she liked and schooling. Kimberly also said that he was a great listener as well. They went on a few dates and she went back to school and a day or so after that he left her a message. She said that were both dating other people at the time too but after a few months they became exclusive.

They go into their relationship again as Kimberly talks about falling in love with DDP and how when she went to Northwestern, he was supportive of her.

She talks about going to the TV tapings in Tampa with DDP when he managed in Florida. Kimberly said DDP smartened her up on how to act backstage and would sit quietly backstage and amazed about how all of the guys prepared for the show. She said that she really respected the wrestlers and how they performed, saying there is a certain art to what wrestlers do but at the same time said some of the stories were hokey and seemed to be written by hacks but was into the characters.

On her first appearance as one of DDP’s “Diamond Dolls,” Kimberly said that they would usually have wrestlers girlfriends go out but one night they didnt have anyone so DDP suggested that she go out. At first, Kimberly was weary as she had a professional job and didnt want to be seen dressed in all sequence but she went out and did it and after it ended she thought to herself that it was “fucking great” to be out there and after that, she knew she wanted to get out of the advertising career and wanted to be in front of the camera.

When she started to have more camera time on the shows, Kimberly said she never knew if she was supposed to act as a heel or a face and since DDP was a heel she picked up on his mannerisms and started to do that when she came out and was taken aback by how much heat she got from the fans, saying that there is something about a female who acts like a strong heel that pisses off the fans. After that, DDP told her that they should do a deal similar to Savage/Liz where she comes out looking sexy while DDP browbeats her every chance he gets.

Kimberly is now asked on the hardest part of the business. She said that for her it was following the leads of the wrestlers, who were all improvising. She then said that DDP was easy in that regard and talks about how he was a lot tighter in laying out his matches before hand than others. Kimberly also said it was tough to remember all of the names of the moves at first too when she was told to remember what to do during certain spots. She talks about how she got lost at first but said that DDP would always make sure to help her out if she missed a spot by yelling her name during the match.

When asked if any of the wrestlers helped her out, Kimberly said that Sherri Martel was very welcoming. Looking back, Kimberly said that she had probably done a lot of stuff to get heat in the women’s locker room, like showing up early as possible in order to get the spot in the dressing room in front of the mirror, which she later learned went to the girl with the most seniority, but said Sherri was cool about everything. When other women with tenure in the business started to come into the company, they were tougher on her but Kimberly again talks about how kind Sherri was from day one.

She is asked about Eric Bischoff as a boss. Kimberly said he came in after they did and knew when he came in the company would change as he has a strong vision and creative mind. Kimberly also said she is surprised that he hasn’t wound up as a film director because he knows exactly what he wants to see in front of the camera. Kimberly then says as time went on he became more difficult to work for and attributes that to him being overworked. She then talks about being neighbors with him and talks about how she felt that Bischoff would be harder on them because they were friends and knew that if he was hard on them it wouldn’t jeopardize their friendship as a result.

Kimberly said that Madusa was fantastic to her. When she was told that she would have to learn to wrestle and know how to take a bump, she was nervous and did not want to do that but realized it is a wrestling show and even Bischoff broke it down to her like that and how she would be expected to take a bump every now and then. She said at first she had no clue at all what to do in the ring while training and credits Madusa for teaching her.

When asked about the Dave Sullivan love triangle feud, Kimberly talks about how she recently transferred her video tape of that feud to DVD and said that she enjoyed it then talks about how DDP actually directed those segments. She felt that the segment came off better than people give it credit for and thought it was funny.

On managing Johnny B. Badd, Kimberly said that she did not want to do that as he started to date Rena (Sable) at the time, who wanted to get into the business. Kimberly said that Rena claimed to not have been mad by that then talks about how they maintained kayfabe back then so he traveled with him to the shows. Kimberly says that he likes him a lot and was bummed when he left and that also gave her nothing to do.

She talks about traveling on the road with your significant other and how it can be hard. She then said it became a lot harder as DDP became more popular as he was getting strained. She said that they would work out their problems as DDP did not want to go to bed angry.

