NXT’s Lexis King Reveals His Feelings On AEW And Valuable Advice John Cena Gave Him

Lexis King gets candid about AEW and reveals wise words he heard from John Cena
WWE Lexis King and Carmelo Hayes

Lexis King shares his feelings on his former home, AEW, and what the great John Cena taught him about wrestling.  King, who went by his real name, Brian Pillman Jr., in AEW was one of its wrestlers early on. He spent much of his time in AEW on AEW Dark and as an enhancement talent.  Even though he gained some recognition and his potential was apparent, he was not used in a way for him to show the world what he could do.

In 2023 Lexis King left AEW for greener pastures in WWE.  Despite not being utilized as much as he would have liked in AEW he revealed on Insight with Chris Van Vliet that he has no ill will towards his time in AEW.

“There’s no ill will. But it’s sort of just that mindset. You know, I’ve put myself in that mindset. Nobody else put me in that; I put myself in that mindset of, ‘What’s going on here?’ Sort of that self-doubt. And then I kept grinding … I moved back home. I kept grinding, going to the local school, trying to find out what makes me tick as a performer. And just the experience [of] living there. The experience I gained traveling with AEW made me the performer I am today.”

Uneventful Time In AEW

WWE Lexis King and Carmelo Hayes
Courtesy Of WWE

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King was part of AEW from 2019 to 2023.  For most of that time he was part of the tag team The Varsity Blonds along with Griff Garrison.  He showed a great deal of charisma and showed that he may reach the same peak his infamous father, Brian Pillman Sr., achieved.

King needed to be used more and in a greater capacity if he was going to show the world that the Pillman name lives on.  He wasn’t able to do that in AEW and in 2023 AEW decided to not re-sign him so he decided to go to WWE.

AEW over WWE

King revealed that the move to WWE wasn’t as much of a decision to move on, but a transition to the next step in his career.

“I mean it wasn’t so much of a decision as it was just a necessary you know transition. I think my time came up at AEW and it was a great run, a great deal financially. I did very well there, but like I said you know just that sort of that self-doubt of not knowing the future you know not knowing if I’m going to be used or if I’m going to do anything.”

Early on in AEW’s lifespan many ex-WWE wrestlers wanted to go over to AEW to hopefully be used to their full potential.  However, in the last two years or so it has been the opposite.  WWE is starting to look like the hot place to be again.  Along with King, Cody Rhodes and Jade Cargill have made their way over to WWE.  Also CM Punk, but those are much different circumstances.

Make Way For The Lexis King

WWE Lexis King and Carmelo Hayes
Courtesy Of WWE

In Sept. 2023 vignettes began to play during NXT featuring King and his new name for WWE.  His first televised match in WWE was during NXT Deadline last month.  He faced Carmelo Hayes in a losing effort, but showed that he isn’t coasting on his family name.

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King talked about John Cena coming to the WWE Performance Center for a seminar and some very valuable advice he learned from Cena. 

“I’m so glad I went. It was the most enlightening. It wasn’t just like little questions that people would ask like ‘oh what’s your favorite food.” No like we were getting into it like we were talking about contract negotiations and like how to you know all this different stuff. It was amazing, the amount of questions we were able to ask and get answered … One of the coolest things he said was, ‘You can’t control the booking, you can’t control who is wearing what belt, but you can be the best version of said character.'”

Be The Best Lexis King You Can Be

WWE Lexis King and Carmelo Hayes
Courtesy Of WWE

King went on to use the example of Cena’s early career during his Doctor of Thuganomics character.  He relays that Cena was the best rapper guy on the roster and if WWE needed a rapper guy that they would call Cena.  Proving that being the best at your character will help with your success.

Cena also taught King to never pitch an idea again.  His explanation was if a wrestler pitches an idea and it gets rejected they will get discouraged and also the writers will get upset the wrestler is trying to do their job.  He also revealed that Cena never pitched an idea his entire career.


King is still very early on in his WWE career and hasn’t been used much as of yet.  However, it is a new year and the NXT landscape is wide open for a new King.

Do you feel like Lexis King or Brian Pillman Jr. at the time was misused in AEW?  Or was he just not ready for a push at the time?  Do you feel like he is ready now? Is there anyone in NXT you are excited to see him work with?  Do you think Cena’s advice for not pitching ideas works for people besides a megastar like Cena?  Let us know if you think King will win NXT gold this year. Follow us on social media so you don’t miss anything, we’re always watching.

KEEP READING: AEW World Champion Samoa Joe Talks About The Impact He Wants To Have On AEW

Sources: Wrestling Inc., Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Wrestling Inc.


Robert Watson

Robert Watson

Just a guy reading comics, watching wrestling, and wondering if aliens exist