Brian Pillman Jr. On His Father’s Legacy: ‘I Think The Pressure Wears Off The More Comfortable I Get’
Photo Credit: MLW
Brian Pillman Jr. has come a long way since he won the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year award in 2019. He regularly competes for All Elite Wrestling, and he has formed a successful tag team, The Varsity Blondes, with Griff Garrison. Plenty of second-generation stars often carry the weight of their parents’ legacy, but in a recent appearance on the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Pillman Jr. explained how gaining experience has helped him become more comfortable as a wrestler.
“I think I’ve had that pressure since the first day, you know, I’ve always been kind of looked at a little bit differently, and people in training have sort of, even from the first week in training, people have sort of treated me or spoke to me a little bit differently,” said Pillman Jr. “And I think the pressure wears off the more comfortable I get with my profession, and I think with the amount of traveling and things I’ve done prior to the pandemic and prior to coming to AEW, I really learned a lot on the road, a lot about myself.
“And those long drives, and you’re cutting promos, and you’re kind of finding out who you are in your character and how I can [pay] tribute to my father while also starting true to myself is something I’ve looked inwards at a lot,” said Pillman Jr. “But I think the more experience I get, the less pressure I have because I know what the goal of wrestling is at the end of the day
Pillman Jr. also explained the personal significance of the fact that he debuted on the 41st episode of AEW Dark. He discussed how 41 has always been his family’s number.
“As you all know, my Instagram is flyinbrian41, and that’s always kind of been like the family number,” said Pillman Jr. “When you see it, it’s good luck and things like that. So when I played football, I was always 41, and maybe my senior year I was 52 or something. But in lacrosse, I was 41, and then when my dad played for the Miami RedHawks, he was number 41.
“So my aunt Melinda has just always taught me that it’s the family number. So it was kind of really cool and I’m sure it was a total coincidence, but to debut for the company I’d been vying for a spot on that episode, it kind of meant a lot to me, so it was a very special match.”
The full episode is available here: