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Pillman doc delivers Dark Side of the Ring’s latest ratings success

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And helped Vice outpace AXS’s Impact on the wrestling wars’ new night.

Dark Side of the Ring returned this week with their third season premiere. You can watch it in the playlist above.

The two hour look at the too short career & life of Brian Pillman, and the heartbreak & tragedy those he left behind have overcome, aired Thurs., May 6 at 9 p.m. ET on Vice. It was another example of how Dark Side of the Ring manages to present the wreckage of wrestling’s past without exploiting the survivors of its gut-wrenching stories. It was also another hit in the ratings, delivering the third best numbers in the show’s history.

The Pillman documentary had 272,000 viewers in the overnights, and a .9 rating among 18 - 49 year olds. That was the third best in Dark Side of the Ring history, trailing only last season’s premiere on Chris Benoit and finale on Owen Hart. It also gave Vice the 74th highest rated show on cable for the night.

May 6 kicked off the newest night of head-to-head competition among wrestling shows. Impact aired on AXS, and its second hour overlapped with Dark Side of the Ring’s first. That show had an audience of 123,000 (up slightly from the week before), and a .4 demo rating (down from a .5 on April 29). The show ranked 125th among cable originals.

It will be interesting to follow Thursday night’s numbers going forward. Dark Side’s episodes on WWE/WCW stars clearly perform the best, so it won’t be surprising if next week’s Nick Gage episode drops off. There are also reports Vice’s new licensee MLW could land on Thursday nights later this summer, giving us a more traditional wrestling “war”.

Stay tuned.

Numbers via Showbuzz Daily