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This Gunslinger Rap is dedicated to the memory of Brian Pillman His
death is a tragedy in the wrestling business. Marti and I
send our deepest sympathy to Melanie Pillman, and to the rest of Brian
Brian was found dead in his room at the Budgetel Inn, 7815 Nicollette Avenue South, in Bloomington, Minnesota, at 1:09 PM Sunday October 5th. He was scheduled to wrestle that night at the WWF pay per view, "Bad Blood."
Brian played played football at Norwood High School in Ohio before going on to college football at the Miami University in Oxford Ohio and received many awards for outstanding play from his University and the Mid-American Conference. In 1984, he made his pro debut with the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL. Following that, he went on to play briefly in the Canadian Football League with the Calgary Stampede. Brian didn't like taking orders and the strict discipline associated with playing football. Brian had always been interested in professional wrestling. He told his friend Bruce Hart (of the famous wrestling Hart family) that he had watched Terry and I while growing up and would like to give professional wrestling a try.
Brian learned to wrestle training in the Dungeon, The Basement of Stu Harts home in Calgary Alberta with Stu and the Hart family. This is a place that the weak and faint of heart dare not tread. He began his wrestling career in Calgary Stampede Wrestling, Stu Hart's promotion.
Brian went on to World Championship Wrestling and finished his career wrestling for Vince McMahon in the WWF. He was often called Flyin' Brian Pillman. The name was appropriate for his style in the ring, flying skills in airplanes and daredevil escapades including skydiving.
Brian was a great performer in the wrestling business. We will all miss him. He was 36 years old.
With the passing of Brian, we all lose many years of wrestling entertainment yet to come, wrestling skills unknown and interviews un-given. We also lose a good man who cared about family and friends. Brian was one hell of a wrestler who gave the fans his best, even more than their money's worth.
Brian was a fighter, and a very nice guy. Thanks Brian for all you have given, you will be missed. The world has lost a true athlete and Gentleman.
I heard about the Stu Hart's 80th birthday wrestling card in Calgary, Alberta Canada well in advance. I had worked many times for Stu Hart as world champion and become very close to the family. Bruce, Dean, Bret, Owen, Kieth, and one of their sisters, Diane had visited my home in Amarillo on many occasions. I called Bruce Hart and said, "If you are going to have a big show in honor of Stu's birthday, you had better include me. He said, "How would you and Terry like to wrestle me and Brian Pillman? I thought, "That's great, it will be like a night off." After the match was over I felt like I had been in a street fight. Wrestling is a tough game and Brian was as tough as they come. I also give Bruce Hart credit in that match for the hardest hit with a clothes-line I have ever felt and I have taken them from the best including Stan Hansen. This was the only time in my career that I had the pleasure of wrestling Brian. I loved it and am thankful to have had the opportunity.
Family Man, Loose Cannon, Daredevil, Bengal Tiger, Friend, Father, Flying Brian, you did your best. Until we meet again, God bless and keep you.
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All Photos Copyright (C) Marti Funk
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