Brian Pillman Jr. Talks COVID-19, His Ring Name, Signing With MLW, More

Brian Pillman MLW Fusion

Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard

Brian Pillman Jr. recently sat down with Spencer Love of the WCSN to discuss a myriad of topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to being a Pillman. You can see the highlights below along with the entire interview.

Transcription credit to Spencer Love

On COVID-19 impacting professional wrestlers:

It’s very hard financially right now; I had to cancel on my Las Vegas show over this past weekend, and in hindsight I wish I woulda went to it because I coulda made some money. It’s tough. I can’t sit here and tell every fan to go out and buy all of my shirts and this, because a lot of those fans are losing work as well. A lot of people all around the world are losing work, so while it is helpful to say ‘hey, y’know, maybe buy an extra t-shirt here or there, try and help support,’ wrestlers aren’t the only ones losing jobs and losing work right now. A lot of people are going to be unemployed right now, a lot of bills are going to go unpaid and a lot of hardship. My recommendation to those fans that, maybe they do have a little extra disposable income, maybe their livelihood isn’t threatened whatsoever, if that’s the case, I urge people to reach out, maybe buy an 8×10. Maybe buy a t-shirt or something, but at the end of the day, when it comes to survival – that’s what this is, this is survival – we have to do our best to survive, we have to do our best to help one another.

On if he considered using a different ring name:

Yeah, it was definitely a reality for me at first. I wanted to protect myself and protect my performance and my name, but as I was able to see, the right move was just to be myself. Some people recommended, Lance (Storm) recommended perhaps wrestling under a mask or trying to protect myself so I could get a few shitty matches out of the way, but at the end of the day, my first match was one of my best matches.

The advantages/disadvantages of being a Pillman:

It’s always an advantage because of the booking and being a positive draw. Every promotion I go to, they’re at least going to experience some kind of increase in draw or ticket sales, just by the nature of the beast y’know what I mean? There’s only one of me, there’s only one second-generation guy like me on the market right now. Whether you like it or not, fans are going to come pay to buy a ticket to see me, so by default, I’m booked. It helps to have that on my side. The expectations have always been high. My first year or so was a lot of failure, a lot of going out there and finding myself. These weren’t some great matches, these weren’t some f***ing five-star classics. This was the story of a young guy following in the footsteps of his father that set a huge, huge expectation above his head, a huge shadow cast upon me.

On developing his in-ring style:

I just always wanted to be myself out there. I’ve always been very interested in boxing and kickboxing and striking and stuff, and I’ve done a little bit of mat work in there too. I’m a very versatile person in real life, so I feel like I’m a versatile person in the ring. I never wanted to have that expectation, because according to my dad’s friends, they said the name Flyin’ Brian is what killed him, because he was always expected to do the most, he was always expected to fly. You gotta think, you work for this big company and your name is Flyin’ Brian. Anybody else that wants to fly is coming for your spot. If you’re the Flyin’ Brian of the company, you’ve gotta set the highest precedent for flying that they can see. It’s very hard, very hard to deal with those expectations, so I thought that maybe more of a rounded approach to things or an approach that I can really be myself and have a lot of fun in the ring and really confuse my opponents, while also having some innovative offense. I’m an innovator.

On signing with MLW:

So a lot of people want to give credit to my name and all of that, but if you really look at it, I really had some really good qualities going into my work and into myself. I don’t think that anybody’s taking that away from me now. I think people definitely see the value in me now, and they’re starting to wake up to the fact that I’m not Brian Pillman Jr, but I am Brian F**king Pillman Jr.

On his dad not being in the WWE Hall of Fame:

I think it’s just timing, and maybe they want to give my Dad his own time. Maybe they want to make it even more special for him, to give him a full-on induction into the Hall of Fame. I try not to be selfish with those things, because I understand how show business works and I understand how this business works, so I’m never the guy to get upset at stuff like that.

On if a major promotion such as WWE is his ultimate end goal:

I want to say yeah, because it’s very important to make the best living I can out of this, and to do my best to succeed my father’s legacy, and a part of that is definitely to make it into a big promotion where he would be proud to see me.

You can see the entire interview below.

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