Tony Schiavone Looks Back On WCW Putting The World Title On David Arquette

Wrestling is an entertainment form rife with ridiculous moments, so when something elicits the degree of groans as David Arquette winning the WCW World Championship, it really makes you take notice. But that's exactly what happened on the April 26, 2000 "WCW Nitro." It's oversimplifying things to say the moment single-handedly tanked WCW, but it often gets scapegoated as that, likely because it drew the most publicity. But that was the point of the stunt in the first place.


"We would've never had Courtney Cox on our show," Tony Schiavone recalled on "What Happened When." "We would've never had Kurt Russell on our show. Kurt Russell did an appearance on the show where [Arquette] was holding onto the belt and he just walked by and laughed at him. It gave us a lot of exposure." Most fans know Vince Russo was the man shaping WCW's direction during this time, for better or worse, and ultimately he bore the weight of the decision to put WCW's highest prize on an actor. But Schiavone said he played a hand in it as well.

"I'm not gonna take complete blame for this, but I was in the conversation," Schiavone recalled. "Vince [Russo] had concluded a meeting ... And he said, 'So what do you think of the show?' I went, 'It's okay.' He says, 'There anything we should do different?' I said, 'No, I think it's good ... [but] there is one thing you might want to consider.' And he looks at me, and we stared at each other. He says, 'You're trying to tell me that maybe we should put Arquette over?' I went, 'Well, it certainly would give us a lot of exposure.' And he said, 'That's a pretty good idea.' So that's kinda how it happened." Arquette would return to wrestling nearly 20 years later for a run on the indies, documented in his film "You Cannot Kill David Arquette."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "What Happened When" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.