Melanie Pillman tried to mend a lot of broken fences before her untimely passing

Melanie Pillman appeared on Dark Side of the RIng to discuss the life and death of her husband
Melanie Pillman appeared on Dark Side of the RIng to discuss the life and death of her husband

They say you can never erase the past, no matter how hard you try. Melanie Pillman tried to challenge that theory as much as she could before her untimely passing.

The former wife of WCW and WWE star Brian Pillman was just 56 years old when she took her last breath. Much of her life had been marred by controversy; she and Brian were both like fast-moving trains. Eventually, they ran out of steam together.

Brian Pillman preceded her, passing away at the age of 35. He was found in his Bloomington, Minnesota hotel room by maids just before he was scheduled to appear at the WWF pay-per-view In Your House: Badd Blood.

At that point, Pillman was on his way to the hottest run of his career, doing work-shoot promos and portraying the oddly eccentric 'Loose Cannon' character. He signed a lucrative deal with Vince McMahon and was involved in a high-profile feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin. It looked like, through all the ups and downs, things were working out well. Until tragedy struck.

Immediately after Brian's death, Melanie Pillman appeared live on Monday Night RAW where she was interviewed by McMahon

Many critics and observers thought the decision to put the widow on television so soon after husband's passing was in incredibly poor taste. Others pointed the finger towards her, saying she must have taken a huge payoff to make that appearance.

In the years that followed, Melanie and her children would struggle. Between Melanie's growing addictions and some nefarious men in her life, they suffered through a lot of loss and heartbreak. Much of their story was illustrated in the Dark Side of the Ring episode about The Loose Cannon's life.

WATCH: Part one of Dark Side of the Ring’s Brian Pillman episode now available…

Melanie was ridiculed by many on social media for her appearance, or vilified for putting her addictions ahead of her children. Everyone was seemingly judging her all over again.

However, her unfiltered comments struck a chord with a lot of people who could empathize with her. Not the least of which was her estranged son.

Today, Brian Pillman Jr. is a member of the AEW roster and one half of the Varsity Blondes tag team with Griff Garrison. He's dedicated his career to upholding his father's legacy and didn't hold back on criticizing his mother during the documentary. And for her part? Melanie also came clean about the many mistakes she made over the years.

Oddly enough, taking part in that painful episode may have brought the two closer together before she passed away. It may have been cathartic or just a need to let go of anger or sadness, but they made every attempt to move on from the past. And even in small ways, that made a difference.

It was Brian Jr. who posted this on Instagram, remembering his deceased mother:

"Yesterday at approximately 1:00pm my mother, Melanie Pillman, was pronounced dead," Pillman Jr. wrote. "Those of you who know our family story understand that I didn’t have the best relationship with my mother, though my sister and I had recently been in touch with her, working to improve that relationship."
"Her death, while unexpected, was not surprising. Her lifestyle choices that dominated the better part of the last 25 years of her life had ultimately caught up with her."
"She was as intelligent as she was beautiful and her dark sense of humor could make even the biggest prude burst out in laughter."

He also mentioned their appearances on Dark Side of the Ring and how it played a part in their reconciliation:

"Although I had my built up resentment towards her, I was very proud of her for taking part in the DSOTR documentary and sharing the truth about our family story. That was the beginning of us mending our relationship."
"I do have regrets. I regret not giving her the time of day when she was trying so hard to be in our lives again. I regret not texting her back even though I had the time to. I regret not trying harder to break her of her bad habits and help her get the help she needed."

The son may have been saying goodbye to his mother, but he was also saying goodbye to the past in general.

"I regret being upset with her simply because she wanted to see her son. She actually looked really healthy and sober. That was the last time I saw her."
"Thank you mom for bringing me into this world and for trying your absolute best. You were my number 1 fan in wrestling and on Twitch."
"Rest In Peace. I love you."

Did Melanie Pillman make her fair share of mistakes in life? Yes.

But what she can be remembered for now is that she was someone who still believed that she could salvage what was left of her life. Like many recovering addicts, she was in search of something to finally put her soul at ease. Let's hope that today, it finally is.

Our thoughts go out to Brian Pillman Jr. and his family in their time of grief.

A WWE legend feels like Vince McMahon can only blame himself for his situation. More details here

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Edited by Jacob Terrell
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