Diamond Dallas Page – Self-Help Guru

Diamond Dallas Page Self Help

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.

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