Brian Pillman Jr.
Brian Pillman Jr, 2020 (cropped).jpg
Pillman in 2020
Birth nameBrian Zachary Pillman
Born (1993-09-09) September 9, 1993 (age 29)
Erlanger, Kentucky, U.S.
Parent(s)Brian Pillman (father)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Brian Pillman Jr.
Brian Pillman II
Billed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Billed weight205 lb (93 kg)[1]
Billed fromCincinnati, Ohio
Trained byLance Storm
Rip Rogers
DebutDecember 30, 2017

Brian Zachary Pillman (born September 9, 1993),[2] better known by the ring name Brian Pillman Jr., is an American professional wrestler currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW). He is also known for his time in Major League Wrestling (MLW).[3] Pillman is a second-generation wrestler, as he is the son of professional wrestler Brian Pillman.[4]

Early life

Pillman is the son of professional wrestler Brian Pillman Sr. and model Melanie Pillman. The younger Pillman had four sisters, Danielle and Brittany Pillman, Alexis Reed and Skylar King, as well as one brother, Jesse Morgan.[5] His sister Alexis became a professional wrestling valet under the ring name Lexi Pillman but died in 2009.[6] Pillman attended Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood, Kentucky, where he played football. He graduated in 2011 and furthered his education by attending college. Pillman earned a degree at Northern Kentucky University in Information Systems.[7][8]

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit (2017–2021)

In February 2017, Pillman announced he would be following his father's footsteps becoming a professional wrestler. He was trained by Lance Storm at his school, the Storm Wrestling Academy, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.[9][10]

Pillman's first match was on December 18, 2017, when he used the ring name "Alex King", a tribute to his sisters Alexis Reed and Skylar King.[11] Pillman made his professional debut for Combat Zone Wrestling on January 28, 2018, at Dojo Wars 162 against Mike Del for the CZW Medal of Valor Championship.[12] Pillman was defeated in the match by submission. Pillman would have one more match in CZW, in a tag team match, teaming with Teddy Hart and faced Anthony Bennet and Jimmy Lloyd at Super Show V on January 26.[13][14]

On January 18, 2020, Pillman was a surprise 16th entrant in a 16-man Battle Royale at IWC Reloaded 6.0. He did not win the match, but he appeared in the Main Event, helping IWC Champion Jack Pollock win the match. After the match, Pillman revealed he has signed a contract with IWC, and that part of his contract was a shot at the IWC Championship at the promotion's February event. On February 15, Pillman defeated Sam Adonis, Aramis, Lance Archer, Black Taurus, Michael Elgin, Andrew Everett, and Alex Zayne in a War of Attrition match to win the vacant Warrior Wrestling Championship. The title was left vacant due to injury to former champion Brian Cage.[15][16] On September 12, 2020, in Washington, Pennsylvania, he won the Super Indy Championship[17] for International Wrestling Cartel (IWC).

Major League Wrestling (2018–2021)

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2021)

In late 2018, Pillman signed a contract with Major League Wrestling (MLW). When he first came in, he was mentored by his father's World Championship Wrestling rival Kevin Sullivan.[18] He then turned on Sullivan and joined forces with Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr., creating the New Era Hart Foundation.[19][20][21][22] This took place in a backstage segment where Pillman attacked Sullivan with a cane, causing Sullivan to bleed.[23] On July 9, 2021, it was reported that Pillman was no longer working with MLW as his contract had expired.[24]

All Elite Wrestling

Early appearances (2019)

In May 2019, Pillman was a participant in a battle royal at All Elite Wrestling's inaugural pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing. In July 2020, with MLW shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pillman began to appear in All Elite Wrestling (AEW), wrestling on both their flagship show Dynamite, and their online show Dark. Pillman remained contracted to MLW, but was allowed to work for AEW as well.[3] He made his in ring return on the July 7th episode of Dark in a losing effort against Shawn Spears. After this, Pillman was used as mostly as an enhancement talent losing to the likes of Brian Cage and Eddie Kingston.

The Varsity Blonds (2020–present)

In late July, Pillman began teaming with fellow AEW newcomer Griff Garrison, still competing mostly on Dark. Pillman and Garrison made their main show debut in an eight-man tag match, teaming with Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss in a losing effort against The Butcher and The Blade and The Lucha Brothers. The team failed to pick up a win on either shows until the September 25th episode of Dark, when they defeated Cezar Bononi and David Ali, marking their first victory as a team. During their losing streak, they lost to the likes of Private Party, FTR, The Inner Circle, The Butcher and The Blade, and The Hybrid 2. After picking up their first win, the team went on a second month long losing streak which ended after they defeated Sean Maluta and Alex Chamberlain on the November 3rd episode of Dark. By early December, Pillman and Garrison had adopted the team name The Varsity Blonds, a tribute to Pillman's father. In their first match with their new name, The Varsity Blonds defeated The Dark Order (Colt Cabana and Alex Reynolds) in a tag team match on the December 8, 2020 episodes of Dark.[25] On May 11, 2021 Julia Hart started aligning herself with The Varsity Blonds and made appearances with them for several months.[26] On July 12, 2021, Pillman signed a full time deal with All Elite Wrestling making him an official member of the roster.[27]

Personal life

Pillman had a strained relationship with his mother Melanie due to her battles with drug addiction following his father's death when Pillman was four years old. Pillman, who was primarily raised by his aunt Linda Pillman (his dad's sister) growing up,[28] shared in a shoot interview that he felt his mother was feigning her grieving during her infamous interview with Vince McMahon on WWF Raw is War one day after his dad's death, as their marriage was already going through the divorce process at the time and simply wanted a pay day for drugs. Unlike most wrestling fans and the media, Pillman didn't fault the WWF for the somewhat tactless interview with his mother, as he credited the promotion for trying to help out him and his sisters as much as possible financially.[29]

