If you haven't heard of DDP, then you may have been living under a rock for the last several weeks. The former three time WCW Heavyweight Champion and founder of DDP Yoga has been riding a wave of success after the story of Arthur Boorman went viral on YouTube. Using the techniques he learned from Diamond Dallas Page, the disabled veteran was able to transform his life drastically (See video here). I had a chance to interview Diamond Dallas Page about his life-altering DDP Yoga, his successful wrestling career and working with Rob Zombie. Here's what he had to say.
DDP Yoga has been sweeping the country with help from the story of Arthur Boorman. For those unfamiliar with the story, can you give us a brief summary of Arthur's quest?
Before we get into Arthur, let me give you the quick cliff notes. I started wrestling when I was 35. My career didn't take off until I was 40. From 1996-2001 I rode, like, the greatest rollercoaster of all time. Living the dream. In late 98, early 99, I ruptured my L4 and L5 so badly that three doctors said my career was over.I was devastated by this news. My wife Kimberly kept urging me to try yoga. Now, I'm the type of guy that wouldn't be caught dead doing yoga for the first 42 years of my life, but I was desperate. As I was doing rehab, eventually I started doing yoga, and mixing in old school calisthenics coupled with dynamic resistance, which is all about engaging muscles. So these three doctors said my career was over, but I developed a workout with zero impact, kick ass cardio and core strength conditioning. In less than three months I was back in the ring. At 42 they said my career was over, but at 43 I was the oldest World Champion ever crowned in our business! Since it worked for me, I eventually wrote a book called "Yoga for Regular Guys." Which I just saw you can't get it for less than $70 or $80 dollars today. And then I did a DVD set. And that's where Arthur comes in. And anybody who bought the three different levels of DVD workouts, I would send an email to. Some people came back with some decent responses, others thought it was an automatic email, which is funny because it was really me. So when Arthur did it, his emails were thorough. He basically responded saying he has been relegated to a piece of furniture. He went on to say he was a disabled veteran and morbidly obese. He was a paratrooper, dropping 15-20 feet a second carrying 150 - 200 lbs on his back when he hit the ground. So his body was just broken. So I asked him to send me a picture so I could see what I was looking at. When I saw the picture I was like "wow, how am I going to help that guy?" I told him to send me his phone number, and that's how it started.
How have you been reacting to the overwhelming success at Arthur's story? It's gotten over a million hits on YouTube, was featured on Good Morning America.
It's actually over 4.7 million hits on YouTube. You've got to remember though, if you look at any video I've done, any one of them on DDP Yoga or any video that has me in it, those videos are done to inspire people. We just wanted to inspire people to do something. And that's what we did.
How was it working with Macho Man Randy Savage? Can you give us some memories of Savage?
I have so many. Randy picked me. He was the guy right behind Hogan at the time. Of course, Hall and Nash were hot as hell at the time too. But Randy was the biggest name at the time, right behind Hulk Hogan. And when the NWO got hot as hell, he saw the reaction I was getting from the people and he asked to work with me, which was really cool. And it took my career to a whole different level. We made the feud reality based. Some people would say, I know that wrestling is fake, but DDP and Savage, that was real. You guys really hated each other. The first time I wrestled Randy was on house shows, where theres no cameras and stuff. And Randy was really light. But the first time Randy hit me when the red light was on, when the cameras were on, I just saw a big blue flash. That's how hard he hit me. Then I got it. So I just stepped it up on him and so that's why our feud looked so amazing. We were knocking the hell out of each other. I remember one Thanksgiving I was asking myself who I was thankful to, and of course I was thankful to Dusty Rhodes because he helped me more than anybody. But then I thought of Randy Savage. So I called and left him a message and said, "hey Randy, I just wanted to call and say thank you. Thank you so much for bringing me in and doing what you did for me. I really appreciate it man and Happy Thanksgiving." So two weeks go by and he came to TV, and he said "Hey Diamond. Get over here." Of course I'm thinking, what the hell did I do? So he grabs me and he says "I got your message. I called my dad up and I played it for him. I just want you to know it meant the world to me." That's the kind of guy Randy Savage was.
