Re: Why did David Arquette have such a predominant role in wrestling?
David Arquette actually pleaded to not win the title but they gave it to him anyways (he ended up giving the money he got to Owen Hart's family I believe). The idea originally came up as a joke from Tony Schivaone, but Vince Russo over heard it and actually considered it to be a good idea. From here, there's a few version of the story:
- Vince Russo states he covered this idea with all of the WCW bookers at the time and nobody thought it was a bad idea
- It's possible the bookers did think it was a bad idea, but let Russo "own" the idea so they could use it as leverage against him later
- Everyone thought it was a bad idea except for Russo, who used it anyway
Regardless of what actually transpired, the idea I think was a desperation tactic. The WCW title wasn't really valued by that point anyway, but on the flip side you can say that Arquette holding it pretty much killed it off. You got to keep in mind, *everything* WCW was doing was failing to help them bridge the ratings gap with the WWF, even though this was a bad idea on a lot of levels, I think the train of thought was that it would bring in lots of new viewers to the point where it was ok if the title's credibility took a hit.
The "Ready to Rumble" movie came out at the same time as this and Arquette was the lead character, and WCW was pushing the movie hard, if it was a hit, it could definitely bring in viewers, but from everything I heard, it pretty much flopped. The justification Russo used for this title reign was that Arquette won the title off of pinning Eric Bischoff, not that it makes anyone really change their mind on this atrocity lol.
I think part of the inspiration came from the fact that Vince McMahon in the WWF won the heavyweight title and the fans really had no sort of negative backlash from this event as well.
Long story short, yes it was an awful decision, but it's somewhat alleviated by the fact that WCW really did need to resort to desperate measures at this point, and at least they took a gamble, even if it failed beyond their imagination.
Not keeping it real in the streets