There have been many bald wrestlers who have found main-event success over the years, but with enough deep-digging, you can discover an alternate timeline when they sported a full set of hair! This one’s going to be fun…
In our last photo gallery, which was also our first, we took you on a stroll down memory lane with some nostalgic classics. A lot of those photos brought back memories that you fondly remember… but with these shots, we’ll be showing some photos that you likely haven’t ever seen! Bald wrestlers… with hair, here we go!
Bill Goldberg with Hair
The last thing you think of when you think of Bill Goldberg is… hair. This photo may come as a shock to a lot of you. Hell, it did to us too! And we’ve seen a lot of these throwback photos just from browsing for this photo gallery alone and objectively this is one of the most surprising ones.
This is a 21-year-old Bill Goldberg. This shot is from his football playing days. In fact, it’s from a 10-second video of Bill Goldberg talking football. In the video, Bill shares the following insight, “The feeling of competition, not only does it pose one team against another but on each and every play you compete for a one-on-one with another person.” Bill shared.
You can watch this video for yourself here.
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Yes, this is “Stunning” Steve Austin. The “Stone Cold” headline is only for reference. Steve Austin with hair is more known than the others on the list but it would be silly not to include this majestic photo! Austin is arguably the most-known bald wrestler that there has ever been and not many people can pull off the bald badass look as effortless as he can, so seeing him with long, golden locks is still amusing to this day.
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – Abdullah the Butcher
We’re not sure what’s more shocking here: Abdullah the Butcher with hair or Abdullah the Butcher without scars on his forehead! This rare photo is from the Windsor Star newspaper in 1962. Credit goes to Reddit user u/AxlCobainVedder for putting this photo into wider circulation.
Bam Bam Bigelow with Hair
Here is a picture of Bam Bam Bigelow with hair, but more noticeably, without his iconic flame tattoo! Bigelow had a brief history as an amateur wrestler and CANOE — SLAM! Sports have a greatly detailed piece on Bigelow which also goes over his time as an amateur.
“He was a decent amateur wrestler in his native New Jersey at Neptune High School. As a senior in 1979, Bigelow was the top-seeded heavyweight in the state tourney, but was beaten in the semifinals; he finished third and had a 26-1 record that year. The previous year, he’d made the quarterfinals at state, losing to future Olympic champ Bruce Baumgartner,” SLAM!’s Matt Mackinder writes.
Bruce Baumgartner wasn’t only a future Olympic champ, he was a four-time Olympic medalist, two of those being gold! He was also inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame so there’s absolutely no shame at all losing to him!
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – Christopher Daniels
Christopher Daniels with hair is obscene… as is that attire! This photo appeared on Twitter in a 2016 interaction between two good friends, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe.
The interaction started with Samoa Joe saying he’s falling into a ’90s time warp, to which Daniels replied, “If you see me there, please tell me to skip the bleach job and go straight to shaving the dome! Thanks!”
Now, a photo of Christopher Daniels with bleach-blonde hair was hard to find, but it exists! If you can find better, you deserve a tip of the hat.
“Oh boy, the choices I could help this guy avoid..” Joe said in response to Daniels.
Christopher Daniels: “Thank you for the inevitable deluge of “OMG, hair?!?” tweets coming my way.”
Samoa Joe: “It was a glorious mane. It deserves to be recognized if nothing less than saluted!”
Christopher Daniels: “Rest In Peace, hair! We (well, I…) miss you every day.”
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – Cesaro
Cesaro, who was once Antonio Cesaro, who was also once Claudio Castagnoli on the indy circuit, used to rock the long hair! Castagnoli was perhaps most known for his partnership and tag team with Chris Hero. Together they called themselves “The Kings of Wrestling” and they still hold the current record for the longest-ever reigning ROH World Tag Team Champions at 363 days. This record has stood for over eight years.
Since that tag team title reign, the two have spent most of their time in WWE. Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero) has applied his trade in NXT whilst Cesaro has spent it on the main roster. However, that hasn’t stopped The Kings of Wrestling from sharing a moment or two in the WWE squared circle!
On August 23, 2012, Cesaro and Kassius Ohno teamed up to face the odd but intriguing team of CM Punk and Seth Rollins. The Kings of Wrestling would come up short in this match.