When asked about politics in the business, Kimberly talked about DDP getting more influence as he became popular before talking about herself and how her ego grew as the Nitro Girls became popular. She then said that she watched DDP handle fame, calling him the “God of all Marks” because no matter what he was doing he would still take time out in order to talk to fans.

She wound up as the “Booty Girl” for Brutus Beefcake’s “Booty Man” gimmick after it was suggested by Kevin Sullivan and Hulk Hogan. Kimberly said she had no idea her character would be the “Booty Girl” at first and looked forward to it but felt embarrassed having to yell “booty girl” all the time.

When asked about having to work with Randy Savage, Kimberly said that he is one of the most intense performers she has worked with and said that as soon as the light of the camera went on he became a whole other person and it was easy to have drama on camera as a result. Rob then tells Kimberly how DDP told him a story about her telling Randy to lay into her when he had to put his hands on her as DDP told her she was crazy. Kimberly laughs and said that when he whipped her around by the hair, she was sorry that she said that to him and after the segment she went backstage to tell Elizabeth to tell Savage not to lay into her anymore. She said that she got along with Elizabeth and got nervous around her at first because she was such a fan but found her to be really sweet and unassuming. She then said that she found out something was wrong when she moved to Atlanta because when she would call, Elizabeth never called her back and was always in her apartment. She then said that her attitude changed as she became more reserved and standoffish then became suspicious something was going on but had no idea what it was until she passed away.

When asked about those who say that the only reason her or DDP got their position due to being friends with Bischoff, Kimberly said that anyone who disliked their characters will look at that first as the excuse because it is easy to say but that it would be hard to find someone who worked as hard as DDP before saying that of course the reason she got her push was due to that and DDP, who was the only reason she even got into the business to begin with. She said that she took her job seriously and took on the responsibility with the Nitro Girls and never missed a day of work

On how the Nitro Girls were created, Kimberly said that Bischoff came to her house and wanted to get her involved more with the show and thought about wrestling cheerleaders of sorts. Kimberly then suggested that they be like the Laker Girls, meaning they do their own thing when there is not any action going on in the ring so they are not a distraction from the wrestlers. She also suggested that they do that coming back from break and while going to break it could keep the energy going and Bischoff liked that and said it would be on TV in three weeks.

Kimberly talks about how she had certain looks she wanted for the girls, stating that she wanted characters that were similar to wrestlers and all looked different because she knew in her mind everyone was going to pick their favorite the first time they saw them on TV. She said the tough thing in the audition process was finding those who could actually dance. Kimberly said that she had a girl for the “pixie blond” role but said that she was too innocent looking for TV and didnt think the fans would respond well to her so she asked her friend Melissa if she was willing to die her hair blond and cut it short and she became Nitro Girl Spice.

She said that Nitro Girl Tayo was the first one to be let go as while she had the most experience, she rarely showed up to rehearsal then show up to Nitro and demand that she dance while Kimberly said that this was a job but she demanded to dance anyway and it got to the point that she had to call the VP of the company, who told Tayo that she was fired. After that, Tayo would still show up to Nitro shows and demand to dance and even went to Kimberly’s home and banged on her door. She also went as far as calling her from the neighbor’s home. The following year when they held another audition, she showed up and they had to ask her to leave.

At first she was against bringing on Nitro Girl Whisper (The current wife of Shawn Michaels). Kimberly said that Whisper was brought in because an executive saw her at a football game and wanted her in the company and that she was already the tall brunette in the group but that changed when she first saw her and realized she was a complete knockout and realized they needed to have her on the show. She said the other girls were afraid Whisper would steal all of their attention but that was not the case.

When asked if some of the guys were upset about the amount of attention they got, Kimberly said yes and never figured out why as they were the “T&A” off the show and did something that they were unable to do as a result.

