Thanks for the write-up mate, great read!Lol, basically Brian Pillman was one of the most talented and driven wrestlers in the business, but hit a glass ceiling in WCW because of his size and politics. He was witnessing guys like Luger, who didn't have any of the passion for the business or any significant work ethic, getting pushed above him and getting these gigantic guaranteed contracts and was understandably, extremely frustrated. He got over multiple times in WCW during multiple runs, but was slotted. Going to WWF was a no-go for him, as the WCW contracts were guaranteed and for less dates. During the early/mid '90s, WWF were running crazy schedules and the damage to the body was much more severe as a result. Given Brian's style, that wouldn't have worked for him. Pillman always talked about the "Luger contract", which was his endgame; a huge guaranteed contract that would set him up for five years and he could protect his body. Brian also believed that if they started to pay him like Luger, they'd have to justify it by PUSHING him like Luger, and thus, Brian believed he could get a better spot and again, more opportunities to be a bigger draw.
Now, Pillman was incredibly clever and came to the realization that his talent, passion and drive weren't enough to get to where he needed to go and he wasn't just happy to be on the card. Brian's body was also starting to break down due to all the years of football and wrestling and steroid abuse, so he knew he couldn't be the "great worker" for much longer and needed to find a way to prolong his career. Again, Pillman wasn't a mark for himself, he was all about the money, so he didn't care about where he was on the card, he just wanted to be paid handsomely, but that contract alluded him and when you look at who was getting fat contracts in WCW around this time, again, his frustration is valid.
Since Pillman was a student of the business and studied the history of what drew, he identified that it was all about the hype and buzz. He'd constantly pick the brains of Terry Funk and Dave Meltzer, to try to understand what got people talking. Brian settled on becoming the "Loose Cannon" and decided that he'd become the most unpredictable and controversial wrestler on the planet, by "going off script" and using the idea of not cooperating and using inside language to make everyone think he wasn't playing a part. The whole idea was to work EVERYONE into thinking he was crazy, and that would get people talking - which it did. Pillman had it all mapped out and knew exactly where he wanted it to go, and he played everyone like a fiddle to get the buzz.
The problem was, Brian was too good at it. He worked everyone and got everyone talking and decided to get WWF into the conversation to boost his contract negotiations with WCW. He was still under his existing contract with WCW, but he easily worked Bischoff into genuinely releasing him, to "play along" with the authenticity of the "Loose Cannon" gimmick. So, Pillman gets them both bidding and he WANTS WCW to win, because it's less work and less gruelling and he believed he could work them more. However, WWF with JR and Cornette hyping him, came in with the best offer GUARANTEED, when they never gave those out, and Brian took the money and ran.
Unfortunately, Brian had become increasingly dependant on painkillers and muscle relaxers and his body was in constant pain due to the years of damage; this addiction would fuck everything up for him when he fell asleep at the wheel, flipped his Hummer and crushed his ankle beyond repair. The idea is that he could've coasted on his guarantee doing commentary and earning his money as a mouthpiece, but he pushed himself to "live up to his end of the deal", and decided to work on a destroyed ankle, and was subsequently in terrible, constant pain, making his addiction all the more severe.
What's insane, is that Pillman knew he had the talent and knew the system was fucked 25 years ago, so he decided to take care of his business and do what was best for his career. The generation of uber-talented workers today in WWE, all just smile and take shit and never seem to understand the mentality of protecting your business and getting yourself over and they just keep getting jobbed out. Pillman understood that if you made the company invest in you, they'd theoretically have to push you, and wanted to get the most out of his limited years. Today's WWE guys seem to think they're part of a team and that the "WWE Family" or collective hivemind whatever the fuck, is the greater good, and thus, you see them just get treated like shit for nowhere near their worth. Endless amounts of wasted potential, and the guys are buying into the rigged system - Pillman was smart enough to rig the system himself, to try and get a fair shake.
There's an awesome biography on Pillman called "Crazy Like a Fox" that is one of my favourite pro wrestling books ever that I highly recommend.
This would be around '98, when Candido came back from his neck injury to work with Shane Douglas and Lance(after he had quit WWF). His first ECW run came around the time he'd gotten great buzz in SMW (which was streets ahead of all pro wrestling in the 90s) and he had a great rep in the northeast indy scene. SMW was his best run though, and that's what got him noticed by WWF; Corny was also working in the office and put in the word for Tammy and Chris.
Was this after they were Skip qnd Sunny? Always thought they were in ECW before WWF
They've been doing a good job of giving him a mic every week. Not sure how I feel about him managing two heel tag teams that he says need to get the belts and neither one is in contention, but he's shining every week. I love him getting a match for the belt tonight, but was hoping he'd line up a legit shot and work a real program that he could promote for weeks. Him and Mox going back and forth over a 3-5 week span is a dreamEddie Kingston is the best promo I've seen in years. He should be a featured player every episode.
Agreed.They've been doing a good job of giving him a mic every week. Not sure how I feel about him managing two heel tag teams that he says need to get the belts and neither one is in contention, but he's shining every week. I love him getting a match for the belt tonight, but was hoping he'd line up a legit shot and work a real program that he could promote for weeks. Him and Mox going back and forth over a 3-5 week span is a dream