The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
May 19, 2022

Griff Garrison On AEW, Varsity Blonds, Brian Pillman Jr. And Looking Like A Young Chris Jericho

Griff Garrison On AEW, Varsity Blonds, Brian Pillman Jr. And Looking Like A Young Chris Jericho

Griff Garrison (@griffgarrison) is a professional wrestler currently signed to All Elite Wrestling. He sits down with Chris Van Vliet at the Squared Circle 2 Expo in Indianapolis, IN to talk about how he got discovered by AEW, what led to him forming the Varsity Blonds tag team with Brian Pillman Jr., people thinking he looks like a young Chris Jericho, playing football in high school, how a football injury led him to start wrestling, what he learned from talking to AJ Styles and much more!


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On wrestlers he loved growing up:

“I mean I was the average kid that loved John Cena. I was 8 years old and like ‘I want to be that guy.’ My first ever match that I remember was his debut match against Kurt Angle. If I could meet anybody, it would be John Cena or Dwayne Johnson.”

On the best advice he has been given:

“Just go slow. If you think you are going slow, then go slower. People in wrestling move too fast, and I am one of those people. You just have to slow down and make everything count. If you go too fast, you trip yourself up and you end up botching everything.”

On Griff Garrisons' height:

“I’m about 6 foot 3 or 6 foot 4. Every time people meet me, they are always like ‘You are so much taller than on TV.’ I think it’s because I am with Brian on TV and he is a lot stockier. Brian has such broad shoulders, I think it’s all the raises he does in the gym.”

On his diet:

“I will go to Walmart and just buy stacks and stacks of tuna. I put it in a pack and it’s like 80g of raw protein right there. So I have been cutting a lot, but I am starting to bulk more on Monday. This is just on the road. At home it is eggs and blueberries for breakfast. Then after the gym there’s a protein shake with Greek yoghurt. Then it’s chicken, green beans, asparagus, salmon, all that boring food. It sounds boring but I am as fit as I have ever been in my life. I used to care about the number on the scale, but now it’s about looking good on TV and being as strong as possible.”

On having a tumour in his foot:

“It was terrifying. Ever since after my senior football year, I started having this nagging pain in my foot. I didn’t know what it was so I started to go and see doctors. I would get a frozen lacrosse ball and rub it on my foot, wear insoles, I would try everything. Then finally whenI broke my foot the doctors were like ‘Yeah you have been growing a tumour in your foot for 2 years.’ She said that it was eroding my heel bone, and if we didn’t discover it then it would have gone up into my leg. If that happened, they would have had to amputate my leg.”

On being an athlete all of his life:

“The first spot I played was baseball. I started playing tee ball early, my dad started me off at 2 years old. I started off in ATlanta, so we always went to the Braves game. Then football came along and I went to all of these camps and combines. The one before my senior year, I tore my whole hamstring. I couldn’t go to any of these other camps, and I think that’s why I played at a division 3 school. After football season, the foot pain nagging started, so I went somewhere local to get a degree, and then that was where wrestling came about.”

On possibly following football if injuries didn’t occur:

“I played receiver. I played quarterback up until 9th grade where a better quarterback came along. He broke every record in highschool and I think he went on to go into baseball. I was getting recruited by Duke Blue Devils, but the foot thing happened. But then I got to college, fell out of love with football, found wrestling and here we are.”

On his first break in wrestling:

“Me and a friend went to a Ring of Honor dojo camp. We got to do matches and drills in front of Christopher Daniels and Punishment Martinez [Damian Priest]. That was in December and then in February we did Future of Honor. We wrestled Dalton Castle, Joe Hendry and even got to wrestle The Briscoes for the tag titles.”

On getting to AEW:

“It was 2020 and we were wrestling in Future of Honor before everyone was freaking out about the whole pandemic thing. The next month we went to Baltimore and my partner Marcus tore his ACL. They were going to offer us a contract, then COVID hit. I was online applying for teaching jobs, then my agent calls and said that they want me for extra work for AEW in Jacksonville. I can’t let this opportunity slip, I put the computer down and didn’t talk to anyone for 2 weeks. So I trained, ate and slept and watched tapes. We did a live Dynamite and taped it for the next week. I came back 2 weeks later and did a dark match against MJF. Tony Khan loved it, so we came back the next night and taped it, that was really cool.”

On how Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. became a team:

“I don’t know, I think Tony just threw me and him together. I get there one day and our names are on the board together. But I guess that Tony liked us as a team and kept putting us together. Then we got Julia, we got matching uniform and signed to a salary last July. It was crazy, my life has been one big roller coaster ride.”

On a possible split:

“I think there has already been a little seed planted here and there as you have seen with Julia. There is definitely some tension in the group, but one day I could definitely go with turning on Brian or we turn together. When we started, we did the whole Ivy League thing and we loved it.”

On his AEW goals:

“As of right now, me and Brian have a lot more to accomplish. I think we need to build more chemistry, and we hang out more outside the ring. I would love another shot at the titles and one day I want to be the TNT Champion.”

On what Griff Garrison is grateful for:

“God, my family and wrestling.”

Featured image: Wrestling Inc.