With DDP getting the call for the World Wrestling Federation Hall of Fame Class of 2017, the release of this new DVD/BluRay set on the master of the Diamond Cutter is very timely indeed. But does it do justice to the career of the former WCW World Champion?
Like many recent WWE documentary releases, the main feature kicks in at little over an hour. This isn’t really enough time to go into the in’s and out’s of Diamond Dallas Page’s career but we do get a nice enough overview of what makes the man tick.
After a short introduction, with comments from the likes of Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff and Mick Foley, we move into the story of his childhood. His mum had three kids by the time she was 19 and his Dad was an alcoholic yet he seemed to have a happy enough time. Today he say’s he’d be diagnosed as having ADD or dyslexia, but in those days people simply didn’t understand those conditions.
He was hit by a car at the age of 12 which meant that “contact sports” were no longer possible. He took up Basketball and credited that with instilling the work ethic he became famous for in his wrestling career. Plainly put, he was awful at it so practised until he was good at it.
Catching Handsome Jimmy Valliant on TV was his first real “wow” moment in terms of wanting to be in the wrestling business but despite a few indy matches (which Page admits were terrible) he concentrated on a career as a Nightclub manager/owner. Luckily for him that led to a meeting with Kimberley, who would become his wife after a whirlwind romance. Kimberley is interviewed at length during the documentary and has a number of good stories to tell about her former husband.
Jake Roberts happens to be in his club one night and his passion for wrestling is reignited, leading to a spot in the AWA as the manager of Bad Company, despite his almost total lack of experience in the business. Friendships there with Eric Bischoff, and later Dusty Rhodes in Florida Championship Wrestling, would serve him well in years to come.
His “guest appearance” at WrestleMania VI is discussed and we see footage from Page’s tryout for a WWF commentary spot. Let’s just say we can see why he didn’t get hired. He did manage to get into WCW as a manager though, most famously with the Freebirds and The Diamond Studd (Scott Hall). The desire to get in the ring burned harder than ever though and he made the slow transition to becoming a “superstar”.
After making small waves with his improving skills, his big break came opposite the nWo, where Page became the first man to, effectively, turn down the nWo. The feud that really put him on the map, opposite Randy Savage is looked at but more time is given to DDP’s tag team partnerships with NBA star Karl Malone and talk show host Jay Leno. We, naturally, also get a look at the breakthrough to become WCW World Champion.
From there his stint with the WWE is looked at, with Page admitting the Stalker gimmick he was introduced with was something he didn’t like. He also admits that the “Positively Page” character was an attempt to get as far away as possible from that previous flop.
We end with an extended infomercial for DDP Yoga, and that fateful moment that he learns he’s being put in the Hall of Fame.
The matches total nearly 20, with virtually all coming from his WCW days. Some are awful, some are great. But the total package gives an overview of how Page evolved from very meagre beginnings to becoming one of the few home-grown guys that the 1990’s WCW produced. The pick of the matches include his Spring Stampede 1997 bout with Randy Savage and a very spirited tussle with another man of the moment, Goldberg, from Halloween Havoc 1998.
The BluRay adds 20 minutes of extra stories cut from the main feature and five more matches from Page’s WCW days. It’s fair to say that the best of his in-ring action has already been featured on the main set.
DDP was often a wrestler that polarised opinions. Some lauded the hard-work to become a wrestler in his mid 30’s, others suggested a friendship with Easy E was his ticket to the top. Fans will enjoy listening to the tale of his rise to glory on this set; those who dismissed him in his prime might well find their opinions changed when they realise the sheer determination and effort he put in to making it to the top of World Championship Wrestling.
7 out of 10.
Photos courtesy: Fremantle Media, Fetch Publicity, WWE
Format reviewed: Blu-Ray
Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch for providing our review copy of Diamond Dallas Page; Positively Living, which is available on DVD & Blu-Ray in the UK from 27 March 2017. You can buy your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk now by clicking here