Brian Pillman Jr not only has great hair, but he’s also got great intuition.
Pillman currently serves as one half of the Varsity Blonds alongside Griff Garrison in All Elite Wrestling. The duo started tag teaming in mid-2020 after being pairing together. Later on the next year, Julia Hart joined the faction to become a trio alongside Pillman and Garrison. In recent months however, Hart has since entered The House of Black. Now, The Varsity Blonds are back in their original form. In speaking on Counted Out with Mike & Tyler, Brian Pillman Jr revealed the initial concept and the origins of his team with Griff Garrison. Pillman even correctly predicted their partnership without even knowing it.
“I was more or less given the tag partner. I’ve been seeing Griff [Garrison] on a few loops when I first started, and maybe Tony [Khan] perhaps saw us standing next to each other. Then, I saw him at the airport one week–we used to always connect together in the Charlotte [North Carolina] airport, because he’s coming Greensboro, and I’m coming from Cincinnati. So we’d always meet in Charlotte and then go to Jacksonville because during the pandemic, all we could do is run in Jacksonville. I totally called it too. We were in line to get on the plane. I said ‘hey man, I don’t know why, I just got a feeling they’re putting us together as a tag.’ And I was right.”
“Literally that week Tony said ‘hey, I don’t have any idea of a name or anything or what you guys wanna do as a gimmick but we’ll just call you The Blonds for now. So, you guys will just be a baby face tag team. We’ll call you The Blonds, and then in the next year or sometime in a few months, we’ll give you guys a little push to get you in the top five tag team rankings’.”
“At the time, we’re just like ‘shit, it’s a pandemic. We’re not in front of a crowd. Give us as many matches as you want. We’ll wrestle. We’ll do whatever, it doesn’t matter to me,” Pillman continued. “There’s not a whole lot that you complain about or worry about when the world’s shut down. Now, we’re on the road and it’s different and the whole ball game is big business. But during the time, it was a bunch of people getting better, having fun, having matches. It was a lot less pressure. So we were excited. We were just excited to get out there and wrestle.”
Once the basic plan was officially in motion, Pillman and Garrison had to finetune their gimmick and team name. In turn, Pillman cited inspiration from Garrison’s existing college athlete gimmick as to what lead them to “The Varsity Blonds” name.
“I looked at Griff and he was already doing some of like an ivy league, a college athlete gimmick. I looked at myself and I thought ‘well, I can meet in the middle with him on here. I could probably come up with something a little bit crazier and a little more elaborate, but sometimes it’s better to keep it simple and keep it relatable.'”
“I thought, ‘I can order us these really nice letterman jackets. We’ll get them from an official place that are real embroidered stuff.’ So we got real quality jackets. I thought I’ll come up with really good gear for us to have, good concept, just simple good colors and stuff. So I pretty much came up with everything. I came up with everything but probably our first t-shirt design but I came up with the gear, all the colors. I ordered the jackets. I came up with the name, and I just thought it sounded good. I thought it had a good ring to it. Varsity Blonds, kind of like Varsity Blues, you know? There’s just certain things that are so subconscious in people’s minds and then it catches on easier.”
Although The Varsity Blonds quickly established themselves as a legitimate tag team, Pillman desired to do more in AEW. As noted earlier, their third member Julia Hart recently joined The House Of Black. Thus, her tenure in The Varsity Blonds ended. Pillman expressed his wishes to have done more work with Hart and as a team overall.
“I wish we could’ve done more with the gimmick. I wish there was more time to hit the road with Julia [Hart] and do fun spots because when we were in Jacksonville, we used to do all kinds of fun spots where she would have a cheerleading sign, like ‘Go Blonds’ and then the heel would break the sign and then we come out, do a dropkick through the ropes, beat up the heel. There was so much we did with it. And in that small, little town — not that Jacksonville’s a terribly small town–but in that little bubble that we were in, it was getting over man, it was really fun. I wish we got to do more but, it wasn’t long after we hit the road that they wanted to split us up and try some new things.”
The Varsity Blonds last appeared on AEW television last week, where Griff Garrison suffered a loss to Evil Luchasaurus. There, Luchasaurus slammed both Garrison and Pillman through a table post-match.
Pillman also spoke about being excluded from the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament this year. Read more about how he’s training for the next one and how it’d be a disservice to miss it again at this link.
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