Inside the ring, Diamond Dallas Page was a beloved figure who could hit his Diamond Cutter finish from out of nowhere and upset icons. Outside the ring, he is focusing on his DDP Yoga program, and is coming to the UK for a tour of seminars, Q&As, and workshops (tickets still available!).
Ahead of his UK tour, he sat down with us for a long interview about his in-ring career, his yoga, and finally the outstanding documentary The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, which is one of the things he is best known for today.
RealSport: I would like to talk about the film The Resurrection of Jake the Snake. How you helped both Jake the Snake and Scott Hall get back from bad places. When you started that film, when was the last time you had talked to Jake the Snake?
Diamond Dallas Page: Well for Jake, I had talked to him maybe a year or two before that. I tried to help Jake a bunch of times before that when he wasn’t ready. That’s what people don’t understand. People ask me to help people all the time. I can’t help them when someone is asking me to help them. I can only help them when they are ready and they really wanna be helped. Because you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. And in Jake’s scenario, he said he would try the program.
My business partner Steve Yu, who is the director of The Resurrection of Jake the Snake (available on Netflix), said ‘Why don’t you just move Jake in with you?” And I was like ‘Whoa, wait a minute man. Jake won’t like to move in with me.” I know Jake to be a handful. Ya know, he can do it at home like Arthur [Boorman] did. Actually, how I got Jake to do it, is I sent him the video of the disabled veteran that I had not only lose his 140 pounds, but lose his knee braces, his back braces, and his wraparound canes he used to not only walk, but to run.
DDP: He was like "OK, I’ll try it." And that was all I needed. At the time, he was 307 pounds. Now, Jake Roberts walked around wrestling at maybe 240, 235. So I figure 80 pounds, 80% of it was in his stomach. He couldn’t even get up and get down, he was a mess. The whole thing was. I put it out there in front of Jake: "If you can lose 20 pounds on your own, I will move you to Atlanta, move you in with me, and we will see this journey from beginning to end."
I told Stone Cold Steve Austin, that I was moving Jake "the Snake" Roberts in with me. Steve is one of my best friends. He was there living with me when I created this whole thing for other people. I wrote a book about it called "Yoga for Regular Guys". I would eventually do some DVDs. He was there with me. He watched me build this from nothing. And he was like "Dude, what are you thinking? Are you out of your mind? Jake Roberts will never do this." He was not the only one who thought that.
Everyone thought I was out of my mind to try to help Jake because no one believed he would actually do it and see it through. That’s the beautiful part of our movie, our documentary, The Resurrection of Jake the Snake. As we were filming it, we didn’t know if anyone was ever going to be able to see it. It only works, as far as I was concerned, if Jake gets into the Hall of Fame. That’s the only way that this is like the resurrection of Jake the Snake to me. That was my goal. It wasn’t his goal, because he didn’t think that was possible. At one point, he started to think he could come back and be in a Royal Rumble. That would become his goal.
DDP: So, it is all about giving people goals and dreams. Jake had stopped dreaming to the point where, literally, all he had was nightmares. And during the day, he didn’t have any dreams. He had no ambitions. He didn’t believe it would ever get better. He was waiting to die. And when you can help change someone’s mindset like that, especially a strong personality like Jake "the Snake" Roberts, and later Scott Hall, you're doing something right. That’s what I try and let people know about when you come to one of my workshops. It’s not like it's 24/7 like it was with me and Jake, but it sure is a piece of that to help you get back on the right track.
RS: So, you worked with Scott Hall as well. One of the moments that is captured in the documentary is sometimes there is a little friction between those two that sort of pushed Jake back towards a bad place. Was there ever a time that you thought, maybe, you weren’t going to be able to have both of them in the Accountability Crib at the same time?
DDP: No. I mean, they did. There was a lot of ego in that house between the three of us. But I wasn’t really worried about that, because it would go up and down. There was kind of a competition there for the big brother’s attention sometimes. You had to deal with a lot of different personalities. That’s the best way I can explain it. But I tell you what though, me and Steve, like we would sit around sometimes with Jake ya know, cuz Jake, ya know, and you’ve seen it. Jake fell quite a number of times during the process. Scott never did. So Scott was sober the whole time.
Now, once he got out of there, ya know, then he had his share of fall downs. But then he gets back up again and he is in a way better spot than what he was before he did them. But for Jake, we just happened to be there. And I would sit there and look at Steve sometimes in our office and we would both be shaking our heads. And we would say “Ya think anyone is ever going to see this?”
RS: How has Jake been doing since the end of the movie?
