When Diamond Dallas Page walked the red carpet at the WWE Hall of Fame, it may have been the longest of long shots ever.
A longtime WCW standard-bearer, WWE didn't come calling for DDP until he was 45 years of age, so he didn't have much time to make his mark. Still, it was a lifelong dream of his, and he had already tasted glory before.
Page was a late bloomer - to say the least - when it came to professional wrestling. Originally a nightclub operator and radio personality, he was originally tabbed as a manager in the Florida territory and the American Wrestling Association.
He found a modicum of success, leading Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka) to the AWA World Tag Team Championship. The star also led luminaries such as Medusa Miceli and Curt Hennig.
His move to WCW saw even more growth as a manager. DDP was still light years away from producing great in-ring action, but it would begin to creep into his repertoire. Before you knew it, he was training at the Power Plant, with dreams of someday being a world champion.
After toning down his look (losing the diamond rings, cigars, earrings, leather gloves, weird sunglasses, etc.), he became the 'People's Champion.' His feud with the nWo would propel him to superstardom on the highest-rated wrestling show on cable at the time. He would go on to the ultimate dream: winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on three occasions.
DDP would move on to WWE in 2001, where things didn't quite go as planned
His 'stalker' angle involving The Undertaker's wife, Sara, was an underwhelming start to his stint in WWE. It even ended when the former was pinned by The Deadman's spouse herself. Definitely not part of Page's plan.
However, it may be outside the ring that The Master of the Diamond Cutter has had the most impact. All of his accomplishments in sports entertainment pale in comparison to how much the WWE Superstar has influenced lives through his DDP Yoga program.
His influence on the lives of fellow WWE Hall of Famers Jake Roberts and (the late) Scott Hall is well-documented. Roberts has stated himself that if it wasn't for Page, he'd likely be dead now. And while Hall made it through his journey for a while, even DDP couldn't save him.
Page is currently in the midst of trying to help another fellow WCW star, Buff Bagwell. While he says he's not a drug counselor or a psychologist, DDP's overall positivity has been the best therapy.
It doesn't just extend to celebrities, either. Dallas has a long list of testimonials from customers of DDP Yoga who attest to how much this exercise and fitness program changed their lives. It's taught some folks how to administer a 'Self High-Five' and become motivated to move forward.
That may be the greatest legacy of Diamond Dallas Page. Despite the huge mark he's made in pro wrestling, and sports entertainment, his contributions to other people's well-being have been even greater. That's how DDP made the world feel the bang... by changing it for the better.
What do you think of DDP's legacy inside and outside the ring? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.