Former WCW Champion David Arquette sat down with Wrestling Inc.’s Nick Hausman on The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast to discuss his new documentary “You Cannot Kill David Arquette”, a documentary showcasing his return to pro wrestling. Arquette talked about why he wanted to return to pro wrestling citing the hate he has received from pro wrestling fans.
“It was really 20 years building up to it,” Arquette admitted. “I’d gone to Staples Center events, WWE events. Whenever I’d be traveling, wherever I could, I’d go see a match, and then some fans would be cool and say, ‘what’s up champ?’ Just have fun with it, but then a lot of people just really hated me. I took Christina one time, and she’s like, ‘I can’t believe you come to these things. Like people are so mean to you. Like you’re sensitive person. It’s weird that you’d come, and it was always just eating at me. So it was just something I knew I had to address.
“I got a surgery, and I came out and I was like, I really want to address this wrestling thing. She was like, ‘what are you talking about?’ She didn’t really understand what I was doing, but she got on board, and at the end of the day, she really is the one who deserves the belt because she is the champion for producing the movie for dealing with me through it and just for being a badass.”
Many fans have said that Arquette’s WCW Title win was one of the worst decisions in WCW history. Even Arquette admitted on the podcast that when he first heard about the idea, he thought it was a terrible idea. However, the “Ready to Rumble” promotion would not happen if Arquette refused a WCW Title run plus he would get to travel with the company prompting Arquette to go with the idea.
“When I first heard about it, I thought, ‘this that’s a terrible idea. We can’t do that,'” Arquette recalled. “There was a storyline that they were setting up between Jeff Jarrett and Diamond Dallas Page. So he was saying like, ‘listen, you don’t have to do it, but if you don’t, the promotion [for] ‘Ready to Rumble’ and ‘Ready to Rumble’ essentially is dead now, and that’s it. You won’t wrestle anymore.
“You won’t be traveling with us, and I was like, ‘wait, I get to travel with you?’ I found out that yeah, you get to stay on till the PPV that was like two weeks away. So I get to travel and wrestle kind of live my dream for two weeks. I was like, ‘OK, I’ll do it’ because I wanted to have that experience of being part of the thing.”
Arquette has spoken before about the hatred he received from the WCW locker room after his WCW Title victory. He recalled a conversation with Booker T where he asked Booker T how many times he won the world title.
When Booker T told him he had never been world champion, that’s when Arquette realized why people were upset over the opportunity he got over other wrestlers in the company. He admits that he was thinking more like a kid not realizing the ramifications it would have on others.
“I just never knew that I was going to be such an outcast, but after I won the belt, I was sitting in the locker room [before] one of the next times I was supposed to go out, and Booker T was getting ready and I said, ‘how many times have you been champ Booker T?’ He said, ‘I’ve never been the champ,’ and that really hit me,” Arquette admitted. “I was like, ‘oh damn.’ Then it made a lot of sense like why people were so upset, and I got it a lot more.
“I just thought of it more as like a kid. You know what I mean? I fell in love with wrestling as a kid. I kind of looked at it, to that point, the way a kid looks at it. So it wasn’t as serious and really deep as I learned it to be.”
Arqeutte’s return match was against RJ City at Championship Wrestling From Hollywood. There is a scene in the documentary where City and Arquette are going over their match potentially “exposing the business”. Arquette conceded that he was concerned about that scene, but he felt the scene would allow people to see just how real and painful wrestling can be.
“Yeah, I was really concerned about that because I kind of am old school despite what you might think. I do love all the tradition of it, but RJ had a lot to do with the construction of that scene and kind of telling that story,” Arquette revealed. “So I was concerned. I called Yuma, the booker and producer of the segment and Nick, the referee, and I was like, ‘are you guys alright with this.’ And they were cool.
“I asked them like, ‘has this ever been done before on film? Like are we doing a thing we’re not supposed to do?’ And people explain that the business has changed and it has been done before depending on how you do it. It’s like certain things. Like we don’t do it in the Lucha stuff. We do it in that match, but then we don’t do it in other stuff. So we did try to protect it. I don’t know. It’s a little controversial. I’m still on the fence, but I love the sequence. I love letting people in to that side of the business and showing them, even though it’s sort of choreographed in a sense, that it’s just very real and very painful.”
Arquette talked about where he is in life and whether he is happier now that he has proven many wrestling critics wrong. He talked about the pain and sadness that he has experienced in his life and said that his struggle and journey is part of the universal message of the movie.
“I do. I mean in the film we’re telling stories,” Arquette noted. “There’s a lot of sadness. I mean there’s a lot of sadness for just life in general. Life’s not easy for a lot of people. Losing my parents, losing my sister, different things really sort of are still in there and painful, but to be able to deal with them and to really figure out your own self-worth and believe in yourself, that was the real message in this movie.”
“You Cannot Kill David Arquette” is now available via VOD. Arquette’s full interview aired as part of today’s episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.