Induction: WCW Champion David Arquette vs Tank Abbott: Remember when Russo wanted to put the title on him?

45 Submitted by on Tue, 28 April 2015, 15:00

WCW 2000 by Emerson Witner

In his critically acclaimed tome A Lion’s Tale, Chris Jericho told the story of him trying to get a pay per view match with WCW Champion Goldberg coming on the heels of a really fun storyline where Jericho kept challenging Goldberg to a match, mocked his entrance and beat a midget version of him.

Anyway, Eric Bischoff tried to have it happen on Nitro, but Jericho begged and pleaded to Bischoff, Goldberg and Hulk Hogan to let it happen on the World War 3 1998 show. Long story short, Hogan told him he needed to raise the bar by wrestling Bobby Duncum Jr.


Just kidding. He said “It’s never bad to lose to the champion.” Despite that, Jericho didn’t wrestle Goldberg until 2003 and, in fact, did wrestle Duncum on the ppv. 

With that in mind, we go back in time to May 1, 2000. Both WWF and WCW just crowned new champions on the last show that aired. WWF put their title on future A-List actor The Rock.


WCW put their title on past, present and future D-List actor David Arquette.


For the past 13 years almost every interview Vince Russo does, the host asks him about Arquette winning the title. One of the reasons Russo gives in defense is Arquette won the title not by pinning Jeff Jarrett or Diamond Dallas Page. He won by pinning non-wrestler Eric Bischoff. Okay, if you are going to put the title on him, regardless of what common sense tells you, that is a good idea.


With that in mind, we go to Nitro where Arquette cuts a promo bad enough that DDP face palms. He then announced that he is forfeiting the title and putting it on the line in the Triple Cage Match at Slamboree with DDP and Jeff Jarrett. Okay, good idea. The guy is gonna get hurt, no one wants to watch him defend the title. Smart man. 

Unfortunately Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo disagreed. They not only added Arquette to the afore-mentioned Slamboree Main Event and kill that buy rate, but kill the push of another WCW star: Tank Abbott by making Arquette vs Abbott.


Abbott was being built to be the jobber to Goldberg for Bill’s return after slicing and dicing his arm five months earlier. Much like Jericho, he made weekly challenges to Bill, mocked his entrance (as Tankberg) and beat up Mark Madden, which is much more fun than beating up pint sized Goldberg’s.


After some dilly dallying around with DDP, Kanyon, Jarrett and crew, Russo and Easy E agreed to a stipulation where Tank would first wrestle DDP and if Page wins, then Arquette doesn’t have to wrestle Tank later.


I don’t care if he is 10-15 as an MMA fighter, he would still kick my ass. 

Short story shorter, Tank knocked Page out after Jarrett hit Dallas with Something.


Tank! That’s who!

Before the semi-main event of the go-home Nitro before the Slamboree pay per view (Hulk Hogan vs Mike Awesome went last), we got Vince Russo’s crowning achievement of 2000 where Courtney Cox did a pre-taped segment for free, telling David not to wrestle.


This was actually the second time Courtney was romantically linked to someone who had to fight Tank Abbott. On the episode of Friends titled “The One With The Ultimate Fighting Champion”, Monica (Cox) dated a guy named Paul who decided his mission in life was to be a UFC Champion. He then got destroyed by Tank in the cage.

By the way, Monica is only my third least-favorite character on Friends. Chandler and Ross were so much more annoying. 

Back from that tangent, Tank Abbott isn’t even getting a World Title shot after knocking out one of the #1 Contender’s to the championship.

The match almost started great. Kanyon stormed to the ring with brass knuckles, but before he could get knocked the fuck out, WCW’s Red Headed Referee caught him and sent him to the back. 

Tony told us to look away from the screen and for a show that was doing lower and lower ratings each week, is that really a smart idea.

Arquette tried a Spear. Edge can relax because his is better than David’s.


They proved that TNA stole WCW’s production team by twice in thirty seconds missing key moments. The first being Tank knocking Arquette out and the second being Page dropping Tank with a Diamond Cutter.


Unlike TNA they did make up for it by showing a replay of the Diamond Cutter after wards. 

Anyhoo, Page dragged David over and the World Champion moves to 2-0.