Kimberly talks about the success of the Nitro Girls and how they sold one million calendars despite next to nothing in terms of promotion and got their own PPV but was not getting any more pay, despite having more responsibility. She said that when Torrie Wilson got hired the gossip around the locker room was about how she signed for a lot of money so Kimberly was able to use that as an example for why she deserved a raise and she did. However, she learned that more money does not mean you will feel less stressed or cause your problems to go away.

She talks about Vince Russo coming into WCW and how he wanted to get rid of the Nitro Girls. Kimberly thought it was dumb because they were a little side project that made the company some money but then said he wanted to make her more of an on screen character and also wanted to give some of the other girls chances to be characters as well. Russo then told her he wanted to make her a heel and have a big storyline revolving around that.

When asked about Hulk Hogan, Kimberly said that he showed up late and went to his locker room but was pleasant. She said that Sting was always phenomenal to work with and thought his transition into the Crow character was brilliant.

She is then asked about the politics when Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hogan came on board. Kimberly laughed and said it was all a blur but noticed the crowds and even the hotel rooms were bigger and notes how they first went to Europe with Hogan as part of the company and finally got to stay at nice hotels instead of the crappy ones they were at before.

Kimberly talks about Tammy Sytch, who accused Kimberly of ratting her out to Bischoff for using drugs. She said that in the locker room someone found a syringe on the floor of a stall. She said that she knew that drug use was rampant but stayed out of that, unless it involved one of the Nitro Girls. So, she sat out in the hallway as someone reported it to Bischoff and that was what happened. Kimberly said she met Tammy a few times when she was working in the WWF and was sweet but by the time she got to WCW, she had changed.

She now talks about the end of her run and how she was unhappy and how DDP was gone way too much. She said that the straw that broke the camel’s back was Scott Steiner. Kimberly said that Russo kept wanting her to get involved physically, despite her just wanting to be a character instead of a wrestler. Russo then wanted her to flash Steiner as part of a storyline but it wouldnt be real as it was pixilated. When she fought against the idea, Steiner told her that they were the ones that put the asses in the seats then yelled at her some more, calling her a “cunt” in the process while starting to get into her space. Kimberly then said the stormed off and went to Bischoff and after that she decided that it was enough and she quit the company. He said that a few weeks later Steiner came up to her in the gym to apologize and she accepted that and was much happier just from being away from the company, which she said was a sinking ship.

Kimberly was surprised when WCW got sold to Vince as she thought the group Bischoff put together had a deal in place. She then said that the WWF did not approach her to come into the company.

Onto her divorce from DDP. Kimberly said that she was only 20 when she married DDP, who was 33 at the time and she became more independent as she got older and they grew apart.

Today, Kimberly works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for a fine art company. She moved to Los Angeles after the divorce and became an interior designer and now she lives in Salt Lake City to be closer to the mountains as she loves to ski.

When asked about her movie and TV roles, Kimberly said that she got herself an agent and took acting classes and got a few roles, including her role in the “40 Year Old Virgin.” When asked about the differences between wrestling and Hollywood she said that there is not as much as you might think as both have a lot of nepotism and politics and that a majority of TV/Film acting is being expected to deliver a great performance with terrible material, just like what you see in wrestling.

Kimberly said that she has not spoken to Bischoff in two years but does occasionally communicate with his wife via email.

On the “Gold Club” scandal, Kimberly said it was stupid. She said that the strip club scene in Atlanta is totally different than anywhere else in the company as you could go there and just chill and dance like it was a regular club while some guys would go and watch the strippers. Kimberly then said the rumors about her and DDP swapping partners with the Bischoff’s was false and would consider that disgusting, as they are like family. She also said that Bischoff was extremely devoted to his wife.

About posing for Playboy Magazine, Bischoff was upset at first because of a morality clause in WCW as Kimberly said that she was not doing Penthouse or anything and saw it as good press.

She regrets not paying more attention to the warning signs about Elizabeth being in trouble and that she should have called attention to what was happening. Kimberly seemed pretty broken up about this. When asked whether or not see holds Lex responsible for what happened, she said both yes as no as she was angry at him first, feeling that he took her down this path but at the end of the day we are all our own people and you have to make your own choices and take responsibility.