Do you still keep track of the wrestling today?
I watch it occasionally. A lot of my buddies are still doing it. Jericho went in and they said his career was over a year ago and after doing DDP Yoga for three months, he was 95% pain free and back in the ring, just like what happened to me. So you got so many guys doing my workout now, from Zack Ryder to Bryan Daniels to Kane to Santino Marella. I mean, I watch anyway, but I like to see how my boys are doing now. I don't watch enough to comment as far as storylines go. I don't really pay attention to that part of it. I'm looking at matches and seeing who can steal the show.
How do you feel about Randy Orton using the RKO, which is a modified Diamond Cutter?
You know, I had the most unbelievable run ever, and I love that Randy does it because when Randy hits that move, a lot of people think of me. As evidenced by the question. It's a really cool thing. I think Randy is one of the best guys in the world. I wanted him to use it. I called him and said "Randy I'm done. You should take the Diamond Cutter." And he's like "oh I can't do that Diamond." I didn't realize he just got out of surgery, out of the hospital. I later told him the story and said "Randy don't you remember me calling you?" And he's like "no Diamond, I don't remember that at all." But sure enough believe it, why would I make that up? But I'm glad, I'm happy he's using it. And I appreciate it, it keeps me out there.
What was it like working on the Devil's Rejects movie?
Oh that was awesome. Rob Zombie, I met him when we were buying Christmas trees one year. And then we became buddies, and we started talking about things. We went out to dinner when he was turning 40, and we started talking. He was saying I look great for 48 and I told him about my work out. He started doing the work out with me. Four or five days a week we were doing my DDP Yoga work out. And one day he just said he's got a movie part for me. He said I'd be perfect for it. And it was so much fun. Rob Zombie, from his movies to his music, he's the type of guy who believes anything is possible. Everybody told him "its not music you're never going to make it." And 20 years later he just owns it, still. He's constantly reinventing himself. I don't know who does it better than Rob Zombie. From movies to music to directing to writing. What can't he do?
On June 8th you'll be appearing at an independent wrestling show in Fall River, Massachusetts for Top Rope Promotions. Those shows are filled with men and women who aspire to accomplish what you've accomplished. What advice can you give them?
Never give up. Never ever give up. You know, a lot of guys, they would love to get to the show, but they have to know coming into it, that the odds are very slim. You've got to love what you're doing. Like what I'm doing with the DDP Yoga thing. I've got half a million dollars in this thing. I've just been helping people for the last 8 years. It all turns into success at some point, when you keep working and working and you're passionate about what you love to do. I go to these shows because they get me around the town.I do PR for DDP Yoga. So I'm going to a show and people are going to go "God Diamond, you're 56 years old, I can't believe you're in this kind of shape still." Because a lot of the guys are not. All you have to do is go to a pro wrestling reunion, and you'll see. Because what we do, it takes a toll on your body. A lot of guys are broken up. That's why I love the fact that so many of the young guys get DDP Yoga. And they get it at a level of doing the program and embracing it, like Jericho. Santino is the same way. You get addicted to it, then you got to have it. And you feel a lot better. And that's what its all about. Feeling great.
At this point I'd like to do some word association if you're game.
Warrior. He's still out there doing his thing. Warrior meaning a warrior, not The Warrior.
Okay, I thought we were going somewhere else with that.
Absolutely not. I don't want any of that.
Where can people buy your DDP Yoga video and is there a way for fans to keep in contact with you?
The first thing I'd recommend doing is going to YouTube, and searching for "Never Give Up Arthur" - so you can be inspired too! Inspired to do Something with your life. Then, fans can follow me on Twitter (@ RealDDP and @DDPYOGA), my Facebook page, and of course at DDPYoga.com. I always make time for fans, and those who are ready to change their lives for real. There are many ways to get a hold of me.
Diamond Dallas Page will be appearing for Top Rope Promotions on June 8th, 2012. For more live appearances, check out his schedule on DDPYoga.com.
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