RECAP AND REVIEW: Heated Conversations with Booker T with David Arquette on why he agreed to win the WCW Heavyweight Title, the legend who thinks he needs to get a day job, what went wrong with his death match and if he’ll ever do another

Heated Conversations with Booker T

Episode 187: David Arquette Discusses His Death Match

Release Date: November 3oth, 2018

Recap by: James Hayes


Booker T and Co-Host Brad Gilmore welcome you to the show!

The guys are excited to have David Arquette on the show. There is a lot of buzz around the former WCW Champ. His return to wrestling and his now infamous Death Match has fans, as well as some legends, asking a lot of questions.

Booker and Brad leave no stone unturned.

Let’s get right to it.

Booker: We got a special guest on the show. We go back to the 20 years. Back to the ’90s, David Arquette, what’s going on? How do you feel?

Arquette: I’m good. How are you, Booker T?

Booker: Back to the ’90s.

Arquette: Back to the ’90s.

Booker: I love saying that. The ’90s was good. Those were good times.

Arquette: I know.

Booker: I was having so much fun. My heyday back in WCW.

Arquette: We didn’t know how good we had it.

Booker: Especially with this music. It’s totally different. Just the way of the world. Can you imagine, social media being as big as it is now if we had that back then? You ever think about that?

A long pause from Arquette.

Arquette: Yeah, I’m glad we didn’t.

They all laugh.

Booker: I remember when social media first came out and a lot of the boys, we were at this hotel, everybody was in the bar, some of the boys were hanging out with some of the ladies and some pictures came out, and then some of the wives found out about it. It was one of the first big scandals in the wrestling business. It messed up a whole lot of lives. A lot of divorces.

Arquette: We need to go back to Polaroids.

Brad: No digital fingerprint.

Booker: Do you know how much money I made with those polaroids, especially when you got the title? Polaroids and the title went hand in hand. Every time I won a title I couldn’t wait to get to a signing. Sharmell and I would order a 100 pack. Every signing we went to we had at least ten packs of polaroids. Add that up at $25.00 a pop. Get back to “Ready To Rumble”, what I remember from you, is that you were the happiest person in the world on that set. You were ready to take a bump at will.

Arquette: I’m still that way, to my detriment.

Booker: How much fun were you having?

Arquette: It was just a blast. I grew up in Hollywood and my sisters are famous. We grew up meeting different people and I never got star struck. But when you are a wrestling fan and you see your wrestling heroes, that’s a whole different ball game. It’s like, “Oh wow! I’m talking to Macho Man and he sounds the same way he always does.” It is the coolest thing ever. I was just a kid in a candy store. I had so much fun. I thought the script was fun. Great director. Great actors to work with. That’s one of my highlights.

Booker: I remember when you had to do that one scene where you had to say, “I WILL BUST YOU!” You said it so many times. And so many ways.

Arquette giggles.

Arquette: I couldn’t get my gimmick right. They were like, “You actually have to say it like you’re scary.” I think I had to go in after the movie was done and do a voiceover because I was saying it too much like a fan.

Booker and Brad laugh.

The clip of Arquette saying it.

Booker: That’s the one they played.

Booker is becoming hysterical with laughter.

Booker: I had so much fun on that set.

Arquette: Me too.

Booker: I couldn’t thank you enough for letting me hang in your world. After the big storm in Houston, you just dropped by and did some improv. I appreciate that. That let me know how much you really cared about what’s going on. I can’t thank you enough.

Arquette: I’m a huge fan and you’re one of the greatest ever. It was fun. People get down on me for getting the belt or whatever, in retrospect the reason I did it was I had an opportunity to travel with you guys. It was an opportunity to see behind the curtain. Fans don’t get that opportunity a lot, so with all the negativity, it’s also been a great blessing just to be included in the wrestling world. The fans are the greatest. I’ve been shooting a documentary and just going around and meeting people from Canada, New York, I’m going to Pittsburgh on the 8th for House of Hardcore. Meeting the fans is really what it’s all about. The more I’m getting into it, I’m getting comfortable walking out to the ring. The more I get comfortable talking to the fans and having that special connection.

Booker: Yeah.

