Many wrestlers have thrived with long locks their entire careers, but with enough deep-digging, you can find an alternate timeline where long-haired wrestlers sported a short hair look!
1. Matt Hardy With Short Hair
Matt Hardy made his debut against the legendary Nikolai Volkoff on the May 23rd, 1994 edition of Monday Night RAW.
Hardy spent the first few years after this RAW debut continuing to put over the older stars until his time came to shine when he, along with his brother Jeff, were offered full-time contracts in 1998. The rest is history. The Hardy Boyz have since become one of the greatest tag teams in WWE history. They were innovators of the popular TLC (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs) stipulation and have held championship gold in just about every promotion they’ve worked with all whilst sporting the lock black hair, making this photo an odd one on the eyes!
“I made my
#RAW debut on the 23rd of May in 1994 against this man – Nikolai Volkoff,” Matt wrote. He also offered his sincere condolences when he passed away a few months later after sharing that photo, writing, “My thoughts & prayers go out to the family & friends of Nikolai Volkoff. Nikolai was my very FIRST WWE match in 1994 & proved to be a true gentleman when I encountered him many years later down the road. May you REST IN PEACE, Mr. Volkoff.”
It’s heartwarming to know Matt was able to share that photo with Nikolai before the tragic passing.
WATCH: Matt Hardy Makes His RAW Debut Against Nikolai Volkoff
2. Jeff Hardy With Short Hair
Jeff Hardy has had many hairstyles over the course of his career, but having it short has been a relatively rare occurrence. It must be said this isn’t as surprising as the photo of his brother Matt Hardy, the reason being that one of Jeff’s most famous career moments happened during a short hair phase, so that’s to be seen for generations.
The famous career moment is in reference to his iconic ladder match for The Undertaker’s WWE Undisputed Championship on Monday Night RAW in 2002. Jeff was the ultimate underdog in the match but pushed The Undertaker further than anyone could have imagined. One moment, in particular, stands out to this day…
Jeff Hardy laid out The Undertaker with a vicious chair shot to the face. WWE has edited that part out of the match on their full match upload, which is a damn shame, but we know why they did it. After this, the opportunity to climb the ladder and achieve the ultimate prize opened up.
Jim Ross then said one of his most famous lines that still gives fans goosebumps, “Climb the ladder, kid! Make yourself famous!” It was said with such passion and emotion, and it’s moments like that which are lost in today’s Monday Night RAW episodes.
Jeff Hardy didn’t walk away with the Undisputed WWE Championship that night, but he walked away with something just as valuable… The Undertaker’s respect.
Jeff Hardy spoke with the man behind the legendary commentary call, Jim Ross, about the match on The Ross Report. Jeff was asked if fans ask about the match still.
“All the time, man. We were doing a signing before a show Saturday, and I don’t know how many people said, ‘Man, the best match you’ve ever had was you and ‘Taker. it was so good!’ And your commentary always comes up in the balance as well, like oh my god, just everything was so perfect in that match.”
Jim Ross gave his perspective from behind the desk on an “Ask JR!” edition of Grilling JR:
"I don’t have any idea [where the legendary commentary call came from] — it just came to me. I was wrapped up in the match, loving every minute of it. I god-damned sure wasn’t giving backstory when they’re climbing the ladder. I was trying to get you excited, on the edge of your seat because something was about to happen. The false finishes in a ladder match are getting on the ladder. So it’s a tough match to call in that respect. Because pinfalls and submissions mean nothing. So I thought that that was Jeff Hardy’s — one of his greatest moments as a single. Even over winning a title. Dancing with the Undertaker the way he did was pretty sensational. I’ll never forget that match. It was really, really extraordinary,” Jim explained.
WATCH: The Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy Full Ladder Match
3. Enzo Amore With Short Hair
Here’s a photo of controversial former WWE superstar Enzo Amore, sporting a buzzcut during his football playing days. His former football coach Sherman Wood was a guest on the Jobbing Out podcast, and he revealed that he wasn’t shocked at all that Enzo Amore made it to the big time.
“I am not surprised by what he’s done,” Wood said. “My first impression of him was like, ‘Wow, this guy’s pretty serious. He’s pretty aggressive.’ It was one of those types of intros. I mean, he was very confident; he was aggressive. He said, ‘Coach, we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that.’ And I thought, ‘Wow, this is a new kid in our program; I don’t know if he really knows about our program.’ But he was very confident, and he definitely had a great determination to be successful,” Enzo’s former coach said.
