I always enjoyed watching Flyin’ Brian Pillman with his hard abs, wild hair, and tiger-striped speedo. I blogged about him a couple times on my old website. On 6/26/06, I wrote in praise of the “Hollywood Blonds” tag team and on 6/24/07, I blogged about Brian’s break-up with the Z-Man.
I had heard Brian’s 27-year-old son is a wrestler now and I had checked out some of his matches on YouTube. So when I saw on Social Media that Brian Junior has formed a Tag Team called “Varsity Blondes” and that they wrestled my favorite Tag Team “FTR” on the 12/9/20 episode of AEW Dynamite, well I just had to check out that match!
They may play for the Varsity, but these dudes are not very Blonde. I suppose neither was Brian Senior when he was a “Hollywood Blond” — just check out my old “Going Hollywood” article if you wish to confirm.
As the shorter partner with the more-famous name, I’m sure Brian Junior will be playing Face-in-Peril for most of their matches, forever desperate for rescue from partner Griff Garrison. We will find out soon, once my FTR guys, Cash and Dax, peel off their fancy red ring-jackets and conduct their traditional Pre-Match embrace.
The match has a nice Veterans vs. Rookies vibe with the cute young High-Flyers eager to unleash their flashy, high-energy offense to perhaps upset the older, beefier Heel Daddies. Most likely, my FTR guys are gonna knock the smiles off these young hot-shots with some good old Well-Oiled Machine Tag Team excellence and probably pull their long hair a good deal, but it’s possible AEW wants to push young Pillman and give him a victory.
My FTR guys wore black trunks today — the trademark color for ruthless Heel teams. This does not bode well for the Blondes!
The bell sounds and sure enough, Cash Wheeler quickly establishes his dominance over poor Pillman Junior.
We are treated to some great Tag Team craft by FTR — frequent tags, snazzy Double-Team moves during the exchanges, and isolation of the Face-in-Peril (BPJ) on the Heel side of the ring. Meanwhile BPJ sells gorgeously, cringing in pain and writhing his body after each assault. I think he inherited the Jobber Gene from his daddy.
To be fair, the Varsity Blondes performed some sweet moves of their own — mostly Flippy High-Flying moves like Clotheslines off the ropes and sudden Standing Drop-Kicks. Griff Garrison (Brian’s partner) had a great Hope Spot when he tagged in briefly to take control, the proverbial “House on Fire.”
However, that high speed action is not really my favorite rasslin style, plus I have a boner for FTR, so I didn’t really capture any images of the Blondes in control. I mostly focused on BPJ’s over-time shift as the FIP.
I want to make some comments about the spelling of the word “Blonde.” I was taught that, if you’re describing a dude with light-colored hair, he is a “Blond” (with no “e”). To describe a chick on the other hand, it’s spelled “Blonde.” I believe this is a French thing, to stick an “e” on the ends of your adjectives when describing a female.
For example, when you read about Brian Senior’s partnership with Stone Cold, you will almost always see them called the Hollywood “Blonds” — no “e”. Yet I’ve been researching Brian Junior’s current team, and they’re almost always referred to as the Varsity “Blondes.” Like they’re a couple of bitches.
Is this a mere mis-spelling by someone who doesn’t understand French gender adjectives, or a deliberate intention to soften and feminize this team, to emasculate these long-haired pretty boys by calling them “Blondes” like they’re girls? Or perhaps I am simply behind the times with my gendered language now that we live in a fluid, non-binary world. I just thought it was an interesting shift in the spelling of blonde when describing these particular dudes.
I enjoyed Brian Junior’s work as the FIP in this match. His move-set and his dramatic selling harken back to his deceased father whom I remember fondly. Also young Brian Junior is a sympathetic figure given that his father died when he was only 4 and his mother struggled with addiction. He is also a buff and handsome dude, easy on the eyes in his tight blue trunks, so I enjoy gazing at him.
However, several times in the match, we see some clumsy botches that have my heart in my stomach. For example, in the above GIF, he eats a huge Running Clothesline and attempts to flip like a pancake. Instead he crunches on the back of his head, gripping his neck in pain, and I cringe inside.
Later Dax hoists Pillman up for a Suplex (see below), but instead of landing safely on his back, Pillman never falls away, so he lands squarely on his neck. Ewwww. Dax jumps up and stares at him, perhaps concerned that he just killed the kid, but BPJ survives, albeit with a sore neck. So I think Brian needs more time and more training before getting in the ring with aggressive rasslin studs like FTR.
In the end, my gruff old Heels utterly dominate the two Blondes. They finish Pillman off with their two-on-one “Shatter Machine” move — now known as the “Good Night Express.”
Fuck yeah, FTR! I dig your old school Tag Team dominance. No mercy for the rookies, even if one of them had a famous wrestling daddy 30 years ago.
And to young Brian Pillman, I offer this advice from a man old enough to be your father. You’ve got an excellent pedigree and an appealing look. Keep training, keep practicing, and you could one day be like Randy Orton — even better and hotter than your old man.