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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

Talk is Jericho – Brian Pillman Jr. – A Chip Off the Loose Cannon

Release date: September 28, 2018

Recap by: Caitlin Lavelle

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

(Note: this interview appears to have been recorded immediately following Brian Pillman Jr.’s knee injury in April/May 2018)

6:00 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his memories of his dad

Pillman was only four-years-old when his dad died, but he says he remembers a few things about his late father, like when he was wearing a dress while wrestling in WWF.

“I was very upset about that,” remembers Pillman. “And of course, (I remember) his voice. You can never forget that voice.”

Pillman says that it wasn’t until he got into his twenties that he realized the depth of his dad’s legacy. He calls his dad’s fan base cult-like and passionate.

8:10 – Brian Pillman Jr. on deciding to train with Lance Storm

Pillman explains that he initially tweeted to Lance Storm, saying he was interested in wrestling and asking whether his school was accepting new students. Jericho asks Pillman if he chose to train with Lance randomly, or if he was attracted to training in Calgary because of his dad’s history.

Pillman says, “I thought it would make a lot of sense. I did my research, and I was like, who’s the best? If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this all in. Who’d the best trainer? I don’t want to go down and get hurt in some rusty old ring. I want to be in a professional training environment, and obviously you can just walk into the WWE Performance Center and say, ‘Oh, I’m Brian Pillman.’”

9:15 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his outlook on wrestling following his dad’s death

Pillman says, “I was kind of torn away from wrestling. I was more or less made to believe by my mother and family that it was bad for me, and it was going to do all this harm to me, and it killed my father and all that, and then you meet guys like Lance, and guys like you (Jericho), who, it didn’t kill you, you’re still making a good living.”

Pillman also mentions that, before training to become a wrestler, he got a degree in Information Systems with a minor in Business, and was working on accounting software databases for car dealerships throughout the Western Hemisphere.

14:50 – How Lance Storm’s rat tail inspired Brian Pillman Jr.’s mullet

Jericho remarks on Pillman’s mullet, and Pillman recalls a lecture that Lance Storm gave on appearance during practice, saying, “(Lance Storm) said, ‘Mullets were actually a functional haircut, because you could keep the hair out of your eyes but still sell well with your hair. That’s why I had a rat tail – because I didn’t want all that hair, but I still wanted to be able to sell really well.’

“So I was like, you know what? (A mullet) is going to be over as hell, and it’s going to be functional.”

15:38 – Brian Pillman on training at Storm Wrestling Academy

Pillman says, “To be honest, I expected a slightly higher level of athletes up there, but he did have about twenty kids. I think in the past, he was a little more selective about who he would let train there. But there were about six or seven guys who were really keen, really smart, really good.”

Pillman explains that while the training wasn’t as physically rigorous as he expected, there was a lot of mental training. He says Lance Storm wanted them to master the psychology and the roots of wrestling, so that they could resist the temptation to develop bad habits on the independent circuit.

Pillman says, “(Lance Storm) was like, ‘When you go out to these indie shows, people are going to tell you the wrong stuff. They’re going to steer you the wrong way. I really want to drill this into your head, how wrestling is supposed to be. How you’re supposed to be in the moment. How the greater moments in wrestling happen when you do things on the fly, when you really go out there and believe it’s real and pretend you’re in a fight.’”

21:35 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his strengths and weaknesses

Pillman says that so far in his training, he has taken more naturally to the physical aspects than the mental aspects of wrestling. He says, “Just because I was so separated from it growing up, it kind of left a sour taste in my mouth just watching it. The mental aspect…I still have a lot of homework I need to do on that.”

On the other hand, Pillman says, “My first dropkick I ever threw, Lance (Storm) looked at it, and he didn’t say anything. That’s how you know you did it right.”

Pillman says he also has a good springboard off of the top rope, and naturally jumps high and runs fast. He says Lance Storm has told him he has a lot of power and explosiveness, but needs to learn to control it and to slow down.

24:35 – Brian Pillman Junior on his dad’s biography, Crazy Like a Fox

Pillman calls Liam O’Rourke’s book, Crazy Like a Fox: The Definitive Chronicle of Brian Pillman 20 Years Later, “Very accurate.”

Pillman says, “It’s awesome. You read this book about your father’s life. You never knew your father, right? Never knew who he was. And you’re reading about him, and you’re just like, it’s so much like me. Just the stupid little antics I’ve done when I was younger, my progression in wrestling and stuff, and I’m just like, that’s something I would do.

“I never had the chance to mimic him or grow up being raised by him, it’s just all natural. It’s all genetics.”

26:15 – Brian Pillman Jr. on Steve Austin

Pillman says, “Steve Austin is really the reason I just said, screw it, I’m going to get in to wrestling.”

Pillman says he connected with Steve Austin when Austin started following him on Twitter, and that Stone Cold sent him a message offering to send him one of his dad’s old weight belts.

Pillman says he was at a low point after a recent knee injury caused him to cancel three to four months worth of bookings.

Pillman says he was, “sitting at the end of my bed, this was like last Thursday. I get a call from Steve, just out of the blue. I was like, perfect timing. I needed that. He kind of gave me some advice on the business, and how he had problems with his knee and stuff. He said, ‘If there’s one thing I could tell you about wrestling, it’s just remember this AC/DC song: It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.’”

