Even the greatest stars in wrestling sometimes get caught up in bad angles and gimmicks. One of the most notorious bad angles ever involved two of the most talented workers in the world of pro wrestling: Brian Pillman and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Austin and Pillman had a long and storied past inside the squared circle. They formed the Hollywood Blondes in WCW, a team which went to the top despite the better efforts of management to keep them down. After WCW had the two break up, they built up a great rivalry between “Stunning Steve” and “Flyin’ Brian”.
That chemistry carried over to the WWF, as Austin and Pillman feuded briefly before Pillman’s untimely death. Austin had injured Pillman at a TV taping, and looked to finish the job by heading to Pillman’s house in Kentucky, all before a live nationwide audience.
And Pillman was packing heat.
Austin broke into Pillman’s house, and the WWF “lost feed”. Throughout the Raw broadcast, scared WWF employees would call into the show, and give updates. The Federation, leary of saying the word “gunshot” opted instead for “explosions”.
Kevin Kelly, for his part, looked absolutely terrified – I actually thought he might piss himself. Melanie Pillman, Brian’s real life wife, was bonkers as well. This audio should give you some idea of just how chaotic the WWF made it all sound.
The problem was the angle was overdone. Why was a gun involved in the first place? What did it get over? It felt like an episode of Cops gone wrong.
Fortunately the WWF has not used guns in any angle since. Pillman, sadly, passed away a few months later. And Austin went on to become a world wide phenomenon, in spite of – not because of – this mess of an angle.