Ready to Rumble

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Ready to Rumble
Ready to rumble poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrian Robbins
Produced byRobert F. Newmyer
Jeffrey Silver
Michael Tollin (executive)
Written bySteven Brill
Based onCharacters
by World Championship Wrestling
Music byGeorge S. Clinton
CinematographyClark Mathis
Edited byNed Bastille
Cindy Mollo
Outlaw Productions
Bel Air Entertainment
Tollin/Robbins Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
April 7, 2000
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$24 million
Box office$12.5 million[1]

Ready to Rumble is a 2000 American buddy comedy film directed by Brian Robbins and written by Steven Brill, which is based on Turner Broadcasting's now defunct professional wrestling promotion, World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The movie draws its title from ring announcer Michael Buffer's catchphrase, "Let's get ready to rumble!" The movie features many wrestlers from WCW.


For most of their lives, sewage workers Gordie Boggs (David Arquette) and Sean Dawkins (Scott Caan) have been avid wrestling fans. When WCW Monday Nitro comes to their home state of Wyoming, they attend the show to watch their favorite wrestler, WCW World Heavyweight Champion Jimmy King (Oliver Platt). He gets cheated out of the title by Diamond Dallas Page, WCW CEO Titus Sinclair (Joe Pantoliano), and DDP's partners. After the match, the two fans humorously express their rage in their septic truck, resulting in a car crash.

After this event, Gordie believes that the crash was fate and that they should make King once again World Champion. Sean agrees to help Gordie, and the dimwitted duo go on a quest to put their King back on his throne. The next day, Gordie asks a friend to find out where the washed-up wrestler lives. Their friend succeeds, and they go to an unexpected-looking neighborhood. They find King's estranged wife and later his parents. The parents tell them that King borrowed their mobile home, and never returned it. The duo find King in a trailer park and become over-excited. They have a conversation, and when King says that he gave up on wrestling, Gordie and Sean anger him to the point where he suddenly attacks the two men. They then encourage King to beat them up, which influences him to return to wrestling. Gordie and Sean are knocked out when King does his finishing move.

The two men wake up the next day when King drips beer on their faces. Later that day, the trio go on a road trip. Gordie sends letters to his father (Richard Lineback), who wanted Gordie to follow in his footsteps to be a policeman. Gordie says that he will not take a policeman test, thereby frustrating his father. Gordie, King, and Sean go to the New York Arena where they hide King in a port-a-potty and meet Sasha (Rose McGowan), one of the Nitro Girls. When DDP mocks King on camera, King comes out of the port-a-potty and beats him up. Sinclair, therefore, declares a Triple Cage match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship plus a $1,000,000 cash prize. However, if King loses, he will never wrestle again.

Sasha is impressed by Gordie, and they go to her apartment. King needs a trainer, so they go to a local training center, where King meets his former partner, Bill Goldberg. They also find Sal Bandini (Martin Landau), who beats up King. He is then hired as their trainer, but is hospitalized when Sid Vicious and Perry Saturn attack him that night. Gordie finds out that Sasha has been spying on them for Titus and breaks up with her. They take King to his wife's home, where she kicks him in the crotch twice for abandoning his family. His son comes out and King notices his bad teeth, who then walks out after King tries to make amends. He vows to his wife that he will do right by her after he wins the money and get his son a dentist.

