Tex Slazenger

Diamond Dallas Page

For the 1930s cricketer, see Dallas Page (cricketer)

Page Joseph Falkinburg, Jr. (born April 5 1956) better known by his ring name "Diamond" Dallas Page (DDP) is a retired American professional wrestler and actor. In the course of his wrestling career, which spanned two decades, Page has wrestled for World Championship Wrestling (WCW), World Wrestling Federation (WWF), and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).

Page first broke into the wrestling business in 1988 as a manager in the American Wrestling Association where he worked there over a period of nine months before signing with WCW in 1991.

During his early months with WCW, he remained a manager before he became a wrestler in late-1991. Page went on to have a remarkable stint as a WCW wrestler, where he became famous as "The People's Champion" and went on to become a three-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, a two-time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, a four-time WCW World Tag Team Champion, and a WCW Television Champion. Tom Brandi claims that DDP only got his push when Eric Bischoff felt guilty for having an affair with Page's wife.

After WCW was purchased by WWF in 2001, Page joined WWF where he achieved moderate success by winning both the WWF European Championship and the WWF World Tag Team Championship. He was later released from the company in 2002. He then worked for independent promotions and TNA Wrestling from 2004 to 2005.

Page now spends his time as an actor working on small-budget films in addition to being a fitness guru and motivational speaker.

Early life

Page Joseph Falkinburg, the oldest of three children, was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, the son of Sylvia (née Seigel) and Page Joseph Falkinburg, Sr. Page was raised by his father during his early years, after his parents divorced. The name "Dallas" came from his love of the Dallas Cowboys. His brother and sister were raised by their maternal grandmother.

Page went to live with his father because the elder Page could handle the ball of energy that the younger Page was. He lived with his father from the ages of 3-8. His father took him, at 8 years old, to live with his grandmother, who raised him. Page admitted in his autobiography that he is dyslexic. He had many challenges hit him throughout his childhood and educational years. DDP attended St. Joseph's High School (now Monsignor Donovan High School) in Toms River, New Jersey and Point Pleasant Boro High School in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.Page was a standout basketball player with the Panthers of Point Boro High School.

Wrestling career

Early years

Page's first wrestling appearance was in Canada in 1979. Shortly thereafter, he gave up wrestling. His next notable appearance was not until WrestleMania VI, where he drove The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine to the ring in his pink Cadillac. At this time, he was virtually unknown in the WWF, fondly recalling it on the WrestleMania XIX DVD.

Page worked in the night-club business before and after he started working as a wrestling manager in the American Wrestling Association (AWA).. He started managing in 1988, where he handled Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka), a team he lead to the AWA World Tag Team Championship on March 19. Badd Company, were often accompanied by a pair of female valets known as the "Diamond Dolls". During his time in the AWA, Page also managed Col. DeBeers and Madusa. He worked for the AWA at 12 dates over a period of nine months, where they filmed all the television shows in one day. He also worked as a color commentator in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) where he worked alongside the Dean of Wrestling, Gordon Solie, before finally debuting as a professional wrestler.

In 1990, Dallas received a tryout with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as an announcer, but never got the job. When FCW went down, Page was still involved in the club business until Dusty Rhodes returned to World Championship Wrestling. WCW started booking and brought Page in on a small contract in early 1991.

World Championship Wrestling (1991–2001)

Page came to World Championship Wrestling in 1991 as manager of the Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Michael P.S. Hayes). Page managed the Freebirds to a shot at the NWA World Tag Team Titles where they defeated Doom (Butch Reed and Ron Simmons) on February 24. Before that match took place, Page unveiled the stable's new road manager, Big Daddy Dink, formerly known as Oliver Humperdink, who interfered in the match. During this match, Page introduced the Diamond Dolls. Page added Scott Hall to the stable under the name of Diamond Studd.

Page also worked as a color commentator for WCW with Eric Bischoff. With rumors that the WCW wanted to take the Diamond Studd away from Page, he decided to take the advice of Magnum T.A. and begin to wrestle himself. He headed to the WCW Power Plant where Buddy Lee Parker, The Assassin, and Dusty Rhodes transformed Page into a wrestler.

