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Diamond Dallas Page

WWE Legends
by yo go re

You're never too old to be great.

In 1997, Diamond Dallas Page developed an intense rivalry against "Macho Man" Randy Savage and his faction, the New World Order (nWo), after he rejected an offer to join their ranks. At Spring Stampede 1997, Page faced Savage in a No Disqualification Match. After "Macho Man" knocked out the referee and performed his signature flying elbow on Page, nWo referee Nick Patrick entered to deliver the 3-count needed for victory. But when Savage picked up his seemingly fatigued opponent, Page dropped Savage with his vaunted Diamond Cutter, forcing Patrick to make the 3-count and give DDP the victory.

Oh look, they actually went with a memorable moment this time, unlike so many others - and it doesn't even involve the Undertaker! Of course, since Diamond Dallas Page came out of the WCW, we're probably lucky that the back of the box says something other than "he drove Greg Valentine and the Honky Tonk Man to the ring in a pink Cadillac at WrestleMania VI." You know, because Vince believes that if he didn't make it happen, it never happened at all. After all, if they really wanted to go with a memorable moment, it would have been the match against Goldberg at Halloween Havoc '98.

The likeness isn't great on this figure. In profile, it's pretty good, but head-on he looks more like Dennis Quaid than DDP. And really, I think the reason is that he's not happy enough: Page loved wrestling, loved the work, loved everything about it, and while this toy has a smile on his face, it's not as big and wild as it should be.

Diamond Dallas Page was 35 when he started wrestling - an age where many other wrestlers are starting to retire because their bodies are breaking down. He'd been a manager for a while, but the guy stands 6'5" - the best managers, like the best referees and the best interviewers, are small guys who will make the wrestlers look bigger and meaner when they stand next to 'em, but DDP was dwarfing the guys he was supposed to be making look good. He was a hard worker though, and so he got a shot in the ring. He was relegated to "jobber" status (the guys who always lose), but every day he wasn't working he spent going to wrestling school. The toy's torso is well defined, but not taken to cartoony proportions. You can tell this is a guy who worked diligently to get where he was.

The figure comes with a removable vest as his only accessory. Well, unless you want to count the black elbow pads. The vest has a blue lining and the big DDP diamond design painted on the back. The diamond is also painted on both legs, and his arms have the appropriate tattoos - they're crazy-detailed, and even line up over the joint. Finally, there's a small star on his chest. His hands are painted white, to suggest they're taped up, but we're disappointed thet he just gets normal hands: Mattel should have molded some new ones in his famous sign, so we could feel! The! BANG!

DDP stands 7⅛", and moves like the rest of Mattel's WWE Legends: neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees, boots and ankles. None of the joints were stuck, but the left ankle is a little bit loose. Still, it's enough articulation to get him into his signature finishing move, the Diamond Cutter. These days Randy Orton is known for being able to perform his version of that move from any position (including, once, while already lying flat on his back), but Diamond Dallas is the one who perfected that gimmick 15 years ago - he could hit the Diamond Cutter anywhere and any time, making him much more dangerous than a guy who needs to carefully get his opponent into position before striking.

When the WWF bought out WCW, Page was so excited to be working for the company that he accepted a contract buy-out for 50¢ on the dollar. They gave him a crappy angle (he was a stalker; and who was he stalking? The wife of - you guessed it - the Undertaker) and when that didn't work, they turned him into a self-help guru, another non-starter. Then, just when they were letting him go back to being the DDP fans knew and loved, injury ended his career. But in a case of life imitating art, these days he's running DDP Yoga, getting regular guys in shape. So now, not only can you feel the bang, you can feel the burn! This figure is only available through Mattel's website, but for a WCW fanboy like me, he's well worth it.

-- 02/13/13

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