Brian Pillman’s time in WWF/WWE lasted barely over a year, but he made an incredibly big impact on the promotion and all those who crossed paths with him. If his life had not been cut tragically short, Pillman may have gone on to be one of the greatest that ever stepped foot inside of a wrestling ring. One of the most memorable feuds he ever had was with Stone Cold Steve Austin and if the “Texas Rattlesnake” says you were tough, then, you were one of the toughest guys around.
For a while, both superstars were in WCW and they ended up forming a very successful tag team called the Hollywood Blonds. In time, both men ended up in WWE and the entire world knows just how successful Stone Cold Steve Austin ended up being, and it’s quite possible that Pillman would have been right there with him.
On Oct. 5, 1997, Brian Pillman was found dead in his hotel room and an autopsy revealed he died of an undetected heart condition which killed him at the age of 35. The night he died, he was scheduled to face Dude Love (Mick Foley) at In Your House 18.
During his short time in WWE, Pillman joined the stable known as The Hart Foundation and he had a huge feud with Austin, which saw them have knockdown, drag-out brawls. As a matter of fact, Austin says that Pillman gave him one of the “worst beatings” of his entire career.
On a recent episode of The Steve Austin Show, Austin discussed a time he gave Brian Pillman a serious beatdown in the middle of their feud. There was even the episode of Monday Night Raw on Oct. 27, 1996, when Austin broke a cane over the ankle of Pillman and absolutely decimated him.
As transcribed by Wrestling Inc., Austin said that a few months or weeks later, Pillman exacted his revenge and gave Austin a “receipt” for that beating. As described by Stone Cold himself, Pillman did not hold back and it was a beating unlike any he’s ever known.
“If you will remember, a couple of weeks or a couple of months later, he turned the tides on me. And let me tell you something, mister, as bad and as hard as I was kicking the s**t out of him, he gave it to me and then some. He beat the flying s**t out of me. And I wasn’t selling it and I knew I had it coming. And I knew there was going to be a receipt on that a**-whooping. And I didn’t know how Brian was going to respond because it was weeks or months later. But when he beat the dog s**t out of me, I mean, that was one of the worst beatings I’ve ever had in my time in the business and that’s a straight up shoot. Brian was kicking the s**t out of me. And on a note, when I was finished kicking the s**t out of Brian, they pulled him out of there.
“I think they put him on a damn gurney or something and carried him off and they took him to the opposite side of the arena. I went back to the dressing room. They took him and put him in an ambulance. I actually asked all of the agents, I said, ‘hey man,’ I said, ‘is he okay?’ because that’s how bad I was beating him and that’s how stiff I was on that beating.
“Anytime I got a chance to do business with Brian, it was a good time, but it was very competitive. And, by the same token, be beat the flying s**t out of me when he wore my a** out and that’s the bottom line.”
While it may sound strange to some people, the beatings that Austin and Brian Pillman gave to one another were signs of true respect in the world of professional wrestling. They wanted to do the best possible job they could for the story and the fan,s while putting their entire trust into each other. When it comes down to it, being told that you gave Stone Cold Steve Austin one of the “worst beatings” of his career is nothing short of extraordinary.