And most recently, a little over a year ago now in September of 2018, Cesaro stepped in to help even the odds as Kassius Ohno was getting beaten down by The Undisputed Era. The crowd loved it, chanting “Kings of Wrestling!” Cesaro grabbed the mic after clearing the ring of The Undisputed Era and wholesomely said, “Chris is awesome!”
Even more wholesomely, Chris, as Cesaro called him, replied with, “If you’re sitting down, I want you to stand your a*s up and give a standing ovation for the best wrestler in the world, Cesaro!”
It would be great to see them reunite again but on the main roster. As they say, you just never know…
WATCH: “Kings of Wrestling” Cesaro and Kassius Ohno vs The Undisputed ERA
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – Scott Dawson
It is safe to say Scott Dawson is better known for his facial hair than he’s ever been known for the hair on his head. That’s because most people wouldn’t have ever seen hair on his head full stop! You can actually watch a full match from CWF Mid-Atlantic dating back to 2006 where you can really get an odd look at Scott Dawson, wrestling as K.C. McKnight, with long, flowing hair.
WATCH: Scott Dawson (then known as K.C. McKnight) wrestling with long hair:
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – Erick Rowan
This Erick Rowan photo is a bit of a phenomenon. People seemed to swear up and down in our Facebook post on this that he looks like Jack Swagger/Hager in this photo. We can see the resemblance while others don’t. Is this like the dress illusion all over again!? Some others say he looks like James Hetfield of Metallica. Now that we can definitely see.
Another bizarre thing — Erick Rowan’s ring name during this time was Thoruf Marius. No, we’re not making that up.
If you’re in need of a laugh, F4W/WON’s the Bryan and Vinny Show once did a fantastic segment about Erick Rowan’s history as Thoruf Marius. You can listen to it here and also subscribe to hear more from F4Wonline here.
Listen to Wrestling Observer’s Bryan and Vinny Show talk about Erick Rowan’s run as Thoruf Marius:
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – Ivan Koloff
Old school cool, Ivan Koloff. “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff is one of the best and most memorable foreign characters there has ever been and he left a great legacy behind when he sadly passed away in 2017. The fact that he isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame is shameful on WWE’s behalf.
Ivan Koloff, a Canadian, was destined to excel at a foreign gimmick right from the start of his career. The photo above is him as Red McNulty, an Irish thug! Jim Ross shared a short story on Twitter about Red McNulty after his passing.
“Uncle Ivan & I used to laugh about ‘Red McNulty.’ He was shocked that I knew,” Jim shared.
May he rest in peace.
Kane with Hair
Kane always had a full set of hair, but many had thought the hair was apart of the mask. This wasn’t the case for his entire 1997-2003 run excluding the night he unmasked himself. That hair was real. If you need evidence, all you have to do is watch SummerSlam 2000 where The Undertaker took Kane’s mask off. You’ll see the hair remains intact even when the mask comes off. It wasn’t until that fateful night on June 23, 2003, that Kane shaved his head for the unmasking angle — that was the first night the mask included fake hair.
Kane answers a question from a child very politely in this video. The kid asked Kane, “Why did you cut off all your hair?” to which Kane responded, “I cut it off a long time ago. When I [took my mask off], I cut my hair along with it and a lot of people think that it wasn’t my hair but it was. It used to be really, really long… and it took me like half an hour a day to actually manage that in the shower. For you guys and girls with long hair, you can sympathize with that, so I will never have that again!”
Since his haircut and away from the squared circle, everything has worked out great for Glenn Jacobs as he has been the Mayor of Knox County for over a year now!
Frankie Kazarian with Hair
Frankie Kazarian joins SCU stablemate, Christopher Daniels, on this list. Whilst not as shocking as Daniels, considering Kazarian wrestled a good portion of his career with hair, over the last decade we’ve all become very accustomed to bald Frankie Kazarian.
Kazarian was signed to WWE in 2005 for a few months, but that didn’t last very long. After only getting as far as working matches on Velocity, Kazarian asked for his release where he went back to TNA not long after. There was speculation that one of the reasons Kazarian asked for his release was because Vince McMahon wanted him to cut his hair and Kazarian refused. This became even more shocking when less than a year later, his ponytail was cut by current SCU stablemate, Scorpio Sky, at a PWG show. In a shoot with RF Video in 2014 however, Kazarian denied it had anything to do with the hair.
