In late 1992, Brian Pillman
and started teaming up with
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
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.