Professional wrestling has dabbled in hot-button issues like war, race, religion and sexual orientation to give its fans a rise heading into the crescendo of an epic match.
Yes, now yoga.
Recently Chris Jericho did a video for former world champ Diamond Dallas Page’s website noting the benefits of his DVD yoga system, DDPYOGA, following Jericho’s stint on “Dancing With the Stars.” Over the last few days WrestleMania XXIII WWE Champion CM Punk has chided Jericho, his challenger Sunday, over his yoga workouts.
And Page, who will turn 56 on April 5, is loving every second of it.
“Wrestling is the first reality show. With a reality show you never what is real and what is not,” Page told newsday.com Saturday via phone just before leaving for the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
This all started Wednesday when Jericho used a mirror to tweet a picture of himself showing off his six-pack abs, noting that he was training while Punk was reading comic books. Punk responded as part of a WWE.com “Dueling Diary” between the two men, saying, “[Chris] does DDP Yoga and that’s not even real yoga. This isn’t a front on Diamond Dallas Page – nice guy and all that, but whatever...”
The next day Punk tweeted, “At university of Miami not making mean faces and taking pics of myself while doing yoga.”
Page wasn’t offended.
“He [Punk] said it’s not real yoga. Well, he’s right, it’s not,” said a chuckling Page, who regularly uses the promotional line “This ain’t your mama’s yoga” to note that there are a lot of unique elements to his system. “So, he [Punk] is saying that, and a lot of people thought it was a slap.... It was just to tick off Jericho for doing that.”
Page rattled off a list of WWE Superstars who are using his system, including Long Island natives Mick Foley and Zack Ryder, along with the likes of Kane, Daniel Bryan and The Miz.
“These guys are out there getting better and getting stronger and healthier,” Page said. “So it [the publicity] is a win, win, win for the company, it’s a win, win, win for everybody.”
As for Punk's slights?
“Punk’s all wound up … and has 10 years less time in the ring than he [Jericho] has,” DDP explained, also noting Jericho’s shots on TV about the supposed substance abuse problems for Punk’s relatives. “Everybody’s trying to get this emotional fire up, because you want to see this fight. You want to see this explode. And it’s funny to me. But you don’t know what’s reality and what’s not. That’s where it comes alive. That’s why wrestling works.”
The thought exists that Jericho and Punk will be asked to water down their match so as not to overshadow the matches between John Cena and The Rock, and The Undertaker and Triple H.
Page doesn’t buy it.
“I just know he [Jericho] wants to blow the roof off the place, but that’s what Punk wants, too,” DDP said. “There’s a lot of great matches on this card. They’re all vying for the ‘steal the show’ spot. It’ll be interesting to see. I think this is one of the best WrestleManias. I’m looking forward to it.”
* Note: Pro wrestling agent Bill Behrens recently noted that Page was available for bookings. DDP made it clear Saturday that those appearances will not include any full wrestling matches, but he is willing to get physical.
“I do a thing where I will hit somebody with a diamond cutter,” he said.