“The haircut was suggested by Vince. It was literally in passing by gorilla [position],” Kazarian said.
Vince told him, “Great match, kid. Cut your hair. Can’t see your face when you’re selling.”
Kazarian continued, “The previous story is I used to always wear my hair in a ponytail and Johnny Ace told me, ‘Wear your hair down!’ and I was like, ‘It gets in my face when I wear it down, Johnny.'”
“No, wear it down!” Johnny insisted.
“The one night I wear it down, I get told to cut my hair,” Kazarian laughs.
This wasn’t the catalyst behind him asking for his release according to Frankie himself. He stated his lack of maturity and not understanding the business, machine-like operation WWE was and the environment wasn’t for him at the time. It all worked out nicely in the end for him though, as of this writing, Frankie Kazarian is a part of the current and inaugural AEW Tag Team Champions with the stable, SCU (SoCal Uncensored).
WATCH: Frankie Kazarian wrestles with his hair down on WWF Velocity in 2005
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – King Kong Bundy
King Kong Bundy with hair looks… wrong. It instantly looks like a wig! But it’s the real deal. Once he shaved the hair to go with the black singlet, he would find the look he became universally known for.
Sadly, King Kong Bundy passed away in March 2019. He’s a true legend of the industry and yet another wrestler deserving to be in the WWE Hall of Fame but isn’t. Vince has a lot of strained relationships and King Kong Bundy is no exception. In a Kayfabe Commentaries Supercard shoot with Sean Oliver, King Kong Bundy calls Vince McMahon “a vindictive prick.” It appears the problems largely stem from broken promises over money and that Vince guaranteed him championship gold for putting over Hulk Hogan, which never eventuated.
Rest in peace, Bundy.
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – Perry Saturn
The above photo is a fascinating shot of Perry Saturn with hair. This is from 1992 on an episode of WWF Superstars, where Saturn worked as an enhancement talent. Saturn had hair up until his ECW run in the tag team ‘The Eliminators’ alongside his late partner, John Kronus. In the midst of an intense feud with The Pitbulls, Saturn had his head shaved by them with their manager Francine also aiding. The Eliminators experienced success in ECW, winning three ECW World Tag Team Championships.
Today, Perry Saturn, 53 years old, sadly suffers from CTE. One of his latest updates said he was getting better which is great news, however. Bill Apter did an interview for 1 Wrestling after bumping into Perry Saturn in June 2019.
“I’m recovering and getting better from the CTE. It’s gotten a lot better, you know? So it was very bleak at first and some people it gets to a point and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m one of the lucky ones.” Saturn positively revealed.
We wish him nothing but the best. Saturn has had a tragic past, and you can read all about it on our site here.
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – Ricochet
Ricochet has had one of the most dramatic transformations out of the wrestlers featured on this list. Fans don’t hold back when they see this photo and are quick to say how much he resembles Sasha Banks… We’ll just say this, bald is a better look for him!
This picture above is from a promo actually. Ricochet now gets a lot of flak for his promo abilities, but after seeing the promo this is attached to, you’ll see he’s improved quite a bit!
WATCH: Young Ricochet, with hair, cuts a promo
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – Ryback
Ryback’s look in WWE has drawn comparisons to Goldberg. The bearded, bald, and muscular physique encouraged fans to even chant “Goldberg” during his matches. It’s a shame Ryback departed WWE before Goldberg had returned… there was definitely money to be made there! But seeing this hair on him… we wonder what kind of chants he would have got instead if he maintained this look!
Jason Saint is the other man featured in the photo above. He graciously reached out to us on our Facebook page and gave us some backstory, firstly telling us that this photo is from 2006.
“For those wondering the story behind Ryback’s look in this photo, he was trying out a gimmick at the time known as Dr. Jorrelle Silvers, something like The Incredible Hulk. He was part of a ‘Four Horsemen’ stable with Cliff Compton, Cody Rhodes, and Jack Bull that they were doing on OVW house shows. It picked up some sort of following but never made it to air. That’s why I’m holding up the four fingers in this photo.” Ryback’s friend, Jason shared with us.
