August 14, 2005
Diamond Dallas Page
REAL NAME: Page Falkinburg
Perhaps it is little wonder that Diamond Dallas Page wrote his autobiography. Certainly, the tale he has to tell could certainly be classified as a "feel good" story about a man who got into the wrestling game late but made up for lost time, and whose "it's not a bad thing, it's a good thing" attitude is an inspiration to others.
Hit by a car at age 12, Page suffered from both dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder for his entire childhood and most of his adult life. After owning several bars in his native New Jersey and later Florida, Page longed to enter the professional wrestling business. Although some believed him too old at the age of 35, Page wasn't about to give up on his dream.
Originally, Page served as a manager and later, commentator in both the AWA and Florida Championship Wrestling. In 1998, he led Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond to the AWA Tag Team Championships. In Florida, he led such stars as Colonel Debeers, Dick Slater and Bam Bam Bigelow to the ring.
Although he didn't work for the company, Page even made an appearance at Wrestlemania VI. He drove his vintage pink Cadillac to the ring as part of Rhythm and Blues' entrance.
A year later, thanks in part to Dusty Rhodes, Page was in WCW, managing the Fabulous Freebirds to the United States, World and (with Badstreet) 6 - Man Tag Team Championships. In addition to returning to his commentating role, Page would also manage Scotty Flamingo (Raven),the Diamond Studd (Scott Hall) and Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash). As 1991 came to a close however, Page would end his managerial career and become an active wrestler. After some training at the Power Plant, his debut bout was a tag match with the Diamond Studd.
His early wrestling career was not too successful, as he found himself losing to Big Josh (Matt Borne) and P.N. News. Even his Vegas Connection tag team with Vinnie Vegas didn't go anywhere. Things got worse when, in late 1992, Page tore his rotator cuff during a match against Tex Slazenger and Shanghai Pierce and was released by WCW.
Eric Bischoff helped get Page back in WCW. Upon his return in 1994, Page was paired with bodyguard Max Muscle and valet Diamond Doll (real life wife, Kimberly). After several months of struggling in the mid-card, Page began to challenge other WCW talent to arm-wrestling matches, with the prize being a date with the Diamond Doll.
At the 1995 Great American Bash, Evad Sullivan took Page up on his challenge and won not only the arm wrestling challenge but the date with the Diamond Doll. However, when Page took the opportunity to do away with Evad's pet rabbit and then, with Max Muscle, attack Sullivan, the feud continued.
Page got past his feud with Sullivan, however, and at 1995's Fall Brawl, defeated the Renegade to win his first title, the WCW TV Championship, a belt he lost a month later to Johnny B. Badd (Marc Mero). Badd and Page would continue to feud into 1996, during which time it was revealed that Page had cheated Kimberly out of 6.6 million dollars. Badd would get the better of Page, defeating DDP at SuperBrawl '96 to give Kimberly her freedom and win her money back.
Now broke and without the services of his bodyguard, Page staged a career comeback by winning Battlebowl at Slamboree '96. He followed up with a feud with Eddie Guerrero that lasted for the rest of the year and ended when Eddie defeated Page for the vacant U.S. title at Starrcade '96.
One of the most hated men in WCW, Page was naturally approached by the New World Order, most notable former proteges Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Page turned them down and instead led WCW in the fight against the NWO. The NWO sent Randy Savage after Page and the pair feuded throughout the summer of 1997, with the battles bringing Kimberly and Elizabeth into the fray.
After Curt Hennig turned on Page during a tag match at Bash at the Beach '97, Page turned his attention towards his former tag partner. At Starrcade '97, Page defeated Curt Hennig for the United States Championship. After Hennig, the first challenger for the U.S. title came from an unlikely source: Chris Benoit.
In addition to Benoit, Page also faced the challenge from Raven. Indeed, it would be Raven that would initially steal and then win the U.S. title from Page at Spring Stampede, thanks in no small part to interference from Horace Hogan.
As the summer of 1998 began, Page found himself competing in two main event tag matches against Hollywood Hulk Hogan. However, his partners would be quite unorthodox. At Bash at the Beach, Page would team with NBA star Karl Malone, losing to Hogan and Dennis Rodman. A month later at Road Wild, Page would team with TV star Jay Leno and defeat Hogan and Eric Bischoff.
