Steve Austin and Brian Pillman became good friends when WCW randomly put them in a tag team called the Hollywood Blonds.
Not expected to be much of anything, the team turned into one of the best tag teams of the 1990s. Though Austin, who was previously being groomed for a U.S. title run, was originally reluctant about the idea, the team became such a success and so much fun that he was incredibly disappointed when the team split up.
When Pillman and Austin crossed paths again a few years later in WWE, the two were placed into a feud. This was coming off of Brian Pillman's memorable "Loose Cannon" story that transcended WCW, ECW, and the WWE.
Pillman was never able to fully follow through on the Loose Cannon angle he created due to a tragic automobile accident that left his left ankle shattered. However, he did miraculously return to the ring (despite that ankle being permanently fixed in a 90 degree position) and took on his former partner, Austin.
Early in the feud, Pillman had to receive another surgery on his ankle as it had not heeled properly. To write him off television, WWE did a memorable segment on Superstars in October 1996 where Austin broke Pillman's own cane over his ankle and then pummeled his ankle with a folding chair.
(Note: WWE's YouTube page mistakenly labeled the following clip as being from RAW. The segment originally aired on Superstars.)
"When I shanghaied Brian Pillman with that big right hand, kind of like a clothesline, I stomped a mudhole in his ass and walked it dry," Austin recalled. "I was working, but it was a damn near shoot because it had to be. I was wearing those heavy ass, Hi-Tech Magnum boots, and I still wear them to this day, and those things have a damn sole on them. They're very, very comfortable, but I stomped the s--t out of him. I was stomping him. I was kicking him. I was beating him to death."
Austin continued, "If you watch that footage back, Brian was walking around with that cane and there was a brass duck head on top of that cane that you put your hand on. So when I took that baseball swing and hit him in his shin. And he had his leg bandaged up. There was some plastic wrapped around his shin, so I didn't break his shin, but the stick broke. The walking stick broke. And if you watch that footage back, watch that brass duck head, as I hit him in the leg, fly off right into the crowd. And I believe it hit the top of that metal barricade. And it damn near could have easily hurt somebody, but we got lucky that it didn't. And believe me, when I swung that damn walking stick, I was swinging for the fence. It broke off."
Later in the show, Austin proclaimed that when Pillman return to television to get revenge, he gave him the stiffest beating of his wrestling career.
"If you will remember, a couple of weeks or a couple of months later, he turned the tides on me," Austin said. "And let me tell you something, mister, as bad and as hard as I was kicking the s--t out of him, he gave it to me and then some. He beat the flying s--t out of me. And I wasn't selling it and I knew I had it coming. And I knew there was going to be a receipt on that ass-whooping. And I didn't know how Brian was going to respond because it was weeks or months later. But when he beat the dog s--t out of me, I mean, that was one of the worst beatings I've ever had in my time in the business and that's a straight up shoot."1comments
Austin continued, "Brian was kicking the s--t out of me. And on a note, when I was finished kicking the s--t out of Brian, they pulled him out of there. I think they put him on a damn gurney or something and carried him off and they took him to the opposite side of the arena. I went back to the dressing room. They took him and put him in an ambulance. I actually asked all of the agents, I said, 'hey man,' I said, 'is he okay?' because that's how bad I was beating him and that's how stiff I was on that beating. Anytime I got a chance to do business with Brian, it was a good time, but it was very competitive. And, by the same token, be beat the flying s--t out of me when he wore my ass out and that's the bottom line."
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