Lexis King

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Lexis King
Pillman in 2020
Birth nameBrian Zachary Pillman
Born (1993-09-09) September 9, 1993 (age 30)
Erlanger, Kentucky, U.S.
Alma materNorthern Kentucky University
Parent(s)Brian Pillman
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Alex King
Brian Pillman II
Brian Pillman Jr.
Lexis King
Billed height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)[1]
Billed weight205 lb (93 kg)[1]
Billed fromCincinnati, Ohio
Trained byLance Storm
Rip Rogers
DebutDecember 18, 2017

Brian Zachary Pillman (born September 9, 1993),[2] better known by the ring name Brian Pillman Jr., is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the NXT brand under the ring name Lexis King. He is known for his time in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) from 2019 to 2023 and Major League Wrestling (MLW) from 2018 to 2021.[3] A second-generation wrestler, he is the son of the late Brian Pillman.[4]

Early life[edit]

Pillman is the son of professional wrestler Brian William Pillman (1962–1997) and model Melanie Diane Pillman, (née Lawrence; 1965–2022). 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 in a car accident.[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[edit]

Independent circuit (2017–2021)[edit]

In February 2017, Pillman announced he would be following his father's footsteps and become 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, using 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 (CZW) 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 facing 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 Royal at International Wrestling Cartel's (IWC) Reloaded 6.0 event. He did not win the match, but he appeared in the main event, helping IWC Heavyweight Champion Jack Pollock win the match. After the match, Pillman revealed he had 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 of former champion Brian Cage.[15][16] On September 12, 2020, in Washington, Pennsylvania, he won the IWC Super Indy Championship.[17]

Major League Wrestling (2018–2021)[edit]

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 (2019–2023)[edit]

In May 2019, Pillman was a participant in the Casino Battle Royale at All Elite Wrestling's (AEW) 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 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 7 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.

In late July, Pillman began teaming with fellow AEW newcomer Griff Garrison, still competing mostly on Dark, adopting the team name The Varsity Blonds, a tribute to Pillman's father.[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 AEW, making him an official member of the roster.[27] His contract expired on July 11, 2023, ending his time with AEW.[28]

WWE (2023–present)[edit]

On July 16, 2023, it was reported by PWInsider that Pillman had a tryout with WWE at the WWE Performance Center.[29] He was officially assigned to the developmental brand NXT in late August and videos promoting his debut began airing in September, changing his name to Lexis King, a second iteration of his "Alex King" name. His ties to his father were acknowledged, but he denounced him and his name in his vignettes due to his early death, establishing himself as a heel.[30][31][32] He competed in his first match on October 24 on Night 1 of NXT: Halloween Havoc, defeating Dante Chen.[33] King competed in his first WWE premium live event on December 9 at NXT Deadline, where he lost to Carmelo Hayes.[34] King participated in the 2023 NXT Men's Breakout Tournament after attacking original competitor Trey Bearhill and subsequently taking his place. He defeated Dion Lennox in the first round, but lost to Riley Osborne in the semifinals after interference from Bearhill.[35][36] He also wrestled for the NXT North American Championship twice, first against Dragon Lee[37] and later against Oba Femi, losing both times.[38][39] Continuing his feud with Dante Chen, they wrestled in a Singapore Cane match, where King won.[40]

Personal life[edit]

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,[41] shared in a shoot interview that he felt his mother was feigning her grieving during her infamous interview with Vince McMahon on WWE 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 did not fault WWE 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.[42]

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.[43]

During his tenure in NXT, fans of Pillman began referring to themselves as "Registered Lex Offenders" (a reference to "registered sex offenders"). While Pillman appreciated the creativity, he said that it is not appropriate for television.[44]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  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. Lulu.com. 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. Archived from the original on 7 September 2021. 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. Archived from the original on October 4, 2018.
  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. 9 November 2018.
  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. 11 May 2021. 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. ^ Johnson, Mike (July 11, 2023). "AEW DEPARTURE". PWInsider. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  29. ^ Johnson, Mike (July 16, 2023). "Brian Pillman Jr WWE Update". PWInsider. Retrieved July 16, 2023.
  30. ^ Johnson, Mike (August 7, 2023). "Brian Pillman Jr Slated to be at the WWE NXT TV Taping". PWInsider. Retrieved August 7, 2023.
  31. ^ Johnson, Mike (August 29, 2023). "New Signing Starts WWE Run". PWInsider. Retrieved August 29, 2023.
  32. ^ https://www.pwinsider.com/article/175770/that-wwe-nxt-vignette-was-for.html?p=1 [bare URL]
  33. ^ Berge, Kevin (October 25, 2023). "WWE NXT Halloween Havoc 2023 Results: Winners, Live Grades, Reaction and Highlights". Bleacher Report.
  34. ^ Brennan, Corey (2023-12-09). "Carmelo Hayes Defeats Lexis King At NXT Deadline | Fightful News". Fightful. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  35. ^ Tessier, Colin (2023-12-20). "Lexis King, Tavion Heights Advance In NXT Men's Breakout Tournament". Wrestlezone via Yahoo Entertainment. Retrieved 2023-12-20.
  36. ^ Tessier, Colin (2023-12-27). "NXT Men's Breakout Tournament Finals Set For NXT New Year's Evil". Wrestlezone. Retrieved 2023-12-27.
  37. ^ Lutete, Israel (Jan 10, 2024). "Dragon Lee defeats former AEW star to retain NXT North American Championship; massive twist at the end". Sportskeeda.
  38. ^ "Lexis King challenges Oba Femi for the NXT North American Championship". WWE. Retrieved 2024-06-23.
  39. ^ "WWE's Oba Femi Gets Commanding NXT North American Title Win". WWE. Retrieved 2024-06-23.
  40. ^ "Lexis King Shows Off Battle Scars From His Singapore Cane Match On NXT". Yahoo Entertainment. 2024-06-13. Retrieved 2024-06-23.
  41. ^ "Brian Pillman Jr. Reveals MJF Promo on AEW Dynamite Sent His Sister into Labor". 10 September 2021.
  42. ^ "Brian Pillman Jr – When My Mom Went on WWE TV Hours After My Dad's Death". Title Match Wrestling. YouTube. October 20, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  43. ^ "Melanie Pillman, Wife of Late WWE Legend Brian Pillman, Has Died".
  44. ^ Tessier, Colin (December 11, 2023). "NXT's Lexis King Responds To His Fans Calling Themselves 'Registered Lex Offenders'". Fightful. Retrieved 2023-12-11.
  45. ^ @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.
  46. ^ Forney, Jesse (August 11, 2018). "Wrestler Roster | IWCwrestling.com".
  47. ^ "KFW Notorious « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Archived from the original on 2021-09-07.
  48. ^ "OVW Christmas Chaos 2020 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Archived from the original on 2021-06-02.
  49. ^ 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.
  50. ^ "Supreme Wrestling - Champions and Title History". www.awasupreme.com. Archived from the original on September 7, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2019.

External links[edit]