With the discussion of the late Brian Pillman it is as if you remember two different wrestlers. The first was the aerial specialist who was one of the first American wrestlers to successfully adopt a high flying style that could match any Japanese performer or Luchadore spot for spot. The second was the psychotic heel character who blurred the lines between reality and fantasy.
As the “Loose Cannon”, fans believed he could go off at any minute and not necessarily follow the script. A terrible injury in 1996 rendered him half the wrestler he once was and an undiagnosed heart condition contributed to his early death. Had Pillman not got injured, he could have easily become one of the biggest stars of the WWF Attitude Era and he would have been remembered for what happened instead of what might have been. Brian Pillman was truly ahead of his time.
The Bullet Points:
“Flyin” Brian Pillman
“The Loose Cannon”
The Yellow Dog
U.S.A. (Cincinnati, OH)
Key Championships Held:
Stampede Tag Team (2) w/Bruce Hart
NWA United States Tag Team w/Tom Zenk
WCW Light Heavyweight (2)
WCW World Tag Team w/Steve Austin
Why He Will Get In:
He was certainly an influential individual and the WWE did put out a tribute DVD about him.
Why He Won’t Get In:
Any wrestler who dies of “personal demons” (though not proven) is less likely to be inducted by today’s WWE.
Five Greatest Matches/Moments: (In Chronological Order)
1. Lost to Lex Luger at the Clash of Champions but had a great match in the process (11/15/89)
2. Was the star of the War Games 91 Match of the Year (2/24/91)
3. Pinned Jushin Liger in an aerial showcase to recapture the WCW
Light Heavyweight Title (2/29/92)
4. Respected the “Bookerman” Kevin Sullivan in a worked shoot which
confused and intrigued wrestling fans (2/11/96)
5. The Pillman gun angle is the precursor to the Attitude Era (11/4/96)