“When he spoke, everyone listened, no doubt about it,” Wood continued, proving that Enzo has always been comfortable speaking. “It’s so strange. This was definitely made for him. What he’s doing now was definitely made for him. But I tell you what, he wasn’t a bad football player, either. He did some pretty good things for us.”
It’s a shame what has transpired and led to his large exodus from pro wrestling despite a couple of appearances on the indy circuit in 2019. Surprisingly, between him and his tag team partner Big Cass, it’s been Cass making the negative headlines this year. If it wasn’t for Big Cass and his unfortunate struggles, there’s a good chance they’d be an active team on the indy circuit right now.
There are reports of Enzo rubbing people the wrong way in the back, but coach Wood reveals a nice side of him. “When he was off the field, you could have a nice conversation with him, and he really cared about a lot of people. He looked after his teammates. He looked after anyone associated with the team.”
“I’m really, really proud of him,” Wood acknowledged. “Extremely proud of him.”
4. Big Cass With Short Hair
There’s a theme to start this list off… tag teams! It just so happens that The Hardy Boyz and Enzo and Cass fit the mold of this topic. Not only did Enzo and Cass rock the long hair during their careers, but both sported the same buzz cut at a time in their youth. Sure, it’s not a jaw-dropping fact, but a fun fact nonetheless!
However, if you go further back to their youth, there’s a fact that is genuinely interesting. The two first met around the ages of fourteen by chance on a basketball court in New York! Enzo and Cass re-visited the West Fourth Street Courts (also popularly referred to as “The Cage”) in 2016 leading up to SummerSlam. They shot a video for WWE’s YouTube channel talking about their experiences there growing up.
“This is where Enzo and I met for the first time many moons ago. I believe I was fourteen years old,” Cass explained to the WWE crew. “I’m a little older than him. I was probably fifteen,” Enzo added.
Enzo tells a fact that is almost hard to believe…
“Believe it or not, I was nearly taller than [Cass] back then!”
Cass backed Enzo up, “He was! I was actually a little guy back then. I had yet to hit a growth spurt, and this guy [Enzo] was bodying people around,” Cass remarked before slyly adding, “which is quite the opposite of how it goes nowadays.”
Cass then opened up on his time playing basketball at New York University.
“Going to NYU, I played Basketball there from 2005 until 2009. I was elected co-captain in my senior year. Me and my friends from the team, we frequented this area a lot… Movies, theatres, restaurants, bars, it’s home for me in more ways than one.”
Another thing in common between Enzo and Cass is that, just like Enzo’s former coach, Cass had an assistant coach that opened up in a similar fashion. Speaking with For The Win, former NYU assistant coach John Pelin had this to say:
"After some of our wins, [Cass] would imitate Ric Flair in the locker room, being excited that we won and do some imitations," John Pelin told FTW. "I do always remember him having an interest in wrestling."
Bill Morrisey, or Big Cass as most know him (currently CaZXL), had great success as a student too. He initially had ambitions to become a doctor before realizing his heart wasn’t into it and pursued his true passion, professional wrestling!
WATCH: Enzo and Cass re-visit “The Cage.”
5. X-Pac With Short Hair
Best known as X-Pac in the WWE, Sean Waltman is seen here with uncharacteristically short hair during his time as The Lightning Kid with the Global Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Championship belt.
The promotion was short-lived, only running from 1991-1994, but had a roster full of stars that would become familiar faces in the business. Stars like Raven, Jerry Lynn, JBL, Mick Foley, Booker T, and Stevie Ray are only a few! The shows were even presented on ESPN (and was the last wrestling promotion to be showcased on ESPN regularly) five times a week featuring new matches on each show.
The shows were held at the famous Dallas Sportatorium, a venue that primarily held professional wrestling events before it was sadly demolished in 2003 due to the dwindling scene that was once thriving in the area. X-Pac experienced success there, and it was a solid breeding ground for him to kick-start a successful career. He was the GWF’s strongest booked Light Heavyweight Champion, winning the inaugural tournament to become the first champion and enduring two reigns at a combined 165 days.
Around this timeframe, too, X-Pac suffered an injury that nearly put an end to his entire career at only the age of 20, which can be read on our site here! It’s an inspiring story that he kept on wrestling at all, let alone making it to the big time in front of millions in the WWE.
6. Elias With Short Hair
Walk with Elias… to the barbershop!
The long hair is a look that really works well on Elias, so it’s bizarre to see this alternative look. Before joining WWE, Elias worked under the moniker (and we’re not kidding) “Heavy Metal Jesus.” That’s right. He was “Heavy Metal Jesus” Logan Shulo.
