Induction: Self-Help DDP – As good or better than a dead cat

16 Submitted by on Thu, 29 August 2019, 20:00

WWF, 2001-2002

This week’s induction is a long time in the making. And I mean long.

Don’t believe me? Check out this screenshot from the old black-and-rainbow Wrestlecrap site. DDP’s self-help gimmick was indeed a story for another day, and that day is today.

The story begins during the unfortunate Invasion angle. DDP had been written off TV following a one-sided feud with The Undertaker that ended with Page jobbing to Taker’s wife.

Someone in the WWF decided to take the phrase, “Positively Page” literally, as the former stalker and sex pervert would reappear on television a month later as a self-help guru…

haunting fans with smarmy backstage vignettes and a collection of disturbing facial expressions…

like the toothy grin…

…the double-toothy grin…

…and the ever-popular sexual predator smile/O-face combo, allowing DDP to show off his goofy capped teeth, which Jim Ross frequently compared to dominos.

Believe it or not, Page’s teeth were the real deal – and by real, I still mean fake, but permanent fakes…

…much like that woman who showed up on Nitro once with impossibly big t— well, not teeth.

The DDP segments themselves ranged from the distasteful — like his gross story of a friend whose cat got run over, saving his marriage — to the exploitative, like the testimonial from a satisfied female protege (since scrubbed from the WWE Network) –

‘Taint a bad way to get a pop

— to the dank as s***, like this footage of him apparently hotboxing backstage:

One constant of these segments was DDP’s disingenuously spinning of negatives into positives. “That’s not a bad thing”, insisted Page. “That’s a good thing!

Among such unexpectedly good things were, in chronological order:

  • Being on the receiving end of quite a beating from The Undertaker
  • Having a few sore days
  • Hurting his knee and having surgery
  • His friend Tony’s cat getting run over by a car
  • Kurt Angle losing his title
  • Not being in Ottawa
  • Ottawa’s fans and WWF New York customers being terrible audiences
  • The fact that he’s DDP, that he likes him, and that the audience is going to like him too
  • Losing
  • Kane interrupting him
  • Kane having mangled flesh for a face
  • The WWF Superstars thinking the Big Show is fat, out of shape, and all-around goofy
  • The people of London being depressed
  • Losing to the Big Show
  • Being unable to stop smiling after calling the Godfather’s escorts
  • Christian being positive
  • Christian losing in front of 68,000 people at Wrestlemania 18

Often, Page would encourage the viewer to do yoga.

DDP would inevitably close every promo the same way (albeit normally without the visual aid):

I like me

you like me

and I’m going to help you like you!

You knew where every promo was going to end up, with Page executing these long, contrived catchphrases, but there was nothing you could do to stop him.

It was arguably the first in a series of dry, dry gimmicks churned out by WWE…

a tradition carried on by Planet Stasiak’s gimmick of rhyming things with his name…

Heidenreich’s gimmick of always talking about “Little Jonny”…

Dolph Ziggler’s gimmick of introducing himself to people…

all the way up to Shelton Benjamin’s current gimmick of silently looking everywhere.

You might be saying to yourself, DDP was a heel. He was supposed to be irritating. And on paper, that’s pretty sound logic, but did you actually see these promos? Or, for that matter, hear them? You didn’t have to watch all of them consecutively (like I did) to want to change the channel as soon as he came on your screen.

And second, there was practically no pay-off to any of it. Page started showing up in person…

…to get chokeslammed by Kane (who was pissed that DDP didn’t come to his office for his dental work)…

…and the Big Show…

…and losing a handful of matches before getting taken off TV within a few weeks of his return when the Alliance was vanquished.

Looking back, the way DDP punctuated every sentence with a funny face —

— are we quite sure he wasn’t the babyface Doink?

Both had Jersey accents…

both were super-obnoxious…

and both loved holidays —

whether it be Halloween or Christmas.

Page returned to television two months later as a babyface, while still retaining his deliberately grating catchphrases. Fortunately, he got significantly less mic time…

…never did this again…

…and, as a nice change of pace, actually got to win matches, even winning the European title.

Page’s winning ways eventually rubbed off on his new protege, Christian, who snapped his own losing streak…

…and promptly betrayed his mentor of two weeks.

DDP retired, more or less, following their match at Wrestlemania 18 the next week…

…but he still lives his self-help gimmick in real life, running the successful DDPYoga program and helping many of his old wrestling buddies re-shape their lives.

Those whom Page has impacted with the power of positivity include Jake Roberts, Scott Hall…

…and most importantly, ECW General Manager Tiffany.

Many questioned the wisdom of DDP’s decision in 2001 to forgo his guaranteed, big-money contract with AOL-Time-Warner, but if it weren’t for DDP taking up yoga to rehab the injuries suffered in the WWF, he wouldn’t have his second career.

And that’s not a bad thing…

…eh, I forget how the rest of that goes.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
16 Responses to "Induction: Self-Help DDP – As good or better than a dead cat"
  1. Ben Jerison says:

    Gotta hand it to DDP – turning a horrible gimmick into a real-life yoga guru in the years that followed. Much respect for the guy.

  2. Autrach Sejanoz says:

    Always loved JR’s “The Hell you say!” remark.

  3. The Doctor of Style says:

    You can apply DDP’s catchphrase to this induction!

  4. Doc 902714 says:

    Is that Marc Mero in the pic with Jake, Scott Hall and DDP? Could also be Ranjin Singh?

  5. Mav says:

    It’s a shame how the fed buried such a great talent in DDP. Jobbing to the Undertaker’s wife…great business, Vince. Not vengeful or anything.

  6. "Broadway" Bulk Bogan says:

    To be fair, a lot of relationships DO end due to disputes involving animals. Too bad DDP didn’t go all ham and encourage men to perform a Cutter on their WAG’s annoying dogs they tend to carry around in handbags in order to save their marriage.

  7. Christopher Haydu says:

    Thank you, Art, for finally inducting this. In my own opinion, I found stalker DDP and this happy self-help guru gimmick to be entertaining. nonetheless, you could tell it was a step down from the level he was at in WCW. It’s good for younger fans to see because I think diamond Dallas Page is the prime example of Vince McMahon punishing WCW talent simply for being successful working for the competition. As a fan, it’s frustrating to hear supposedly honest shoots from guys like Bruce Prichard who make excuses for the storylines they’ve booked, arguing that the company wouldn’t go out of its way to give guys they don’t like stupid gimmicks at the expense of losing money. the WWE career of diamond Dallas Page makes it obvious that guys like Bruce Prichard are full of shit. It’s good that Page got a short title run out of this gimmick, but he could have been so much greater in WWE.

  8. CP says:

    One thing we really need to remember is that Dallas Page was already 45 when he jumped over to the WWF in 01. He really wasn’t going to be able to do too many big things.

    That said though…he deserved far better than this.

    • Christopher Haydu says:

      I was never expecting him to take Rock or Austin’s place in the company, but I don’t think forty five is washed up if a wrestler really trains hard. There’s probably a million other examples, but the one I’m thinking of is Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 33. Jericho was forty six at the time and that match was super. That said, if he’d been booked better, I think Diamond Dallas Page could’ve at least been in the mix of contenders for the heavyweight title.

      • CP says:

        Jericho at 46 also hadn’t been hanging and banging for years like DDP did.

        Don’t forget as well, Dallas Page was notorious for his hard partying ways in his early years in the biz. That didn’t help matters later on.

    • Kareem Ofweet says:

      Also, if Mick Foley’s book is correct, DDP didn’t start wrestling until he was 35, so he only had 10 years of ring wear on his body when he went to the WWF. Book him right, and he could’ve been really good. I was excited when he revealed himself as the stalker.

  9. Edward says:

    Wasn’t this pretty much a rough re-hash of the “Positively Page” angle he had with Kanyon in the dying days of WCW?

  10. Tom says:

    I never comment on the ‘Crap, but I just wanted to point this out: in the middle of one of the recorded sessions in the DDP Yoga app, he drops a “That’s not a bad thing… that’s a good thing!” and points to the camera. There are a few chuckles, and he just says, “The people who know, KNOW” and moves on with the workout. Always amuses me when I’m doing that workout, because it’s such an obscure reference.

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