WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin has been confirmed as appearing on the upcoming third season of Dark Side of the Ring.
During an interview on Vice’s ‘Cari & Jemele (Won’t) Stick To Sports’, it was revealed that Austin will appear on the premier episode of Dark Side of The Ring, detailing the life and death of Brian Pillman.
Steve Austin and Brian Pillman would team together in WCW. Known as ‘The Hollywood Blondes’, the pair would hold the NWA/WCW World Tag Team Championships. Following the demise of the team, Austin and Pillman would fued, before Pillman made his way to ECW.
Pillman became widely recognised in pro wrestling after becoming a member of The Four Horsemen in 1995. However, his most notable period in professional wrestling came with the inception of his ‘loose cannon’ persona. Portraying this erratic and unpredictable charater, Pillman signed with WWE in 1996.
Infamously, during a storyline with Steve Austin, Pillman would point a gun at Austin during a taped segment on Monday Night Raw. Although part of the storyline, the footage drew so many complaints from viewers and networks executives that Monday Night Raw was almost dropped by the USA Network. As a result, WWE and Brian Pillman would issue an apology for the storyline.
It has been widely reported that Brian Pillman would struggle with substance abuse throughout his career. On October 5, 1997, Brian Pillman was found dead in his hotel room. He was scheduled to face Dude Love that evening at ‘In Your House 18: Badd Blood’. Although many initially pointed to Pillman’s history of substance abuse as a factor, it was revealed Pillman had died from atherosclerotic heart disease. His son, Brian Pillman Jr, is currently a member of the AEW roster.
Steve Austin and Brian Pillman were not only tag team partners, but real life friends. During the height of his career, Austin would often come to the ring wearing a gold chain, a gift from Pillman. In his book, ‘The Stone Cold Truth’, Steve recalls never seeing the darker side of Brian Pillman:
“Brian and I never talked much about his personal life or his problems. I knew that the guy was in a lot of pain from getting knocked around so much, but I didn’t know many painkillers he was taking. And, I didn’t know about any of the other stuff he was said to be taking. Around me, he never did any of that….
The other stuff people talk about, maybe I saw him take a couple of vicodin pain pills here and there, but I didn’t know how many he was eating. Cocaine, I never saw that. HGH, or steroid injections, I never saw him do those either. I certainly never saw Brian smoke dope. It wouldn’t have gelled with his personality, I think….
It would have been nice if Brian could have stayed around and hit a nice chunk of change. He made decent money, but he never got to hit the big money. That’s why it’s so important to me to wear the gold chain the Brian gave me. If I’m wearing it, then Brian is right there with me.”
Currently, there is no official release date for Dark Side of the Ring Season 3. However, reports suggest the show will air later this year.