Published on October 26th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
5 Things I Learned From Diamond Dallas Page’s October 2019 Interview With Bill Apter
WWE Hall Of Famer Diamond Dallas Page is in rare company within the wrestling business. Not only is the man known as DDP a multi-time world champion, but he has also crossed into the mainstream as an actor, filmmaker and an entrepreneur. DDP has millions of followers via his social media — including those for DDPY — and is one of the wrestlers who even non-wrestling fans know.
Diamond Dallas Page turned a lot of heads on October 23, 2019 when he made a proper appearance on All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite. While rumored that had been working with AEW based on prior appearances within Double Or Nothing and an aired video package, DDP had not yet been seen on Dynamite until this week. In a surprise appearance, he joined Cody Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes and MJF within their televised pursuit of Chris Jericho and his Inner Circle in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
One day after this broadcast of Dynamite, DDP was interviewed by legendary wrestling journalist Bill Apter about his past, present and future. Below are some of the things I learned from listening to Apter and DDP speak by phone, as also supplemented with additional details I obtained from exclusively speaking with DDP himself by phone on the morning of Sunday, October 27th.
Due to an audio system breakdown there are some issues with this interview BUT the content is so compelling I wanted to run it anyway. Thanks for your understanding.–Bill Apterhttps://t.co/QDGnrVuYMm
DDP TALKS LAST NIGHT AWE, CODY, MJF, DUSTY, WWE & MORE…
— Bill Apter (@apter1wrestling) October 25, 2019
#1: Dusty Rhodes was a consistent presence in DDP’s life for decades, and vice versa.
If you have been listening to interviews with Diamond Dallas Page over the years, odds are that you have heard about Dusty Rhodes’ influence over DDP. He’s been quoted as saying without saying Dusty Rhodes “there would be no DDP.” He also stated that during a phone call with Rhodes — in which he was venting, which not many people would or could do to Dusty Rhodes — when he said that would never been a “Hogan or Flair,” Rhodes told him that he needed to get out of the wrestling business if didn’t see himself as a future world champion; DDP would become WCW World Heavyweight champion for the first time within 5 years of that call with the American Dream.
But when Dusty Rhodes passed on, Cody Rhodes informed DDP that he had been one of the 5 friends — based on the concept that a person can have up to 5 true friends at any given time — who was consistently in Dusty’s life at all times. This is especially impressive when you consider that DDP and Dusty Rhodes did not always have the same employer, live in the same state, were more than 10 years apart in age, and did not have children in the same grade or school system.
#2: Jake “The Snake” Roberts is doing great.
If you saw the documentary The Resurrection Of Jake The Snake — which Diamond Dallas Page and team produced — you saw Jake “The Snake” Roberts in a way that you had never seen him before. He was vulnerable and at his rope’s end at the beginning on the movie. The film showed Roberts slipping up a few times, not fully believing in himself at all times throughout the journey.
These days, Roberts is a mainstay on “the Comic Con circuit.” He tours comedy clubs and respectable venues as a spoken-word artist, telling stories from his past. He recently popped up within an AEW promo, altogether still maintaining substantial visibility within the wrestling world.
According to DDP within his October 2019 chat with Bill Apter, Jake “The Snake” Roberts is doing better than ever and he has a lot of great things in the works. Thus, Roberts is a pure example of someone being able to change their whole life if they work hard enough at it.
ADDED STOP! #dirtydetailstour
October 2019 Tour!
Get your tickets NOW! @blackcirclebrew
@funnybonecomedyclubs @zanieschicago @zaniesrosemont @cleveimprov @foufouneselectriques @yukyuksottawa @yukyuksoshawa @yukyuksburlington @yukyukscomedy @therecroomca pic.twitter.com/VWZXgbtmeO
— JakeSnakeDDT (@JakeSnakeDDT) September 24, 2019
#3: He is not signed to AEW.
When most wrestlers found out about the existence of All Elite Wrestling in late 2018 or early 2019, they started asking around for working. After all, here was another wrestling company owned by a billionaire which intended on being shown on television and Internet outlets worldwide.
The first big signing of All Elite Wrestling — aside from the Elite faction — was arguably Chris Jericho. A champion and main-eventer with multiple wrestling companies, Jericho immediately lent credibility to AEW as a “real” company for wrestlers to work for. In turn, many top current and former WWE champions were reliabiy rumored to be in serious negotiations with AEW.
However, according to Diamond Dallas Page within his October 2019 chat with Bill Apter, DDP was not one of those high-level wrestling talents. As a close friend of the Rhodes family, he felt that working with someone who was like family to him — DDP considers Cody Rhodes to be his nephew — with money involved could potentially complicate things from a personal perspective.
