WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley explained how he found out that Brian Pillman had tragically passed away at the young age of 35.
On October 5, 1997, Brian Pillman was scheduled to face Mick Foley’s Dude Love character at In Your House: Badd Blood. However, when he didn’t show up for the event, Jim Cornette called his hotel to check on him and learned that the star had passed away at the age of 35 after suffering a heart attack.
Speaking on Foley is Pod (available early via AdFreeShows), Mick Foley recalled how he found out about the tragic event, not believing that Jim Cornette was serious when he first said that Brian Pillman was dead.
“Jim Cornette comes in and he says, ‘Pillman’s dead.’ in a way that made me think like he’s in big trouble, right? Someday he’s messed up somehow, Pillman’s dead. And then whether it was, Jimmy did let us know he was not, you know, maybe not speaking figuratively, you know, literally, Brian passed away.
“And I remember calling my wife and I was in tears, and really broken down. It was the fact that Undertaker and Shawn went out there and had that match for the ages, some testament to those guys, I was really relieved that I wasn’t, you know, put into a match that night, you know, it was just devastating.”
Continuing, Mick Foley reflected on the fact that he had tried to help Brian Pillman make positive changes in his life, and that made his passing extra difficult. He also spoke about sharing a car with him the night before his death.
“Because you seen Brian, you know, when he had that meeting with the doctor about the longevity of his life, and he made that change, conscious change and I felt like I was part of that. And that he was not just the work friend, but that he would come to see me and we shared phone calls, and I may have been part of his recuperation, that made me feel really good. And you see a guy excel in a way that’s organic, you know, and he surpasses any ceiling that his character supposedly had.
“The last several months, they had been sad. So I mean, match quality is the least of our concerns now that we look at the big picture. But here’s a human being who was in the car with me the night before, you know, hours before his death. We’re at the Super Eight. So I guess you know, I was still thirsty, saving those dollars. He did not ride with me to the arena the next day. And when that news came in, it was really devastating.”
Pillman’s son Brian Pillman, Jr. currently wrestles for All Elite Wrestling. Back in June, he confirmed that his late father’s wife and his mother Melanie Pillman had also passed away.
If you use any quotes from this transcription, please credit Foley is Pod and link back to this article with a h/t to Inside the Ropes.