We recently had the honor and privilege to chat with a former co holder of the AWA world tag team championship and former WWF, ECW and WCW star Paul Diamond. Diamond talks about his early days in pro wrestling, how he got his wrestling name, his time in the AWA, ‘Diamond’ Dallas Page, his venture into the WWF and how he got his gimmicks. He also talks about the affair that got him let go from the WWF and working with Shawn Michaels and his wrestling school.
Ring the Damn Bell: What got you into professional wrestling? Were you always a fan?
Paul Diamond: After the soccer league folded in 1984 I didn’t want a real job. Our equipment mngr for the Tampa Bay rowdies got involved with Florida Championship wrestling and I started to go pretty much every Tuesday. Being a good athlete I thought I could do pretty well. I then met Joe Malenko who introduced me to his father Boris Malenko who had a wrestling school and that’s where I would up training. As far as being a fan I did watch awa some living in Winnipeg.
RTDB: How did you come up with the ring name of Paul Diamond? You are sometimes confused with another Canadian wrestler before you with that same name. Was it a homage to him or just a coincidence?
PD: My first job was in the nwa on tbs working for Ole Anderson. I showed up at the first TV taping and they were looking for Paul Diamond from Tampa. I had no clue that was to be my name. Ole gave me that name and at that point I had no idea that another Paul Diamond even existed.
RTDB: Describe the atmosphere working for the AWA along with Pat Tanaka and working with Diamond Dallas Page?
PD: At the time we arrived in the Awa most of the talent had already left and shortly after dropping the belts to us the Rockers left as well. There weren’t very many dates booked either so it was kind of a struggle just surviving. However we had got plenty of good TV exposure so it was worth it to stay. Every month we would go to Vegas to tape a months worth of TV and that was the only time we saw DDP so there wasn’t much of a relationship there
RTDB: How was Verne Gagne as a promoter?
PD: Verne was just as everyone thought he was. He was stuck back in the old days as far as the TV programming went and really stubborn. He still saw himself as the big star of the promotion.
RTDB: Tell me how you and Pat Tanaka ended up in the WWF?
PD: After we worked the split in the Awa I decided to take some time off and go back to school. One day I got a call from Pat telling me that he had got a job with the WWF. After he was there a while he called me and told me that Pat Patterson was wondering what I was doing. Shortly after that they called me and asked me if I was interested in going back to work. I said yes of course and wound up working some tryout matches. After that they hired me and I just worked singles matches. Shortly after that Sato went back to Japan and they needed someone else to fill in for the Orient Express and since they knew Pat and I were a tag team in the past they gave me the spot in the Orient Express.
RTDB: Your feelings about not initially tagging with Tanaka and him being paired with Akio Sato?
PD: I was just glad that I got a job with the WWF and didn’t really care what spot it was. Once they put me in the Orient Express to replace Sato I was pretty happy and you we would do well together
RTDB: How did you end up with the Max Moon Gimmick after Konnan?
PD: At a TV taping Konnan no showed and I was talking with the sewing girls by Vince’s office. I told them you have to rush to make that costume and now there is no one to even wear it. If you make a few small alterations I bet I could fit into it. Vince heard us talking as he came out of his office. He asked what we were talking about and I told him. so then he says oh okay and he walks back into his office and shuts the door. About a half-hour later he sticks his head out of his office and points his finger at me saying come here. I was surprised as I said who me. He had me come into his office and then he goes you know what you were talking about earlier well it’s yours you got to do what you want with it. so I wound up with the max Moon gimmick by just being in the right place at the right time pretty crazy huh?
RTDB: Very crazy! Did you enjoy your time as Max Moon?
PD: I did enjoy my time as Max Moon. When that started they had some plans for the gimmick. At that time I met Dawn who was married to Tatanka . We got together and had an affair for a while and it was discovered. Vince then decided that was not cool and decided not to renew my contract and that was the end of Max Moon. Really not sure where that could have gone as they were pleased with the way things were developing.
RTDB: Tell me your experiences working with Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy?
PD: I enjoyed my days working with Shawn in the Twa. I pretty much did everything there. Helped with the training at the school as well as booking shows on the road. Also we had a 30 minute tv show so I would get together with Shawn every week to write the tv show. I knew Shawn from 1986 when we were the American force working for the Texas all star wrestling and then working against the Rockers in the Awa as well as wwf so we were very close and good friends. Never did figure out what happened at the end when I decided to leave there. Suddenly things when bad between us for an unknown reason.
RTDB: Tell us about your gimmick in TWA…Venom.
PD: We created Venom as a heel character just so the young guys we trained had an experienced guy to work with as well as to have a top heel on our little show. I always enjoyed working with the young guys and teaching them as much as I knew.
We want to sincerely thank Tom ‘Paul Diamond’ Boric for his time and allowing us this interview.
2 thoughts on “Answering The 10 Count: Paul Diamond”
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I loved him and Tanaka as Bad Company in the AWA.
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