Brian Pillman II Recalls His Dad’s Favorite Matches, Talks Family Struggles, Training With Lance Storm & More

Mar 7, 2018 - by Steve Gerweck


Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Brian Pillman II
Your Host: James Walsh

Brian Pillman II has arrived. The son of “Flyin”, “The Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman is now wrestling. And, we grabbed this hot commodity
and talked about his relationship with his late father, his documented family issues with his mother, his wrestling influences including
his trainers Rip Rogers and Lance Storm, and even a little bit about his favorite matches that his dad had. So happy the Pillman name will
live on in wrestling.

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On his feelings on his recent in-ring debut:
“I’m feeling great. I wanted to end off 2017 with a bang. A lot of people were trying to protect me and protect my name telling me to take baby steps… Take it slow in this business. Try not to blow it up too much in the media. That’s why I decided to jump in and have my first match. So many people tried to reach out and give their 2 cents, whether it is my trainers or other people that care because everybody wants to see me succeed and I understand that. But, at the end of the day, I just want to be a wrestler and I want to wrestle. I want to get in that ring. Every second in that ring is something I cherish and it brings me closer to my Dad.”

On reviews of his matches:
“Believe it or not, I’m getting great feedback on my matches. A lot of people are like, “Oh, you’re only a few matches in? You know, not too bad!” I know I’m really green. There are a lot of things I need to work on and improve on. Even when I’m out there, I can find of notice it and feel it. “Ah, this could have been better here. That could have been better there.” It is just the fact of knowing what my rough spots are and being able to correct them for the next show. ”

On being young when his Dad died:
“I was about 4 years old so my memories aren’t so fond. That’s kind of why I came back to wrestling, right? I get to hear all the stories about my Dad. It is really quite refreshing to see where I came from and what my roots are. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? I get to learn a little bit about myself in the process.”

On getting into wrestling:
“I was kind of a techno geek. I was doing the database stuff in college and playing the video games. I was hanging out with those types of people, people who were easy going. But, what really opened my eyes up to my atheticism was… Of course, I played football in high school and college lacrosse. But, I strayed away from that. But, what opened my mind up to what was possible with the human body was when I started doing Yoga. It wasn’t DDP Yoga. It was actually a buddy of mine named Parker. He sas like, “Hey, want to go to a hot Yoga class?” I was like, “Jesus, no! I’ve got homework! I’m playing this game with my buddies.” Always these excuses so I didn’t have to go and work out. Then, I gave it a shot. I was like, “Wow, I can’t believe I can bend this way. I can’t believe I can do this.” If you slow down the situation and just breathe and capture yourself in that connection. The connection between the mind and the body i the breath. I was like, “I’m probably a lot more athletic than I think I am. I probably have a lot more of a chance.” That lead to working out. Working out lead to seriously putting on muscle. All of a sudden, I just blew up. I didn’t take anything. I’m not on any shit. My body naturally developped into this athlete, masculine shape. People were like, “Man, you really look good. When are you going to start wrestling?” I was like, “Well, shit. That wasn’t really even on my radar. I was just trying to look good so I could pick up more women!” (laughs) I think everything in life slowly escalates into what it is supposed to be. I was never supposed to be sitting at a desk. I was never meant to be sitting on my ass. I was always meant to be a performer. I was always meant to be an athlete. Everything finds a way. There’s always sidetracks and crossroads. But, it always finds a way.”

On memories of the Brian Pillman Memorial Shows put on by HWA:
“I always show people pictures from these Memorail Shows with me as a young kid and I’m surrounded by guys like (Chris) Jericho and (William) Regal… People that came out for these Memorial Shows to remember him. They performed for him to raise money for my family. Looking back, it is like, “Wow! I used to be a part of that family!” Now that I’m getting back into it, a lot of guys are reaching out and giving me their cell phone numbers. Following me back on social media… It is a really beautiful thing to be part of a family again because for so long, I grew up without one.”

