Diamond Dallas Page inspiring many, including Brenneman
Three-time world champion and WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page made his way into Peoples Natural Gas Field Thursday for the Curve’s game against the Harrisburg Senators, and he had a special friend with him.
Hollidaysburg native and former UFC fighter Charlie Brenneman accompanied the pro wrestler, sporting a “Spaniard” T-shirt.
“It’s neat seeing where DDP is at now,” Brenneman said. “If you can picture him 15 years ago, I feel like that’s where I’m at. I’m looking at him as a mentor. I watch what he does and listen to what he says. From the clothes he’s wearing to the words he’s saying to the actions he’s doing, I’m basing my model off of what he’s doing.”
Page is touring the country, inspiring people to reach their goals and promoting his DDP Yoga, which he now refers to as DDPY.
“My workout is for preventive maintenance for an athlete like (Curve players) more than anything,” Page said. “We’re not just stretching like most yoga classes. DDPY is stretching and strengthening. We work muscles, ligaments and tendons so that when you get 125 into the season, you can hold up. The teams that make the playoffs and win in the playoffs are the teams with less injuries.”
Page spoke with both the Harrisburg and Altoona players before Thursday’s game and then gave a speech to a local group of wrestlers from Phoenix Pro Wrestling.
“I asked him, ‘what is the theme of what you’re doing?'” Brenneman said. “He told me it’s about setting crazy goals and pursuing them. That’s what I’m doing personally, and I want to connect with other people and help them do it as well.”
Brenneman, who also found success on Spike TV’s “Pros vs. Joes,” lives in Harrisburg now and has been spreading his message through many platforms.
“I’m speaking in schools, businesses, and I have a podcast where I livestream videos,” Brenneman said. “It’s all based around my mindset and the things I learned from fighting and transitioning that into regular daily life. It’s simple stuff, but people need to hear it. You might call it inspiration and motivation, but really it’s about getting up every day and having the will to do your best.”
That’s something that Page, now 62, has lived by since he became a late bloomer in pro wrestling and achieved the pinnacle of the sport well into his 40s.
“The world title match with me and (Ric) Flair, Sting and (Hulk) Hogan all in the same match, a four-way dance with three of arguably the three best guys ever, along with (Steve) Austin, (Shawn) Michaels, Undertaker or whoever, those three could qualify for the best three,” Page said. “For me to walk out that night and go over Ric Flair, that was a huge moment. I thanked Ric at the Hall of Fame induction, because I know that put me one step closer to that ring.”
That memory ranked a close second for Page when reflecting on his career.
“Very best memory is my Hall of Fame night,” Page said. “Dusty Rhodes used to say, ‘you know D, there’s only two things that are real in our business. The first is that first world title and second is that Hall of Fame ring.'”
One of the reasons Page is in the Hall of Fame is his signature finishing move, the Diamond Cutter.
“Johnny Laurinaitis did a version of it with one arm, and he would literally kick out,” Page said. “There was no double-handed move, no out of nowhere. Now it would become ‘out of nowhere’ once he saw me do it, so we both kind of helped each other. He’d given me that part of it, and Steven Regal gave me that part where I lock my hands in and go for it. When I lock my hands in and go for that move, you aren’t going anywhere. You can either come with me to the mat, or you’re going with me to the mat.”
Current WWE wrestler, multi-time world champion Randy Orton, is known for his “out of nowhere” finisher, the RKO. The move, which has been featured in many viral online videos, is similar to the Diamond Cutter but involves Orton leaping into the air to initiate the move. Both moves can be performed in an instant and from many different positions, however, Page said neither he or Orton originated the “out of nowhere” concept.
“Jake Roberts was always my favorite for psychology in a match,” Page said. “Him and Dusty Rhodes were my mentors. He had the explosiveness, ‘out of nowhere’ with the DDT. That was the first ‘out of nowhere,’ and one night I just took the Diamond Cutter out of nowhere. Jake would watch my matches, and he took a big drag off his cigarette and got a big smile and told me I was starting to get it.”
A long line of fans waited for Page Thursday on the third pro wrestling night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Fellow WWE Hall of Famers Mick Foley and Sgt. Slaughter attended the first two events.
“Central Pennsylvania is known for its amateur wrestling, and pro wrestling has a lot of roots here,” Altoona Curve Director of Marketing Mike Kessling said. “I think it’s a part of people around here. There’s a couple small professional wrestling organizations from around here like Phoenix Pro Wrestling, and they do very well. It’s just another way to bring in another audience to see the Curve and the great baseball they’ve been playing.”
Page has done plenty outside of the ring in addition to his appearances at ballparks. He began his acting career with the movie “First Daughter” on TBS in 1998 and followed that by starring in “Ready to Rumble” with David Arquette. He has a new show slated for Netflix with the working title “Gods and Secrets” about a dark superhero story. In January, his book, “Positively Unstoppable, the Art of Owning it,” is coming out.
“You can’t beat me down,” Page said. “You can’t tell me I’m not going to do something. I never give up, I never stop believing, and you only fail when you stop. Work ethic equals results, and work ethic will beat talent if talent doesn’t work hard.”