The WWF Superstars pay tribute to Brian Pillman [October 6th, 1997]
On October 5th, 1997, Brian Pillman was set to take on Dude Love at the WWF Pay Per View Badd Blood. The match had all the workings of a possible classic, as both Pillman and Dude Love (Mick Foley) had worked together in other companies, and both were known for their unorthadox styles and unpredictable demeanors. What happened instead was truly tragic.
As the time came closer to Pillman’s match and he still hadn’t arrived at the arena, Jim Cornette was instructed to search for the whereabouts of Pillman. After a phone call was placed to the hotel in which Pillman had stayed, it was learned that he was reported dead as a result of arteriosclerotic heart disease, the same disease that had taken Pillman’s father.
Though the fans of the WWF had shown resentment for Pillman in recent months, after he’d brandished a gun on live television and had sided with Bret Hart in the Hart Foundation, the reception for his memorial was deafening. Beloved by several long-time wrestling fans, Pillman had a legendary career behind him, having teamed with Stone Cold Steve Austin in WCW as The Hollywood Blondes. His death was a straight shot through the heart of wrestling fans, who had grown to adore him for his lunacy and ability to shock audiences worldwide. He was only 35 years old.