When WWE brought WCW in 2001, many were excited, including Diamond Dallas Page. It was an opportunity for him to establish himself in the "big leagues" and do something he had always wanted to do - take on the Rock.
But Vince McMahon had other plans for him, and he went from WCW's people's champion to Undertaker's wife's stalker.
Diamond Dallas Page said that Vince McMahon didn't force him to take on the role. It was an option for him to either sit out his WCW contract or sign on to WWE. He chose to work in the WWE - Alliance storyline and get into a program with The Undertaker.
In an interview with Inside The Ropes, DDP revealed he had pitched something else to WWE.
DDP wanted a "People’s Champion vs People’s Champion" match in WWE
DDP still has regrets, as he was unaware of how WCW guys would get treated once they got to WWE. He said: (H/T Inside The Ropes)
"Vince McMahon has been very good to me. I have nothing but positive things to say about WWE. Did I go in there and get what I wanted going in? No.
"But I didn’t realise that we really were the enemy coming in there, and they bought us but they had no intention to do anything with us, but it was business. It was to show that the WWF, 'cos we were still two companies at the time - that they won the war.
"We’re not going to shine these guys now, but what that did for me, because I did pitch Vince People’s Champion vs People’s Champion, but they were so set on me doing the stalker thing. They didn’t put a gun to my head. It was like, “Do you want to do it or not?” I talked myself into it because no-one can really talk me in anything. I talked myself into it and I walked away from $487,000."
DDP took a pay cut to come into WWE as his original WCW contract guaranteed him $1.27 million. But DDP is grateful to Vince McMahon for teaching him an important lesson. He said:
"WCW offered me $1.27 million. They wouldn’t give me it if I left, and if I wasn’t 45 at the time, I probably would have just waited – but I was 45. And they did want me. I didn’t realise what it was for at the time but it taught me a lesson.
"I’m so grateful to Vince for teaching me the lesson of you can’t be afraid to walk away from the table, and what I mean by that is when someone gives you an opportunity and you know they really want you, and you’re not satisfied with what the offer is, you can just as easily get up and walk away from the table, you can’t be afraid to do that."
It's interesting to think about how that program with The Rock would have worked out. But considering the reception his stalker angle got, it certainly would have been a far superior feud.Published 15 Oct 2020, 17:04 IST