The Varsity Blondes were on today’s episode of AEW Unrestricted with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone. Brian Pillman Jr. explained the origin of his tag team with Griff Garrison.
“Well I think initially, Tony [Khan] had referenced us as just ‘The Blondes’ one day in the locker room,” Pillman Jr. recalled. “I remember first seeing Griff at the airport. I actually pushed him on the shoulder. I was like, ‘You know what, I bet we’re tagging tonight’ I swear I called it. We get to the building, and Tony’s like, ‘Hey, I want you guys to tag together and be The Blondes.’ And I’m thinking, okay, but we need something to spice it up, and Griff had been doing the Ivy League athlete gimmick.
“And for me personally, those are some of the best times of my life going through and playing sports, and playing high school and college sports. So I have quite a background in sports within academia and stuff. So I kind of liked the theme of the ‘Varsity Blondes.’ It kind of has that ring off the tongue like Varsity Blues. It’s kind of a familiar tone, and I think it’s something that people can relate to and I think Griff really related to it as well being an athelte and having a history in sports.”
Pillman Jr. was later asked if he feels any pressure to live up to his father’s legacy. He also spoke on the lessons he has learned as he gains more experience in the business.
“Absolutely, I think I’ve had that pressure since the first day,” Pillman Jr. said. “I’ve always been kind of looked at a little bit differently. Even from the first week, in training, people have sort of treated me differently or spoke to me a little bit differently, and I think the pressure wears off the more comfortable I get in the profession. I think with the amount of traveling and things I’ve done like prior to the pandemic and prior to coming to AEW, I really learned a lot on the road.
“A lot about myself and stuff, and those long drives, and you’re cutting promos, and you’re kind of finding out who you are and your character. How can I tribute to my father while also staying true to myself is something that I’ve looked inwards at a lot. I think the more experienced I get, I think the less pressure I have because I know what the goal of wrestling is at the end of the day.
“If we’re doing good business, whether that’s telling a story that connects to me in the real world — I don’t have a gimmick per se. I do kind of play off being a second generation because wrestling’s very real to me. It’s very serious to me. I try to just be myself in all aspects and turn that up as much as I can.”
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin is synonymous with Brian Pillman Sr. through both their tag team, The Hollywood Blondes, and their rivalry in the Attitude Era. Pillman Jr. was asked if he has been contacted by Austin about the Varsity Blondes – Hollywood Blondes connection, and Pillman Jr. revealed an idea he was with Austin and the Varsity Blondes.
“I’ve attempted to reach out to Steve a couple of times,” Pillman Jr. revealed. “I haven’t heard back yet, but my ultimate ploy is that he would be our coach, and he would come out of the curtain in a track suit and a whistle. If we didn’t hit the ropes right, he’s like, ‘Drop and give me 50!’ He’s on us. He’s making us do drills before the match. ’50 jumping jacks!’ He’d be like a football coach.
“We’d always be ready. We’d always be warmed up, and we’d have a mean, angry coach to rile us up. Then we wouldn’t fail because we would know that if we lost the match, we were going to get screamed at. So I think he would be a good motivator for us, and he would help us get our act together. I’m waiting to hear back from him. The text has been sent.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.