Brian William Pillman was an American professional wrestler and professional football player best known for his appearances in Stampede Wrestling in the 1980s and World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling, and World Wrestling Federation in the 1990s.
54 Facts About Brian Pillman
Brian Pillman was known for being extremely agile in the ring, although a car accident in April 1996 from which he received extensive ankle injuries limited his in-ring ability.
Brian Pillman was born on May 22,1962, to a Welsh mother named Mary; he had three sisters named Angie, Linda, and Susan, as well as a brother Phil.
Brian Pillman's father died of a heart attack when Pillman was three months old in August 1962.
Brian Pillman graduated from Norwood High School in Norwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.
Brian Pillman struggled academically and needed help with school to continue to play; he was then tutored by Miami rugby player Bill Minnich.
Brian Pillman joined his hometown Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent, and later the Canadian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders in 1986.
Brian Pillman played for the Buffalo Bills in preseason action in 1985, but he was the last player cut before the start of that season.
Brian Pillman debuted in November 1986 in Hart's Calgary-based Stampede Wrestling promotion.
Brian Pillman quickly formed a tag team with Hart's son Bruce known as Bad Company.
Brian Pillman finished up with Stampede on August 13,1988, teaming up with Bruce Hart and Jason the Terrible to defeat The Great Gama, Makhan Singh, and Johnny Smith in the main event.
Brian Pillman was one of the first American wrestlers, along with "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton, to incorporate a variety of Mexican lucha libre moves into his arsenal.
Brian Pillman held the NWA United States Tag Team Championship with The Z-Man between February 1990 and May 1990.
Brian Pillman later feuded with Barry Windham, who he harassed while dressed as the masked Yellow Dog after losing a Loser Leaves WCW.
Brian Pillman held the short-lived WCW Light Heavyweight Championship twice between October 1991 and February 1992, feuding with Brad Armstrong, Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Richard Morton, and Scotty Flamingo.
Brian Pillman continued the tag team title hunt by forming a tag team with "Stunning" Steve Austin known as the Hollywood Blonds.
Brian Pillman would pursue the WCW World Television Championship, held by Lord Steven Regal, with whom he wrestled to a 15-minute time limit draw at Spring Stampede.
In late-1994, Brian Pillman appeared with Extreme Championship Wrestling as part of a talent exchange between ECW and WCW.
In September 1995, Brian Pillman formed a team with Arn Anderson and began feuding with Ric Flair.
On September 4,1995, Brian Pillman wrestled the first match on the inaugural episode of Monday Nitro by defeating Jushin "Thunder" Liger in a SuperBrawl II rematch.
Brian Pillman had worked briefly in Japan in 1991 while with WCW but his longest time there was working for New Japan Pro-Wrestling in the middle of 1995 when he participated in the Best of the Super Juniors.
Brian Pillman participated in several multi man matches before returning to WCW.
Almost all of the time Brian Pillman could be seen wearing leather vests, sunglasses, jewelry and graphic T-shirts with skulls, monsters and sayings on them.
Brian Pillman outed Kevin Sullivan as booker during the February 1996 SuperBrawl VI pay-per-view in an I Respect You Strap match where the loser announces that they respect the other wrestler, much like an "I Quit" match.
The next day after SuperBrawl VI, Brian Pillman was fired by WCW President Eric Bischoff.
In Bischoff's autobiography he said that Brian Pillman was fired so that he could go and develop the "loose cannon" gimmick in ECW then return to WCW with more legitimate heat.
Bischoff claims it was a plan he and Brian Pillman came up with together.
Immediately following his departure from WCW, Brian Pillman returned to ECW and appeared at the promotion's annual Internet convention, ECW CyberSlam, on February 17,1996.
Brian Pillman turned his attention to the ECW audience, derisively calling them "smart marks".
Brian Pillman was confronted by ECW owner Tod Gordon, booker Paul Heyman, and wrestler Shane Douglas, who had him removed from the ring by security guards.
Brian Pillman was in a coma for a week and suffered a shattered ankle, forcing doctors to fuse it together in a fixed walking position and thus forcing Pillman to abandon his previous high-flying wrestling style for a more grounded style.
Brian Pillman signed a contract with the WWF on June 10,1996, with the signing announced in a press conference.
Brian Pillman was the second wrestler to sign a guaranteed contract with the WWF after Marc Mero, indicative of the period in which Vince McMahon began to protect the company from abruptly losing talent to WCW, with Lex Luger, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall all previously doing so.
Brian Pillman acted as a commentator while recovering from his broken ankle, transitioning to a wrestling role after attacking an unruly fan during an episode of WWF Superstars on June 29,1996, in Detroit.
When Brian Pillman initially arrived to the WWF, he aligned himself immediately with his long-time friend and former teammate Austin, serving as his lackey while he recovered.
However, Brian Pillman began noticeably favoring Austin's nemesis, Bret Hart, before Austin had enough and brutally attacked him in the ring during an interview on an episode of Superstars on October 27,1996.
Austin and Brian Pillman had been feuding for several weeks, and Austin finally decided to take matters into his own hands and visit Brian Pillman, whom he had already injured, at his home in Walton, Kentucky.
Brian Pillman then proceeded to break into Pillman's home and advance on his nemesis.
However, Brian Pillman responded by pulling out the pistol and pointing it at a hesitant Austin, while Kelly and Brian Pillman's wife Melanie screamed for help.
The WWF and Brian Pillman eventually apologized for the entire angle.
Brian Pillman began feuding with his former partner, Steve Austin.
Brian Pillman defeated Goldust at In Your House 17: Ground Zero.
Brian Pillman was a very close friend to the Hart family.
Brian Pillman stated that he loved Bret and Owen enough to be willing to do anything for them.
Brian Pillman was the only member of The Hart Foundation to not be related to the family through either blood or marriage.
Brian Pillman dated Terri Runnels while they were in WCW together before her marriage to Dustin Rhodes, which would later be utilized in a 1997 angle between Brian Pillman and Goldust.
Brian Pillman later married Melanie Morgan was born on September 23,1965 and on March 17,1993.
Brian and Melanie had two children together, Brian Zachary and Skylar King, the latter born after Pillman's death.
Melanie Pillman was found dead from issues surrounding her years of drug abuse on June 1,2022, as confirmed by Brian, Jr.
On October 5,1997, Brian Pillman was scheduled to wrestle Dude Love at the WWF pay-per-view In Your House 18: Badd Blood.
In early 2008, Brian Pillman's adopted daughter Alexis Michelle Reed entered professional wrestling as a valet and ring girl under the name "Sexy" Lexi Brian Pillman.
Brian Pillman added that he wants to follow his father's high-flying style and keep his legacy alive.
The younger Pillman was trained by Lance Storm and uses the Twitter handle @FlyinBrianJr as a tribute to his father.
Brian Pillman made his debut in December 2017, and is wrestling for All Elite Wrestling beginning in the summer of 2020, where he, Griff Garrison, and Julia Hart have formed a stable, the Varsity Blondes, paying tribute to the 1980s era and to his father's tag team with Steve Austin.