Fans, friends, and family members of Flyin’ Brian Pillman are paying tribute to the late pro wrestler on what would have been his 59th birthday. Known for his antics as “The Loose Cannon” in WCW, ECW, and WWE, Pillman passed away at the age of 35 back in 1997. His tragic tale was recently chronicled with the two-part season 3 premiere of Dark Side of the Ring, Vice TV’s acclaimed documentary series highlighting pro wrestling’s darkest stories.
Pillman might be gone, but many are honoring him on social media. One particularly touching tribute post comes from Pillman’s son, AEW star Brian Pillman Jr., who has since been following in his father’s footsteps as a professional wrestler. On his way to an indie show hosted by New England All-Star Wrestling, Brian posted an image of himself wearing the same unique shirt his father often wore on WWE television.
In the caption, Jr. writes: “Happy Birthday Dad! I’m gonna wear your iconic shirt and go wrestle at an indie show in Boston!!!”
Posting an image of Brian Sr. in a wicked leather jacket, the Dark Side of the Ring Twitter account added: “Remembering Brian Pillman today on what would have been his 59th birthday.”
Many fans are also paying tribute to The Loose Cannon. The Caluiflower Alley Club posted a tweet that reads: “The legendary ‘Flying’ Brian ‘Loose Cannon’ Pillman would have turned 59 years old today. Although Brian is no longer here, his legacy continues through his son rising AEW Star Brian Pillman Jr. And to that we salute you your father would be proud.”
“Happy b-day to the late Brian Pillman,” posts another fan. “A guy I called a friend for many years in the 90s. Got me & my dad backstage at a WCW show in Dayton,Ohio once. He’d be so happy to have seen how his son [Brian Pillman Jr.] is greatly carrying on his legacy. R.I.P. Brian.”
Another tweet reads: “Happy birthday to the late great Brian Pillman. He was a versatile wrestler to was way ahead of his time. His matches with Liger were the best and the loose canon character was top notch. Who knows what feuds we would’ve got if he was around longer. There will never be another.”
“Like every day, today is a really great day to watch some Brian Pillman,” says someone else. “Happy Birthday to the Loose Cannon.”
And another fan writes, “Thinking of [Brian Pillman Jr.] & the entire Pillman Family on what would have been Brian Pillman’s birthday. He will be missed & remembered forever.”
From his tag team run with Steve Austin as a part of the Hollywood Blonds in WCW to teaming up with Bret Hart and the rest of the Hart Foundation in WWE, Pillman made an incredible impression on wrestling fans across the world. Because of his larger than life personality and his devotion to his character and wrestling performance, the pro wrestling legend is still remembered and loved all these years later. Rest in peace, Brian Pillman, and happy heavenly birthday.