The 2017 class of the WWE Hall of Fame has been overcome by a shot in the arm of positivity.
Three-time WCW world heavyweight champion Diamond Dallas Page was announced Monday as the fourth member of a class that will be enshrined into WWE eternity on March 31 in Orlando, Florida, as part of the WrestleMania 33 weekend festivities, as first reported by RollingStone.com.
Page, 60, joins fellow 2017 nominees Kurt Angle, The Rock 'n' Roll Express and Teddy Long. The native of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, who has gone on to become a noted fitness instructor and motivational speaker since his 2005 retirement from the ring, had perhaps the unlikeliest of Hall of Fame careers of any in-ring performer after initially breaking into the business as a manager with the AWA in 1988.
After moving over to WCW in 1991, Page first trained to become a wrestler at the age of 35 and wrestled on the main event level throughout "The Monday Night Wars" as one of the nWo's top babyface rivals. After WWE's purchase of WCW in 2001, Page enjoyed a two-year run with WWE where he captured the European championship and WWE tag team championship alongside Chris Kanyon. He went on to wrestle briefly with Total Nonstop Wrestling (TNA) before ostensibly ending his in-ring career.
- Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) February 20, 2017
- James Ellsworth (@realellsworth) February 20, 2017
Page was known for his signature finishing move, a front face bulldog he called the Diamond Cutter, and the hand sign he flashed to set it up where he raised his hands above his head and formed them into a diamond shape. Page trademarked the hand gesture and eventually settled out of court after suing rapper Jay-Z in 2005 for infringement.
Throughout his feud against the nWo in the late 1990s, Page took part in some of WCW's biggest matches, including a pair of pay-per-views in which he headlined in tag team matches alongside NBA star Karl Malone and "The Tonight Show" host Jay Leno. Page, who had surprise in-ring returns at both the 2015 Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 32 in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, made one previous appearance at WrestleMania in 2002, when he defended his European championship against Christian.
In recent years, Page developed a fitness program called DDP Yoga, which has gone on to extend the careers of current WWE superstars Chris Jericho, Goldust and AJ Styles along with helping WWE Hall of Famers Scott Hall, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Mick Foley change their quality of life significantly.