Kimberly then talks about her workout program she developed with DDP after he was having a lot of pain. She said that she started yoga after having joint pain and felt great so she told DDP to try it out and he thought yoga was for “girls and fags,” thinking it was useless but she convinced him to do it and after a while he got hooked and started to get very good at it and wanted to look for other guys that practiced it to make him feel more comfortable and found him a trainer, who ironically enough died shortly afterwards, then found someone else and developed yoga for guys videos for all sorts of backgrounds. She said they are going to take it on a National level soon and the interviews ends after that.

Final Thoughts: Eh, this wasn’t much of an interview. Kimberly came across well and down-to-earth and we heard a few decent stories but there wasnt enough to really hold my attention here to be honest.

Oddly enough, RF Video filmed a shoot the previous day with DDP. Only a few questions were brought up about that and these two seemed to have a fairly amicable split at this time.

Kimberly seemed to know her role and place looking back and I havent heard a whole lot of bad things said about her either.

I do not really recommend this shoot though. Kimberly did fine with the questions but the problem was that the questions were not all that interesting to begin with. She did show a lot more insight into wrestling than I thought.

You can purchase the DVD for $20 at RFVideo.com

http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithkimberlypage.aspx

You can also download a digital copy for $9.99 at Highspots.com

http://www.highspots.com/p/VD_kimberly_page_shoot.html

October Classics: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage – Halloween Havoc ’97

So, the other match I was referring to yesterday was this one. DDP and the Macho Man had quite the rivalry in 1997, even going so far as to involve Elizabeth and Kimberly. They met at Spring Stampede earlier in the year, with DDP getting the win. At Bash ’97, Savage got the win. Bash at the Beach ’97 saw the two team with Curt Hennig (DDP) and Scott Hall (Savage), with Savage/Hall taking it, then another tag match at Fall Brawl ’97, with DDP taking up with Luger against Savage/Hall, with Luger/DDP winning that one. Finally, it culminated at Halloween Havoc in a Las Vegas Sudden Death Match.

Randy Savage vs DDP (HH97 Part 1) by mrbling


Randy Savage vs DDP (HH97 Part 2) by mrbling

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This is really disappointing because I was hoping that with all the publicity that the meltdown thread would be ranking in the all-time list by now.  Once again showing that he's just not an A+ player.
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Book Review: “Positively Page: The Diamond Dallas Page Journey

Diamond Dallas Page is a unique character, and the opinions on DDP as a wrestler tend to vary greatly. Some see him as nothing but a hack and shameless self promoter who only ascended to main event status because of friends in high places (or in this case, next door). Some see him as the ultimate underdog, a man who started wrestling relatively late in life and, through sheer effort and work ethic, ascended to the top of the industry. Some see him as an overwhelmingly positive influence who is willing to do anything to help anyone, particularly his friends. So who is the REAL DDP?

The answer, quite simply, is all of the above.

“Positively Page” is quite a unique wrestling autobiography. It is not solely authored by Page or solely authored by his ghostwriter Larry Genta. Instead, it weaves between Page’s narrative, Genta’s narrative, and testimonials from Page’s friends, colleagues, family, and others. On top of that, all three of these perspectives are written in different fonts: one for Page, one for Genta, and italics for people offering their unvarnished opinions on the man.

Another unique detail of this book is this: Larry Genta is NOT an author. Rather, he was a bartender for Page in Florida in the 1980’s and remains a friend to Page to this day. With that said, don’t look for this book to try to recreate the life’s work of Tolstoy or anything. There are quite a few grammatical errors (I know-pot, kettle, black, whatever) and quite a few sentences that are hard to decipher. Also, weaving in and out of narratives from the various parties in this book can grow quite tedious at times, especially if you don’t read it in one sitting. Another problem is this: all obscenities are edited, for some reason. I mean, instead of “fuck” you get “f##k”. If you are going to throw an expletive in there, for Christ sakes, its a FUCKING BOOK. I don’t want to hear excuses that “Oh, a kid might read it.” Yeah, they are going to have NO CLUE what that f–k word is. Just leave it be, its not like books have ratings.

