Diamond Dallas Page was one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world of professional wrestling during the Monday Night Wars.
DDP only got involved in the wrestling business at the age of 35 before joining WCW in 1991 as a manager. He quickly progressed to stepping inside the squared-circle and stayed with the company until it's final days.
During his time in WCW Page was a three-time World Champion, two-time United States Champion, four-time tag-team champion and one-time Television title holder. He eventually made the move to the WWE, where he was initially involved in the infamous 'stalker' storyline, where Page stalked The Undertaker's wife.
Since his time in the ring came to an end, the 55-year-old has started his own DDP Yoga fitness DVD's.
Sportsvibe caught up with DDP to talk about getting into the wrestling industry at a late age, becoming World Champion, stalking The Undertaker's wife and yoga.
Q. How did DDP Yoga begin?
DDP Yoga came about because I was the guy that wouldn't be caught dead doing yoga for the first 42-years of my life. However I started wrestling at 35 and my career didn't really take off until I was 40, so I was constantly trying to find ways to hold back the hands of time.
When I was 40 it was 1996. 1997 and 1998 were the best years for the Monday Night Wars and also the best time for Diamond Dallas Page. After that, I blew out my lower vertebrae in my back so badly that doctors said my career was over.
They can fuse your back. Shawn Michaels did that, but he got really lucky, he had a great fusion. Instead I just did the rehab and at the same time I had just signed a multi-million dollar deal and my wife Kimberley suggested I try yoga to heal my body. My instant reaction was 'Yoga no way, I'm not doing that crap that's for chicks', and that was just my mindset.
I realized later on it was in fact an ignorance I had, and I had to just try it. When I started doing regular yoga it only took me a short time to realize it could help heal my body. That's when I began to mix the yoga with the recordation moves I was doing then I started to add things like push-ups, crunches and squats before adding what I call dynamic resistance, which is the engaging of muscles like flexing when you move from one position to another. There is no other yoga that does that, that's why we say 'DDP Yoga, It Ain't Your Mama's Yoga', it is kind of the black sheep of yoga.
Q. It was well documented before Chris Jericho's recent WWE return he used DDP Yoga, how did that come about?
The doctors had told Chris his career was over, he was in too much pain and he had ruptured his lower vertebrae. After starting my programme, in three weeks Chris felt a significant difference, just like I did, and in five weeks he was 85 per-cent pain free. After three months he was 95 per-cent pain free.
Chris talks about the YRG system, which is part of my DDP work out. There are now a number of wrestlers that are doing it, including Kane, and having that big 290lbs Kane doing DDP yoga is pretty cool. I've got Tazz, Santino Marella and Mick Foley has just started. I don't know if Mick will really keep doing it but if he does it will help.
I'm honoured that the only work out Chris is doing is my work out and it's very cool for me because he promotes the hell out of it and I'm not paying him. He's not a spokesperson for the company or anything like that, because let's be honest I couldn't afford Chris Jericho, he's a million dollar guy.
Another person I have to thank for really getting DDP Yoga out there is Shawn Michaels, he was the first guy I got doing my YRG work out.
Q. Who is DDP Yoga aimed at?
The first video that comes up on DDPYoga.com is about a minute and a half and it shows the amazing transformations not just with myself, but with the disabled veteran Arthur Boorman. At the end of the promo I say: 'They say it can't be for everyone, but they're wrong'.
I'm gearing this to the athlete that beat up and wants to feel young again and wants to be unstoppable, that's number one. Number two is people who are over-weight because I can show you a work out that gives you zero impact and kick-ass cardio. The flexibility and core strength conditioning is a huge bonus for them, they just want to lose weight.
Now I'm about to do my first DVD for kids, entitled 'DDP Yoga for kids', and I'm going to have fun with it, make it fun for kids so exercise is fun for them. I also work with a few super athletes including NFL players and a couple of MMA fighters one of which is Josh Barnett.
Q. Going onto the wrestling side of things, and you broke into the industry quite late, how did you get into the business?
I first tried wrestling when I was 22. It didn't quite work out, but I always had the bug and I always loved it. Then, when I was 31, almost 32, I decided to break in as a manager and that was just a wet dream. It was me talking about wanting to be a wrestling manager and I made a video of a bunch of guys that wanted to be wrestlers and that was the original demo that I sent to the AWA. It's amazing, it holds up and it's actually pretty good considering I didn't know a wrist-lock from a wristwatch.
The AWA picked me up right away mainly because they just lost Paul Heyman so it was an awesome hole for me to fill and I got on television. I then worked at Florida Championship Wrestling under Dusty Rhodes' tutelage. I learned a lot under Gordon Solie, Steve Keirn, and Michael Graham.
In 1991 Dusty then brought me into WCW to manage guys and I started off managing The Fabulous Freebirds [Michael P.S. Hayes and Jimmy Garvin]. I was then told I was too charismatic... (Continues on next page)