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Brian Pillman, Jr. Appears in WWE's NXT: Here's Why Fans Should Be Excited

WWE has signed another world-class talent; here's why Brian Pillman, Jr.'s heritage will propel him into stardom!

By Chris Phelan
Brian Pillman Jr in the ring

The rumors are true: Brian Pillman, Jr. is the latest pro wrestling prodigy to make the jump to WWE!

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Following in the footsteps of megastar-in-the-making Jade Cargill is Pillman, Jr., who eagle-eyed members of the WWE Universe noticed making a blink-and-you-missed-it appearance during NXT No Mercy on September 30:

It's yet another savvy signing by WWE as they pluck yet another aspiring Superstar away from the competition and welcome another world-class athlete to the WWE locker room. Here's why the WWE Universe should be excited for the eventual in-ring debut of Brian Pillman, Jr.!

Who Is Brian Pillman, Jr.?

The video Pillman is shown watching in the above teaser is alluding to his heritage; he is the son of the late, great Brian Pillman, one of the most physically talented and unpredictable WWE Superstars of all time! 

To put it simply, the youngster (Pillman, Jr. is only 30 years old) has WWE Superstar DNA running through his veins. Whereas many WWE Superstars have had children who attempted to follow in their footsteps (Ric Flair's son David stands out as the most obvious example), none have had the physical tools Brian Pillman, Jr. has. Possessing arguably even more athletic ability than his father, he has all the tools necessary to become the next big thing in WWE.

The significance of WWE signing him is not lost on the wrestling world. Although Pillman showed off his rare talent during his time in other promotions, wrestling fans and critics alike always felt he would be better suited in a WWE ring. Polishing his skills in the Performance Center and getting in the ring against the up-and-coming talent in NXT for the foreseeable future will do wonders for his career, eventually setting the stage for a debut on the main roster. 

Of course, Brian Pillman, Jr.'s name is likely one of the reasons WWE took an interest in signing him in the first place. His father tragically died in 1997 but left behind one of the most lasting legacies in wrestling history.

Who Was Brian Pillman In WWE?


Due to injuries suffered in a near-fatal automobile accident, the elder Pillman made a name for himself in WWE due to constantly being part of unhinged and shocking moments, not necessarily anything that happened inside the ring. Unfortunately, Pillman was on the wrong end of one of these moments during a 1996 episode of Monday Night Raw:

Moments like this led to him earning his WWE nickname of "The Loose Cannon" when, a few weeks later, he pulled a gun on Stone Cold when the latter invaded Pillman's home! Never one to shy away from controversy, Brian Pillman's WWE career was filled with controversy, and looking back, he was one of the flag bearers of the Attitude Era.

Before he signed with WWE (and before he had a short stint in ECW, filled with moments too extreme to link to here), Brian Pillman pioneered an entire wrestling style in WCW. Pillman was considered among the few Superstars to meld the Japanese high-flying style successfully with American light heavyweight action. To put it bluntly, Brian Pillman put the soon-to-be WCW cruiserweight division on the map:

(Seeing Brian Pillman battle Jushin "Thunder" Liger in the early 90s is mind-boggling, considering Liger made an iconic appearance in NXT in 2020. Some competitors genuinely stand the test of time.)

Brian Pillman, Jr. represents the past, present, and future of wrestling. However, signing a WWE contract with such high expectations for your career can not always work out how a wrestler would like – just because your father was one of the most exciting Superstars ever doesn't mean you are automatically granted that same spotlight. Like Jade Cargill, Brian Pillman, Jr. has to understand that the WWE represents the major leagues – the spotlight will never be brighter, but unfortunately, it can shine on low points just as much as the highlights. 

For the WWE Universe, one question remains: Are the late Brian Pillman's shoes too big to fill for his son? Will Brian Pillman, Jr. blaze his own trail? Or will the 30-year-old present the wrestling world with the best-case scenario: a WWE Superstar that is the total package, combining the best parts of his father's legacy with his own unique in-ring style?

Regardless, Brian Pillman, Jr. just gave the world another reason to stay glued to NXT on Tuesday nights.

You can tune in to Peacock to watch WWE's Fastlane on October 7. In the meantime, catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.

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