In late 1992, Brian Pillman turned heel and started teaming up with Barry Windham to take on the WCW Tag Team champs, Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas.  Windham was soon moved up to NWA World Title contention, so Pillman was left without a partner--"Stunning" Steve Austin stepped in.

They called themselves the Hollywood Blondes.  It was simple: They were jerks, and they acted like it.  Their catchphrase: "Your brush with greatness is over!"  The whole thing was so stupidly simple that they became the most hated tag team of the last decade.  People really, really hated them.  Add to this the fact that Pillman and Austin were both technically superb, badly outwrestling just about everyone else in the company, and this was pretty much a gold mine.  There was just one problem: The Blondes weren't supposed to succeed.

In the eyes of the WCW Management, Pillman and Austin were just a replacement tag team with nothing else to do.  They utterly hated the fact that the Blondes completely ignored all of their "sage advice" on how to get over and promptly got massively over anyway.  The more the bookers tried to bury the team out of resentement, the more they succeeded.  In April of '93, they were practically forced to give the titles to the Blondes because of their massive following and terrific matches.

Never underestimate the stupidity of executives in large numbers.

Two months later, the Blondes' brush with greatness was over--they were unceremoniously jobbed out to the Four Horsemen, Pillman was turned face, and Austin was given grand assurances of World Title shots down the line.  They never happened, mostly due to the arrival of Hulk Hogan to WCW.  (Ric Flair had been ready and willing to drop the title to Austin and put him over as champ.)  Pillman and Austin would both leave WCW by 1995.

So remember, kids, just because you're popular, talented, and intelligent doesn't mean that stupid, shortsighted fools can't get the better of you.

But, "Stunning" Steve Austin would have the last laugh, defecting to the WWF in 1996 and soon becoming the biggest name in professional wrestling history--Stone Cold Steve Austin, who has moved more merchandise than Hulk Hogan ever did in his prime.

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