10 Superstars who were ahead of their time

Brian Pillman

Few transformations in sports-entertainment were as radical as Brian Pillman’s. The athletically gifted and innovative Superstar made his initial splash as a dynamic highflier, but it was the outspoken and unpredictable “Loose Cannon” side of Pillman that kept WWE Universe members glued to their seats awaiting what he’d say or do next.

Before CM Punk broke the fourth wall with his unforgettable “pipe bomb” tirade in June 2011, Pillman regularly cast his wild eyes right at the camera’s lens and unleashed bold messages that captured the unbridled emotion of The Attitude Era. Despite Pillman’s relatively short career, his body of work — including rivalries that took deeply personal turns — continues to influence a new generation of performers.

-- T.H.