When they try to get a new partner for King, Gordie's father intervenes. He brings Gordie home and convinces him that his dream of working with Jimmy King was stupid. While studying for the policeman test in his room, Sean and King tried to bust Gordie out, but he refuses (an ironic change in Gordie as he once encouraged King to return to wrestling). The next day, Gordie arrives at an entourage audition and is thanked by King for everything Gordie did for him. No one, however, was able to make the cut, and so King has to face DDP alone. At the WCW PPV event, King initially is alone, but after he gets a horrible beatdown by DDP and his goons starting with King's own son, Goldberg, Booker T, Billy Kidman, & Disco Inferno come to his aid but aren't able to get into the cage until Gordie shows up and crashes a motorcycle through the cage door. Gordie and the others deal with DDP's posse and defeat them while King and DDP climb the cage to get the belt. Sasha attempts reuniting with Gordie as the fans love him, but is knocked out by a ladder being swung around during the match after not listening to Sean's warning. DDP manages to throw King back to the mat, but is knocked back there himself by Sting. The two climb to the top again and fight it out and King manages to defeat DDP, throwing him through the cages to the mat, knocking him out. King retrieves the belt and is once again champion. After this, Sinclair is booed by the fans then beaten up by Sean and Gordie who toss him to the fans who beat him up some more. Goldberg later asks King to re-team with him, but the new champ announces his new partner will be Gordie and their manager will be Sean. Gordie's father watches the match on TV and after seeing how good Gordie is, accepts Gordie's choice and even cheers for him.

The epilogue shows Sean telling kids "dreams can come true" back at the convenience store, where Gordie and Goldberg teach the clerk a lesson by hurling him out on the street for being mean to kids. All ends happily as the heroes ride off in a stretch Hummer (driven by Nitro Girl Chae) together with Sal, now fully recovered in a hot tub with Nitro Girls Storm and Fyre and ends it by saying "God bless America".

The end credits feature out-takes of kicks to the groin.


Wrestling personalities[edit]


The character of Sal Bandini is based on wrestlers Lou Thesz and Stu Hart. Oliver Platt accidentally struck Randy Savage in the face during the filming of a fantasy scene. The footage of the incident, which was shot over Savage's shoulder, can be seen in the blooper reel shown during the closing credits. Chris Kanyon was Platt's stunt double, and Shane Helms was David Arquette's stunt double. The character of Titus Sinclair is based on WCW President and Executive Producer Eric Bischoff, who was originally planned to star in this movie as a fictionalized version of himself, but was fired from WCW before filming began.


Following the release of the movie, WCW decided to generate publicity for the company by running a storyline in which David Arquette, a legitimate wrestling fan, became WCW World Champion. The storyline was reviled by wrestling fans, and Arquette himself reportedly believed it was a bad idea, as he felt that it would damage the value of the belt he held in such high regard. While in WCW, he aligned himself with Diamond Dallas Page (despite Page being the movie's villain) and agreed in storyline to drop the title to him. He eventually lost the title in the main event of Slamboree involving the three-tiered cage seen in Ready to Rumble, pitting himself against Page and Jeff Jarrett, which ended when he turned on Page and allowed Jarrett to win. Arquette later donated all the money WCW paid him to the families of the late Brian Pillman, the late Brian Hildebrand and paralyzed wrestler Darren Drozdov.[2]

The Triple Cage was used by WCW only twice: first, at Slamboree 2000, Jeff Jarrett beat Diamond Dallas Page and David Arquette (defending the WCW World Heavyweight Championship) to win the title. In this match, Chris Kanyon was thrown from the roof of one of the cages, "paralyzing" him. The other, taking place on the September 4, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, was the 2000 edition of the WarGames match.

Critical reception[edit]

Ready to Rumble received a largely negative reception, garnering a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 23% based on 70 reviews, with an average score of 3.9/10. Its consensus states, "Humor at its lowest that isn't funny for kids and is insulting to adults".[3] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has an average score of 23, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[4]

Roger Ebert said that the movie works best when focusing on the aspects of professional wrestling instead of the "wheezy prefab" Dumb and Dumber antics and felt there was misuse of both Platt and Landau, citing the former's comedic talents being wasted and having an actual wrestler in his place instead, and the latter being more suitable in dramatic works.[5] BBC film reviewer Neil Smith commended the efforts of both Platt and Landau in their respective roles but felt the film overall was the typical Hollywood comedy, consisting of "oafish slapstick and lavatorial humour in place of genuine wit or imagination", concluding that it "has its moments, but ultimately feels just as bogus as the Lycra-clad charlatans it lionises."[6] The A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin criticized the filmmakers for trying to satirize and indulge in the world of wrestling and ignore it for rehashed humor from films like The Wedding Singer and Mallrats, concluding that, "[I]n its attempts not to offend wrestling fans or the wrestlers who make brief, bland appearances, Ready To Rumble is plodding, obvious, toothless, and unfunny."[7]

