THE 10 MOST
THINGS ABOUT READY TO RUMBLE
Nearly twenty years ago, arguably the worst movie of all time (not just wrestling movie, mind you) graced theater screens worldwide with the debut of Ready To Rumble.
While we're not here to debate the merits of the film (probably because there aren't many), we'd like to instead out point out ten eerie similarities between the movie and the promotion it was patterned after.. World Championship Wrestling.
1) They didn't understand their target audience.
WCW was often plagued by angry fans that weren't happy with the way that they delivered storylines, the way that certain wrestlers were used and what were disappointing payoffs.
Likewise, Ready to Rumble treated fans (such as main characters Gordie and Sean) as sewage-slurping, brain-dead morons, as if to say "Now this is your typical wrestling fan!"
2) Refusing to put over younger stars.
Why was WCW unable to compete with the flashier WWF, particularly in its final couple of years? One of the biggest reasons is because they'd focused so much on established stars (e.g. Hulk Hogan) that there was never any significant effort put into looking at where the next generation was going to come from.
Likewise, Ready to Rumble centered around Jimmy King, an out-of-shape trailer-park type who had clearly seen better days in the ring. But once they realize that King's time his up, WCW's promoters decided to make a change towards the youth movement by making their next champion.... the forty-something Diamond Dallas Page?
Maybe it made for a good DDPYoga advertisement....
3) Blurring the lines between work and shoot.
One of WCW's favorite tactics was to convince you that certain angles weren't real... except for the ones you were watching right now.
Likewise, Ready to Rumble teases the idea of keeping kayfabe and then switches back and forth to "shoot mode" as the story fits.
4) Have no concept of the Internet's power.
Back in the day, WCW would often discount their Internet fans as just a small pocket of followers, instead of the growing fanbase that it was, particularly towards the end of 1990's.
Likewise, Ready to Rumble makes it look as simple as having some nerd log on to "Hacker's Planet" to find out the exact whereabouts of Jimmy King, who, as it turns it out, is living in a trailer park.
5) Copying WWF's ideas.
Whether it was a slight-renaming of their talent or outright theft of their storyline, WCW was notorious for ripping off tried-and-true WWF ideas during the Monday Night Wars.
Likewise, Ready to Rumble managed to copy WWF's Montreal Screwjob with their own "Four Post Massacre" and a Vince McMahon ripoff named Titus Sinclair. Heck, when you think about it.... the entire premise of Ready To Rumble -- the long-time champion is targeted because the corporate promoter has someone they'd rather push to the top -- is based on No Holds Barred, a WWF movie!
6) Fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants booking.
WCW wrestlers often complained about matches being booked and storylines being written literally as Nitro was on the air.
Likewise, Ready to Rumble created an entire WCW World Title Match on the fly, after Jimmy King hid in an outhouse (?) and attacked Diamond Dallas Page, all while the Nitro cameras were picking up all the action. What would they have booked had that surprise attack not happened?
7) Misusing Bill Goldberg and Sting.
WCW had twin gold mines in Bill Goldberg and Sting, essentially the two main event wrestlers that had never been in the WWF to that point. And yet, even when they "pushed" either man, neither Goldberg or Sting truly ruled the roost in the company.
Likewise, Ready to Rumble featured both Goldberg and Sting, and figured them both into the film's pivotal final scenes.... but it's tough to say that either man was really used to their full potential.
8) Having the biggest talent in decades and not doing anything with him.
WCW had, at various times under their employ, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, Triple H, Edge, and even pre-nWo versions of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Yet they could never out the best ways to use them and ultimately ended up dropping the fall when they sought bigger fortunes in WCW.
Likewise, Ready to Rumble had John Cena, arguably the most successful wrestler in the past 15 years, and the best they could do was stick him in the corner in a brief, uncredited, non-speaking cameo appearance.
9) Writing nonsensical storylines that even the staunchest fan can't follow.
WCW often induced headaches because storylines were difficult to follow from one show to the next (and sometimes from one hour to the next), as goals and statements would constantly change for lord knows what reason.
Likewise, Ready to Rumble's pivotal scene had Titus Sinclair trying to convince Sting -- a longtime babyface -- to turn heel in the Jimmy King-Diamond Dallas Page match. Yet when Sting came to ringside he supported Jimmy King.... which is what most people would have expected him to do anyways!
10) Overbooking the main event.
How many episodes of Nitro would end with multiple run-ins, half-ass finishes and interference from some strain of the nWo?
Likewise, Ready to Rumble's main event was a triple cage match -- would should be enough of an attraction on its own -- yet it featured the outside interference of:
Disco Inferno (?)
Nitro Girl Rose McGowan
Jimmy King's disgruntled son
But whose side are they on? Tune into Thunder to find out!