Lexis King has quickly made an impact in WWE NXT, opting to go by the name ‘King’ instead of his birth name, Brian Pillman Jr., which he used during his time in AEW. In promotional videos leading up to his debut, King explained that he chose this name to avoid competing with his father’s legacy.
Expanding on this decision during an appearance on Booker T’s Hall of Fame podcast, King provided more insight into the rationale behind his in-ring name change.
“There is a lot of emotion behind that last name. That was my stepfather’s last name. He came into the picture pretty much as soon as my father passed. My mom needed to be with somebody that helped keep the lights on. She was already one foot out the door, I’m pretty sure, before [my dad] passed. She was looking for some stability, and she met a guy with the last name King. He came from a great family, but he wasn’t great to me. He was an abusive piece of work and he put me through some s***. It made me stronger, and in a way, it’s like, this man robbed my childhood, I’m going to rob his name. I’m going to take his name because it’s a cool name. I’m going to make it mean something positive. As much as he was a piece of garbage to me, I’m not doing this to bring him any glory or fame, I’m doing this for me. I’m going to take that name and make it something.
“In a way, he had much more influence on my life than my own father did. I was four years old and I lived under this man’s roof until I was 13. I packed up my bags and moved out on my own when I was 13. This man berated me, neglected me, and abused me for about eight or nine years. I am a King. I called him Dad. There was part of my life where I looked up to this stepfather as my father. He never officially adopted me and gave me his name, but I have every right to use that name because what I went through made me who I am today. I’m more a King than I am a Pillman if we’re quite honest. As much negativity and stuff that name carries in my life, it’s who I am. If that means when I step into the ring with you that I’m going to be a vile piece of s*** and beat the crap out of you, that’s what it’s going to be. All of that has been built up. I’ve taken a beating, I’ve taking a whooping. I’ve been thrown down a flight of stairs by a grown man. Nothing can stop me on this journey to take what I want from NXT. This is who I am. I’m Lexis King. people want to talk crap about the name, but they’re going to chant it before long,” said King.
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