David Arquette's name is largely considered a pejorative in professional wrestling.
Mention the former Scream actor around certain fans and they'll bristle with anger about the time an untrained Hollywood interloper inexplicably waltzed in WCW and became World Champion, sullying the legacies of Ric Flair, Harley Race, and all who came before him. "He exposed the business!", is a common take, as are terms like "disrespectful," "disgraceful," and almost any other negative adjective.
In You Cannot Kill David Arquette, the new documentary on the 48-year-old's return to the ring almost two decades after starring in one of the sport's most destructive moments, ex-WCW booker Vince Russo refers to it as the moment he "killed the business forever."
Even if you weren't watching wrestling in 2000, you've heard of David winning the WCW Championship and probably have an opinion on it. That opinion (likely negative) will be challenged by David Darg and Price James' portrait of Arquette. More than a simple wrestling story, this underdog tale is as moving as it is fun, as gritty as it is uplifting, and every bit as eccentric as the man himself.
Here's what we took away from it...
You Cannot Kill David Arquette is out now in select drive-in theatres and hits digital platforms on Friday 28 August.
10. Wrestling Ruined His Hollywood Career
In 1996, David Arquette was pictured alongside such luminaries as Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, and Will Smith on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine's special Hollywood issue, naming him a bright young star who, like those with him on the photoshoot, would dominate the film industry's future.
Things haven't panned out that way. 24 years later, Arquette remains best known for his role as Dewey Riley in the Scream franchise. His last film, 2020's Spree, had drawn just $43,062 in box office takings at the time of writing.
How did this happen? Wrestling, according to the former WCW Champion, who reflects on his acting career's demise while driving around in an early You Cannot Kill David Arquette scene, saying his participation in it led to directors not taking him seriously and passing on him for roles. "I've been auditioning for 10 years without getting a role," he says. "Who does that? Who would go through 10 years of job interviews, not get any, and still go out and get another interview? It's crazy."
Such is the average outsider's perspective of professional wrestling, even today. It's a wild, unruly business ran by carnies and con artists, and not to be taken seriously.