Monday, October 5th marked 23 years since the death of wrestling legend Brian Pillman. The “Loose Cannon” famously once convinced Eric Bischoff to legitimately release him from his WCW contract as part of a groundbreaking ‘worked shoot’ storyline back in 1996. Pillman would use the opportunity of being a free agent to sign a big contract with WWE.
During a recent episode of the 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff spoke about his memories of Brian Pillman. Co-host Conrad Thompson asked Bischoff about his reaction upon finding out that Pillman has passed away.
“My own personal reaction, I was – devastated might be too strong a word, Brian and I weren’t that close and I don’t want to suggest that we were – but I was really saddened by it, obviously,” Bischoff said. “Brian was someone who I considered a friend regardless of the business issues that we may or may not have had from time to time.”
“Beyond those issues, Brian was just someone that I dug being around,” Bischoff continued. “He was a guy that I got to know a little bit in WCW prior to getting into management. Spent a little bit of time with him on a European tour and had quite a bit of fun.”
Bischoff continued by saying that he and much of the WCW locker room were devastated by his passing. As tragic has his death was, Bischoff says that he and others were not entirely surprised at Pillman’s demise due to the lifestyle he was living at the time.
“It was, I would say, shocking but not surprising, is unfortunately probably the most accurate way to state most people’s reactions. Regardless of what was going on in Brian’s personal life, he was a very well-liked individual.”
Bischoff’s comments can be heard in the player below: