No one really thought a tag team between “Stunning” Steve Austin and “Flyin’” Brian Pillman would amount to anything in WCW. But the success of the two former singles stars into a dynamite tag team is proof opposites attract.
Didn’t we all benefit from seeing all five wrestlers in the ring at some point in a feud that Pro Wrestling Illustrated agreed is turning into something special?
Part of the beauty of professional wrestling is that anything can happen and usually does when fans least expect it. When the WWE paired the Swiss Superman with the high flying Canadian, it took a little while for the fans to catch on, but the company has a real find in this kind of combination. It is as brilliant in its assembly as the WWE had with the combination of Kane and Daniel Bryan in “Team Hell No.”
The fact the WWE is without the services of the Usos has helped the birth of the duo as a fan favorite. With the recent “heel” turn by the New Day, the most obvious change in programming was to take the former champions and make them the top “face” team in the company.
Their style is not on the same level, but the formation of an unlikely duo like this reminds me of how the Hollywood Blonds came to be.
Austin and Pillman were one of the best tag teams to ever come out of Jim Crockett’s promotion and the fertile mind of Dusty Rhodes.
According to lore, initially, Austin was resistant to the idea of even teaming up, as WCW’s booker at the time, Dusty Rhodes, had planned to push him as the U.S. Heavyweight Champion.
Austin, quite rightly, viewed this move as a step back, especially after being told the team was meant to be little more than enhancement talent for other bigger teams. Pillman, however was coming off a team-up with Barry Windham and was convinced it could work. Austin admits it was Pillman who came up with their name, their gimmick, their ring gear, even many of their interview segments during the infancy of the Blonds. Pillman made Austin a better performer and their individual work meshed well, with Pillman’s high-flying the perfect complement to Austin’s more bruising style.
It was effective and the team achieved champion success until the two ultimately split. Isn’t that the way things happen in this business?
But this also begs the question – “What happens when the Usos return to action? Does Naomi’s recent heel turn give us an indication of the future? How odd would it be to cheer for the team fans used to boo and vice versa?
Right now, since there is a major change afoot in the company with wrestlers jumping fences, teams forming and splitting and the fans trying to decide who to love and hate, it proves that even the oddest teams in the WWE can be a true success.