He debuted as a wrestler in a tag team match later that year. With the Diamond Studd, he faced Kevin Sullivan and his partner. He was relegated to the "jobber" list. He made his wrestling pay-per-view debut at Starrcade 1991, teaming with Mike Graham in a losing effort to Jushin Liger and Bill Kazmaier.

Page continued wrestling and brought other wrestlers into his stable, such as Scotty Flamingo and Vinnie Vegas. The relationships between DDP, Flamingo, and Vegas were used in many angles over the following months. Page went in the corner of Scotty Flamingo, at Clash of the Champions XXI on November 18, 1992, when Flamingo fought Johnny B. Badd in a kayfabe boxing match. Flamingo won this bout with a little help from Page who filled Flamingo's glove with water.

The following year, Page teamed with Vinnie Vegas as the Vegas Connection. The Vegas Connection never returned to WCW because Page was fired from WCW shortly after the team's debut due to his torn rotator cuff. The injury occurred in late 1992 in a tag match with Tex Slazenger and Shanghai Pierce (later known as the The Godwinns).

Page returned to WCW TV in 1994, with his wife, the Diamond Doll, Kimberly, and (kayfabe) bodyguard, Maxx Muscle. He held open arm wrestling challenges to win Kimberly but Maxx always helped him win or arm wrestled for him. He also had a long feud with Dave Sullivan because Sullivan gave Kimberly gifts. At Fall Brawl 1995, Page won his first championship when he defeated Renegade for the WCW Television title. In the build-up to his first title defense at Halloween Havoc, there was growing dissension between Page and Kimberly. Johnny B. Badd defeated Page for the TV title and again at World War 3 on November 26, winning Kimberly's freedom from DDP.

On May 19, Page participated in the Lord of the Ring Tournament (Battle Bowl) at Slamboree. Page was victorious when he defeated The Barbarian with two Diamond Cutters. The winner was to be the number one contender for the World Title which at that time was held by The Giant. However, he never received the title shot that he earned that night. Page was feuding with Eddie Guerrero when the nWo was formed. Since Nash & Hall were both former partners of Page, they assisted him in his matches in the tournament being held for the vacant US Title. However, believing their help was not appreciated, Hall and Nash attacked him during the tournament finals, therefore handing the belt to Guerrero. After demonstrating the benefits of the nWo, they asked him to join. He responded by giving them Diamond Cutters, starting a face turn and a feud with the nWo.

Page began a feud with "Macho Man" Randy Savage in 1997. On an episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Savage, aided by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, attacked Page and spray-painted "nWo" on his back. A few weeks later at Uncensored, Savage and Miss Elizabeth "broke kayfabe" (a worked shoot) by revealing to the world that Page and Nitro Girl Kimberly were, in fact, married. Savage then proceeded to beat up Page, ensuring a future match between the two.

At Spring Stampede, Page and Savage battled in a match where Page emerged victorious, but it was the not the end of conflict between the two. A few months later at The Great American Bash, they squared off again in an anything goes, lights out match. This match ended with Savage defeating Page with help from (then) Tag Team Champion Scott Hall. Page even dressed up as masked wrestler La Parka and beat Savage.

Around this time, Page also started fighting nWo leader, Hulk Hogan. Page and Savage battled for the last time at Halloween Havoc. The match was billed as a Las Vegas Sudden Death Match, where Savage pinned Page after Hogan, dressed as Sting, came out and hit Page with a baseball bat in his already "injured" mid-section, resulting in Savage picking up the win. On an episode of Nitro shortly after Halloween Havoc, Page fought Hogan, but was again beaten down by the nWo.

At Starrcade, Page won the WCW US Heavyweight Championship from Curt Hennig. This capped off what had been a great year for Page; he was voted WCW Magazine's "Wrestler of the Year" for 1997. The following year at Uncensored, Page defended the title in a Triple Threat, Falls Count Anywhere contest against Chris Benoit and Raven, putting Raven through a table with a Diamond Cutter to retain the belt. During much of this era, DDP was also frequently called "the hardest working man in the business" by commentators and other WCW figures.

