Thoughts on DDP Joining the WWE Hall of Fame

The master of the Diamond Cutter will enter the WWE Hall of Fame as Diamond Dallas Page joins Kurt Angle, the Rock & Roll Express, and Teddy Long as a part of the 2017 class. There are those who question and completely dismiss the legitimacy of WWE’s HOF. Regardless of one’s position on the matter, it’s good to see these great performers getting a celebrated recognition with a payday to boot.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer brought up an interesting point regarding DDP’s pending induction into the Hall of Fame. Page’s one year run in WWE was a far cry from the heights he reached in WCW. In fact, backstage gossip made the rounds with rumors that Page couldn’t work (wrestle) and was made to look less than stellar on television as a result. 

Once Page’s one year contract was up, WWE opted not to resign him, a point which encapsulates the irony that Meltzer alluded to. Page getting into the HOF solely on his WWE accomplishments would be ridiculous, however, that is not the case.

WWE, for the most part selectively looks at a wrestler’s entire body of work throughout their career. The Rock & Roll Express were an afterthought, at best, during their sole WWE run in 1998 but their 1980’s run in Jim Crockett/NWA made for some outstanding tag team wrestling. DDP’s time in WCW can be categorized in the same vein.

Diamond Dallas Page started his in-ring career at 35 years old after working as a manager for several years. The former three-time world champion is one of the few superstars that WCW made from the ground up during the Monday Night War when Nitro mainly featured former WWE talent.

Page was one of the few main event players in WCW that constantly put on great matches and carried Goldberg to the greatest match of his career. Page’s finisher, the Diamond Cutter, was one of the most popular finishers as its application made it so it could come from anywhere.

April 11, 1999, is when Page won a four corners match to capture his first world title. It was a shocking moment because DDP was a main eventer that was slightly below the level of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Sting. Page pinning Flair in the match finalized his transition into a lead role.

While his aforementioned WWE career never reached the heights of superstardom, he won the European Championship on January 31, 2002, and held it for 49 days. DDP successfully defended the title against Christian at WrestleMania 18 and in doing so achieved a lifelong dream of wrestling on the grandest stage of them all.

A wrestler’s accomplishments outside of the ring are not factored into the criteria for a HOF induction. Page’s work with his critically acclaimed workout system DDP Yoga would be an exception and deserves recognition.

Page, through this program, has done wonders for a lot of people and saved lives along the way. I’ve spoken to several wrestlers who’ve used DDP Yoga and they were amazed at the thoroughness of this practical exercise system and just as astonished with the results.

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Congratulations to Diamond Dallas Page on his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. If you’re looking to go down memory lane or want to become more familiar with his work, here are five DDP matches that will help you feel the BANG!

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Macho Man Randy Savage: Spring Stampede 1997: Savage made DDP that night by putting him over clean in a fun match with a good build, which leads to a great match with intense action.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Macho Man Randy Savage – Great American Bash 1997: This falls count anywhere match was somehow more intense than their previous encounter which saw the two brawling throughout the building.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Bill Goldberg – Halloween Havoc 1998: A great back and forth match that, in the height of Goldberg’s popularity, had many believing for a few moments that DDP would end the streak.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sting – WCW Monday Nitro 3/23/98: Page was the U.S. Champion and challenging for the World Championship in a rare babyface versus babyface encounter. This a really good match with a lot of drama that brought out the best in both men.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Jimmy King – Ready to Rumble (2000): I will rule yo…I’m completely joking.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Raven – Salmboree 1998:  Any of the any DDP/Raven matches will suffice. Each one told a different and entertaining story. Their Bowery Death Match inside a steel cage resonates with me the most.

 

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