Brian Pillman Jr. had the chance to speak with The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast, and he talked on a number of subjects surrounding himself and his career. This ranged from his time in MLW, to AEW and their safety precautions, to being a second-generation wrestler and what that means. Brian also discussed creating his own identity despite carrying his father’s name.
When it came to speaking on AEW, Brian was quick to give praise to the company. He says that the environment there felt like home.
“[It’s] just a family vibe. They have a very great team at AEW, a lot of the roster are friends that I grew up with on the Indies. In my first couple years on the Indies, I’ve shared locker rooms with these guys multiple times. We’re all on a name by name basis.” Pillman Jr. described. “I feel very at home? Very much a family there.
“It’s a pretty good team, pretty good environment, a very diverse environment. I don’t agree with anyone that doesn’t think it’s diverse, It’s probably one of the most diverse work environments I’ve ever been in in my entire life, hands down. They’re doing a lot of great things at AEW.”
With the current state of the pro wrestling world changing due to COVID-19, Brian wanted to talk about the pandemic. The pandemic is part of what has allowed him to take this opportunity in AEW to begin with, in fact. Thus the topic of AEW’s safety precautions were also addressed. According Pillman Jr., this is another area they are getting right as a company.
“They’re very safe, as well. Very, very careful and cautious with protocols involving the pandemic and making sure everybody’s safe. There hasn’t been a single case, I don’t think,” Brian exclaimed. “So, it’s been really good.”
Part of what makes Brian unique is the fact that he is a second-generation wrestler. Carrying his father’s name and building his own legacy is, of course, something Cody Rhodes is also familiar with. That brotherhood of sorts may have helped Brian in some ways in scoring a contract and recovering from the financial losses he had incurred due to the pandemic. The bond of these multi-generational wrestlers was explained by Pillman Jr. in more detail.
“The second and third-generation experience, you at least get to know them and experience them in some way,” Brian asserted. “Meeting them on the road, or maybe at a show, or a big-time show like AEW, in a locker room – everybody has their own journey in wrestling, and I think all the second gens have their own little separate journey.
“But it all started with something, right? It all started with the man or woman in their family that became something in wrestling, so they feel obligated to continue that journey. So by nature of having so many things in common, I think second-generation wrestlers tend to get along very well.”
A large burden that these wrestlers have to deal with is living up to their parent’s legacy. This isn’t lost upon Brian at all, who knows that he has to create his own identity to succeed. The way he has approached doing this might be a bit surprising to some, however.
“I think I’m at an advantage there, just because I was very smart in that I didn’t study my dad’s work a lot. And I try to avoid it for fear that I would pick up on too many things and be a little too close to that. It ended up that the way I studied and the way I developed myself that everything from his life just came natural in genetics and stuff.
“There’s a lot of things I don’t do that have anything to do my father,” Pillman Jr. said. “But it just so happens to look that way because of our genetics. Our body language in the ring and stuff like that. Some stuff you just can’t avoid, but at the same time, I think it’s an uphill battle to constantly be differentiating myself from him. But at the same time, it’s a great way to exercise the creativity and the creative freedom that we have as pro wrestlers.”
On his journey to where he is now, Brian Pillman Jr. has had a long tenure in MLW. He would describe this as a good environment, similar to AEW. Although, being goal-oriented led to a bit of regret in what could have been with some aspects of his booking.
“A lot of times I feel like I’ve been doing this a lot longer than I have. It’s just something that’s been such a frequent aspect of my life for the past couple years, it’s almost ingrained into me?.how the taping of the show goes, and getting in and out of the airport, going to the venue, you know what I mean? I’ve gotten very good with the scheduling and the travel. It definitely compliments my personality, and I think MLW has been great about that.
“It’s been a great opportunity there,” Pillman Jr. said. “As far as me always working at that top level but never quite being that top guy, ya know, working with (Alex) Hammerstone and not quite getting the title there but then going to the Opera Cup and not quite winning that either. So you look around at all these pictures of the top card and I’m in all of them, ya know?
“Come to AEW and my first opportunity is against Brian Cage, second opportunity is against Brian Cage. And he’s in the world title picture, you know what I mean? So I’m always gunning for something. I’m very goal orientated in wrestling, and I’m very much a singles competitor. And I think both [AEW and MLW] will reflect that seemingly.
“MLW has a very sports vibe and AEW has a very tag team action-packed vibe, so maybe I’ll stick out a little more in AEW as a singles competitor. Maybe MLW has built and painted a good picture for me, too, as a singles competitor. As you see with the Fatu match, as well, I’m always in these title pictures.”
Listen to the interview with The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast by clicking here.