For the sake of clarity, DDP sees DDPY as a “full-time production company.” As Comeback Studios, the company has produced video content for all sorts of content — not just videos with wrestlers — including pieces for political campaigns and local businesses. He and team started working with AEW “on the way to Double Or Nothing” and not as contracted talent. The seeds of this started with DDP interviewing Cody Rhodes about his post-WWE success for DDPY’s YouTube channel; he views as “one of the top babyfaces in the company if not the number-one [babyface of AEW].”
DDP initially declined signing with AEW because he wanted to be able to continue to work with WWE, who had inducted him into the WWE Hall Of Fame just a few years back. He had wanted to find a way to help with both companies. However, when WWE did not invite him to WWE’s RAW Reunion, he took the hint. However, DDP “appreciates the things WWE has done for him over the last 7 years”; he continues to work with some of the WWE talent, just as does retired NFL players and other notable athletes. He did also point out how Triple H was, like him, a long-time follower and admirer of Rhodes.
Does his appearance on last week’s Dynamite signify that he is now signed to AEW as an in-ring talent? Absolutely not. DDP currently has “zero interest” about getting in the ring as a regular performer, although he does see himself “in his prime at 63 years old.” A one-off six-man tag match, however, is a whole different story. Added DDP about the overall current state of the pro-wrestling business: “It’s a great time for the boys and girls, and it’s a great time for wrestling fans.”
While Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Jericho were both signed to WCW for a few years, they were not close friends in the late 1990s. As the story goes, when Jericho was in WWE years later and suffering heavily from a near-career-ending back injury, Shawn Michaels recommended that Jericho talk with DDP about his then-new program of DDP YOGA, which is now known more simply as “DDPY.”
Jericho needed some coaxing before getting into the DDPY fold, but once he did, he was hooked. He credits DDPY for healing his body and for his career longevity, as regularly referenced within the Talk Is Jericho podcast. DDP humbly undersold Jericho’s use of DDPY as being what gives him his longevity, nothing that if it “had the littlest pice of helping [him achieve his success], he couldn’t be happier.” And January 2020 will see both DDP and DDPY being a featured part of Chris Jericho Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager At Sea, just as both were within the first edition of Jericho’s Sixthman-helmed cruise.
Per DDP’s October 2019 interview with Bill Apter, Jericho is “the most complete wrestler in the world.” That means that he has all the tools a wrestler would need, from the in-ring, to the promos, to the marketing, to the work ethic, to the overall attitude, to the constant level of reinventing himself.
On our October 27th phone call, DDP said that he views this new Jericho as “this new thicker, stronger rock gawd”; “gawd” intentionally spelled out rather than “god.” He is a “wrestling icon like Hogan, Flair and Piper.” Acknowledging Jericho’s long-term success, DDP further commended Jericho for having “20 or more years on top” within his near-30-year career within professional wrestling.
But given that DDP was part of Cody Rhodes’ group chasing down of Jericho and his Inner Circle cohorts on last week’s Dynamite, perhaps that praise isn’t meant for on-air consumption.
At just 23 years of age, Maxwell Jacob Friedman — “MJF,” for short — is arguably the fastest-rising star in wrestling today. Prior to signing with AEW he had held notable championships within multiple wrestling companies (e.g. MLW, AAW, CZW), which is especially impressive given that MJF has been in the wrestling business for under five years in total. Beyond debuting with AEW, 2019 was a banner year for AEW because it saw MJF being ranked #135 on the PWI Top 500.
Those watching MJF closely on social media ought to know that he is a big proponent of Diamond Dallas Page and DDPY. But then again, it seems that most of the major wrestlers of today are also DDPY followers; this includes Chris Jericho, A.J. Styles, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Titus O’Neil and countless other wrestlers you have been watching on television for years.
Within his October 2019 interview with Bill Apter, Diamond Dallas Page made the prediction that MJF is going to be “the” break-out star of 2020. Given the tremendous reaction he has gotten from his appearances within the first few episodes of Dynamite, this is a tough prediction to dispute. And given how MJF is embraced by old-school and current talent alike — not just DDP and Cody Rhodes, but also Apter, NWA announcer Jim Cornette, MLW founder Court Bauer, and WWE wrestler Curt Hawkins.
Expanding on what he told the legendary Bill Apter, DDP explained how he saw MJF as a heel along the lines of The Rock or Ric Flair. In other words, a heel that is genuinely hated yet is so entertaining that people can’t wait for their next appearance. And this writer is in agreement with DDP.