Wrestling / Brian Pillman

"The Loose Cannon, Brian FUCKING Pillman hates all you TV Troper smart tropers!"

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Brian Pillman (1962-1997) was an American Football player and Professional Wrestler from Cincinnati, Ohio who competed primarily for WCW from 1989 until 1996. He debuted in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling promotion in 1986. He made his American debut in 1989 for WCW as "Flyin'" Brian Pillman. He and Tom Zenk defeated the Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin) for the NWA United States Tag Team Titles by winning a tournament. He defeated Richard Morton at WCW Halloween Havoc 91 to become the inaugural WCW World Light Heavyweight Champion, and would lose the title to Jushin Thunder Liger in December and regain it in February. He was a Face up until he turned in September 1992. This led to him forming the Hollywood Blondes with "Stunning" Steve Austin in early 1993. They would defeat Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas for the WCW World Tag Team Titles and held them until WCW Clash of the Champions XXIV. Pillman was injured and so WCW simply plugged Lord Steven Regal into Pillman's place for the match where the Blondes lost the titles to Arn Anderson and Paul Roma. Pillman got stuck in the midcard until he, Ric Flair and Arn reformed the Four Horsemen after Halloween Havoc 95, with Chris Benoit as the fourth member.

In early 1996, the Horsemen started a feud with the Dungeon of Doom. This led to the infamous Pillman-Kevin Sullivan Worked Shoot "I respect you, bookerman!" incident at WCW SuperBrawl VI, which was Pillman's final match in WCW. Right after this, he went on TV and cut a promo about how he wanted to be released from his contract. The whole angle, fully planned out by Sullivan and Pillman, had required them to work everyone, including the office, and it ended up working out too well, since, by the time Sullivan realized that the office wasn't in on the joke, Pillman had his release.

He had made one appearance in ECW, teaming with Shane Douglas in a losing effort against Ron Simmons and 2 Cold Scorpio in 1994. At ECW CyberSlam 96, February 17, 1996, he made his surprise return, claiming that WCW boss Eric Bischoff had fired him and, after getting the ECW fans on his side, completely turned on them, burying them as Smart Marks, then questioning the term itself, asking "What's a Smart Mark? A mark with a high IQ?"

Pillman jumped to WWE in the summer and mostly did commentary as he recovered from a bad ankle injury sustained in a car crash. As part of Austin's feud with Bret Hart, Austin infamously demolished Pillman's ankle by wrapping a chair around it and then using a second chair to hit the ankle and the first chair, leading to the invention of the term "Pillmanizing". Pillman later joined Bret's heel faction the Hart Foundation. This led to his feud with Goldust, which would, ultimately, be his final feud. He passed away on October 5, 1997, the night of WWF in Your House: Badd Blood, where he was scheduled to face Dude Love (Mick Foley), in a match where, if Dude won, Goldust would get five minutes with Pillman.

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