As I See It: Remembering Brian Hildebrand

While a small man in stature, Brian showed us all a giant heart that is an example for us all. There's no doubt in my mind whatever that he would have admired it in someone like Liz Malone. But there is little question who the person most deserving of admiration really was. During the 2001 Curtis Fantasy Camp, Brian would have especially appreciated another moment; what friend Jeanette Gogan-Olivier described as: "...an unforgettable, heart felt speech by Ricky Steamboat which spoke about the heart of true wrestling. Pam Hildebrand said that Ricky's words were moving, and that Brian would have approved because this was what the whole day was about, and what Brian Hildebrand was about. None of us in attendance will ever see the business the same..."

Brian could appreciate most any style of match, but he appreciated most an old-school attitude toward wrestling which showed respect for the business and those who make the sacrifices to succeed in it. There's no doubt that he'd have been honored to have Ricky Steamboat participate in anything he was associated with...and amazed at the same time to be honored by Steamboat in an event bearing his name.

It can be said that at the time Brian Hildebrand left this world, he knew he was loved and respected by all within the business he himself loved so much.

Two days after Brian died, I took a trip down with friends to the Baltimore Arena to a WCW house show.

The show began with WCW announcer David Pinzer announcing the news to those who hadn't read the news online or seen the mention on Thunder. Pinzer then signaled for the traditional 10 bell salute. It was a special moment for the group of us that knew Brian well in attendance. Many of those working the show wore black armbands in tribute to him.

Charles Robinson, who was with Brian and the family when he passed away; as well as Scott Dickenson, were given special greeting by those of us who knew their relationship with Brian. The group of us made sure that we gave Dickenson his traditional rib about donuts (one that Brian gave us to get Scott with at the first Philly Monday Nitro). Our seats were close enough that he clearly saw and heard it.

Then late in the show, after a Chris Benoit-Bam Bam Bigelow US Title match; Shane Douglas, Chris Benoit, and Dean Malenko came out in an out-of-character moment, and dedicated the evening's show to Brian with heartfelt words for their friend.

It may have only been a WCW house show for most of the relatively small Baltimore Arena crowd that night. But it was a way for those of us who were there together to say goodbye to Brian in the most appropriate atmosphere possible...a wrestling show.

Rest in peace, dear friend. You are still, ten years later, missed more than you can ever know.


A reminder.... Combat Zone Wrestling will present "Down with the Sickness" Chris Ca$h Memorial Show on Saturday, September 8 as part of a doubleheader with EVOLVE at the Flyers Skate Zone, 601 Laurel Oak Road in Voorhees, NJ with a 8:00 pm belltime (preceded by EVOLVE which has a 5:00 pm belltime with doors opening at 4:30pm.

Matches scheduled:

* Ohio Is For Killers members Jake Crist/Sami Callihan/Nevaeh will take on the returning Super Smash Brothers

* In a rematch that turned heads at 'Tangled Web V', Rich Swann vs. Shane Strickland

* CZW World Tag champions The Nation of Intoxication indicated they would be defending the titles under "Freebird Rules"! And on September 8, it will be Devon Moore & Danny Havoc defending the titles against Gulak Campaign members Alexander James & Mr. Tofiga!

* CZW World Heavyweight champion MASADA vs. El Generico

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