In early 1998, Page appeared in the music video for the song "Rising" by Stuck Mojo, off of Stuck Mojo's album of the same name. Raven and The Flock also made an appearance in the music video. The WCW U.S. Heavyweight Championship belt was prominently featured on the album cover.

Later in the year, Page tagged with Karl Malone against Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman at Bash at the Beach, losing due to interference. Page tagged with late night talk show host Jay Leno at Road Wild, where they defeated Hogan and Eric Bischoff. He taught Karl Malone, Jay Leno, and Kevin Eubanks the "secret" of the Diamond Cutter.

At Fall Brawl, Page won the WarGames main event, and got a World title shot against the undefeated Goldberg at Halloween Havoc. Page did not win the match, but both men put on a tremendous show which resulted in the match being voted WCW Magazine's "Match of the Year" 1998. Halloween Havoc ran slightly longer than expected resulting in a number of cable companies blacking out the end of the Hogan vs. Warrior match and all of the DDP vs. Goldberg contest. WCW decided to air the Goldberg vs. DDP title bout in its entirety on the October 26th edition of Nitro, which proved immensely popular in the ratings and resulted in a ratings win for Nitro over Raw - the last win Nitro would ever have. Despite this setback in the World title picture, Page rebounded the following night on the October 26th edition of WCW Monday Nitro with a win over Bret 'The Hitman' Hart to capture the United States Heavyweght Title. At WCW World War 3, Page actually wore the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship belt upside down on his way to the ring.

Page finally became WCW World Heavyweight Champion in April 1999, at Spring Stampede when he defeated Sting, Hogan, and Ric Flair in a Four Way Dance for the title; Page pinned Ric Flair after giving Flair the Diamond Cutter. Shortly after gaining the title, Page wrestled Goldberg for his championship. Page turned heel during the match, using everything at his disposal to try and beat down Goldberg (the match eventually ended in a no contest). Throughout the rest of his reign as champion, Page resorted to underhanded tactics to keep his championship.

His first reign as champion lasted only 15 days. On April 26, Page was defeated for the World Championship by Sting on WCW Monday Nitro in the first hour of the show. A little more than an hour and a half later, Page was given an opportunity to regain the title thanks to a challenge match set up by the returning Kevin Nash; he was pitted against Page, Goldberg, and the newly crowned champion Sting. During the course of the match, Page hit Nash with a foreign object to take the win and regain the title without actually defeating the reigning champion. Page was defeated by Nash at Slamboree that year, and fell out of the World title picture shortly thereafter.

Shortly after Slamboree, Page entered into an alliance with fellow New Jerseyan Bam Bam Bigelow and won the WCW World Tag Team Championship from then champions Perry Saturn and Raven on May 31, thanks to Chris Kanyon turning heel on former ally Raven and costing the team the championships. Page, Bigelow, and Kanyon became known as the Jersey Triad and through their alliance with WCW "President for Life" Ric Flair took advantage of the Freebird Rule in their subsequent matches (meaning any combination of the three could defend the championship). The Triad held the titles until June 10, when Saturn and Chris Benoit (now stablemates in The Revolution) took the titles from them. The team regained the belts on WCW Thunder three days later, but would lose them to Harlem Heat at Road Wild in August. The group broke up shortly thereafter and Page returned to facedom, feuding with Kanyon and Flair before the year was out.

In 2000, with WCW under new management, Page earned a shot at the vacant WCW World Championship Belt at Spring Stampede, the same event where one year prior he won the title for the very first time. His opponent was Jeff Jarrett.

In a surprise twist, Page's wife, Kimberly, turned on Page and helped Jarrett become the new WCW World Champion. Page got the better of Jarrett on an episode of Nitro in May, but would lose the title to his very own tag partner, actor David Arquette; the rules stated that whoever got the pin would win the title, and Arquette pinned Jarrett's partner, Eric Bischoff. Page took some time off shortly after this, but returned in late 2000 as a full time wrestler. Their feud hit a climax at WCW's final PPV, saw Page's final match in WCW and a semi-burial type defeat as he passed out in Steiner's finisher, The Steiner Recliner.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (2001–2002)

When WCW was purchased by WWF owner Vince McMahon in 2001, Page was one of the few major WCW stars to sign with McMahon. Page went from the People's Champion (in WCW) to crazed stalker, to a self-help guru in less than a year. He became known for his catch phrase "Yo! It's me, it's me, it's DDP!" during this time.

