Brian Pillman

Note: On August 5, 1997, Brian Pillman died in his motel room of an apparent heart attack. He was scheduled to face Dude Love at the In Your House: Badd Blood pay-per-view that day.
Real Name: Brian Pillman
Stats
Birthday: 05/22/61
Died: August 5, 1997
Height: 6'
Weight: 226 lbs.
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Wrestling Debut: November 25, 1986
Finishing moves: Crucifix armbar with neck submission, Air Pillman, Top-rope dropkick, football clip
Other identities: Yellow Dog
Nicknames: Flyin' Brian; The Loose Cannon; Brian "F'N" Pillman; The Walking Time Bomb
Tag teams: Hollywood Blonds with Steve Austin; Four Horsemen with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, & Chris Benoit; Hart Foundation with Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Owen Hart, & Davey Boy Smith; Bad Company with Bruce Hart
"My most enjoyable supercard moment? It has to be Wrestle War '90 in Greensboro. Tom Zenk and I were defending our U.S. tag title against Michael Hayes and Jim Garvin, and just about all the experts said, 'You kids don't stand a chance against The Freebirds.' Well, it was a great match, I pinned Garvin in about the 25th minute, and we got a heckuva lot more respect after that. It was a turning point in my career. A close second would be SuperBrawl II in Milwaukee in '92, when I regained the WCW Light Heavyweight title from Jushin Liger." --in a Fall '94 Wrestle America article on the most memorable pay-per-view for some top superstars.

"You know what payback is, McMahon..." --on Monday Night Raw

"Brian Pillman doesn't shoot blanks" --to Goldust on Monday Night Raw

 


Tribute
I believe that Pillman's main contribution to American wrestling was that he, along with Jushin "Thunder" Liger and The Rockers helped to increase the popularity of light heavyweights in an era where the musclemen dominated.

I'll also remember Brian Pillman as one of the most courageous and determined competitors of all time. After the 1996 auto accident, many feared that he would never compete again, but he returned.

I'll remember Pillman as a team player. Not too many other wrestlers would wear a dress in the ring.

I'll remember Pillman as a member of one of the greatest incarnations of the Four Horsemen.

I'll remember Pillman as a sneak attacking, praying, trash-talking member of the Hart Foundation. I had the opportunity to see him on June 22, 1997 at the WWF card in Salt Lake City with other foundation members, I booed him then, but that's only because he was clearly a heel in the days that the line between face and heel wasn't clearly defined.

May Brian Pillman's legacy live forever through the fans and the competitors. As one sign in the crowd on the August 6 Monday Raw put it, "Thanks 4 The Memories, Brian."

 


Officially became a member of the Four Horsemen after attacking Sting during a match at Halloween Havoc '95.

Was a fan favorite in the beginning of his WCW career. In 1992, he turned rulebreaker and teamed with Stunning Steve Austin. When Pillman was sidelined because of injury, Austin signed with manager Col. Robert Parker. Austin and Pillman then feuded with Pillman becoming a fan favorite.

Disappeared from WCW in 1996.

He was severely injured in an auto accident in Kentucky on April 15, 1996. He was in a coma for a week and had his ankle fused into one position.

Appeared at an ECW card on June 1, 1996. Signed with the WWF on June 10 in an interesting press conference.

Was a member of the WWF broadcast team until he attacked a fan on Saturday Night Shotgun.

Wanted to participate in the 1996 Intercontinental title tournament, but couldn't get a doctor's release.

Involved in one of the most infamous (and in my opinion probably the funniest) incidents of all time. He was interviewed live from his home on the November 4, 1996, edition of Monday Night Raw (the interview was live and the matches were taped). Steve Austin drove to Pillman's home, beat up Pillman's neighbors, then broke into Pillman's house. Pillman pulled a gun and fired shots. All the while, Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler seemed concerned, but were also intent on covering up the fact that the matches were taped. For example, Vince said, "Maybe it's a good thing the fans don't know what's going on." I don't know what happened at Pillman's house after the show went off the air as the WWF pretty much denied that anything happened, but I suspect it involved milk and cookies.

Joined the Hart Foundation in about June 1997.

Although his injuries forced him to tone down his wrestling style, he was still capable of landing an aerial maneuver if he needed to (here I am thinking about SummerSlam '97 when he executed an Air Pillman.)

Wore a dress on Monday Night Raw for several weeks due to his loss to Goldust at SummerSlam.

Claimed he was the father of Dakota, daughter of Goldust & Brian Pillman.

A member of the Stampede Hall of Fame.

 


Titles held