Diamond Dallas Page, a world champion-turned-fitness guru, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017 during WrestleMania 33 Week. The news was first reported by RollingStone.com.
DDP’s journey to the Hall is an unlikely one, to say the least. The Jersey Shore native broke into sports-entertainment in his 30s, starting out as a manager in Verne Gagne’s AWA while still working as a nightclub manager in Florida. Page took his flashy aesthetic from the clubs, coming to the ring clad in leather, studs and diamond-encrusted jewelry, and accompanied by beautiful bombshells he called “Diamond Dolls” on each arm. He backed up his brash look with trash talk on the microphone and cunning intellect in the corner. DDP led Badd Company to the AWA Tag Team Championship before heading to WCW.
Page took charge of the Fabulous Freebirds as Michael “P.S.” Hayes and Jimmy “Jam” Garvin turned from southern rebels to glam rock megastars, leading them to the WCW Tag Team Titles. DDP also guided the early careers of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Raven before stepping into the ring himself on a full-time basis in 1991. As a 35-year-old rookie, Page’s chances of success seemed slim, but his unmatched work ethic and determination to succeed would pay off in the long run.
Though he found moderate success as a villain in WCW, capturing the company’s Television Championship, he broke out on a worldwide scale after turning down membership in the nWo. DDP found himself an unlikely man of the people, but embraced the love of fans around the world, who continued to be amazed by the seemingly infinite ways Page found to catch his opponents out of nowhere with his signature move, the Diamond Cutter.
DDP skyrocketed into stardom through his rivalry with the nWo and one of its top members, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, taking part in a thrilling series of matches throughout 1997. Page soon became one of WCW’s top heroes, and the man that celebrities like Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone and late night television icon Jay Leno wanted to team with when they stepped through the ropes.
Years of hard work finally paid off for DDP at Spring Stampede 1999, when he defeated a trio of wrestling legends – Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and Sting – to capture his first WCW World Championship. Page went on to capture the title on two more occasions before WCW was purchased by WWE in 2001. During his career in WWE, Page tried to show the WWE Universe and some of the squared circle’s most sour Superstars what a positive attitude could do for them. His efforts resulted in a reign as WWE European Champion, which he successfully defended on The Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania.
Yet for all his accomplishments inside the ring, DDP is also a Hall of Fame human being. After stepping away from the squared circle, he dedicated his life toward helping people take control of theirs. He developed DDP Yoga, a fitness program based around the exercises that helped him stay in the ring game for so long. Page also used DDP Yoga to pay back two of his friends and mentors – WWE Hall of Famers Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Razor Ramon – by having the two legends move into his home and work toward getting back into shape.
It is for his accomplishments in and out of the ring that Diamond Dallas Page is more than deserving of induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.