On his family’s view of him getting into wrestling:
“For a long time, my Mom went down the dark road of drug and pill abuse. I moved out of the house when I was 15 and was living with my best friend Paul. After about a year or so, my aunt Linda, my Dad’s sister, she was able to muster up enough capitol to buy her own house in Kentucky. She didn’t have any kids and wasn’t married. She said, “You guys are just as much my children as anybody’s.” She really started taking care of us. That is really my family right there. My Aunt Linda and my sister Brittany.” He continues, “They’ve always wanted this. Everyone’s always wanted this. But, nobody’s ever tried to shove it down my throat, you know what I mean? No one forced this (wrestling) on me. I kind of found it on my own. They are just glad I finally came around. You look at me, you see somebody special. I’m not your normal person. I kind of have a little character. The word I was looking for, because obviously my matches are pretty dodgy at times. The word they use is “presence.” Like, “Man, you just have a presence out there.” That is the positive critique I’ve been getting.”

On training with Rip Rogers in OVW:
“Rip is very old school, as you know. It is great because he has so much respect for this business and so much respect for how it started and how hard it used to be to get in… Just the trials and tribulations just to be smartened up. There used to not be any way to smarten anybody up unless they beat the shit out of you. It is really cool to hear about the history and the stories, stories about my Dad. Guys like my Dad were athletic but they weren’t wise because they didn’t really grow up wathcing it either. They weren’t wise to it so they had these veterans that would call stuff and took care of them. They didn’t have to worry about ruining any matches because they’d just beat the fuck out of them. (laughs) That’s how that goes. So, Rip is very old school. WHen you’re just starting out, that is the best training to get. You do learn the history. You do learn why things are. Like, what is the reason for a clothesline? What is the reason for a move? How do you set up the psychology fo a match? It all comes down to that core. For young guys, it is important to train different places and learn different styles. I’ll always go back to OVW as my starting place. Recently, I’ve been training with a guy named Dave Christ (from Impact Wrestling). He’s got a little more of that indie flare. As long as I’m not booked on a weekend, I can always go down to Rip’s. Everything RIp says is pure gold, pure knowledge.”

On training with Lance Storm:
“I did go to Canada for the 3 month program with Lance. I have to recamend it for everyone because he was trained in Calgary under the old Hart Legacy (Dungeon) and stuff. You learn everything from fundamentals down to foot work. He’s such a good athlete, too. But, in a way, he’s so good, he’s a little too perfect so in a way, he lacks charisma to make it look real and emotional. What people don’t understand about Lance is while he might lack charisma on the mic and with body language, he’s actually very smart to it. He’s actually very analytical – He reads books. He’s a very creative person. He understands everything about the psychology of a match. I just think when people watch Lance Storm, they don’t connect with him because he is such a different person. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t do drugs. He doesn’t use steroids. So, he’s so above the cut that some might have trouble connecting with him. But, he knows! So, he can teach! He’s a very good teacher. But, in a way, he’s also a little too strict of a teacher where he doesn’t let you venture too far outside of the box or do something weird where my Dad had the opposite personality. When I look at Lance’s personality and my Dad’s personality, I see two completely opposite people.”

On his favorite matches of his Dad:
“It is funny. Everybody loves his Flyin’ Brian babyface stuff and then there’s the other crowd that likes his “Loose Cannon” stuff. But, I really like his in-between stuff. His heel stuff, before he was the “Loose Cannon”. Like, if you look at the Hollywood Blonds. He was a really good heel. Not a lot of people remember him for just his pure heel work, you know what I mean? He was really a ring general. He got a really good match out of (Lex) Luger which a lot of people were trying to do at the time. You watch his matches, he just does so much funny heel stuff. You could tell he was having a good time out there! The crowd would boo him but you could tell they were loving his character because he was so good as a heel.”

On his own character:
“Rght now, I’m just a generic babyface. But, sometimes I just want to fire back and show my more aggressive side. Sooner or later, that is going to have to come out. I’m going to have to throw these trunks in the garbage and put on a pair of fuckin’ ripped jeans and just beat the shit out of someone. I think everyone has their natural tendancies and you can never override them.”

On if he wants to work for WWE:
“It isn’t really my decision. But, it is my end goal. My main goal right now is to wrestle and get as good as I can be. If you look at the scene right now, a lot of guys are making money outside of the WWE. A lot of people are building up their following with social media. It is very important that you show that initiative because if WWE looks at me and says, “Wow, he’s pushing it on his own” and wants to sign me, that is going to mean more to me than me just texting the people I have in my phone like, “Hey, let me get a tryout.” I could go that route. I could go, “Let me get a tryout.” But, then they’d be like, “He needs us.” In a way, I want to show them that I’m a product that is worthwhile to seek out. I want to show them a little bit of fire. I’m doing this on my own right now.”

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