A. O. Scott of The New York Times mockingly said that the film does a deep exploration into the world of professional wrestling and its core fanbase, but in reality is "not a satire of the idiocy [of professional wrestling], but a long, self-satisfied wallow in it."[8] Chris Gramlich of Exclaim! backhandedly called it "the best Hollywood wrestling movie since No Holds Barred", giving credit to Chris Kanyon's wrestling choreography, the various WCW performers and the contributions from both Landau and McGowan being the film's saving graces, concluding that, "While Ready to Rumble may at times make even the most ardent wrestling ashamed by its use of wrestling stereotypes (some even justified); it does make you laugh almost as often. Almost."[9] The Austin Chronicle's Marjorie Baumgarten agreed with the critics about the "asinine plot, premise, and performances" but admitted to laughing at a few moments that shows the film being honest with itself about its creation, concluding that, "Filled with lots of appearances by real wrestling stars, the movie seems a certain shoo-in among a certain demographic. But if you're going, hit the theatres soon because this one looks ready to tumble."[10]


Ready to Rumble
Soundtrack album
ReleasedApril 11, 2000 (2000-04-11)
LabelAtlantic, 143

The film score makes extensive use of classical music, both diegetic and non-diegetic. "Fanfare for the Common Man" by Aaron Copland is featured as Jimmy King's theme music. "Siegfried's Funeral March" from Götterdämmerung by German composer Richard Wagner plays quietly in the background during King's initial discomfiture at the hands of Titus Sinclair, played by Joe Pantoliano, and Diamond Dallas Page.

A soundtrack for the film was released by Atlantic Records and 143 Records in both 'clean' and 'explicit' editions. Considering the Kid Rock song "Badwitdaba", the Lower Than You remix, is not deleted on the iTunes version of this soundtrack, it remained one of the only songs of Kid Rock to be available on iTunes, until most of his catalog was released on iTunes in 2013.

1."Get Ready" Josh Abraham / Troy Van Leeuwen3:39
2."Bloodstains" The Offspring1:53
3."We're Not Gonna Take It" (Twisted Sister)Dee SniderBif Naked3:32
4."Bawitdaba [Lower Than You Remix]" Kid Rock3:49
5."King of Rock" Run–D.M.C.5:13
6."Diamond Dallas Page Theme (King of Ba-Da-Bing)"Dweezil ZappaDweezil Zappa2:26
7."Freestyle [Remix]" P.O.D.3:51
8."Jump Around" House Of Pain3:38
9."We Will Rock You" (Queen)Brian MayDJ Hurricane, Scott Weiland3:07
10."Last Resort" Papa Roach3:22
11."Sting Theme"Jimmy Hart / Howard HelmGeorge S. Clinton2:38
12."...Baby One More Time" (Britney Spears)Max MartinAhmet Zappa, Dweezil Zappa4:11
13."Girls, Girls, Girls" Mötley Crüe4:28
Total length:45:47


  1. ^ "Ready To Rumble (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  2. ^ "Brian Pillman Memorial Show Results from Cincinnati, OH - 05/25/00", by Mike I.,
  3. ^ "Ready to Rumble". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  4. ^ "Ready to Rumble Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 7, 2000). "Ready To Rumble Movie Review". Retrieved April 2, 2019. 2/4 stars
  6. ^ Smith, Neil (November 22, 2000). "Ready To Rumble (2000)". BBC. Retrieved April 2, 2019. 2/5 stars
  7. ^ Rabin, Nathan (April 8, 2000). "Ready To Rumble". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Scott, A. O. (April 7, 2000). "'Ready to Rumble': Wallowing in the World of Wrestling". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  9. ^ Gramlich, Chris (April 1, 2000). "Ready to Rumble". Exclaim!. Ian Danzig. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  10. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie (April 14, 2000). "Ready to Rumble - Movie Review". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 8, 2019. 2/5 stars

External links[edit]