So was a 45 second match really bad enough to be inducted? I mean I am not going to induct King Kong Bundy vs SD Jones or Diesel vs Bob Backlund. 

I answer in the affirmative. 45 seconds was just enough to ruin whatever credibility Tank had built up. The show did a rating of a 2.5, which was down from the prior weeks 3.1 and 5 weeks later the show with Goldberg’s return did a 2.8, down from the prior weeks 3.0. in the interest of fairness, the Goldberg vs Tank match did a 2.9, which yes, is higher than the rating for the show. Slamboree, with Arquette defending did a buyrate so low, that WCW refused to release it (estimated at a 0.14 or 56,000 buys in Death of WCW (10th Anniversary Edition coming soon))

The sign asks a serious question. 

There were 18 WCW Title victories in the year 2000. at 12 days David Arquette had a longer reign than Chris Benoit (who admittedly quit the day after winning), Sid Vicious, Jeff Jarrett three times, DDP, Ric Flair twice, Kevin Nash, Booker T and Vince Russo.

Since the graph I did for Survivor Series 1991 got over so well, I made this graph of everyone who won the WCW Title in the year 2000. A full asterisk denotes that this reign was during a period when Russo left WCW. Half an asterisk denotes that they won the title under Russo’s watch, but Vince left during the reign.


And no, Jeff Jarrett at 8 days being listed twice isn’t a mistake.

It never hurts to lose to the champion, but in the year 2000 very few people did. Tank Abbott was one of them.

Written by

Emerson Witner is the NXT reporter for both and He is also the co-host of the Wrestling Outsiders Podcast, which can be heard at . If you have any questions, comments, concerns or emotional outbursts, you can reach him at, on Facebook at or by following him on Twitter @TheReallyRealEW
45 Responses to "Induction: WCW Champion David Arquette vs Tank Abbott: Remember when Russo wanted to put the title on him?"
  1. Thomas Moffatt says:

    The WCW Title in 2000 could an induction in it’s own right

  2. Dan says:

    Pete was the name of Monica’s UFC boyfriend not Paul. He was played by Jon Favreau. Sorry for the nitpick. I believe during the first season Monica did date Paul “the wine guy”.

  3. DownWithOPC says:

    Next, we should look at everyone who lost to the champ.

  4. Big Jim says:

    Wow, that graph shows a lot. I remember the frequent title changes back in 2000 WCW but had no idea that there were that many. Excellent induction!

  5. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    This sums up why I hated WCW so much, so very well. Bravo!

  6. AlexanAdru says:

    Wow those frequent title changes and pathetically short reigns are absolutely ridiculous. No wonder guys like Jarrett couldn’t get completely over with “reigns” like that no one will take you seriously. Talk about destroying a belts credibility as well (same thing is going on with the I.C./world tile as well though in a different way).

  7. Faux Danny Davis says:

    I would argue that Diesel vs Bob Backlund SHOULD be inducted. It would just be hard to be funny about it. It was hot off the heels of one of my favorite title matches of all time (Bret vs Bob), which brought together so many long-standing storylines and created new ones. I loved the Backlund gimmick and was super pumped when he won the title. A few days later, I was absolutely livid when I learned he lost the belt in record time to Diesel at a house show a day later.

    Not only did it kill the heat I was on board to revel in, but I think one can argue that it brought about the decline of the WWF for a number of years. Diesel’s title reign was abysmal, and it was a sign that The Clique had serious power that ought to have been quashed right then and there. When Backlund lost that title, my heart left the WWF and it has never fully gone back to it.

    • Rob says:

      Actually, I think Diesel’s entirE WWF title run should be inducted because outside of 2 matches with Bret Hart, a match with Shawn Michaels and a shockingly decent match with Owen Hart, his WWF title run was a complete flop.

  8. Scorpio1976 says:

    WCW 2000 > TNA 2013

  9. Anonymous says:

    Nearly EVERYTHING that WCW did from 1999 until their closing could be inducted. And most of the stuff they did before that.

  10. The Foiler says:

    that graph takes a little sheen off of the old 5-time, 5-time

    • Brandon says:

      Better yet, Booker’s longest reign was during a time when he didn’t wrestle for 3 months between WCW’s end and the start of his time with WWE.

  11. Sir Thomas says:

    Things like this make me feel sorry for guys like Tank Abbott.