Aside from those obvious flaws, the book is very interesting, as Page’s journey to stardom is wholly unique and entertaining. Page Falkinburg was born in 1956 and grew up in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. He was born into a broken home, as his parents were barely 20 years old when Page was conceived. His father ran a septic company, and when Page’s father (Page 1, as he is referred to in the book) wasn’t working hard, he was drinking hard. His mother (a total milf, by the way, judging from the pictures of her when she was younger) was not ready to handle motherhood and an absentee husband. The two divorced in short order, and Page was sent to live with his maternal grandmother. Apparently, he was quite the hellraiser and womanizer, as most authority figures had a tough time reigning the youngster in.

From a very early age, Page realized he had a rather crippling problem: he couldn’t read. He would do anything he could to avoid having to read passages in front of his classmates. This problem is a recurring theme to the book that will come full circle later on.

Page was also quite the athlete. He preferred contact sports, so he gravitated towards football and hockey. He was quite good at the latter, and at the age of 11 was going to be named to a team comprised of older players. However, the day he was to get that news, he was hit by a car, which destroyed his knee. Doctors told him he would never be able to play contact sports again. Page was crushed. However, another recurring theme of the book, Page refused to let this accident bring him down. Instead, the naturally tall Page took up basketball. When I say “took up basketball” I mean Page threw himself headlong into the sport, competing with an unbridled zeal and work ethic that eventually paid off, as he was invited to play college ball at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Before heading off to college, though, Page started working odd jobs at restaurants and bars on the Jersey Shore. Page was enraptured by the hospitality business, and proved to be a quick study. He worked seemingly every position at these establishments, from bouncer to dishwasher to short order cook to busboy to bartender, etc etc. Page couldn’t get enough of this, and purposely picked Coastal Carolina because it was situated in Myrtle Beach, another seemingly big bar town.

Big mistake.

Page got to Myrtle Beach that August and the party there was still raging. However, once Labor Day hit, the town was basically shut down and all but abandoned for the season. Page was miserable, and decided to leave college to pursue a career in bars and nightclubs back in New Jersey.

Page ended up running a club on the Shore called Xanadu. He showed a flair for the business, and had unparallelled vision for the next trendy thing to come. A quick example: His club featured a DJ or a band doing covers. However, one night, Page was frequenting another nightclub (scouting is more like it) and he came across a band led by front man Jon Bongiovi. Page loved his act, and tried to persuade the owner of the club to book the band for a night. They did…but it only drew about 40 people. Bongiovi never forgot, even after changing his name to Jon Bon Jovi.

By this point Page wanted to branch out beyond New Jersey. He took a trip to Houston to scout some bars there, and then was lured out to Fort Myers, Florida to start a club there. He named it Elations…the Hot One, and it was an immediate success. It was here that Page met the co-author of this book, Larry “Smokey” Genta, and the two became fast friends. He also encountered a physical comedian named Smittee. Page soon became Smittee’s manager, and landed him a plum gig on MTV’s Spring Break. Everything Page touched seemed to be turning to gold….until the owners of Elations, greed in their eyes, muscled Page out, figuring they could get someone else to run this cash cow. Big mistake. Page hooked on with a new night club, which he called Temptaions….the Hot One, and within four months Page’s new club had put his old one out of business. Page was on a roll.

Page loved the nightclub business and was remarkably adept at it. He opened a new club in Fort Lauderdale called Norma Jean’s (Page is a huge Marilyn Monroe mark) which, unsurprisingly, was a huge success. But there was something missing in Page’s life, something he had enjoyed as a child, and something he had a brief cup of coffee with years earlier in Asbury Park, New Jersey: Pro Wrestling.

