Showdown: Legends of Wrestling Q&A
We talk to Diamond Dallas Page about his role in the upcoming Acclaim wrestler.
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Showdown: Legends of Wrestling is the latest installment in Acclaim's promising franchise that's set to feature an era-spanning who's who of wrestling roster. We recently had the chance to talk to Diamond Dallas Page, the latest wrestler to be added to the game's lineup, to find out about his thoughts on the upcoming game.
GS: How did you get involved with Showdown: Legends of Wrestling?
Diamond Dallas Page: Well, you know, now that I am retired... And you know I'm one of the guys who is retired--and is really retired. You know, it wasn't just some gimmicked angle. (Laughs.)
GS: So you aren't planning on coming back time after time again?
DDP: Nah. Nah. I mean, how many more times could Terry Funk come back? (Laughs.) Love Terry Funk. Huge Terry Funk fan. But, yeah, I'm also at one of those points where when people see you go away or when they think it's too early--and I'm not comparing myself to Jim Brown, but I think he's the perfect example of a guy who left too early--you know, people always want to see you come back. And everyone's always asking, "Yo, DDP! When are you coming back?" Well, now I can say, "On Showdown, baby, Legends of Wrestling." There are a lot of greats involved--true legends--in this video game. To be involved with some of the guys in it, you know, it's an honor.
GS: Speaking of Showdown's roster, if you had the opportunity to work a real match against anyone on this roster that you've never worked with before, who would it be?
DDP: My two mentors--Jake "The Snake" Roberts and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes--who are both in this game this year. I mean, I couldn't be coming in with a better group of guys than those two alone, and I know Ultimate Warrior's involved now--and Bret "The Hitman" Hart. But, being involved with Jake and Dusty and actually getting to play the game... The "DDT" against the "Diamond Cutter." Probably one of the greatest accolades of my career, to me, was when I got a call from Jake, and Jake speaks so loudly that you've got to say, "What'd you say? Say it again." But, anyway. He says, "Congratulations." And I say, "For what?" And he goes, "For reinventing the DDT." I mean, that--to me--was huge. He was the master of the out-of-nowhere finish, and as he said, "I took it to a different level." To actually now do what we always talked about--to put the DDT against the Diamond Cutter--this is something that would be a lot of fun to me. But there are so many other great matches too. You've got the table matches, and the ladder, and the first blood, and the ironman, and the ladder, and the cage. They got everything involved! But what you can get on this video game that you can't get on anything else are the legends from the '70s, the '80s, and the '90s. And, you know, I'm sort of like the '90s version. But hey, I got into the new millennium a little bit there.
GS: How much input did you have on your character's likeness, moves, and such?
DDP: I gave them feedback on what I would like to see. From what I understand--and from what they've told me--it's going to look like it's going to have the different ways into the Cutter and stuff, which, to me, is the classic part of it: that you never saw it coming. Because I'd be getting my ass kicked, and then, out of nowhere, Bang! Sometimes, when I'm making up my speaking reels--I do a lot of inspirational speaking for kids and stuff--I like to show the video to them of different stuff. When you see the people "pop," they get such a kick out of that. And, you know, I sit back and watch, and I get a kick out of it because the people didn't see it coming. And they react like that, and you get the people throwing up the Diamond Cutter sign. When I would walk out there, man--between 1997 and 2001--when I'd throw that up, 20,000 people would throw it up too.
GS: Would you consider yourself a gamer? Do you play many games?
DDP: Casually, yeah, because, if I do too much, I get addicted, and then I can't focus on all my other goals--and I've got plenty of them. If I get caught in the game scene too much, then I could be there for five hours. I remember one time, me, Big Show, and Triple H--back when he was still Paul Levique--we're all at some arcade I can't identify, and we used to play there for eight hours. And, of course, Big Show is pissed off because he can't fit into those driving game machines. And at that time, he was only 400 pounds!
GS: Are there any particular game genres you get into?
DDP: I like the race car stuff, and I really like the bigger games where you can actually play at the video places and stuff. And I like the fight games. I like a lot of the fight games. There are all different kinds of fight games, you know. I'll get out there and play. Like, you know, I thought I was getting pretty good at some of the different games, playing my character, and some of those little kids will just kick my ass. I tell them, "I'll put you over!"
GS: What do you think of the wrestling game genre in this day and age?
DDP: I think it's pretty close to reality because a lot of the younger guys are extreme-type wrestlers--[possibly due to] the X Games effect of the motorcycle, the bicycle, the skateboard, and the snowboard. I mean, they're flying through the air doing all sorts of stuff, but a lot of our guys were doing a lot of stuff, not before them, but they made it sort of famous. So, I think the guys who are out there doing it, and what they're doing--of course, it's the cartoon version, but at the same time, that's what people think--they don't understand how it could be real. How you could fall that far and still keep going? You know, I heard Ric Flair say it one time, and I never forgot it. He said, "It's amazing what the body can take." And how you mentally can continue to go, and you know you need to, because as soon as you slow down... Oh man, if you're not doing yoga like I do--yoga for regular guys--I'll tell you, baby, it's a rude awakening.
GS: With the way the wrestling industry is these days, a lot of people have kind of caught on to the behind-the-scenes aspect of wrestling. Some people might be interested in seeing that translate into the wrestling game genre. Is that something you think would be good or detrimental to wrestling and wrestling games?
DDP: I don't know. I think of wrestling games as action. And they are taking it backstage, so they do have that stuff. But if they don't have the action, you know, I always thought it should be a different version of wrestling, as opposed to what they see in the back--the reality. Sort of what they tried to do with Playmakers. That kind of thing could work in a wrestling show, but in a game, I don't think so. People want action. I don't care what it is.
GS: What do you think of Showdown's progress? How much have you seen thus far?
DDP: I've only seen clips of it, but what I've seen, I've dug. When you've got the different superstars of the '70s, '80s and '90s, you can't get that in any other game. I mean, you've got everyone from the Road Warriors to the British Bulldog to the Nasty Boys to the Rock 'N' Roll Express. There's so many great tag teams and singles in there. You can't get that on the other games. You can't get the same guys you see on TV, but, when WCW went off the air, a lot of people just stopped watching. It's sort of like having a team. Like when the Cleveland Browns went away, the people didn't stop watching football, but they didn't have the same real interest as when their team was there. And you see what happens when the Browns come back? Or whoever it may be. You know, when the Oakland Raiders came back? It's about the teams. They get to get their fix through old videotapes, which a lot of them still watch. And the Legends of Wrestling video game--it's really all about Showdown.
GS: Any closing comments?
DDP: This game makes you feel the Bang!
GS: Thank you for your time.
DDP: Hey, it's been your pleasure.