Brian Pillman Jr. is grateful for his stint with MLW and does not rule out the possibility of re-signing with them as a free agent next year. However, it is widely believed that both WWE and AEW will look to sign the budding star, who plans to weigh all his options before making a monumental career decision.
“Everything I’ve done so far in my career has been purely organic. I have accepted opportunities that have come my way, rarely turning down even a small indy show. Now, I am getting into a different realm where people really want to work with me,” he told Boston Wrestling MWF in an interview.
Despite entering the wrestling business at the relatively late age of 22, Pillman Jr. has made rapid strides to the point where he has become a highly coveted wrestler across the industry.
“At the end of my MLW tenure, it’s time to make a big decision. I would love to do New Japan’s shows in the U.S. and also hope WWE opens its doors for me someday. I am a great fit for AEW as well.”
Pillman Jr., the son of the late great Brian Pillman, joked that his signature mullet will determine where he lands as a free agent in 2021.
“I have to look at the pros and cons of every opportunity but also see what works best for the mullet. If someone wants to cut my hair, I can’t sign with them,” the 26-year-old said in jest.
As previously noted, Pillman Jr. has made several appearances on AEW programming, participating in the Casino Battle Royale at last year’s AEW Double or Nothing event and most recently wrestling Shawn Spears and Brian Cage on AEW Dark. However, Pillman Jr. cannot become a full-time member of the AEW roster until his MLW contract expires next year.
Pillman Jr. went on to cite his friendship with Cody Rhodes as the reason for his association with AEW. The two met a few years ago in Calgary when Pillman Jr. wrestled under Lance Storm’s academy. At the time, Rhodes made regular appearances in indy shows across the world.
“We became friends right away. I flat out told him, ‘I know nothing about this business.’ He shared a lot of great advice which has stuck with me to this day,” he recalled.
When asked to name his dream matches for the future, Pillman spoke of a recent meeting with Daniel Bryan at a WWE house show in his hometown of Cincinnati, OH.
“We talked about yoga and the approach needed to succeed in wrestling. Daniel is such a smart person, who takes a cerebral approach to the business. He respects all styles, and takes in all the different aspects to bring out the best version of himself. I have so much admiration for him,” said Pillman Jr.
He went onto add Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho to his list of dream opponents.
“Omega’s dramatics and explosiveness on the mat is something very unique. Jericho has always been a mentor and was instrumental in getting me on the Double or Nothing battle royal. He always uplifts the younger guys, and loves being around the youth.”
Pillman Jr. also stressed that he “does not plan to jump ship” from MLW and intends to ride out his contract.
“When I started, I was very green, and MLW was exceptionally good to me. It was like developmental on steroids. I learned Live TV and worked with solid veterans such as Low Ki. MLW has built up a lot of confidence in me and I made the right decision to sign there,” he concluded.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Boston Wrestling MWF with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.