x-champ Page turns regular guys on to yoga : rockymountainnews.comhttp://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/may/01/ex-champ-page-...1 of 205/05/2008 8:55 PM
Ex-champ Page turns regular guys on to yoga
By By Alex Marvez, Scripps Howard News ServiceOriginally published 07:00 p.m., May 1, 2008Updated 07:13 p.m., May 1, 2008Diamond Dallas Page's acclaimed yoga program is aimed for what he calls "regular guys."But even by pro wrestling's loose standards, "DDP" was anything but normal when breaking into the business20 years ago.About the only things Page had in common with his fellow American Wrestling Association performers: Alove of the industry and the mullet hairstyle most were sporting at the time.Page had no previous experience before he was hired, having captured an AWA promoter's attention througha homemade video. He was already 32 years old, which is ancient for a grappling neophyte. And at 6-feet-5,DDP stood much taller than the tag-team - Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka) - he was assignedto manage."I'll never forget Shawn Michaels being in the Las Vegas hotel room where (AWA owner) Verne Gagne toldme I was managing Tanaka and Diamond," Page recalled in a Tuesday telephone interview. "Shawn said,'Wait a second - shouldn't Tanaka and Diamond be managing Dallas?' "Ultimately, Page would learn how to grapple and enjoy three heavyweight title reigns in World ChampionshipWrestling. But the days when legends like DDP, Michaels and Mick "Cactus Jack" Foley were cutting theirteeth are being relived on ESPN Classic. The sports network is replaying vintage AWA episodes at 11 p.m.Mondays through Fridays.The AWA was on its last legs in 1988 after repeated talent raids by World Wrestling Entertainment crippledthe promotion. The product itself bears little resemblance to today's wrestling. Matches unfolded at a slowerpace without many high-risk maneuvers. AWA wrestler physiques weren't nearly as jacked as their WWEpeers who were using anabolic steroids.The fan base also was different compared with the young demographic that WWE targets. Crowds were olderand many spectators still believed the action was "real." While running away from an in-ring melee at anAWA television taping, Page said he was punched in the face by a fan who got carried away."Today, fans are part of the show and they know it," said Page, whose big break came because manager PaulE. Dangerously (real name Paul Heyman) had left the AWA for WCW."Back then, they didn't know it. It was like we were performing a magic act."Now retired from wrestling, Page is helping others make pounds disappear through his "Yoga for RegularGuys" training. Page's Web site (yrgworkout.com) features testimonials from participants who have lostweight and gotten healthier following his program.