Pillman's relationship with his mother started improving after his wrestling career started; this included her making regular appearances during Pillman's live Twitch streams and sharing stories about his father. Melanie was found dead from an apparent drug overdose on June 1, 2022, at the age of 56, as confirmed by Pillman.[30]

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b "Brian Pillman Jr". Mlw.com. 31 July 2018.
  2. ^ Kizer, Drake (December 15, 2019). "Picking up the pieces: Brian Pillman's son chasing dad's legacy in professional wrestling". cincinnati.com.
  3. ^ a b "Brian Pillman Jr.'s status with MLW following his AEW appearance". July 4, 2020.
  4. ^ Adam Clements (February 20, 2017). "Flyin' Brian Pillman's son hopes to follow in his father's footsteps". WKRC-TV. Archived from the original on 2 January 2018.
  5. ^ Reynolds, R. D.; Dixon, James; Henry, Justin (2017). Titan Screwed - Lost Smiles, Stunners and Screwjobs. p. 132. ISBN 9781326981723.
  6. ^ "LEXI PILLMAN PASSES AWAY (UPDATE)".
  7. ^ "Dixie football player remembers his father's legacy". Archived from the original on 6 August 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Son of Brian Pillman making own legacy". The Cincinnati Enquirer. November 5, 2010. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  9. ^ "Brian Pillman's Son Might Be Embarking On A Career As A Pro Wrestler". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  10. ^ "BRIAN PILLMAN JR. MAKES PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING DEBUT, BACKSTAGE VISITORS AT SMACKDOWN IN TAMPA". Pwinsider.com. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  11. ^ Soucek, Andrew (September 30, 2018). "RECAP AND REVIEW: Talk Is Jericho with Brian Pillman Jr. on memories of his dad, the advice he got Lance Storm and Cody Rhodes, the wrestler who made him decide to join the business, why mullets are "functional" in wrestling". pwpodcasts.com. Archived from the original on 2021-09-21. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  12. ^ "Brian Pillman Jr.: Profile & Match Listing - Internet Wrestling Database (IWD)". Profightdb.com.
  13. ^ "PWInsiderXTRA.com". Pwinsiderxtra.com. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  14. ^ "PWInsiderXTRA.com". Archive.today. 12 September 2018. Archived from the original on 12 September 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Warrior Wrestling 8". Cagematch. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Greer, Jamie (February 16, 2020). "#AndNEW: Brian Pillman Jr. Wins Warrior Championship". Last Word on Pro Wrestling. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  17. ^ "Wrestler Roster – IWCwrestling.com". Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  18. ^ "Respecting the booker man: A look at Brian Pillman Jr's mentor". Mlw.com. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  19. ^ "MLW Battle Riot spoilers: 40-man match, Rich Swann injured". F4wonline.com. 20 July 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Brian Pillman Jr. feels at home with wrestling". Slam.canoe.com.
  21. ^ "10/12 MLW Fusion preview: Brian Pillman's Jr.'s singles debut, two additional matches - Pro Wrestling Dot Net". Prowrestling.net. 12 October 2018.
  22. ^ "Q&A: Brian Pillman Jr. makes a name for himself". Si.com.
  23. ^ Harris, Jeffrey (July 10, 2019). "Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Kevin Sullivan No Holds Barred Match Set for ECCW This Week". 411Mania.com.
  24. ^ Lee, Joseph (July 9, 2021). "Brian Pillman Jr Not At MLW Tapings This Week". 411 Mania. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  25. ^ Klyn, Parker (December 8, 2020). "AEW Dark Results: Varsity Blondes vs. Darks Order's Cabana & Reynolds". Figure Four Online. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  26. ^ "AEW Dark Results: May 11 2021". Wrestling Observer. Archived from the original on 2021-05-12.
  27. ^ @AEW (July 12, 2021). "Welcome to the team... #BrianPillmanJr (@FlyinBrianJr) is #AllElite" (Tweet). Retrieved July 12, 2021 – via Twitter.
  28. ^ "Brian Pillman Jr. Reveals MJF Promo on AEW Dynamite Sent His Sister into Labor". 10 September 2021.
  29. ^ https://www.youtube.com/0sz37fAZZsE[dead link]
  30. ^ "Melanie Pillman, Wife of Late WWE Legend Brian Pillman, Has Died".
  31. ^ @CACReunion (17 July 2021). "Spotlight on this years Award Honorees. One of the "Rising Star Awards" goes to AEW's Brian Pillman Jr. Haven't got…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  32. ^ Forney, Jesse (August 11, 2018). "Wrestler Roster | IWCwrestling.com".
  33. ^ "KFW Notorious « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Archived from the original on 2021-09-07.
  34. ^ "OVW Christmas Chaos 2020 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Archived from the original on 2021-06-02.
  35. ^ Pro Wrestling Illustrated [@OfficialPWI] (January 13, 2020). "Feud: @JohnnyGargano vs. @AdamColePro, Match: @CodyRhodes vs. @dustinrhodes, Rookie: @FlyinBrianJr. The @OfficialPWI staff is also proud to announce @steveaustinBSR as the Stanley Weston Award winner for lifetime achievement" (Tweet). Retrieved February 16, 2020 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ "Supreme Wrestling - Champions and Title History". www.awasupreme.com. Retrieved April 4, 2019.