David Arquette didn't spend a long time in the wrestling business, but he was part of one of the most talked about moments in wrestling history.
On the April 26, 2000 edition of WCW Thunder, Arquette won the WCW World Title in a tag team match that also included Diamond Dallas Page, Eric Bischoff, and Jeff Jarrett. The title change was designed to create a mainstream media moment, playing off the recently released wrestling movie Ready to Rumble. Some look at that moment as the beginning of the end for WCW; a rating ploy that backfired in the biggest way. While that moment didn't break WCW, it didn't help their cause either.
Arquette lost the title at Slamboree 2000 and, save for a couple extra WCW appearances and a WWE Raw appearance in 2010, left the wrestling business.
The former WCW World Champion returned to wrestling on July 15, 2018 appearing for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. Since then, he's made various appearances for Independent wrestling companies across the United States.
Speaking to Fox News, Arquette revealed why he returned to wrestling, 18 years later.
"There's never really been a fan champion. I mean, now there has, there's a little kid that won at WrestleMania, which I got compared to a lot," said Arquette. "I am literally the low bar for all things wrestling, so that's kind of the reason I'm coming back too, to sort of, you know, show them that… I never had an opportunity to train before, and I've been training every day"
Arquette continued, noting that the internet helped bring him out of retirement.
"When I first won the title, there was no internet really. No Twitter craziness, so it just increasingly got more venomous, and when they changed the IHOP to IHOB, Bubba Dudley wrote: "that's the worst idea since making David Arquette the champion.” So, it's just like a way of shutting everyone up. It's been great to get in shape and learn the moves and learn some chain wrestling and top of the rope stuff," said Arquette. "I grew up loving it, I grew up going to house shows and seeing Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan and just being amazed by the whole production. There's a real performance element to it and I don't think it gets the credit it deserves. Wrestling has always been sort of the red headed step child .... sorry to all the redheads out there, but they sort of got the short end of the stick in the entertainment world."
Arquette continued, "Although The Rock has sort of come out and shown some of the value in it, I still think there's so much more. That's sort of just the ignorance of Hollywood, which I also want to sort of help to try to shine a light on. The other thing is putting over wrestlers that are in the independent circuit and are coming up. Like RJ City, I'm teaming up with them now and just getting them some publicity and, you know, have people be aware of them."
Arquette worked his comeback match in July against RJ City in a losing effort. Earlier this month, Arquette teamed with RJ City to defeat Frank The Clown & James Ellsworth. On Sept. 14, Arquette teamed with his Ready To Rumble stunt double, Hurricane Helms.
Elsewhere in the interview, Arquette defended wrestling from those who claim the sport is "fake."
"'Wrestling’s not fake!' was a big line from 'Ready to Rumble,' so I sort of incorporated it into my thing. Because one of the things that makes me maddest about people typically who aren't wrestling fans, they're like, “oh it's fake” and it's not fake," said Arquette. "Three broken ribs will teach you that, but it's also a ton of the hard work and incredibly skilled art form. I mean, people don't refer to this as an art form, but it absolutely is. I've been acting for 29 years, and there are things within wrestling that I'm learning daily as far as a performer and an entertainer, but also athletically. It's the one thing that does combined athletics and entertainment. So, there's a lot to learn, and it's not fake at all, I mean these guys dedicate their lives to it. They dedicate so much time and you have to spend a ton of time away from your family, and a lot of the time you're working for either nothing or not a lot, so it takes a lot of heart and it takes a lot of dedication, it takes a lot of training, it takes a lot of commitment. So, when people say it's fake, it really upsets me. And, you know, if it’s predetermined and choreographed in any way, it's like predetermined or choreographed MMA. I had no idea like how hard-core the shots hit."
Arquette continued, challenging those who think the sport is fake. "I took a knee in the face on my first match, broke three ribs on my preliminary match. So, yeah, it's a real deal sport and it's grueling, so anyone who thinks it's fake, why don't you get in that ring and check it out. I mean, I saw stars, I was saying to myself "don't pass out, don't pass out." It's nuts man!"
Arquette's next scheduled appearance is Nov. 9 for Northeast Wrestling, where he'll take on Brian Anthony. Anthony teamed with Anthony Battle against Arquette and Helms at the Sept. 14 event. Recently on social media, Arquette posted a picture of himself in front of WWE HQ with the caption "Can't stop a dream."