Page switched gimmicks to become a pseudo-motivational speaker, in what would come to be known as his Positively Page character. The name came from the title of his autobiography that was published during his WCW days. The character involved Page constantly smiling and acting optimistic, with his trademark phrase "That's not a bad thing...it's a good thing".

Page became the European Champion early in 2002 when he defeated Christian, a former follower of his positive "philosophy". At WrestleMania X8, Page retained the title in a rematch. However, he lost the title to William Regal on an episode of SmackDown! that aired March 19.

Aged 46, and with nagging injuries, including a neck injury he suffered in a match with Bob Holly, his WWE contract was allowed to expire.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2004–2005)

On April 1, 2004, Diamond Dallas Page announced his return to the ring. After working for several independent promotions, he debuted with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling on November 12, feuding with Raven and Erik Watts. On July 3, 2004, Page announced that he and Kimberly had amicably separated. He and Kimberly officially divorced in 2005. Page received an NWA World Heavyweight Championship title shot on March 13, 2005 at Destination X but was defeated by reigning champion Jeff Jarrett. He left the company in May.

Life after wrestling

Fitness guru

The birth of the YRG Workout came in 1998 while Page was recovering from ruptures to his L4/L5 discs. He was reluctantly brought into power yoga with his wife Kimberly. While watching her daily workouts, he realized that yoga had benefits that he hadn't yet explored. Page regained his flexibility and strength that were hindered by his ruptured disks.

His favorite kind of yoga (according to his "Yoga for Regular Guys" book) is "Power Yoga," an Americanized version of "Ashtanga Style" yoga. Page worked with Dr. Craig Aaron, the "Yoga-Doc," and made his own the Yoga for Regular Guys Workout. The addition of a strict eating program and a complete lifestyle change along with the discipline of YRG has resulted in amazing transformations that can be seen on the YRG Website Transformations page.

Lawsuit

Page is commonly associated with the "Self High Five" as well as the "Diamond Cutter" symbol - a hand gesture made by joining the thumbs and index fingers on each hand to form a diamond shape, then parting the two hands in one swift motion. He created the symbol in 1996 and later copyrighted it. In December 2005, Page filed a lawsuit against rapper Jay-Z, who, he claimed, had "illegally adopted his trademark hand gesture." Page accused Jay-Z of trademark and copyright infringement, and sought a prohibitive injunction and monetary damages. Jay-Z paid Diamond Dallas Page an undisclosed amount in the settlement.


In wrestling

  • Finishing and signature moves

*Diamond Clash (Belly to back inverted mat slam) – TNA, used as a regular move in WCW
*Diamond Cutter (Three–quarter facelock bulldog, sometimes from the top rope)
*Discus clothesline
*Inverted atomic drop
*Russian legsweep
*Spinning powerbomb
*Spike DDT
*Swinging neckbreaker
*Wrist–lock followed by multiple shoulder blocks

*Kimberly Page

*A modified version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, entitled " Self High-Five". (WCW)

Championships and accomplishments

  • Swiss Wrestling Federation

*SWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

*WCW World Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
*WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
*WCW World Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Kevin Nash (2) and Chris Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow (2)
*WCW World Television Championship (1 time)

*WWF European Championship (1 time)
*WWF Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Kanyon

*PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (1995)
*PWI Feud of the Year (1997) vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
*PWI ranked him # 4 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year in the PWI 500 in 1997.
*PWI ranked him # 4 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year in the PWI 500 in 1998.
*PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (1999)

*Most Improved Wrestler (1996)
*Best Wrestling Maneuver (1997) Diamond Cutter
*Worst Gimmick (2001)

During Page's two reigns with Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow as the Jersey Triad, the titles were defended using the Freebird Rule.

Filmography

Bibliography

  • Genta, Larry and Page, Diamond Dallas (2000) Positively Page, ISBN 0-9679922-0-6
  • Aaron, Craig and Page, Diamond Dallas (2005) Yoga for Regular Guys: The Best Damn Workout on the Planet, ISBN 1-59474-079-8

References

External links

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