  12. ScMcS says:

    On the subject of the Diesel/Backlund match…

    Looking back at it, and heck, even as a kid, I had no problem with it. Having Diesel no contest Bret Hart on his first PPV title defense didn’t help him out, then Shawn completely upstaging him at WM XI made things worse. add in lame-ass feuds with negative star machine Sid and King Mabel through the summer, and Diesel’s win was the ONLY good thing from his 12 months as champ.

  13. The Scanian Maniac says:

    Wasn’t David Arquette’s title run most about promoting the WCW produced movie “Ready to Rumble”?

    And apropos of bringing in movie guys to promote movies, have Zeus ever been inducted?

    Is it true Vince McMahon actually had plans for him to main event Wrestlemania until he noticed the fans bucked the idea?

    • ScMcS says:

      Zeus was inducted way back in the day. One of those classic inductions like Red Rooster or Shockmaster that isn’t very long, but right to the point.

  14. Adam X says:

    WWF/E’s title was passed around a lot too during that period but Vince had the common sense to put it on actual draws(and Hunter) instead of actors…until this past year.

    The sad thing in that graph is guys like Kanyon, Awesome, Storm and even Vampiro who deserved the belt never got it while Nash/Flair/Jarrett each have like two or three runs a piece.

    Heck Booker vs Kidman could’ve done better than some of those choices.

  15. adamclark52 says:

    Could you have found worse pictures of Nash, Russo and Jarrett?

  16. Peter says:

    No Goldberg or Sting but we got Vince Russo and David Arquette. New blood rising!

  17. MidwestJimmy says:

    The only thing I remember about Tank Abbot was the “Random victim at ringside” gimmick. It got over pretty good, judging from the screams of terror coming from the crowd. I think the only victims were Mark Madden (who was an awful heel commentator), a cameraman, and the general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team (and was saved by one of his players). I think they should have had Abbott pick a fan (played by an indy-level wrestler) and rough him up. Since I doubt that few people remember it, I would have liked to see them bring back the random victim for Mark Henry. But he’s a face now, so it would be too late anyway.

  18. The Kid from Iowa says:

    Would you believe that they made a figure of Tank Abbott for the Classic Superstars line? It hadn’t even been ten years since he debuted when they made the figure, and of course he has no connection to the WWE and was never classic. Go figure (pun intended).

  19. CriscoBurger says:

    This induction is lacking in comedy and the layout seems off and somehow manages to effect the flow. I mean when you get toward the end with the discussion about ratings it seems a bit heavy handed. Don’t know if this is the place to be a critic but thought I’d share my opinion anyway.

  20. Chris says:

    Say what you want about Arquette but as Flair mentioned in his autobiography, he did donate all his appearance fees to a fund to help former wrestlers.

    • KatieVictoriasSecret says:

      Ironically, Arquette might be the smartest guy in that particular room. He was the one who knew the angle would fail but management kept insisting it wouldn’t.

  21. showster22Brother! says:

    I love that the writer used “with my baby tonight” Jarrett for the graph lol

  22. Eric says:

    Did anyone actually ever buy into Tank Abbott as a wrestler? He was HORRIBLE in the ring, I changed the channel every time he came on and this was during the demise of WCW.

  23. Trekkie313 says:

    How is David Arquette a D-List actor? He’s been a major character in the most popular/successful modern horror movie franchise. (Paranormal Activity doesn’t count.)

  24. HoseB says:

    Ah yes, 2000. The famous “Year of 422 Days.”

  25. John C says:

    That chart makes me want to see if you can do one of the WWF(E) Hardcore 24/7 Title runs of 2000. Not enough space in the universe for that most likely.

  26. Lee W says:

    Sadly enough, WCW’s problem at this stage was this sort of unnecessary thing which really took away from the in-ring product which had actually improved quite a bit in a relatively short period.

  27. Jeremy says:

    Ric Flair 16-time World Champion, and how long was his last reign? About 2 hours. That says it all.

  28. Ira says:

    You should’ve mentioned the SEVEN times the title was vacated that year. That’s equal to or more than eight of those title reigns. It only adds to the utter ridiculousness of the dying days of WCW.

    • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:


  29. John Doe says:

    Chuck Palumbo?

    He won the bet August 21, 2000.

    For about 5 minutes.

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