Top 50 Wrestlers Of The 1990s: #29 - Brian Pillman
WrestleMania 34 is coming up, and being a wrestling fan, I tend to get a little more nostalgic for them olden days of when wrestlers didn't have scripts with WWE verbage in front of them. DeLorean back to my early days of fandom during the 1990s and you had a product that was hotter than any Seth Rollins theme song (you know, ”Burn It Down?” Okay, I’ll see that bad joke right out the door).
So from now up until "The Grandest Stage of Them All" (with a little help from Wikipedia to fill in the blanks), I will release my Top 50 wrestlers of the 1990., factoring in their impact from the kid-friendly first half to the cuss-ridden, beer drinking second half to determine where exactly your favorite heel or face fall in rank.
#29: Brian Pillman
Hailing From: Cincinnati, OH
Finisher: Air Pillman, Crossbody
Pillman got his wrestling start with Stu Hart & Stampede Wrestling, but his 90's career kicked off in WCW as Flyin' Brian. He was NWA Tag champs with the recently passed Tom Zenk and then had feud with Barry Windham under the "mysterious mask" of The Yellow Dog.
He later tag teamed with Windham during his first go as a heel, but then transitioned into his famed run with everybody's favorite blond in Steve Austin.
Both were not from Hollywood and Pillman was dirty blonde at best, but that didn't stop them from being the best heel tag team of WCW. The two were fantastic as heels and at ring work. Their pairing would foreshadow much bigger things to come.
The two broke up and Pillman eventually joined The Four Horsemen. However, those wild antics went the way of "The Loose Cannon" where he jumped in between the promotions of WCW and ECW. According to Eric Bischoff he and Pillman had an agreement to do this so it would build Pillman's wild character, except he played it into getting himself the first-ever guaranteed contract after eventually being legitimately fired from WCW (before that he was in a real bad car accident that had him on the shelf for a substantial amount of time.)
Pillman played both companies and then he played that into his loose cannon character. From New Jack comments to threating to whip out "his johnson" Pillman in ECW was controversial with his demeanor and commentary. Bringing that into WWF was going to add that edge the company needed to have to keep up with WCW.
In WWF, he reignited his grudge with Steve Austin in the infamous "Pillman Has A Gun" story and shacked up with Hart Dungeon brethren in the reformed Hart Foundation.
However, like many wrestling tragedies, Pillman suffered from a severe substance abuse problem and it eventually led to him passing in October of 1997.