Stone Cold Steve Austin recently opened up about the close friendship he formed with Brian Pillman during their time together in WCW.
Before joining WWE, Austin and Pillman performed as The Hollywood Blonds in WCW between October 1992 and October 1993. The real-life friends won the NWA/WCW World Tag Team Championship during that time.
Speaking to Sportskeeda Wrestling Senior Editor Bill Apter, Austin discussed Pillman’s toughness both in and out of the ring.
“Cutting edge,” Austin replied when asked to sum up his former tag team partner. “He was one of those guys who was out there in front. He was a smaller guy, even going back to his high school, his football days, his college days, the few pro days that he had, Brian was a tough S.O.B. He was a man’s man.” [1:49-2:09]
Steve Austin performed as the Ric Flair-esque Stunning Steve character in WCW before joining forces with Pillman. He initially had reservations about teaming up with The Loose Cannon, but he soon changed his mind.
“We, by chance, got hooked up as a tag team,” Austin continued. “I didn’t like it because I didn’t really understand tag team wrestling, but as Brian and I traveled together we became very, very close. He turned in to be one of the best friends I had in the business, and I loved working as a tag with him.” [2:10-2:29]
Watch the video above to hear more stories from Austin about Buddy Rogers and Vince McMahon. He also commented on Ric Flair’s in-ring return.
Steve Austin shares his view on The Hollywood Blonds’ legacy
Brian Pillman and Steve Austin were considered one of the top tag teams in the wrestling business in 1993.
According to Austin, WCW’s bookers did not originally intend on pushing The Hollywood Blonds. However, the company’s higher-ups had little choice but to capitalize on the duo’s chemistry and ability to connect with fans.
“We started off on a run that no one would have figured,” Austin said. “Him in his bingo trunks, me in those stupid psychedelic trunks that I used to have. Then we developed The Hollywood Blonds thing, which was all his idea. Here was these two bada** talents with a hell of a tag team and they weren’t even trying to give us a push.” [2:30-2:54]
The Hollywood Blonds defeated Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas to win the NWA/WCW Tag Team Championship in March 1993. They held the titles for 169 days before losing to Arn Anderson and Paul Roma at Clash of the Champions XXIV.
Steve Austin believes the tag team’s abrupt break-up ultimately prevented them from being viewed as all-time greats.
“We won the tag titles and started to get over and they split us up,” Austin added. “Had Flyin’ Brian and Stunning Steve remained together for another five years, first of all, I wouldn’t have had the Stone Cold career, probably, but the Hollywood Blonds would have been in the conversation as one of the greatest tag teams of all time.” [2:54-3:14]
As a singles competitor, Steve Austin is regarded by many as one of the best ever. As a tag team wrestler, he thinks it would be disrespectful to other duos if he held The Hollywood Blonds in the same regard.
“I don’t put us in that conversation now because we weren’t together long enough, and that would be a complete disservice to all the dedicated tag teams that were out there that really specialize in tag team wrestling,” Austin admitted. “So, we’re not in the conversation, but we could have been.” [3:14-3:29]
Pillman passed away at the age of 35 in 1997 after suffering a heart attack. He has never been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Would you like to see The Hollywood Blonds in the Hall of Fame one day? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.
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