"The Loose Cannon, Brian FUCKING Pillman hates all you TV Troper smart marks!"
(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.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki
"The Ticking Trope Bomb":
- Arch-Enemy: Kevin Sullivan in WCW, Stone Cold Steve Austin in WWF.
- Badass: Holy hell and how! Let's see, he survived being born with throat cancer, had to leave the Cincinnati Bengals because he intimidated his own teammates, kicked Sid Vicious' ass in a bar fight and, at CyberSlam, threatened to "yank out my Johnson and piss on this hellhole," and the fans chanted "Let him piss!"
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Most of his WCW run, especially notable during his time with Steve Austin in the Hollywood Blonds and as the 'Loose Cannon'.
- Catch Phrase: The Hollywood Blonds would end their promos by saying, "Your brush with greatness is over."
- Charlie Brown from Outta Town: The Yellow Dog, in summer 1991. At WCW Clash of the Champions XV, there was a Loser Leaves WCW match with Pillman and El Gigante vs. Arn Anderson and Barry Windham, stemming from how Sid had legitimately injured Pillman in the War Games match at WCW WrestleWar 91. Pillman lost the fall, and this gimmick was the result.
- Dented Iron: His accumulated injuries became very apparent near the end.
- Downer Ending: His death at 35.
- Finishing Move: Flying bodypress, Air Pillman (Flying clothesline)
- Genre Savvy: During an interview on Raw, Pillman was prepared for an attack from Stone Cold Steve Austin by watching his own interview and Raw in general. To put more salt in the wound, he pulled a gun on Austin to get him to back off
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Pillman accidentally saying the F word on live TV.
- Guttural Growler: Spoke with a rasp due to multiple childhood bouts with throat polyps.
- In Memoriam: From 1998 to 2001, the Heartland Wrestling Association in Ohio held the "Brian Pillman Memorial Show," featuring wrestlers from WWE, WCW, ECW, OVW and the HWA.
- Mad Eye: Just look at the second picture.
- N-Word Privileges: He didn't have them, as New Jack saw fit to point out at ECW Fight the Power.
- Obfuscating Insanity: The "Loose Cannon" persona, which was apparently very close to his real self, was a way for him to stay on TV even though he wasn't actively competing much due to his accumulated injuries.
- Parts Unknown: (As the Yellow Dog): "The Kennel Club."
- Power Stable:
- The Quisling: He was one of two Americans(alongside Jim Neidhart) in the Hart Foundation.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: At King of the Ring 1996, he said "I'm gonna rape, pillage and plunder this entire federation!"
- Real Song Theme Tune:
- Red Baron: "Flyin'", "The Loose Cannon," "The Rogue Horseman," "The Ticking Time Bomb"
- Sanity Slippage: Just compare the two pictures. Even if he was obfuscating, something very significant happened between the first picture and the second.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Did this in his promos sometimes. In the promo in which he and Arn Anderson inducted Chris Benoit into the 4 Horsemen, he ranted about how Sting "regaled his obsequious lapdogs."
- Slasher Smile: Look at the second picture.
- Tag Team:
- (in Stampede): Bad Company, with Bruce Hart
- (in WCW): The Hollywood Blondes
- Troll: Oh yeah. From the "I respect you, bookerman!" incident to saying "It's all just a work...I'm not really the loose cannon" in ECW, few could truly work those who thought they couldn't be fooled as well as Pillman did.
- Wrestling Family: Almost. His stepdaughter Lexi debuted as a valet in 2008 but died in a car accident in 2009.