In this week’s installment, Dustin sits down with the classic Diamond Dallas Page and David Arquette vs. Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bischoff match for the WCW title and how the outcome helped spell the beginning of the end for the company.
Today on Saturday Afternoon Wrestling, we’re taking a look at a match for the WCW Championship from 2000 featuring Eric Bischoff and Jeff Jarrett taking on Diamond Dallas Page and David Arquette, with the man who gets the winning pin becoming WCW champion.
Sound convoluted? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
0:00-0:20- Did anybody buy that magazine to read about Jeff Jarrett and look at pictures of him reflectively standing? No, didn’t think so.
0:20-1:05- Jarrett and Bischoff make one of the slowest walking to the ring teams I’ve seen in a long while, this is rendered irrelevant by the fact that Jarrett’s shirt reads “Slap Nuts” though. Subtlety is not something the WCW was known for, and Jarrett’s tight little denim-looking trunks combined with a “Slap Nuts” shirt really hammers that point home in fantastic, uncomfortable fashion.
1:05-1:50- Is this the greatest entrance ever? If not, it’s certainly top 5; it’s got DDP aka Rent-a-Stone-Cold, David Arquette stumbling out after apparently taking a vicious beating, Arquette’s fantastic leather pants, the pyrotechnics scare poor Arquette half to death and they both do an awkward Diamond cutter hand gesture completely out of rhythm.
1:50-2:20- Odd time for a recap to how DDP once again became champion, but hey, the announcers just said Jeff Jarrett only held the title for a week before losing to DDP. If a one-week title reign doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the wrestler in question and how the company feels about him, you’re not looking hard enough.
2:20-3:35- All this time waiting because there’s no referee in the ring? Poor planning WCW, oh wait, the referee is going to be Kimberly Page, DDP’s wife who has recently filed for divorce? I take back that criticism; Bischoff and Jarrett seem to really have this one in the bag, even if Bischoff looks like Mark Cuban Jr. and has a hard time sliding into the ring.
3:35-4:00- Whoa, the match starts and Arquette punches Bischoff out of the ring as Page squares off with Jarrett. It’s clear Arquette isn’t the most trained wrestler as he forearms Bischoff with the type of form used to keep small children mildly amused in-between fits of crying.
4:00-4:20- Wisely, Bischoff and Arquette fight their way out of camera and towards backstage, while DDP hits Jarrett with a swinging neck-breaker, only to have referee Kimberly slowly count his pin, stopping after 1 because she broke a nail. Professional wrestling, setting women’s rights movements back for years.
4:20-4:45- After looking like he’s about to strike his soon-to-be-ex-wife, DDP hits Jarrett with a few punches and power-bombs him into a pin. Once again, Kimberly fails to even start counting before Jarrett kicks out. This is marred by the fact that again, sexism rears its head to reveal Kimberly’s highly pulled-up thong as if she were Sonya Blade in a game of Mortal Kombat.
4:45-5:10- Jarrett gets the upper hand as Page is yelling at Kimberly and goes for a pin. Kimberly tries to fast-count Jarrett to victory but Page is able to roll through into his own pin that unfortunately goes uncounted.
5:10-5:25- Jarrett tries another quick pin and nearly gets it before Page kicks out. Kimberly’s flagrant thong is now more involved in the match than she is.
5:25-5:40- Bischoff triumphantly strolls back to the ring with Arquette nowhere to be found. You know you’re a heel when you come back gloating that you beat an already banged-up non-wrestling actor into supposed submission.
5:40-6:05- Bischoff gets the tag and tries for a series of mildly-impressive kicks to DDP. The fact that is short little legs only allow him to kick DDP’s hips is inconsequential and he tags Jarrett back in.
6:05-6:34- Some general domination from Jarrett on DDP, nothing too notable. This is after all, a WCW match. Jarrett tags Bischoff back in and they look to put DDP away.
6:35-6:45- Their plan proves unsuccessful as DDP manages to start pummeling both of them with right hands.
6:45-6:52- Doth mine eyes deceive me? Is that David Arquette coming back for more and stumbling down the ramp to likely the largest round of applause he’s ever heard in his life?
6:52-7:05- Holy awkward Batman! DDP looks to win the match with a diamond-cutter but Jarrett is able to push him off towards Kimberly, Page stops himself from running into her, but plants a gigantic “Let me win this match and let’s throw those divorce papers in the fire and get freaky” kiss on her.
7:05-7:22- Arquette with a huge spear on Bischoff as Jarrett hits DDP in the face with the title belt. With Kimberly incapacitated by that monster of a lip-lock, a new ref runs to the ring as Arquette and Jarrett both go for pins. The ref decides to count one of them to victory making the new WCW champion…
7:22-7:40- DAVID AR-EFFIN-QUETTE!
7:40-8:05- The champ shows DDP that he was victorious and DDP reacts about exactly how anyone would, he laughs in disbelief right in his face. The champ then decides to flaunt the belt in Bischoff’s still speared face before DDP raises his arm in victory.
8:05-8:22- The crowd that was cheering Arquette on two minutes ago when he came back to the ring, decidedly less enthusiastic as they stare down the barrel of a David Arquette championship-reign.
8:22-8:30- Bischoff isn’t too thrilled either.
8:30-9:00- DDP and Arquette exit the arena through the crowd as the ring starts to get garbage thrown at it, again, WCW wasn’t known for subtlety, why should the fans be any different?
9:00-End: The announcers recap the end of the match and continually want you to know how shocked they are that this has transpired and that David Arquette is the WCW champion. Starting the chain of events that many believe led to the end of WCW.
Making David Arquette champion is something that many people were vehemently opposed to; one person opposed was Arquette himself. As a fan of professional wrestling, he believed that his winning the title would anger the fans because he wasn’t a wrestler in any way, shape or form. It was head booker and writer Vince Russo’s idea that Arquette win the belt and he insisted that it would be good publicity for both WCW and Aqruette’s WCW produced wrestling movie “Ready to Rumble.” To his credit, Arquette donated all of the money he earned in this period to the families of Owen Hart, Brian Pillman and Darren Drozdov. The criticism fell squarely on Russo and it was argued that the WCW championship’s meaning was cheapened by having a non-wrestler win it and even successfully defend it. Fans weren’t happy with Russo and neither was Jim Cornette, soon after the Arquette debacle, WCW was bought out by the then WWF, cementing that company’s spot as a monopoly.