Diamond Dallas Page began his wrestling career in 1988 in the AWA. It was announced on last week's episode of AEW Dynamite that Page will return to the ring on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday to team with Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall to face MJF, The Butcher and The Blade.
The 63-year-old Hall of Famer spoke to Wrestling Inc.'s own Raj Giri about his wrestling career these past 30 years and how he never envisioned that he would be wrestling again, which will mark his sixth decade as a wrestler.
"When I started to try wrestling, I was 23-years-old," DDP noted. "It didn't work out for me, but I had three matches. I still have the paper of the card from that night-Handsome Dallas Page... that was in 1979.
"In '89, I was working with AWA and FPW (Florida Professional Wrestling). Dusty Rhodes had me as a color commentator next to Gordon Solie. I was mad at Gene, Big Steel, who was also Tugboat, and his son-in-law. Bottom line is, if Dick Slater beat Tugboat, he got five minutes in the ring with DDP. I just watched the clip-somebody found it for me and sent it to me and for me not knowing what the hell I was doing, I looked pretty decent out there. I did a flying clothesline, where we both landed on the mat, which if I was coming off the top rope, I had never seen that before. I forgot I did it. So, that's the 80's.
"Then, of course, my run in the 90's through the 2000's. And then when it rolled around to 2010, there was a promotion in Rome, Georgia that asked if I would come in and do a tag team. I thought what the hell? Five decades in and I'm doing it. So, I did it. Then I did a couple of other things in 2010- the Royal Rumble and the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Then, this comes up with AEW, and I thought man if I wrestle in a match in 2020, I'll have six decades that I've wrestled... it's just a fun pact that you could be around and have people care. That's the cool part for me."
Once he joined AEW, DDP said that he originally had no desire to return to the ring. When he did think about possibly wrestling again, Page noted that he had a different opponent in mind.
"Cody and I talked about it. I wanted to do something with him," DDP revealed. "But because of the rivalry with MJF, it didn't work."
DDP went on to discuss his two partners and their opponents on Wednesday, admitting that MJF has the knack for being a pro wrestler.
"I love being with Dustin Rhodes," DDP admitted. "I've known Dustin since he was 18. I've known Dustin for over 32 years. QT is a super cool dude. I think MJF - we've talked about this, I think he is one of most natural cats in the ring. He was born to do this. The Butcher and The Blade are two very good athletes."
DDP mentioned on his promo on Dynamite last week that he never thought any pro wrestling program would return to TNT after WCW. Page noted that the turn of events shows that anything is possible.
"I wanted to say in that first part of the promo, live on TNT, if you would have told me March 26, 2001, the day that WWE took over, and TNT went bye-bye with pro wrestling, I wanted to be the guy to say if you would have told me 19 years later that DDP would be live and back on TNT with AEW, I'd say you're smoking crack," DDP jokingly said. "It's a story that anything is possible."
Despite still being in tremendous shape, Page said that Wednesday's match will likely be his last. He mentioned how incredible the audience has been in AEW and why he enjoys working for the company whether it's in the ring or backstage.
"I really, really, really think that this will be the last one," DDP stated. "You leave a little piece of yourself out in that ring every time you go out there. Just doing that one Diamond Cutter I do where I they go and clothesline me, and I block it and hook and spin them, those muscles, I haven't used those muscles in a long time like that. But at the moment, you're not feeling that. It's the roar of the crowd and the smell of the popcorn (that you're focused on). Again, I don't think I'll do it again after this. I'm looking forward to it, I'm going to have fun."
"The most fun thing about AEW is it's completely different from the WWE, it just is. It doesn't make that better or worse. The people, the crowd. I listen to it back and it was loud, but when you're there (live) it's five-times louder. That crowd is way hot."
When he is not appearing on camera, Page is running his successful DDPY program. The DDP Unstoppable Challenge is back for the second year in a row, which will help transform people's lives both physically and mentally. Readers can register at DDPYoga.com and have the opportunity to win up to $1 million.
"Sign up because you never know what could really start to motivate you. Do all of the pictures and videos because if you start out like that and put the work in, it's gonna change your life no matter what. Anytime we can help change someone's life for the better, that's super karma," said Page.
"I'm excited about 2020 and we've had the most growth ever with our program. I know it's gonna change a lot of people's lives so go to DDPY.com and you'll see it all."
DDP's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post, or viewed via the embedded video player at the top. During the interview, Page also discussed the differences in the creative process between AEW and WWE, the benefits and downfalls of social media and more. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.