Ready to Rumble (known in Japan as: Headlock GO! GO! American Wrestling and its video title as: Head Lock Go! Go! Professional Wrestling) is a 2000 American 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. The movie draws its title from Michael Buffer's trademarked catchphrase, "Let's get ready to rumble!" The movie was talent licensed by World Championship Wrestling. Some countries such as Finland, Australia and Japan were only able to see direct-to-video premiere releases of this film.
Sewage workers Gordie Boggs (David Arquette) and Sean Dawkins (Scott Caan) watch their favorite wrestler, WCW World Heavyweight Championship holder Jimmy King (Oliver Platt) cheated out of the title by Diamond Dallas Page (playing himself), a corrupt WCW promoter named Titus Sinclair (Joe Pantoliano), and DDP's partners. After the match, the two wrestling fans humorously express their rage in their septic truck, resulting in a car crash with Gordie and Sean surviving.
After this event, Gordie believes that the car crash was fate and that they should make Jimmy 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 (Caroline Rhea) and later his parents (Kathleen Freeman and Lewis Arquette). The parents tell them that King borrowed their mobile home, and never returned it. The duo find King and become over-excited. They have a conversation, and when King says that he gives up on wrestling, Gordie and Sean anger him to the point where he suddenly attacks the two boys. The boys encourage King to beat them up, which influenced him to return to wrestling. Then Gordie and Sean are knocked out when Jimmy King does his finishing move.
The two boys wake up the next day when Jimmy King drips beer on their faces. Later that day, the trio go on a road trip. Gordie sends letters to his father, who wanted Gordie to follow in his footsteps to be a policeman, but Gordie says that he will not join him in a policeman test, making him frustrated. Gordie, King, and Sean go to the WCW arena where they hide King in a bathroom and they meet one of the Nitro Girls, Sasha (Rose McGowan). When DDP mocks Jimmy King on camera, King comes out of the bathroom 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. They take King to his wife's home.
Sasha is impressed by Gordie, and they go to her apartment. Jimmy King was in deep need of a trainer. They went 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 was then hired as their trainer, but he became hospitalized when Sid Vicious and Perry Saturn attacked him that night. Gordie finds out that Sasha has been spying on them for Titus and breaks up with her.
When they try to get a new partner for King, Gordie's father comes along, gets Gordie and convinces him that his dream of working with Jimmy King was stupid. When Gordie was at home, Sean and King tried to bust him out, but Gordie refused (an ironic change in Gordie as he once encouraged King to return to wrestling). But the next day, Gordie comes 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. Initially King 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, the 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 bars. Gordie and the others deal with DDP's posse and defeat them while King and DDP climb the cage to get the belt. Sasha tries to get back together 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, Titus 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 beautiful women and ends it by saying "God bless America".
Sal Bandini: Don't let up until you hear cartilage snap, or they crap in their pants.
Gordie Boggs: What about Wendy? She digs you!
Sean Dawkins: No... she's too much like one of the guys.
Gordie Boggs: That's bad?
Sean Dawkins: That's gay.
Jimmy King: I just gave him a little flick!
Sean Dawkins: Well, he's your friend, right? And you can't turn your back on a friend!... Right?
|Release Date||5 April 2000|
|US Box Office||$12,000,000|
|Tagline||Sometimes two heads are simply more than one.|
|Filming Locations||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Sound Mix||DTS, Dolby Digital, SDDS|
|Film Class||Slapstick, Gross-Out Comedy, Sports Comedy|
|Mood||Just for Fun|
|Themes||Wrestling, Nothing Goes Right, Underdogs|
|Tones||Goofy, Slick, Flashy|