Two dimwit sewage workers watch their hero, WCW wrestler Jimmy King, get screwed out of the World title by wrestler Diamond Dallas Page and evil WCW owner Titus Sinclair. They embark on a quest to help their hero win his title - and honor - back. Features cameos by lots of WCW wrestlers. Written by
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This movie came along at a strange time pro wrestling. Pro wrestling
had become the hottest thing on premium TV with the years leading up to
the this movie's production being dubbed "The Monday Night Wars" due to
WCW's Monday Nitro running straight up against WWE's Monday Night Raw.
In late 1996, Hulk Hogan's morph into Hollywood Hogan made the company
number 1 and Nitro beat regularly beat Raw for almost 2 years straight.
It was also an incredibly profitable time for the Time Warner company.
Newer rival stars like the WWE's The Rock and Steve Austin were getting
offers for movies and television so WCW management at the time decided
it was time to shoot a film. It was released by spring 2000.
It starred Scott Caan, David Arquette, Oliver Platt, Joe Pantoliano,
"Diamond" Dallas Paige, and Rose McGowan. Sean (Scott Caan) and Gordie
(David Arquette) run a sewage business in the town of Lusk, Wyoming.
They're huge fans of WCW. They drive to Cheyenne to see a live Monday
Nitro broadcast. Their favorite wrestler, WCW champion Jimmy King
(Oliver Platt), has one too many backstage arguments with WCW President
Titus Sinclair (Joe Pantoliano in a strange cowboy outfit). Sinclair
decides that Paige is going over King in their title match that night.
When they wrestle, Paige shoots on King and with help from some outside
interference gets the win. Sean and Gordie are devastated by this and
it puts them on a journey to find King and help resurrect his career.
Along the way, they find out their hero is a drunken lout who ran out
on his family.
I don't know what the writers and producers of this film were thinking
of when they pictured a pro wrestling fan. Kayfabe, wrestling fiction,
has been a well-known part of that business for decades, even before
Vince McMahon's admissions about the business in 1989. The Sean and
Gordie characters are too stupid to know this or else live in denial.
You even see the acknowledgment of kayfabe when Titus Sincalir is
discussing the main event's finish with DDP in front of the other WCW
wrestlers before taking DDP aside to change it. During the match scene,
you can also see Paige and King calling spots to each other. The whole
smile and wink backhanded approach to acknowledging kayfabe is a little
insulting to pro wrestling fans and it seems that the writers think
they are all man-boys living with their parents.
I think they pictured these characters as innocent and enthusiastic,
which Scott Caan plays well enough, but David Arquette may have been at
his most obnoxious here as Gordie. He was a horrible casting choice.
Joe Pantoliano was another odd choice, his clothing and wig were too
much of a distraction. He would've been better playing it up as a New
Jersey-born East Coast sleazeball in an expensive suit like Paul
Heyman. Eric Bischoff could've easily played himself with his comic
book villain grin as the evil boss. Rose McGowan is cast as a Nitro
Girl named Sasha who takes a romantic interest in Gordie but she's just
eye candy. Martin Landau has a memorable cameo as Sal Bandini, an old
school wrestling trainer like Lou Thesz or Verne Gagne. DDP may
actually have given the best performance playing the heel version of
his pro wrestling character.
It seems like this of version WCW lives in a fairy tale world where
they have no worthy competition because no one ever breathes a word of
the WWF/E. Another irony is that many of the promotion's biggest
stars-Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner
and star Ric Flair-don't appear in this. Aside from DDP, the only
really big WCW stars to appear were Booker T and Sting in throwaway
cameos. Maybe one of the strangest things ever done to promote a movie
was having one of the stars start participating in wrestling matches.
WWF/E had celebrities like Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper making appearances
during the old Rock and Wrestling era but neither was actually booked
to win a promotion's title belt.
WCW booked David Arquette as their champion in an on screen feud, where
he was seen aligning himself with DDP and Chris Kanyon against Jeff
Jarrett and Eric Bischoff. It got even stranger from there, believe it
or not, with Arquette defending the belt and then he turned HEEL on
DDP. At the very least, though, Arquette was originally against
wrestling in WCW as a promotional stunt and he gave all the money he
made doing it to the families of Darren Drozdov and Brian Pillman.
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