Arquette: And the last match I had was an insane Death Match which… I won’t be doing again.

Brad: Probably a good idea.

Arquette: I just got the stitches out of my neck.

Brad: Walk us through that? What was going on there?

Arquette: I was supposed to do a Game Changer event during Summer Slam in New York and it didn’t work out with my schedule, so I had to back out last minute. I was supposed to wrestle Ethan Paige, who is an incredible wrestler, so is Nick Gage, I’m not knocking that match, but it wasn’t gonna be a Hardcore Match, just a regular match, but Joey Ryan got injured recently and they had a slot open up with Nick Gage. I wasn’t really aware of him. I mean I knew but I wasn’t aware of the whole thing until after I started researching him…

Booker laughs.

Arquette: I was like, “What did I get myself into?”

Booker: You see a picture of Sabu.

Arquette: Sabu’s been instant messaging me! He slipped into my DM. I’m like, “I’m scared.”

Brad laughs.

Arquette: So, I agreed to do it. And I’m crazier than a lot of, well some people know. Hollywood definitely knows, which is why I don’t work quite as much as I would like to. I’m real. I always loved Mick Foley. I always loved Terry Funk. I loved Jake “The Snake” until he said I should get a day job.

Brad: I heard that on Rogan.

Arquette: I got a day job Jake “The Snake”! I got a day job! Thank you.

Booker: That was a serious moment there. A serious moment. The match definitely didn’t turn out the way you anticipated. (Ha! Yeah. He almost died, Book.) You ended up going to the hospital. Some say I don’t know you tell me, some say you came close to death.

Arquette: Well, he hit me in my box. He missed my jugular by a millimeter. What happened is… I’m learning a lot. I got a ring in my backyard and I’m training. I’m light training right now. I got my friend Jungle Boy and Royce Issacs back there training. I watch them to understand this game better. What happened was, I was in a situation I wasn’t ready for and I reacted in a bad way. I pulled his leg and when I pulled his leg a piece of light tube hit my neck, so it cut… I got three stitches in my neck muscle. I covered it up and walked out of the ring to my friend, who is actually Jungle Boy’s Dad, Luke Perry. His son is an incredible wrestler, Jungle Boy. Check him out. He’s going to PWG. Enough said. I said, “Is it pumping?” They said, “No.” I got back in the ring. But then I wilted and it got messy. Luckily I didn’t die. Much respect to everyone at everybody Game Changer. Nick Gage, no hard feelings. Life goes on.

This Jungle Boy is not bad.

Booker: Seems like you got yourself into great shape. Seems like you are working hard. Does not seem like you are just messing around. Is this something you want to pursue? How true is that?

Arquette: I’m 47. It’s been hard on my body. Elbow surgery. Broke three ribs. Knee in the face. Stabbed in the neck.

Booker and Brad laugh at his list of injuries, like two mad scientists.

Arquette: That’s all due to inexperience. And although I’ve been heavily training for 6 months, that’s not enough. What you need is enough time where everything becomes second nature and you have a relationship with the person in the ring. Little things I have to learn. I just love being part of wrestling. I’m definitely gonna be in a couple more matches. I get calls about bookings and I feel bad about it because I have to pay my bills with acting. If I get a movie or something I don’t want to let the fans down, so if I am going to do something, it will be in a surprise element. That takes away the way they want to pay you to promote the show, but it’s a balance that gets me to where I gotta get. I love this sport. My love for wrestling has just blown up even more than ever.

Booker: I tell you what, we could use you down here. It’s the small things. Not only do we do wrestling shows but I’d love for you to come and sit under the learning tree with Booker T for a week or so.

Arquette: Oh man, I would love that!

Booker: I’m serious. We got an open-door policy here. We got 22,000 square feet of nothing but training here.

Arquette: I love meeting the students. The people coming up. All the talent that’s about to pop.

Booker: I got some of the best students in the country. One of my guys has a try out with WWE next month, actually two of my guys.

Brad: Yeah, two.

Booker: I got one down there already getting ready to make his big uprise, as well as Ember Moon, came out of here as well.

Arquette: Did she really? She’s incredible. I love her.