Jason then shared a photo of the stable all together:
“Here’s a photo of the four at a show in I believe Elizabethtown, KY.”
Impressive stuff from Jason, even remembering the town it was in! We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he thought correctly. But our favorite photo of all that he shared with us was a recreated photo from 2017.
Thanks to Jason Saint for providing this great information and photos to us via our Facebook page!
Bald Wrestlers with Hair – The Iron Sheik
The Iron Sheik… with hair? No mustache? The horror! The sweater too, the peace sign… everything about this reeks of something The Iron Sheik wouldn’t do, but it’s him! Crazy stuff. This photo has also drawn comparisons to John Cena. I still see that more than the Erick Rowan, Jack Swagger/Hager comparison!
Tomasso Ciampa with Hair
Surreal is the best way to describe this one. Tomasso Ciampa was only 20-years-old at the time of this and had been in the business only a few months, but found himself brought in for a segment on a 2005 episode of SmackDown. Not just any segment either. It was a segment that put him face-to-face with The Undertakah!
He was brought in as the attorney for Muhammad Hassan during his feud with Undertaker. It’s quite funny looking back on it, Ciampa does a great job of playing the “I’m not a wrestler!” victim once Undertaker confronts him… only for him to become one of the best wrestlers in recent WWE history over the next fifteen years.
Ciampa, the attorney, was on the receiving end of a chokeslam and a tombstone piledriver. That would be the last we would see of him in WWE for about a decade. Ciampa brought up the surreal throwback on his Twitter in July 2018, with this photo:
In true Ciampa style, he captioned it with:
“13 years ago, I made my WWE debut. I often wonder if Taker realized he was sharing the ring with The Greatest Sports Entertainer of All Time.”
More recently, however, only a few weeks ago as of this writing, Ciampa was asked on the CBS Sports’ State of Combat podcast about his 2005 WWE debut.
“At that time I was living in Boston, Massachusetts,” Ciampa shared. “I believe that the show was in Worcester, so it wasn’t far for me. I was training at Killer Kowalski’s old place, and they were kind of the feeding ground. Any time WWE was in the northeast area, that’s who they’d call. They’d call them for extra talent.”
Ciampa continued, “It was the weirdest call in the sense that usually, especially at that time, size mattered quite a bit. They really wanted guys 6-foot-2 and above 220 [lbs]. That particular day, we got a call saying, ‘Hey, we need guys who are below 6 feet tall, who have darker features and who can speak.’ That’s never the call you get.”
Despite being the youngest amongst a group of hungry candidates, he found himself picked for the segment.
“Three of us showed up with the promoter, and I was the youngest of the three, but the decision-maker said, ‘Oh, you look the oldest.’ It was what it was because they had to cast me as a lawyer. Not super believable now, I was only 20 at the time, I don’t know if it was believable then,” Ciampa said.
“That was a whirlwind of a day, because luckily for me, I’ve always been comfortable on the microphone. So, that part I didn’t have nerves, specifically because I had a script I was going to be reading off a piece of paper because I was acting as a lawyer that day. I didn’t even have to memorize the lines.
“But the day itself was crazy. Once I got picked, it was probably 4 p.m. at the time, and it was a pretty important angle for WWE because maybe a week or two prior, Muhammad Hassan and Davari did some stuff that upset executives at Fox or whatever it was … maybe it was UPN at the time. Whatever it was, it was around something to do with the terrorists and it didn’t sit right with people. So, this lawyer thing had to be an apology that came off sincere, but also in the wrestling world made sense where Undertaker could come out,” he told Brian Campbell of the State of Combat podcast.
“So, I rehearsed that script in front of everybody. I did it solo in front of Vince in his office, I did it in-ring with Undertaker, Vince and Hunter was there. Looking back now, I see how big of a deal it was and just how crazy it was to have that one-on-one time with everybody as a kid on the independents. It was wild, everybody treated me incredibly well. I remember they didn’t like the suit that I had on so they went and bought me a suit and let me keep it.” Tommaso Ciampa finished with.
As a 20-year-old and being put in a spot like that with little to no experience in the business is incredible. Check out the segment yourself!
WATCH: Tomasso Ciampa debuts in the WWE at age 20 as Muhammad Hassan’s attorney
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