Former WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette was recently a guest on Vince Russo's The Brand. Arquette, who recently made his return to professional wrestling, spoke to Russo about some of the details of his championship win.
Arquette made his in-ring debut in a singles match against Eric Bischoff on an episode of Monday Nitro. He revealed that he was trained by multiple WCW superstars for his first match.
"Chris Kanyon helped me a lot, but Diamond Dallas Page did as well. Also, on the set Hurricane Helms was on the set and he was my stunt double, and even on the set we were doing different slams and different kind of moves like the Figure Four Leg Lock," Arquette said. "There's a little moment that I do the Figure Four in the match, but that was just because I was doing the Figure Four ever since I was watching Ric Flair growing up."
Arquette discussed how he found out he would be winning the title. He said he initially expressed trepidation because he knew it might not go over well, but once Russo assured him everything would be fine, he got excited. The reaction after his win was just as he had expected, as many wrestlers were not happy with him.
"Dallas Page told me. He kind of just threw it in there that they were going to make me world champion. I was like, what are you talking about? I'm pretty sure I saw you [Russo] in one of the trucks or some backstage area, and I asked you what was going on? You told me that they were going to give me the strap and that I would have to stay until the pay-per-view, but I think I may have asked you whether or not this was a good idea. I didn't know. Also, when you explained to me that I was going to get beat up and then I was going to receive a black eye. I asked if I was really going to get hit, and then I found out that I was going to have makeup on it, but then it sank in and I got excited. I thought it was amazing," Arquette said. "I think a lot of people were surprised, or that people backstage didn't know it was happening because when it did happen people backstage flipped out and then afterwards I was at the bar in the hotel, there were people that were really upset. Some of the wrestlers were really upset. We had all been hanging out for a few days prior, but I told him that I had just won the world title, so he came up to me and said, 'Are you kidding me?' I think it was Hugh [Morris] or someone like that. He said, 'This is the craziest business. I hate this business.' Afterwards, he just stormed off. That was the first glimpse I got of the pro wrestling business."
Arquette's title win is largely believed to have been pivotal to the downfall of WCW. He said he was unprepared for how much backlash he would receive for becoming champion, but on some level, he understood why fans were unhappy.
"I just did not know the level of disrespect that it would have brought. What it all comes down to is that pro wrestling is heritage. It is about legacy. It is about storytelling for sure, but it goes back at the turn of the century. These families that spent their lives and gave their lives for these things. Since I have understood it a lot more that there is a legacy to it that needs to be respected," Arquette said. "Like, a wedding ring, it's really just a piece of gold, but after you put the wedding ring on it is a representation, it's your wedding ring. It is not the same thing, but it's got a legacy, with families, so many greats have done it. I understand why so many people were upset about it and I understand even more now that the belt has been shelved. God bless WWE. I love WWE, but all those belts look the same. I can't tell one from the other. They own the rights to the legacy of that belt. I would love at some point to come back; it represents the 10 pounds of gold. The NWA are doing some really cool stuff with that old belt."
If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Vince Russo's The Brand with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Vince Russo's The Brand
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.