DVD Review: Brian Pillman - Loose Cannon

DVD Review: Brian Pillman - Loose Cannon

By: Bill

This joins the list of WWE biographical DVDs that can be classified as a "must have" if you are a fan of the subject, and can be classified as a "pretty interesting" if you are not particularly a fan of the subject.

Overall, the DVD puts a very positive spin on a very controversial figure. Especially in the beginning, with interviews with his family, childhood friends, and football coach, you come to understand that he was a guy who overcame incredible advsersity to achieve everything he got. His size, his throat problems, the lack of a father were all major things working against him his entire life.

By "positive spin", I would say that the overall feeling was the exact opposite of the Warrior DVD. Obviously, the Warrior DVD had a totally different intent, but the constrasts are interesting nonetheless. The Warrior DVD was full of people who had pretty much bad things to say about him, but gave him begrudging compliments here or there. In Pillman's case, everyone was overly positive, but here and there even they would drop snippets that, if you read between the lines, helped you understand that he wasn't an angel. It's also notable that those people who would have been overwhelming negative, such as (I'm guessing) Kevin Sullivan and Ric Flair, were not interviewed.

Things start getting weird as Brian did his heel turn to the Hollywood Blondes. Truly, this is a classic case of where you wonder if art imitates life or life imitates art. Did the heel turn happen because of Brian's change in attitude outside the ring, or was it vice-versa. Several people described Brian's later years as very Andy Kaufman-esque (my term, not theirs). Even outside the ring, you didn't know what was real and what was a work.

While he went deeper and deeper into the "Loose Cannon" character, the people interviewed still generally continued to talk positively about Brian. However, when you hear some of the stories, it gets pretty creepy. In contrast to his early life where he was an obvious inspiration to everyone, when you read between the lines of his last few years, you'll probably begin to think that he was...um, not the nicest guy in the world.

One disappointing thing was that the "Bookerman" incident was not on the DVD in its entirety, although they did show pieces of it. Also, they did not have the match where Sid Vicious completely destroyed him in the War Games match. I guess that that's not something you'd put in Pillman's bio, but I thought it would have been there because it was historically relevant. However, they did include the RAW gun incident in its entirety.

Highlights to watch for:

I hate to keep singing the same song about these wrestling biopics, but I'm going to sing it again. If you are a Brian Pillman fan, you will love it, especially for the collection of matches in the special features. There are sixteen of them in total. If you are not a Brian Pillman fan or have never heard of him, you won't "get it". For me, only slightly familiar with him, it was interesting and it filled in a lot of gaps.

As of November 2006, this 2-DVD set can be purchased new for $26.99 directly from Amazon, or for $20.99 from third-party sellers. Run time, including the matches, is approximately six hours.

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