Though Vice TV and creators Evan Husney and Jason Eisener's Dark Side of the Ring won't be officially premiering its third season until this Thursday, May 6, viewers were treated to the first part of the two-hour, two-part return focusing on the life and times of Brian Pillman (or more precisely, Brian "F'n" Pillman) for free, posted on YouTube this weekend. One person who had the opportunity to screen both parts of the story was professional wrestling legend, historian, and docuseries contributor Jim Cornette, who discussed the season premiere during the most recent edition of his Jim Cornette Experience podcast. In "Episode 379: Dark Side Of Cornette Creek," Cornette explained to Husney and Eisener the emotional impact the story had- especially what Pillman's son, Brian Pillman Jr., had to say.
"Every time you do one of these shows about somebody that I've known personally, at one point I end up having to pause it and walk away. And this… in the Pillman episode… it's two hours… there was a couple of those spots and most of them… all of them really centered on the comments that Brian [Pillman] Jr. made and I'm not going to spoil anything for anybody or you know there's no way I could deliver it the way it was said. But it really got to me- especially Brian was younger than I was when my dad passed away and that's hard anyway," Cornette explained. "But for him to be left in the situation that he was in after his dad passed away is probably the worst part about it. And hearing him describe some of those things… he's breaking down and I had to break down… I mean, you can read about these stories all day but when you actually hear the family members speak and see their emotions… I think that's what makes these programs different from just the standard wrestling documentary that, you know, gets a few talking heads into business"
The third season of Dark Side of the Ring will venture even deeper into wrestling's shrouded past, revealing the hidden, heartbreaking, and untold stories of professional wrestling with intimate access to its subjects. "With this epic, fourteen-episode season, we've had the opportunity to push the series to new heights and dig even deeper into a world that has captivated us our entire lives," said Eisener and Husney. "We're excited to unveil a season that encompasses a whole new spectrum of stories, ranging from legendary icons of the past to contemporary snapshots from wrestling's underground, to mind-blowing sagas overseas."
Now here's a look at the first part of the two-part Season 3 premiere "Brian Pillman"- with Dark Side of the Ring returning to Vice TV with the full premiere available on Thursday, May 6:
At a time when giants dominated the wrestling world, Brian Pillman clawed his way to infamy by playing an unpredictable and outrageous character dubbed 'The Loose Cannon'. But an unwavering commitment to his 24/7 performance put him on a path to self-destruction that left his family in financial and emotional ruin.
Along with Pillman, viewers learned earlier this year that Nick Gage and "deathmatches," the "Collision In Korea," the Ultimate Warrior, Grizzly Smith, and Dynamite Kid will each be getting their own episode. Wrestling legend and AEW superstar Chris Jericho returns as the series' narrator for a second consecutive season- joined by an enormous cast, including Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, Jon Moxley, Mick Foley, Diamond Dallas Page, Eric Bischoff, Jim Ross, Jim Cornette, David Arquette, Antonio Inoki, Rob Van Dam, Terry Funk, and the former wife of Ultimate Warrior, Shari Tyree.
Then last month Husney and Eisener revealed the topics for the second half of the season– set to air late summer. Those will include Vince McMahon and "The Steroid Trials" from the 1990s; a look at the formation of FMW, created by Japan's Atsushi Onita and known for its spectacular matches and gratuitous gore but took a dark turn in the hands of Onita's protégé; and Luna Vachon, who faced immense personal loss and battled addiction while making a name for herself in wrestling history.
In addition, the docuseries will examine "The Plane Ride From Hell"– the infamous party onboard a private 757 charter that forced the WWE to reprimand some of its biggest stars; the story of Johnny K9 aka Bruiser Bedlam, and his double life as a wrestler and as the leader of a biker gang implicated in drug trafficking, the bombing of a police station, and gruesome double murder. XPW, which merged Rob Black's passions for porn and wrestling- until a fallout with a young wrestler started a chain of events that led to jealous rage and a terrifying amputation; and the incredible story of Chris Kanyon, who kept his sexuality a closely guarded secret for decades.