VICE TV, America’s fastest-growing entertainment cable network, is officially unveiling the full roster of topics and more of the electric cast fans can expect from the upcoming third season of the network’s record-breaking docuseries, Dark Side of the Ring, which will premiere on Thursday, May 6th @ 9 PM ET/PT (2 AM BST) on VICE TV.
This third season, Dark Side of the Ring, VICE TV’s most-watched show of all time, 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. Wrestling legend and AEW superstar Chris Jericho will return as the series’ narrator for a second consecutive season. He will be joined by an enormous and star-studded 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.
The season will kick off with a special, two-hour premiere episode delving into the tragic story of wrestling superstar Brian Pillman. 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.
In the subsequent weekly, one-hour episodes, the third season of Dark Side of the Ring will dive into a new slate of wrestling stories including:
- Collision in Korea, where, in one of the most bizarre acts of political theatre ever, professional wrestlers were deployed to North Korea faced a terrifying ordeal that had them fighting for their lives,
- The self-proclaimed king of deathmatch wrestling Nick Gage,
- The divisive force in and outside of the ring known as Ultimate Warrior,
- The Grizzly Smith story, which will detail how Jake “The Snake” and his siblings have struggled to reconcile their past after surviving horrific abuse at the hands of their father and the mysterious abduction of their sister,
- The Dynamite Kid, whose riveting, self-sacrificing style earned him global fame but violent confrontations outside the ring would destroy his family, his body and his legacy.
The second half of the season, which will kick off in late summer, will continue to explore some of the darkest stories from the golden age of professional wrestling, which will notably include The Steroid Trials, where, in the mid-1990’s, wrestling titan Vince McMahon was accused of a plot to provide his wrestlers with performance-enhancing drugs. With a guilty verdict threatening to force the WWF to consider running their business from a prison cell, McMahon assembled a powerhouse legal team to dismantle the prosecution’s case.
Other gripping instalments will cover the story of FMW, created by Japan’s Atsushi Onita, which featured spectacular matches and gratuitous gore but took a dark turn in the hands of Onita’s protégé; the groundbreaking talent known as Luna Vachon, who faced immense personal loss and battled addiction while making her mark in wrestling history; The Plane Ride From Hell, the infamous party onboard a private 757 charter high above the North Atlantic that spiralled dangerously out of control, forcing the WWE to reprimand some of its biggest stars; XPW, which merged Rob Black’s passions for porn and wrestling, but a fallout with a young wrestling upstart started a chain of events that led to a jealous rage and a terrifying amputation; and, in a wrestling world that celebrated machismo and used gay stereotypes to label characters as quirky or immoral, the incredible story of Chris Kanyon, who kept his own sexuality a closely guarded secret for decades.
“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 executive producers & co-creators Jason Eisener and Evan 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.”
Since VICE TV launched Dark Side of the Ring in April 2019, the series has entertained wrestling fans and newcomers alike with the biggest stories from the last 40 years, giving viewers unprecedented access to wrestling insiders and revealing the harsh truths and often tragic consequences of lives in the squared circle. In addition to being the network’s #1 show of all time, Dark Side of the Ring is also the #1 non-fiction series on networks in less than 70 million homes³. During its second season, the series reached a total of 15 million viewers.
The third season of Dark Side of the Ring kicks off VICE TV’s ‘Dark Side’ programming nights, with new episodes from the Dark Side franchise airing every Thursday evening. The network, which announced last year it would be expanding the Dark Side franchise, will premiere the first franchise spinoff, Dark Side of Football, on Thursday, May 13th @ 10 PM ET/PT. The series will explore the tension between America’s undying love of the game, and its ability to corrupt and damage those who live and die for it. A formal series announcement around the title will be released in early May.
All pics and videos courtesy of Vice TV