Booker: She is definitely representing Reality Of Wrestling to the fullest. We would love to get you down here.

Arquette: I would love that! Thank you for that offer. I’m definitely gonna take you up on that.

Brad: That would be good for the documentary. Two WCW Champions training together.

Booker: There it is.

Arquette: I’m also doing a TV show that could spin off because you can only tell so much of this (In a doc?) My whole point in coming back was to help put people over. Shine a spotlight on talent that is out there. If you don’t get a call from WWE you got Ring of Honor, New Japan, Impact. And you have PowerBomb TV. All these great different organizations you can now go online and see. I’m gonna do a travel show with RJ City that goes and sees different gyms and philosophies of the wrestling world.

Booker: You talked earlier about the haters giving you a hard time over winning the title, if any of those haters would’ve been in the same spot, they would have done the same thing.

Brad: I would have.

Booker: Hey man, I know you gotta get out of here but I want to say one more thing. I remember David Arquette sitting in the locker room with Booker T and asking Booker T how many times he won it, and Booker T said he had never won that title. The following week David Arquette went on national TV WORLDWIDE, and said, “I shouldn’t have this. Guys like Booker T should have this.”

Arquette: No. Stop. Stop it. You re too gracious.

Booker: I want the world to know if it wasn’t David Arquette The WCW Heavyweight Champion, there probably would’ve never been Booker T WCW World Champion. You planted the seed.

Arquette: Thank you, man.

Brad: And we are glad you are okay. I think everybody respects what you are doing.

Arquette: Thank you, guys. I want to say one thing that I have learned from this wrestling game: There are heels and babyfaces in the ring, and they are also outside of the ring. Make sure your friends are babyfaces.

Brad: Truer words never said.

Booker: Word.

Booker loves David Arquette so much that he officially awarded him a ghetto pass… unless he finds himself on Doolittle Blvd.

Arquette wins WCW Title

Arquette Death Match

UFC 234

Isreal Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva

“Anderson Silva is 43 years old. This is one of those fights where UFC want to put an old guy in with a young guy. This right here is unfair. Anderson Silva was great in his day. As I said before, the Edsel was a good car in its day. The Impala was good. The Ford Flex. I do not understand the mentality of this fight.”

Brad says, “I heard both guys want it.” Booker snicks a bit. “I heard the fight was made on a promise. ESPN reported that Dana White met with Anderson Silva in LA and promised him, if he wins this fight, he gets a title shot.”

Booker says Anderson had no chance, then says maybe Isreal will have mercy on him. Brad also predicts that “Isreal is gonna starch him.”

Isreal Adesanya is scary.

Before The Final Bell:

The guys discuss the ill-fated Tito Ortiz vs Chuck Lidell fight. Booker had Chuck winning.

He was wrong. Booker said he did not bet the odds, he betted with his heart.

Brad says the place was pretty much sold out.

“To be honest, for two guys who last fought in 2006, to put 8,500 people in there, almost 10,000 it’s not bad.”

What was bad, however, was the actual fight.

Booker was disgusted by how Liddell looked. And Brad thinks the match should have never been allowed.

Booker kind of agreed.”In a lot of ways, this fight was sad.”

Both men agree that there is a good chance Goldenboy will not have another MMA event.

For the full breakdown of the fight click the link at the top.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Overall Observations:

This may be my favorite interview they have ever done. Arquette is hilarious. I loved all the veteran wrestlers trashing him, as well as how self-aware and yet unaware that he comes off. I laughed hard during this interview.

I also enjoyed the palpable passion that this Hollywood star has for this often down and dirty industry. I came away with a lot more respect for David Arquette after hearing this show. Regardless of what Jim Cornette just said about Arquette, I actually think he helps the industry with his presence.

And at the end, there is a real moment of sincere appreciation from Booker to Arquette. It was surprising and yet very touching.

Check this one out.

See ya next week!

About James:

Based out of New York, James Hayes is an independent filmmaker and podcaster, currently working on a true crime series focused on African American crime. When he needs a break from the seriousness of true-crime he turns to pro wrestling. James has 27 years of following the sport. Here is a link to his film credits, as well as his Twitter  @JamesHa34395813.

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