By Chuck Carroll
His friend Justin Credible was hurting. So Diamond Dallas Page reached out and offered a helping hand.
Credible was heavily intoxicated and had publicly humiliated himself, while the cell phones of onlookers recorded the entire incident. The record buttons were pushed just as everything began to unfold, and the recordings didn’t stop until after he was forced out of the building. It wasn’t long before the footage went viral, spreading rapidly like a contagion. It didn’t help that he had been proclaiming his sobriety in recent weeks after completing a stint in rehab.
Within 48 hours, a second video went viral. This time it was an apology and a pledge to recommit himself to sobriety. It came at the insistence of a concerned Page.
It wasn’t the first time Diamond Dallas Page helped a pro wrestler who had fallen on hard times. And it likely won’t be the last. It’s just who DDP is; a healer. And Credible — PJ Polaco outside the ring — is lucky that he is. The two are now working daily on Polaco’s sobriety through conversation and DDP Yoga. If the ECW legend successfully commits to the program for 30 days, Page will fly him to his home in Atlanta where they will continue intensively working on conquering demons and achieving optimal health. It’s the same formula that saved the lives of squared-circle legends Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Scott Hall.
Page balances his time between helping his pro wrestling brethren and inspiring and transforming thousands of others through his popular DDP Yoga program. It’s an all-consuming schedule, but the WWE Hall of Fame member wouldn’t have it any other way. He thrives on paying forward the wisdom he learned while overcoming his own obstacles during an improbable rise to become one of the top wrestlers in the world.
Page’s next form of inspiration will come in the form of a book, which he says is scheduled for publication over SummerSlam weekend next August.
I had the opportunity to speak with DDP as we head into 2018. I could think of no better guest as we all look for inspiration to realize our new year’s resolutions.
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2017 has been a banner year for you and the DDPY brand. How are you doing heading into 2018?
Unstoppable. Unstoppable. As a matter of fact, this year, over SummerSlam weekend, I’m going to be dropping a book that’s called Own Your Life. It is basically the art of being positively unstoppable. So that is the theme for 2018.
I want to ask you about DDP Yoga. You’ve had some incredible success stories this year. Talk to me about some of the biggest successes that you’ve seen with DDPY users.
The most dramatic transformation is disabled veteran Arthur Boorman, who literally was 297 pounds, five-foot-six, and literally could not walk without knee braces, back brace, and wraparound canes for 15 years. His son documented the entire journey. At the end of it, 10 months later, he was 140 pounds. That’s not the focus though. The focus is he lost the knee braces, the back brace, and the wraparound canes, not just to walk, but run. Today, 10 years later, the guy is still unstoppable.
One of the things that’s just blowing up like wildfire right now is it appears like Vince McMahon is ready to dip his toes back into the football realm and is going to reboot the XFL or something similar. Crazy, or are you on board with this idea?
McMahon has always been a visionary. But, again, they’re a multibillion-dollar company, and it really comes down to the talent. So I don’t know how you do that. But if he’s got a plan… I’m sure he’s got a plan, because… the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. Some of my biggest victories have come directly after some of my biggest failures. If McMahon is going back into football again, then he’s got some master plan.
It would appear so.
Yeah, he does. He knows what he did wrong, and probably wants to go back and go, I think I got this this time. I’m sure he’s going to make plenty of mistakes on the way to get there, who really knows where it’s going to be when it’s all said and done. I love to watch what McMahon does. I love to watch. Vince is a genius. He puts the right people around him. The company itself just had its biggest quarter. It’s not [its] last quarter, but the quarter before. So, again, the guy’s been very successful his entire life.
The Royal Rumble is right around the corner. What are the odds that we’ll see you make an appearance?
If they call me, I’ll be there. But if I never get in the ring again, I am so happy to have had the run I had. Didn’t really have the greatest run when I first got to the WWE, but the last five years were unbelievable. They let me come out in the Rumble a couple of years back and drop a bunch of diamond cutters. It blew the roof off.
I was doing an interview, and he said now that you’re 60… I said, I’m 61. He’s like, “man, you think about where you’ve gone, and what you’ve done, and what you’ve been able to accomplish.” He goes, “did 50 or 60 hit you in any way?” I thought, not really. Because I don’t see myself as 60, 61. Two days before my 60th birthday, they played my music at WrestleMania, and then, being inducted in the Hall of Fame this year, I have had such a beautiful, amazing, wonderful life when it comes to my career. I’ve been able to be so blessed just to be where I am. If I never went in again, I’m good. But if they need me to come out there and pop the crowd, I’m there. I would gladly do it.