DDP: Oh my God, like he is a different person. I will give you the best example I can give you. Yesterday he called me, he was so happy. Let me give you the backstory too. Jake during the movie, and you will remember this, in the documentary The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, there’s a point where Mick Foley brings me and Scott Hall up on stage with him, and then he brings Jake out of the wings. So, after that night, Jake pulls me aside and says “Ya know D, I can do that.” “Do what?” “What Foley's doing. I can do that.”
I said “Of course you can. You’re one of the greatest storytellers ever.” And he said, “Well, I am going to start working on it.” And he didn’t really work too hard on it. And his first show sucked. But like anything, his first couple of matches sucked. It took a little time when Jake really got it to become the warlord he would become in the ring. It took time. It took a few times, and because he is such a great speaker, when it comes to being a storyteller, he started to click. Now he tours all of North America.
The next time I come on for an interview with you, after I have already done my tour, and work different parts of the UK, and Ireland in April of 2018, there is a really good chance that Jake is going to come with me. And he is going to do his, I call it spoken word, of course Jake has to call it unspoken word. So that’s with Jake. But, take the six or eight falls that he fell down, those were over six years, five years. Stone Cold stayed without even falling for like three plus years now. I’m not sure exactly what the time frame is.
But Jake called me yesterday, and he said “D, wait til you hear this. I am a life coach now.” I said, “How did that happen?” And while he was living with me, a guy contacted him through his daughter, she is his business manager, just like my wife Brenda is my manager. And he contacted Codi [Jake's daughter], and he wanted Jake. And every month, twice a month, Jake talks to him. And gives him wisdom and tries to keep him focused. So Jake is helping other people now. Which is really, when the student becomes the teacher, the cycle is complete.
RS: That’s incredible to hear. The movie culminates with Jake entering the Hall of Fame and he chose you to induct him. How did it feel when Jake chose you to be his inductor?
DDP: Well, it’s funny because I knew Jake wanted me to be the guy who inducted him. But Jake also understands that he gets to pick a couple of guys, the WWE gets to pick whether you do it or not. I didn’t really think about that. I just thought of course, who else is going to induct Jake. And then one day the WWE called me, Mark Carrano, who is a good buddy of mine. And he said, “We want you to induct Jake into the Hall of Fame.” And it hit me. Oh yeah. This is their TV. You don’t get to pick who you want to induct you. They have to make sure that person can talk. Ya know, that is going to help the show. They have to have something intelligent to say.
That was very funny to me. And then when it came down to me being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Jake was my pick. I gave them five names. It was Jake, Mick Foley, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, and Steve Austin. That was my five guys I gave to them. And they came back and said, “Are you good with Eric Bischoff doing your induction?” I said “Absolutely!” I never thought Eric would have put the time into inducting me into his speech that he did. Man, it was, it was amazing. It was amazing.
RS: How did it feel when you first got that phone call that said you would be going into the Hall of Fame this year?
DDP: Did you see my new video the WWE, the DVD set they did on me called Positively Living? Have you seen that yet?
RS: I’ve seen the trailer but I have not seen the full thing yet.
DDP: What is beautiful about it is they captured the moment [when we were filming Positively Living, my WWE documentary]. I had been swimming where I grew up, where I played basketball, the boardwalk where I grew up on, and it was at the end of the day. And we had this beautiful sunset behind the bar that I always go to, one of my friend’s places, and I wasn’t ready to shoot then. And someone said "Hey the boss wants to talk to ya." And it's Triple H, and I am going to tell you an awesome story about that when it gets to my Q&A, because I have some unbelievable stories that I have never told before and this is going to be such a special year.
The essence was, he had called me and at some point he congratulated me. And I was talking to X-Pac and he is a very good friend of mine, and he said “C’mon Dalley, you knew, you knew that was the call.” I was like “No, I didn’t.” And I will explain all of that when I do the Q&A because that story is awesome.
But Friday morning was when he told me and I realized this was the call and it hit me, man. Because I am wearing my Hall of Fame ring right now. I remember Ricky Steamboat when we got our rings and they were taking pictures and he was in the ring with us and he gave me a big hug and he said “You’re part of a very elite group my friend. Congratulations, you earned it.” And coming from Ricky Steamboat, that meant the world to me. Macho would have said the same thing. Because it is a very elite group of people who actually get to that spot.
After I put the phone down, the producer tells me that that's going to go at the end of the video Positively Living. And I was like “You’re kidding.” And he was like “No man. We have been trying to capture this moment for years. It is next to impossible to put a camera in front of a guy that you know has Hall of Fame accolades, but it’s tough to find that guy and grab him. It is tough because they don’t know when that guy gets into the Hall of Fame, so I liked the idea. It was super special, super special.
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