31:30 – Brian Pillman Jr. on deciding to use the Brian Pillman name in wrestling

At the beginning of the interview, Pillman says first official match as Brian Pillman II was on December 30th, 2017, but that he actually did a match on December 18th as Alex King. Alex King was a tribute to older sister Alexis, who passed away, and younger sister, Skylar King.

Pillman says Lance Storm warned him about using Brian Pillman as his name, saying, “’People are going to tear you down, man. If you’re bad, if you go out there and shit the bed, they’re going to crucify you.’”

Pillman says, “That really scared me. I thought about wearing a mask, I thought about changing my name. Like I said, for my first match I used a different name. The first time I went out there with my real, legal, shoot name, I was like, You know what? These people don’t hate me. They love me.”

32:40 – Brian Pillman Jr. on the advice he received from Cody Rhodes

Pillman says he recently worked on a show with Cody Rhodes, and that Cody took time to sit down with him and give him some advice.

Pillman says, “(Cody) said, ‘Hey man, I know all about it. Guys like us are held to a higher expectation. It doesn’t hurt you that your father passed away. People miss him and stuff. Don’t take advantage of it, but it’s not going to hurt you. The fact that you’re somebody that’s trying to pay your dues and go to the right training, you’re doing all the right things.’”

35:50 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his style, inspiration and goals

Pillman says “I really enjoy looking at current wrestlers today that are my size, my height, what they’re doing. Kind of that hybrid style. Guys like Kenny Omega, guys like yourself  (Jericho) who can kind of do it all.

Pillman says that Lance Storm told him that, because of he isn’t the biggest or the smallest, he’s going to have to learn to play any and every role and do whatever a given match calls for him to do.

Pillman says he loves the Japanese style and would love to go to Japan, but wants to bolster his resume a bit before sending an audition tape over to New Japan Pro Wrestling.

43:00 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his tough upbringing

Pillman calls his relationship with his mother strained, and says he was neglected and abused by his stepfather. He says he moved in with a friend at thirteen. He would stay there until his Aunt Linda Pillman (his dad’s sister), who he calls his guardian angel, used her retirement savings to buy a house for him to live in so that he could safely attend a good high school, where he would play football and lacrosse.

56:45 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his WWE aspirations

Pillman says, “We all want to make it to the WWE. I think that would be a great place for me. So many guys would be willing to help me navigate that political structure. Guys like (William) Regal. It’s funny, I’ll go ahead and say this now – I believe that HHH changed my diapers when I was a kid.

“I think as far as coming back to the wrestling family, I think going back to the WWE is where a lot of my father’s friends and family members were.

Pillman says he reached out to Regal prior to attending the Storm Wrestling Academy and actually toured the WWE Performance Center.  Brian also says that he has yet to send WWE any of his matches or reach out for a tryout, because he wants his first impression to be “top-notch”.

Pillman continues, “I think I would benefit from the structure of the WWE. I think it would ground me. I think I’m somebody that, without those limitations and without that added discipline, I might not progress as quickly. But I also do enjoy the freedom of the independents, and the traveling and going different places, and really experiencing that. Not everyone has the name and stuff – the ability to market themselves worldwide, but I’ve had people in France and Europe and Germany contact me, so it’s like, why not? Why not travel? Why not send some tapes over to New Japan and just see what I can do and maybe get involved with their program?”

1:01:05 – Brian Pillman Jr. on what he’s learned from his dad’s legacy

Pillman says, “Growing up without a father is probably one of the most detrimental things to a young man. I hate to say this, but a single mother cannot raise a boy to be a man.

“What I’ve learned from his story is how tough he was. How hard. He was truly an alpha male. It’s because he sought out mentors. He sought out guys like (former Bengals Strength Coach) Kim Wood. He sought out all these older men who really lived that tough lifestyle and really grew up with that. That’s the biggest lesson, without him I need to find older guys in the business, guys who express their masculinity and don’t hold back, and say no. Know when to say no.”

Timestamps:

0:20 – Introduction
3:45 – Interview begins
6:00 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his memories of his dad
8:10 – Brian Pillman Jr. on deciding to train with Lance Storm
9:15 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his outlook on wrestling following his dad’s death
14:50 – How Lance Storm’s rattail inspired Brian Pillman Jr.’s mullet
15:38 – Brian Pillman on training at Storm Wrestling Academy
17:00 – Advertisement
19:50 – Interview resumes
21:35 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his strengths and weaknesses
24:35 – Brian Pillman Junior on his dad’s biography, Crazy Like a Fox
26:15 – Brian Pillman Jr. on Steve Austin
31:30 – Brian Pillman Jr. on deciding to use the Brian Pillman name in wrestling
32:40 – Brian Pillman Jr. on the advice he received from Cody Rhodes
35:50 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his style, inspiration and goals
43:00 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his tough upbringing
56:45 – Brian Pillman Jr. on his WWE aspirations
1:01:05 – Brian Pillman Jr. on what he’s learned from his dad’s legacy
1:06:30 – Outro

Rating: 6/10

Because Brian Pillman Jr. is a young guy who has been in the wrestling business for less than a year, there isn’t much of a career to dive into here. Still, it’s interesting to hear a story from someone who is still so early in their journey, and it will be exciting to see where Pillman lands in the years to come.  

Writer Bio

Caitlin is a wrestling fan who hopes to one day discover that she is the illegitimate daughter of Vincent Kennedy McMahon and the rightful Anonymous RAW General Manager. Until then, she’ll keep on living in Orlando, Florida with her husband and son.

 

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