DDP has recalled his first meeting with The Rock where the two men traded barbs over who the real People’s Champion was.
DDP has had a wrestling career like no other, winning the WCW World Championship for the first time at the age of 43 in 1999. Diamond Dallas Page held that title on two more occasions before joining the WWF after WCW was bought by Vince McMahon in 2001.
Speaking at the inaugural Inside The Ropes Live event in July 2013, DDP recalled his first ever meeting with The Rock. Both men spent much of their careers in rival organisations both claiming to be the People’s Champion.
“So now I’m leaving, walking out the door. And right before I get out the door, I hear, ‘Hey Diamond’. And as Big Show gets out of my way. I can see Rock putting on one of his fifteen hundred dollar Versace shirts and he says, ‘you know, there’s only one people’s champion’, and Big Show’s like, ‘ohhhhhhhhh’, and I just look at him, took that pregnant pause and said, ‘you know, Rock, you’re right… And you, well, you’re looking at him’. Oh, well, out the door.”
That conversation with The Rock was in DDP’s mind when he pitched a feud with his rival People’s Champion for his WWF debut. Unfortunately for DDP, the higher-ups in the company already had other plans in mind for the master of the Diamond Cutter.
“So that’s in my mind. I don’t tell that to Vince. I said, Vince, I’m the real people’s champion. I said, Rock ain’t here right now. I said, let me show up. Kill all the lights in the building, everyone will think it’s Jericho with 10 seconds in JR is going, ‘hold on, we’ve got some technical difficulty’. And then you hear for the first time ever. ‘Who’s the real people’s champion?’ Spotlight. You’re looking at him – all the little explosions, I go to the ring, I go Rock’s doing that movie, I go, ‘let’s shoot that, that’s money’. And this is where I should have known something was fucked up because they went ‘hmmmmm, because we really love the stalker thing’.”
No match between Diamond Dallas Page and The Rock ever took place however, DDP did debut in the WWF antagonising another company megastar in The Undertaker. DDP memorably revealed himself as the man who was stalking Undertaker’s then-wife, Sara.
During the conversation, DDP also recalled his first meeting with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon where he gave McMahon a warm embrace.