Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Brian Pillman: The Loose Cannon (WWE Productions)

I have one thing to say about the actual film about Brian: There is way too much loud rock music blaring throughout the thing. It is too fucking annoying. It needs to go from future productions. Okay, I've vented. To the matches.

1 Bad Company v. Midnite Cowboys (Stampede; 04/23/88)- 2

This was only five minutes of a longer match; one I very much wanted to see. Pillman flew like he had rocket propellers in his feet and was at his most daring in Stampede, with aireal offense. The Cowboys looked more like the Midcarders in Pink.

2 Lex Luger v. Brian Pillman (US Title; Halloween Havoc; 10/28/89)- 8

Yeah, this is my highest rated Luger match of all time. In the feature, Jim Ross said Pillman brought the best out in Luger and I'll be damned if that lying Oklahoman wasn't telling the truth. Let's list all the goodness in this match: Luger and Pillman were both young and in phenomenal shape; they built a great story; Pillman was terrorizing Luger with chops like he was about to take his lunch money; the crowd was fidgeting they were so crazy in love with this match; and it had a good finish to the match. Both men were using great facials and besides a few bad Luger sells( they are unavoidable) this was a perfectly worked, wonderful that I would show any young and up coming wanna be wrestler to watch. Also, it only went about 16 minutes; they didn't stretch themselves.

3 Brian Pillman/ Tom Zenk v. The Freebirds (US Tag Title Tournament Finals; 02/12/90)- 5

Pillman and Zenk were really on and showed a ton of energy, not that the Freebirds didn't, but there sells were off. It wasn't their best work, but they needed it to be to make this a real classic, but it wasn't.

4 Brian Pillman/ Sting/ Steiner Brothers v. Ric Flair/ Barry Windham/ Larry Zybyzsko/ Sid Vicious (War Games; WrestleWar 02/24/91)- 7

War Games if done right, is an awesome match and this was no exception. All the right ingredients were in it (great wrestlers, great brawling, streams of blood) Pillman brought a big energy to this match and helped it much more than hampered it. There were a few bad notables: Sid (just overall), some miscues, some no sells, and Sid using 2 Powerbombs on Pillman to win when the first was devastating enough and the 2nd just looked sloppy. Not as good as the '92 version we reviewed, but stellar in it's own way.

5 Brian Pillman v. Richard Morton (WCW Light Heavyweight Title Finals; Halloween Havoc; 10/27/91)- 5

I actually reviewed this show from a tape from Adam, yet this match was left off so I was glad to have gotten to see it. This is nothing that you would expect it to be. It was all ground work and not the best I've ever seen. Pretty basic stuff, very low impact. Pillman lit up Morton's chest with some chops, but that's it.

6 Brian Pillman/ El Gigante v. Barry Windham/ Arn Anderson (Loser Leaves Match; Clash of the Champions XV 06/14/91)- 2

Pillman and Anderson put together a brilliant 90 seconds of work and then a minute or so later, it was over. Gigante never lurched himself in, merely "chased" both heels on the outside.

7 Brian Pillman/ Barry Windham v. Tom Zenk/ Johnny Gunn (WCW Saturday Night; 12/26/92)- 4

This was a TV match, although not an altogether waste of time. Both teams seemed in good spirits and had a short, yet fast paced back and forth tag. It was fun to watch while on.

8 Hollywood Blondes v. Ricky Steamboat/ Shane Douglas (Steel Cage; WCW Tag Team Title; Slamboree 05/23/93)- 6

I really loved the Blondes. They are probably one of my favorite teams of all time, even for such a short run. Their potential as a tag team, I think, was unlimited. You had what would have been 2 of the brightest stars in wrestling had Pillman not died so young, then look at Austin and his success. One thing detracting from this match was that The "Dragon" and the "Franchise" were in masks, playing a Mexican team. What is even stupider is Steamboat unmasked( before he performed an awesome leap from the top of the cage). Why even wear the masks if you don't need them on? But, alas, the Blondes, Austin especially looked like they were made specifically for taking nasty cage bumps because that's all they did in this one. The fun factor was really high in this match.

9 Brian Pillman/ Sting/ Dustin Rhodes v. Rick Rude/ Steve Austin/ Paul Orndorff (Thundercage; Superbrawl 02/20/94)- 5

As a cage, Thundercage blows meaty chunks. It's too big and wobbly and the bumps into it don't look good. There wasn't a lot of quality material in this match, even though they was no end to the supply of quality workers involved in it. I think this would have been a much better regular six man tag than in that floppy gimmick.

10 Brian Pillman v. Jushin Liger (1st Nitro; 09/04/95)- 3

This is a great 20 minute match squeezed into 6; but that wasn't the only problem. I don't think these two had worked in 3 or 4 years and it showed. Both were bulkier and not all of their light weight spots were still crisp. Not a worthy outing for either.

11 Brian Pillman v. Dean Malenko (Nitro; 01/22/96)- 2

On paper, this looks pretty fantastic, yet it was no more than Pillman stalling, then a cheap finish. Malenko did sport a rugged manly beard though.

12 Brian Pillman v. Eddie Guerrero (Clash of the Champions XXXII; 01/23/96)- 3

When the two actually locked up, there were some good sequences, yet it was more about Pillman trying to freak out the crowd, and Bobby Heenan, who lost his cool and dropped a "fuck" on national TV.

13 Brian Pillman v. Steve Austin (Raw; 06/16/97)- 4

This was a sloppy brawl peppered with some pretty intense punching. Of course, neither guy was punching very well. Pillman did get his nose busted open with a chair pushed into his face, though. Austin looked half asleep during some of his brawling.

14 The Hart Foundation v. Steve Austin/ Ken Shamrock/ LOD/ Goldust (Canadian Stampede; 07/04/97)- 8

THIS CROWD WAS INSANE! I can't stress that enough! I think two late 80's WWF Wrestling Buddies could have made this match at least a 5 if for nothing else than this crowd. They were majorly pro-Harts and all the faces were booed unmercifully. Most of them were used to being the bad asses(except for Goldust) so I think it was a reality check for them. Bret's ovations especially rival anything I've ever heard in wrestling; I think other planets probably registered the noise level. Most of the wrestling was good, but they're were some bad performances, notably LOD, Bulldog, and Anvil. One highlight was Pillman beating Shamrock worse than Tito Ortiz ever did every chance he got.

15 Brian Pillman v. Goldust (Ground Zero; 09/07/97)- 6

I upped my score on this match due to my low expectations and then these two topping them. For Pillman being in very bad physical condition, he bumped like a true man including a very nasty guard rail spot from the top turnbuckle. This match had good back and forth and was very physical. I enjoyed it immensely.

16 Brian Pillman v. Jushin Liger (WCW Light Heavyweight Title; Superbrawl II; 02/29/92)- 7

I also reviewed this video and the version of this match I saw was only 7 minutes; missing nearly 10 from it. The extra footage turned this into a worthy encounter. The pacing, the highspots and the overall just plain good face vs. face wrestling made this a very watchable and hard to not like match.

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