Page had some quick training in New Jersey before leaving for Florida initially, and he had one match as “Handsome” Dallas Page. However, Page decided to leave wrestling behind and start his nightclub career. Well, now that his nightclub career was popping, he decided to turn back to the pro wrestling ranks, figuring with his strange charisma and rap that he could become a great wrestling manager. He sent a video to Verne Gagne and the AWA, and was given a tryout at the AWA TV Tapings at the Showboat in Las Vegas. He made sure to bring every gimmick afforded to him: ostentatious jackets adorned with rhinestones, gaudy diamond earrings, a ridiculous walking stick, and, of course, a bevy of beautiful Diamond Dolls. It worked, and soon he was managing the then AWA Tag Team Champions Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond, Badd Company.

However, at this point, the AWA was all but dead, so the bookings became fewer and far between for Page. He landed a gig as a color analyst for the recently revived Florida promotion, broadcasting alongside the legendary Gordon Solie. Dusty Rhodes was the man who recruited Page to FCW, and he foresaw great things for DDP, going as far as calling him the next Jesse Ventura. Lofty praise, to be sure. But before Page could gain any traction there, Dusty was gone, back to WCW. Page was demoralized, but he soon received a call from Big Dust, telling him he had a spot in WCW when he could get there.

Around the time that Page’s WCW career was beginning, another chapter in his life was budding. Namely, his romantic life. He had recently met a woman named Kimberly Lynn Bacon, and the womanizing Page fell head over heels for the Auburn University graduate, and they were married in 1991.

When Page first got to WCW, he was made the manager of the Fabulous Freebirds. While that might sound good on paper, it wasn’t. If you remember WCW at that period in 1991, the Freedbirds had been expanded to include half of Cobb County Georgia. Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin, Brad Armstrong as Badstreet, and DDP AND Oliver “Big Daddy Dink” Humperdink as managers. Firstly, the Freebirds didn’t need a mouthpiece….so why give them not one, but TWO more? It was overkill and Page saw the writing on the wall. However, Page was saved one day when Scott Hall came to him and asked Page to help remake his image. The result? The Diamond Studd. Page managed Studd through the remainder of 1991 and part of 1992, when Scott Hall made the jump to WWF as Razor Ramon. Page was left in the cold again doing nothing of note besides being on the fourth string announce crew with new WCW hire Eric Bischoff. Clearly, if Page wanted to be something in the wrestling industry, he needed to make a drastic change.

With that in mind, DDP began training to become an in ring performer, at the spry age of 36. The boys in the locker room laughed at him. Who did this guy think he was? They already mocked him for always complaining about some nagging pain when he was a manager….what was this guy going to do in the ring. Page trained with Jody Hamilton at the Power Plant, and was soon placed at the very bottom of most WCW cards.

Let’s get something clear here, and even Page…kind of….acknowledges it: He SUCKED at first. I mean, really, REALLY bad. Give the man credit though, he kept working at it and working at it, picking the brains of anyone he could, taping all his matches to go over them move by move. I am sure it didn’t hurt that some of his travel partners at that time were Steve Austin, Mick Foley, and Scott “Raven” Levy. That is quite the crash course there. Page still floundered though, and in late 1993 he suffered a torn rotator cuff and was sidelined for months. WCW did not resign him, so Page was once again out of luck. Luckily, help was on the way in the form of a most unlikely individual.

That individual was Jake Roberts, of all people. Jake helped DDP better learn the psychology of the business (in my opinion, no one understands the psychology of wrestling better than “the Snake.” This was like a p.h.D course) and also got him booked on some independents after Page’s arm healed. Jake also lived with Page for a while. There are two funny stories regarding Jake in this book. The first was Page’s neighborhood was hit by a huge snowstorm. After a couple of days, Jake became stir crazy and started frantically shoveling Page’s house out because “He had a craving for bar FOOD.” Sure. The other is one night, Jake was off….well…God knows where…but his snake had roamed free somewhere INSIDE of Page’s house. Kimberly freaked the fuck out (rightfully) and told Jake in no uncertain terms to get out. Gotta love Jake Roberts.