With Page's war against the NWO still raging, he led Team WCW into War Games at Fall Brawl to earn a WCW World title shot. That match came against Goldberg at Halloween Havoc. Page lost that match but rebounded the next night on Nitro to defeat Bret Hart for the United States Championship. Page retained the title against Hart in several rematches but when interference from the Giant (later the Big Show) cost Page the title, DDP turned his attention towards the huge athlete. Page defeated the Giant at Starrcade 98.
Scott Steiner began a feud with Page in early 1999, one that turned personal when Steiner started coming on to Page's wife Kimberly and even attempting to abduct her before Kimberly was thrown from a moving car. Page was injured during one match against Steiner.
When Page returned, it was a different DDP. At Spring Stampede, on April 11th, 1999, he won a Fatal Fourway match involving Hollywood Hogan (who Page injured during the match), Ric Flair and Sting to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Two weeks later, Page was defeated by Sting and lost the championship, but he regained it later that night when Sting put the title up in another Fatal Four Way bout involving Page, Kevin Nash and Goldberg. Page won the bout, thanks to interference from Randy Savage.
Less than a month later, Kevin Nash defeated Page at Slamboree for the title. Page, now firmly entrenched as a heel, formed the Triad with Bam Bam Bigelow and, later, Kanyon. DDP and Kanyon defeated Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn for the World Tag Team titles at the Great American Bash. The Triad, like Demolition and the Samoans before them, found a loophole that allowed them to use any two members to defend the titles.
Of course, with the demise of the Triad later that same year, Page began to move back into good standing with the fans, joining the Millionaire's Club and feuding with Jeff Jarrett over the WCW World title in 2000. Once again, Page would be teamed with another celebrity, this time David Arquette, star of the WCW-sanctioned film Ready to Rumble.
Betrayed by his wife, Kimberly and his friends Arquette and Kanyon, Page would "retire" only to return and re-team with Kevin Nash to win the WCW Tag Team Championship at Mayhem in November 2000 and regain them from Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo at Starrcade.
With the demise of WCW, Page took some much-needed time off before signing with WWE. He was first introduced as the mysterious stalker who plagued the Undertaker and his wife, Sara. In addition to the feud with the Undertaker, Diamond Dallas Page was also involved in the Alliance Invasion angle.
Page reunited with his former tag team partner, Kanyon, and the pair defeated the APA to win the WWE Tag Team titles on August 9, 2001. The new champions battled the team of the Undertaker and Kane with the Brothers of Destruction coming out on top during a cage match at SummerSlam. The next night on Raw, Sarah Calloway defeated Page with help from her husband, the Undertaker.
That was the last that WWE fans saw of Page for a while, as he suffered a knee injury and was on the disabled list for some time. When he returned, it was in the guise of a motivational speaker whose motto was "it's not a bad thing, it's a good thing". He recruited Christian but Christian wouldn't last too long as a Page disciple, turning on DDP. Page got revenge by defeating Christian for the European Championship, and retaining that title at Wrestlemania X-8.
Shortly after losing the European Championship to William Regal, Page was injured during a match against Hardcore Holly, nearly breaking his neck as a result of a botched suplex. After several consultations with surgeons, Page announced his retirement from professional wrestling in June, 2002.
The "retirement" would last only two years, during which Page would separate from wife, Kimberly. In mid-2004, however, Page began working some independent dates before appearing on the November 12th, 2004 edition of NWA-TNA, attacking Raven during a bout against Monty Brown. Raven and Page, adversaries in WCW some years before, locked horns again in TNA in a feud that involved Eric Watts.
As the feud with Raven began to wind down, Page would begin to team with Monty Brown. That partnership would end however, when Brown attacked Page during a lumberjack match against NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett at Destination X. The sides were clearly drawn: Jarrett, Brown and Kip James on one side, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman, 3 Live Krew and Page on the other.
Soon after, however, Page left the company to focus on his many outside interests, especially his work as a motivational speaker. As well Page, has acted in such films as Ready to Rumble, First Daughter (a made-for-TV movie) and, more recently the Devil's Rejects, has written an autobiography Positively Page, a self-help book Live at 90% and a book on yoga entitled Yoga for Regular Guys. And before we think that we have seen the last of Page inside a wrestling ring comes news that he will be appearing at Joey Styles' Extreme Hardcore Wrestling in August.