For the first time ever WWE is having an all-women’s Royal Rumble match.
I’m really excited about that. The WWE girls, man, Charlotte and The Boss [Sasha Banks], the [Bella] Twins, Brie, and Nikki. Brie, she’s retired now, but Nicki took it to another level. And [Natalya], I was so happy that she got the big gold. And Naomi. These girls can go.
Paige, she’s one of my favorites. I’ve known her since she was 18. I mean, these girls are super fun to watch. They’re killing it. When people ask who’s my favorite wrestler right now, I say Charlotte. She’s beautiful, she can cut a promo, and she is bad to the bone. She is the Nature Boy’s kid alright.
It’s a tough situation right now with Justin Credible, after he fell off the wagon. That video just made rounds on social media. Then he posted a lengthy apology, and said that he’s reached out to you for help. Can you give us an update on how he’s doing? How difficult is it for you when you receive a phone call like that?
I didn’t get a phone call from him, I made a phone call to him. Because of helping Jake, and Scott, Vader, and Mick Foley … just by reaching out and helping the guys, when someone is hurting, they’ll contact me. So I know about it pretty much right away. I always loved PJ. He’s a great kid who just made some bad decisions.
WWE has really stepped up. A lot of people like to bust chops on the company, and they really don’t know all of the stuff that they do for the boys. Like, if someone’s got issues, whether it’s booze, or pills, or pain, or whatever it is, they’re going to get them some help.
So, they [arranged for his rehab] and he had been putting the work in, but he needed a couple of other things. I literally talked to him this morning. He’s on Twitter, we DM each other, I was like, “dude, give me a call.” We talked for about 20 minutes. One of the things I said about Jake, when I inducted him in the Hall of Fame, is that you can never underestimate the power you give someone by believing in them.
Sometimes it takes someone that they really look up to. PJ and I have always had that relationship where I know he’s looked up to me. He knows if I say I’m going to do something, I do it. There’s no b-s’ing around. If I’m going to work with someone, I expect you to put the work in. Then, if I put the work in to help you, you feel like, “I don’t want to let him down.”
My first message back to him is don’t worry about me. Once you know that, you actually, and really do care, not just call once, I’ve talked to PJ every day. We’ve texted a couple times a day. I started him on the program and told him there’s light at the end of this tunnel. I told him that, when he did the program, he got unbelievable results and got in great shape. But now he’s in lousy shape again. So, I said, “let’s just journey it, bro. Let’s document it. Let’s let people know what you’re doing.” It’s my thing, I said you should go out there, because everybody’s talking, and they’ve seen the video of you being a mess. Go [make another video] and say whatever you feel. I didn’t tell him to apologize. I told him to say what he feels, and today’s day one. He did it, and he got a really great response. Ninety-nine percent of it was an amazing response, and you focus on the positives.
I told him if he gets to work doing the program five days a week, we’ll talk every day or a minimum of every other day. I told him, if he gets on track for a month, then I’ll bring you down here, and we’ll work together, and I’ll start to really treat him this time. I’ll actually teach him how to teach what I do.
Are you more proud of being a WWE Hall of Famer or being this pillar of inspiration for people who have fallen on hard times?
One doesn’t happen without the other. I’ve got an amazing team of people here. When people say, oh man, what you did for Jake, what you did for Scott… it wasn’t just me. It was my whole crew.
The secret to life, to me, is to find something that you love to do, and then figure out how to get paid to do it. Sometimes that takes a long time. If you fall down, get back up again. Don’t beat yourself up. Get back up again. It’s not about how many times you go down, it’s about how many times you get back up and get back in the game. I said that as Diamond Dallas Page, the wrestler, and now as Page the man, a million times.
The only reasons I ever became one of the best wrestlers in the world was because they thought a 35-and-a-half-year-old wrestler who tore his rotator cuff [wasn’t worth it]. They fired me at 36, and when I came back at 37, no one believed in me. While they weren’t using me, I went down the Power Plant where I first learned how to wrestle, and I started teaching all those young guys. This applies to every single thing you will ever do in life. The more you teach someone, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get.
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.