For most pro wrestlers, getting to the WWE is the ultimate career goal -- but David Arquette says that's NOT what's motivating his comeback at 47-years-old.
"WWE's not the goal. I mean, I love WWE. I would love to do anything with them ever, but my main goal is getting some respect. That really was what it's about."
Remember, back in 2000, Arquette won the WCW World Heavyweight title as part of a stunt to promote a movie ... and it's widely regarded as one of the worst moments in pro wrestling.
So, Arquette -- a huge pro wrestling fan -- has been on a mission to earn back respect from the community ... and that's why he's been working his ass off at small wrestling shows around the country.
And, how would Arquette earn back that respect? He's got a plan ...
"I called out Cody Rhodes ... 'cause me and his dad wore the same [WCW championship] belt and if I can get him to respect me, then I think I can get other people to respect me."
Cody Rhodes is the son of pro wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes, aka "The American Dream."
"I mean [Cody] is one of the best in the world ... so, if I could go toe-to-toe with him, that would be a good show."
This ain't a game to Arquette, he's suffered a couple real injuries since his return to the ring -- including broken ribs and a jacked up elbow.
But, Dave says he's healing up and should be back in the squared circle again soon.