Even though he's only been in the business for three years, Brian Pillman Jr. is already making waves across the pro wrestling landscape.
The 27 year old has competed in various indie promotions, won MLW Rookie of the Year in 2018, and has made appearances for AEW. Speaking with TheSockMonkey Show, Pillman says he's grateful for all the help he's gotten along the way.
"It's a powerful feeling," Pillman said. "Obviously, I've had so much help and resources along the way, and the best trainer in the world Lance Storm. So, I kind of set myself to be ahead of the game as much as I could before I got started. You know what I mean? So, I was taking all the steps to ensure the safety of my body and health, and also to protect myself as far as not being overexposed."
Before COVID forced some promotions to put themselves up for sale, independent wrestling was the hottest it's ever been. While Pillman's name and connections got his foot in the door, he mentioned how massive modern technology is in getting talent noticed. Pillman says social media has allowed talent to reach a major audience without the platform of a televised promotion.
"It's a blessing to have the internet in these times too. It's possible for young talent to get themselves over regardless of what promotion they're at," Pillman said. "People can express themselves, and I was able to express my story through pro wrestling and how it's affected my life and how I eventually came around to wrestling. So I think that helped with my passion and my rise in the business, you know? And my ability to work with a lot of good guys and learn I'm very blessed."
"I'm pretty sure I'm still under contract with them," Pillman said. "I've been working with whoever wants to work with me even though MLW - I'm assigned to them. It's a pretty liberal deal where I can do a lot of things, you know? I'm not super exclusive to them; some of the later ones are. [My contract] was a little older and they were more lenient on what I could do, so I'm very happy and blessed for that. I'm also able to do AEW, MLW, and OVW television all at the same time."
Pillman may still be finding his footing on Wednesday nights, but he already has an avenue AEW can take him. Pillman tags with Griff Garrison on the regular, and the pair even has a couple precious AEW victories under their belt.
"I think it's pretty much known that Griff and I are an established tag team right now," Pillman said. "We're coming in, we've got two wins under our belt - we're two and four. While we don't have an official name yet, I think sort of the prototype/pilot name is just 'The Blondes.' Tony [Khan] calls us The Blondes. 'Get The Blondes out there and get them a win and stuff.'
"That's what we are - we're athletes, we're focused on winning matches, and we're working focusing on working together as a team. I've never been so organic in the ring with somebody as a tag team. Maybe it's due to us having similar experience levels, similar body styles, and stuff. We work well together; we like to keep it very simple and physical, very strike-oriented offense."
The potential tag name of The Blondes will draw obvious comparisons to Pillman's father. In the early '90s, Brian Pillman Sr. teamed with a pre-Stone Cold Steve Austin as The Hollywood Blondes in WCW. Pillman says he doesn't expect his team with Garrison to be a mirror image of his late father's WCW team, but did stress that the "blonde" possibilities are endless.
"But yeah, I think I don't expect to maybe see an exact copy of who the The Hollywood Blondes were in their character, but who's to say that? It just happened by fate that Griff Garrison comes in. Similar look, we both got the hair. It's a perfect fit! We are the blondes, but are we gonna be the Jacksonville Blondes, The Cincinnati Blondes, The North Carolina Blondes? Or do we take another kind of theme, like how they did with Hollywood?
"It wasn't necessarily that they were from Hollywood, it was just the theme, you know? Like from movies and that sort of stuff. Maybe we're the 'something' blondes, right? We can take that. We could be freaking USS Blondes, and we're sailors, and we're sailing around the U.S, and also we're doing Jericho's cruise and everything. Or we could be the Varsity Blondes, where we're throwing footballs to each other and we're playing lacrosse and we're, you know, collegiate athletes. So, you never know where we could go with it."