Lexis King Does Not Owe Brian Pillman Anything: ‘I Don’t Hate Him’

Last month, a series of mysterious vignettes began to air on WWE NXT that many fans quickly realized were teasing the debut of then-Brian Pillman Jr. The second-generation star has made a name for himself over the past few years in MLW and AEW, and with the WWE machine now behind him, he is looking to reinvent himself. Once revealed to be the subject of the vignettes, he tore into the legacy of his legendary father and how he never got to know him growing up before rechristening himself, Lexis King.

On the Hall of Fame podcast with Booker T, King was asked by the multi-time World Champion’s co-host, Brad Gilmore, who came up with the controversial vignettes.

“All I can say is it was 100% real,” he stated. “I’ve felt that way for a very long time. It was just a shot in the dark; it was just a pure chance that the creative happened to be right on board with that. I came into WWE, I told them my story, I told them my real story, and that I don’t, I don’t have a gimmick. This isn’t a character. This is real life. Wrestling has had a real impact on my life, and I said, ‘This is what I need to do.’ I wanted this. I wanted to become my own man, you know what I mean?

“It’s impossible to be better than, you know, the Second Coming is never better than the original, you know what I mean? And I was never going to be a better Brian Pillman, and I knew that, and I knew that I needed to more or less disparage his name and create my own. Not that I have any; I don’t have any hatred towards my father, but it would have been an uphill battle to try to be Brian Pillman 2 or Brian Pillman Jr. I’ve gone 30 years of my entire life with someone else’s name, his name.

“And to come here and to have this company give me the opportunity to create my own name. I mean, it was a dream come true, and it all just fell together. They gave me a few things to say, but I mean, there wasn’t even really a script involved. They said tell us your story, and I went on that camera, and everything I said was true and 100% from the heart. And that’s how I feel. I didn’t know him. You know what I mean? Everybody loved him. I mean, I don’t hate him. He was a great, great man. I inherited a lot of positive traits from him, but I don’t owe him anything or to use his name any further.

“Now it’s time for me to make mine. I’m never gonna outshine him and what he did. Especially the way that he passed, you know what I mean? It’s like, you think about guys like Tupac, these great artists that when they die at their peak, they’re immortalized at that peak. You know what I mean? There’s no outdoing that. Do you know what I mean? They’re revered, and he was revered for what he did, and I felt like, sooner or later, I thought about starting out that way.

“I thought about starting my career as a new person. In my first indie match, I was Alex King. Straight up, almost the exact same name. So to come in here and be given the creative go, like, you pick your name. You know what I mean? They didn’t even go back and forth with me; they said, ‘We want you to be you.’ I said, ‘Look, this was my older sister’s first name. I actually knew her.’ She would pick me up and take me to freaking Dairy Queen. She was an indie wrestler, too, and a performer. She was a dancer.

“Then my little sister Skylar, who I went through all the trouble and all the times, hard times with. She eventually got adopted by her grandma. So, to come in with a real raw story, I don’t have to fake it. I don’t have to read from a script; this is who I am. And no one else has that on me. This business has had a severe, if you watch Dark Side Of The Ring; this business has had a severe impact on my life.

“And despite all that, I’m stronger than ever. And I got here because of this business because of the great impact that it has had. So, while it might have put me back a few steps in my childhood, here I am now, thriving and traveling the world, and I finally made it here to the biggest stage of them all, the WWE. I think I deserve a shot 100% on everything I’ve been through, inside this career and outside of it. So it’s it’s a fresh start for Lexis King.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please give a h/t to Haus of Wrestling and credit the Hall of Fame podcast