Page returned to WCW in 1995, once again doing not much of note. He began a feud with Johnny B. Badd over Page’s treatment of his new Diamond Doll….Kimberly. The two were supposed to meet in a match to blowoff the feud in 1996, but Mero jumped ship to the WWF, leaving DDP to lose a “retirement” match to The Booty Man (Ed Leslie’s worst gimmick, IMO). Kimberly became the Booty Babe, and Page left to start filming vignettes about how he had lost all his money and had become a destitute transient.

Page eventually returned later in 1996, as he had recouped his money thanks to a mysterious benefactor that was never revealed. However, this time, Page started getting a push. It started with a program with Eddy Guerrero, which had the effect of essentially elevating Page and burying Eddy in the process. To be fair, that is not how Page puts it…he says it elevated both men. In Eddie’s book, he said he hated the angle and it hurt his character. Anyhoo, the next step for DDP was an angle with the newly formed NWO. Namely, his old buds Hall and Nash wanted Page to join their faction, and Page refused. Suddenly, along with Sting and Roddy Piper, DDP was one of the most over faces in WCW in 1997. He engaged in a great, hot feud with Randy Savage throughout most of 1997, and Page credits Savage for “making” him.

Most of 1998 saw Page feuding with the NWO and engaging in matches with celebrities, most notably Dennis Rodman, Karl Malone, and Jay Leno. Page sees all three of these as positive experiences for all involved, but here is one point where I beg to differ. Rodman and Malone….yeah, I guess that kind of worked, as both were legit great basketball players. But the Leno thing really stretched the whole “suspension of disbelief” aspect of wrestling. On top of it, it persuaded Bischoff to look towards MORE mainstream acts to try and counter the WWF ratings surge. KISS, the fucking No Limit Soldiers, et al. All that ended up being bad for business. But you won’t see that in this book, mainly because it was published in early 2000, before WCW had completely been sunk.

In 1999, Diamond Dallas Page shocked the World by becoming WCW Champion. At the time, most wrestling fans (and some wrestlers) had a tough time swallowing that one. I personally never saw a problem with it…Page had worked damn hard to get to that position and he only had a few more miles left on his body at that point. But it brings up the question: Did Page reach the levels he reached because of his commitment and dedication, or did he get there because he was best buds and neighbor with Eric Bischoff? Throughout the book, Page and some of his contemporaries, and even Bischoff himself, state that Easy E’s position of power made the road to stardom HARDER for Page. I don’t know if i necessarily agree with that, but, you know what, its his book and he is free to say whatever he wants.

All in all, DDP’s book is a fairly engaging read. It is also almost entirely self congratulatory. Page started wrestling in the early 1990’s and this book was written in 1999. Yet this book is longer than Ric Flair’s book, Shawn Michaels….the list goes on. Towards the end of the book, Page starts relaying all the charities he helps, namely through his program “Bang it out for Books.” Kimberly had seen that Page had trouble reading and decided to help her husband overcome his biggest fault. Page says he can now read, if very slowly, and enjoys a good book. His book program helps to foster literacy in elementary schools across the nation by providing books and supporting the Scholastic book program. It is truly a noble, worthy cause.

Throughout the book, DDP describes his life as a “yo-yo.” That is evidenced on the front cover of the book where Page is holding…you guessed it, a yo-yo. That is also an apt description for his book. Sometimes he comes off incredibly charming and humble. Sometimes it sounds like he is just blowing smoke up his own ass. The wrestling portions of the book are somewhat disappointing, yet the nightclub chapters are tremendously engaging.

After reading this book initially about 5 years ago, I did not know what to think of DDP. However, with his successes with DDP Yoga and his recent reaching out to Scott Hall and Jake Roberts to try and sober them up and lead productive lives again, I think most of us can agree that Diamond Dallas Page is a good man underneath the tough guy veneer. I would recommend reading this book if you can find it. I wouldn’t shell out the money for it though, unless the proceeds are still going to DDP’s charities, which I am unsure of at this juncture. It is well worth the time to read it though.