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Film / Ready to Rumble

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"So, about 10 minutes into this film—which only wrestling fans would see—we've been insulted by being portrayed at the bottom rung mentally, emotionally, financially, and socially. Thank you, WCW; that's very thorough. Take a bow!"
OSW Review on Ready to Rumble

Ready to Rumble is a 2000 comedy film directed by Brian Robbins, and starring David Arquette and Scott Caan.

Gordie Boggs (Arquette) and Sean Dawkins (Caan) are a pair of friends who believe that Pro Wrestling Is Real. After they witness their favorite wrestler, Jimmy King (Oliver Platt) lose the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to Diamond Dallas Page (Diamond Dallas Page), they decide to help their idol win back his title. Hilarity Ensues.

Compare with the WWF film No Holds Barred.

Tropes used in Ready to Rumble:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Sean and Gordie get picked on by all the other residents (save for Wendy, one of the waitresses at a fast food restaurant, and Mrs. MacKenzie, a kind old lady who swears a lot, both of whom are also wrestling fans) in their hometown for liking wrestling. Eventually, those very same residents become wrestling fans themselves towards the end of the movie.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Gordie's father while lecturing his son about why he shouldn't follow his dream to become a professional wrestler.
    "Just cause it's your dream doesn't make it right or noble or whatever! Charlie Manson was following his dream! Joseph Stalin, Michael Bolton, you get my point?"
  • As Himself: Many WCW wrestlers appear in the film as themselves, including Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page, Randy Savage, Booker T, Curt Hennig, Sid Vicious, and Sting, as well as the official commentary team, referees, and the Nitro Girls.
  • Berserk Button: The duo (especially Gordie) tend to flip their shit when ever anyone says wrestling is fake.
  • Big Bad: Titus Sinclair.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Goldberg, Booker T, Billy Kidman, and Disco Inferno, with Gordie shortly following by flying over the entrance ramp on a police motorcycle into the doors of the triple cage, run in to save King from Sinclair's goons. Sting also follows by knocking Diamond Dallas Page off the top of the cage.
  • Big "NO!": Gordie and Sean do one when Bam Bam Bigelow, Perry Saturn, Juventud Guerrera, and Prince Iaukea execute the four post massacre on King, which leads him to losing the WCW Title to Diamond Dallas Page.
  • Book Ends: The movie starts and ends at the Lusk Stop 'N Shop with Sean talking to three children about Jimmy King.
  • Cool Old Guy: Sal Bandini.
  • Expy:
    • Four of the characters in this film are based on the following Real Life wrestling personalities.
    • Some events of the movie were also based on real-life events:
      • Sinclair screwing King is based off the Montreal Screwjob, with a little bit of Real Life Writes the Plot (see below).
      • Diamond Dallas Page's bump through the Triple Cage is based off Mick Foley's famous bump from his 1998 Hell in a Cell Match against The Undertaker.
      • King getting beat up by his own son Frankie is based off a similar storyline with Ric Flair and his turncoat son David.
  • Expy Coexistence: Even though Jimmy King is heavily based on Ric Flair, Gordie does an impression of Flair to impress Sasha, indicating that Ric Flair does exist in this universe.
  • Fat Bastard: King's son Frankie.
  • Finishing Move: Jimmy's is the "Crown", which looks like it hurts. It is basically a top-rope double axe handle.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Gordie is pressured by his father into becoming a police officer instead of following his dream to be a wrestler. In the climax, Gordie manages to follow his dream while dressing up as a cop, and earning his father's respect.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Not an attack but when Gordie's father searches him, Sean clarifies that he's grabbing his nuts.
    • King's wife Eugenia kicks him twice. As he ices his lap, she admits to trying to break his "diddly". King claims his penis is bruised and also that it feels like Richard Petty drove his stock car at high speed into his balls. The outtakes show this taking 7 shots.
    • DDP and King trade brutal ones in the climax.
    • Sal Bandini kicks King during training, and King claims treachery as he groans and cries in pain.
