Two episodes into the third season of Vice TV and producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisener's Dark Side of the Ring and we've already gotten a sense of how diverse the topics will be this season. From the life and tragic death of Brian "F'n" Pillman to the story of the "King of the Deathmatch" Nick Gage, the docuseries continues to shine a spotlight on the long and twisted history of professional wrestling. That continues this week with a look at the (in)famous 1995 New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) PPV event "Collision in Korea"- first confirmed as a topic this season back in February 2021.
Featuring 15 matches spread out over two evenings (April 28 and 29, 1995) in North Korea, "Collision in Korea" was headlined by a match between legendary wrestlers Antonio Inoki and Ric Flair. WCW aired a selection of 8 matches in North America on August 4, 1995. Muhammad Ali was the event's guest of honor, with NJPW's Hidekazu Tanaka serving as the ring announcer and the WCW pay-per-view commentary supplied by Eric Bischoff, Mike Tenay, and Kazuo Ishikawa. As you can probably tell by the two promotions involved and that the event was looking to take place in North Korea, viewers can only imagine the stories that went on off camera. Now, it looks like it won't just be left up to their imaginations- take a look:
In one of the most bizarre acts of political theatre, wrestlers deployed to North Korea found themselves trapped in a surreal nightmare leaving some fighting for their lives.
— Dark Side of the Ring (@DarkSideOfRing) May 16, 2021
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."
Along with Pillman and Gage, viewers learned the season would also be kicking off with looks at the "Collision In Korea," the Ultimate Warrior, Grizzly Smith, and Dynamite Kid. 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.