  • Hate Sink: The convenience store clerk constantly insults Sean and Gordie, and tossing the kids' bikes on to the curb. He gets his comeuppance at the end by being thrown his own glass door by Jimmy King, Gordie, and Goldberg.
  • I Call Him "Mr. Happy": King calls his testicles "balls". Gordie calls his "nuts".
  • I Warned You: Sean tries to warn Sasha (who tries to make amends with Gordie, only for him to brush her off for snitching on them to Sinclair and getting Sal Bandini injured) to not hang around the ring during the triple cage match. She brushes him off, and gets smacked in the face with a ladder being swung around wildly, while Sean tells her what she could've done to avoid that injury:
    Sean: Sasha...
    Sasha: Shut up, Sean!
    Sean: Sasha, you shouldn't —
    *WHAM!* (Sasha gets whacked in the face with a ladder)
    Sean: — stand so close to the ring when there's a ladder match going on.
  • Jerkass:
    • The shopkeeper at the beginning of the movie. He gets his comeuppance at the end of the movie when Gordie, King, and Goldberg throw him through his own glass door.
    • Gordie's father originally qualifies as this, but he eventually becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold after watching his son on TV during the triple cage match at the end of the movie.
  • Loser Protagonist: Gordie and Sean? Shitty jobs?note  Check. Hopelessly stupid? Check. Bad luck with women? Check. Humiliated at every turn? Check.
  • Mean Boss: Titus Sinclair, the head booker of WCW.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Sal Bandini appears to based on legendary real-life trainer Stu Hart.
    • The lead Nitro Girl Sasha is based on Diamond Dallas Page's valet and former spouse, Kimberly Page.
    • Jimmy King is based on Jerry Lawler and, to a lesser extent, Ric Flair; with the scene in which King is betrayed by his son Frankie being drawn from a real-life incident between Flair and his son David.
  • Obligatory Swearing: This movie has some pretty strong profanity for a PG-13 film, such as multiple uses of the word "pussy" (but being used as a euphemism for "wuss" instead of female genitalia.)
  • Precision F-Strike: Sinclair to Sting of all people.
    Sinclair: I will kill you if you fuck this up.
  • Pro Wrestling Is Real: As stated above, the two main characters believe so, but while this seems to be subverted early on, the movie isn't very clear on it.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The scenario of King getting screwed by Sinclair was actually based on a real life issue between Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair. In April 1998, Flair was fired from WCW for allegedly no-showing a taping of Thunder. By the end of the year, Flair was back in WCW after filing a lawsuit against Bischoff.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: Gordie and Sean discover that their hero is a drunken scumbag who left his wife and son (and had another wife and two illegitimate children on the side) and made off with his parents' mobile home, and attempt to reform him. They succeed.
  • Smug Snake: Sinclair.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The film's plot is drawn from two real-life incidents. The first involved the firing of Ric Flair from WCW by Eric Bischoff for allegedly no-showing the taping for the April 16th 1998 edition of WCW Thunder, followed by a wrongful dismissal lawsuit by Flair which ended in him back on the roster by the end of the year. The second is the nigh-infamous Montreal Screwjob, in which then-WWF World Champion Bret Hart lost his title to long-time rival Shawn Michaels during the 1997 Survivor Series, after Vince McMahon conspired with a number of in-ring and behind-the-scenes personnel to end the match prematurely while Hart was put in his own submission finisher by Michaels.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After King regains the WCW Title, Sinclair has one at the end before Gordie and Sean throw him into the crowd to get ripped to pieces ("What are you talking about? I made wrestling! ME! I MADE THEM ALL!!!")
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Gordie to his policeman father, and King to his parents.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never revealed what happened to Sasha after getting knocked out, or if Gordie even accepted to apology.
  • The Worst Seat in the House: Gordie and Sean get BOTH nosebleed seats and a column underneath them when they are at Nitro in Cheyenne.