Major credit has to go to Elias. His journey to get to WWE wasn’t an easy one. It took him multiple tryouts before he was offered a contract. Being told no didn’t dishearten him, and he persisted with his dream of reaching the big time until it became a reality. In an interview with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Justin LaBar early on in his NXT beginnings, Elias told Justin his mindset on being told no.
“I’m not taking no for an answer," Elias said. "I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get there."
And get there, he did!
WATCH: “Heavy Metal Jesus” goes on a spiritual walk
7. “Hangman” Adam Page With Shorter Hair
One of the featured players in AEW, “Hangman” Adam Page, has a notable look that goes along with his outlaw cowboy gimmick, making this look above seem more out of place than it usually would!
This shot is from 2011 for a promo in CWF Mid-Atlantic years before becoming a familiar name.
WATCH: A young Adam Page cuts a promo for CWF Mid-Atlantic
8. Brodie Lee / Luke Harper With Short Hair
Brodie Lee looks formal, friendly, and not intimidating, which is the complete opposite of how he has presented himself as a wrestler!
Lee’s origins as a wrestler began in the backyard wrestling scene. One of Lee’s first opponents and early influences in his career was an unlikely name that was a prominent, memorable jobber in WWE’s ECW on Sci-Fi during 2008 — Colin Delaney!
Colin Delaney was brought into WWE’s ECW reboot to put over ECW’s monsters like Big Daddy V, Mark Henry, and The Great Khali before being released later that year due to budget cuts. He was memorable due to his uniquely young and skinny look, and it was hard not to feel pain for him when he was being manhandled! In fact, Colin Delaney credits Brodie Lee as the reason he got the WWE ECW gig to begin with.
"It comes back to [Brodie Lee] because, at the time, he was an extra at the show in Rochester, NY. They were here taping SmackDown! and ECW. He called me up and said, ‘Hey, what are you doing right now?’ I was working my 9-5 job. So, I said, ‘Working. Why?"
"He said, ‘Well, get down to the War Memorial in the next ten minutes, and you can probably wrestle Shelton Benjamin on TV tonight.’ So, I just boogied down there.
"I got there, and they wanted somebody small for Shelton to be able to throw around, and all the other extras were big guys. Like [Brodie Lee] and Corey Graves was one of them, Michael Tarver was another extra that day. So, it’s all big guys, and they wanted a smaller guy. So, I got there. I met Shelton and all the other people. Then, I wrestled Shelton that night on ECW, and when I got to the back, Vince jumps out of his chair, and he says, ‘Oh my God! That was so good!’ And everyone was so nice, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Man, these people are really nice.’"
Colin Delaney went on to talk about his long-time history with Brodie Lee.
"I started in the business when I was 14. My parents were surprisingly cool with it. I don’t think they knew the full extent of the life of professional wrestling. I did have a good group of guys who I was out with. I would travel, and I would hop in the car and drive 3-4 hours with some of the guys like [Brodie Lee]. I’ve known him since around that time, probably before that. Me and [Brodie Lee] backyard wrestled together. So, that’s how long I’ve known him.”
Things truly came full circle between the two. Ten years after his first appearance with WWE, Colin Delaney was brought in with a tag partner as enhancement talent for an episode on the December 12th, 2017 episode of SmackDown Live. His opponents? Former WWE superstars, The Bludgeon Brothers – Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan!
You actually might remember this match for something other than Colin Delaney’s appearance. Delaney’s partner, Juan Francisco de Coronado, let out an infamous high-pitched scream before being slammed to the canvas. The scream even had commentator Corey Graves laughing!
Colin Delaney got his fair share of punishment in the match, too, but that scream may have stolen the show.
Fans were aware of Colin Delaney and his history with WWE. This created some buzz for him, resulting in him getting another match the following week with WWE on 205 Live, this time losing against a debuting Hideo Itami.
He would make a third and final appearance on the July 10th, 2018 edition of 205 Live, losing to Lio Rush.
Fascinating history that all stems from a friendship with Brodie Lee!
9. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan With Short Hair
The 2×4, long hair, beard, and Duggan’s battle cry “Hooooo!” are what this wrestling legend is best known for. Seeing Jim Duggan without the hair and beard is a strange oddity.
During his younger days, Duggan excelled at a variety of sports. Football (as seen above), track, basketball, and amateur wrestling. He played football at SMU, having the honor of being voted as a team captain. Duggan found himself with a hellacious opportunity and was signed by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL but ultimately, knee injuries cut those ambitions short.
Besides Duggan during those years at high school playing football among other sports, there’s only one other time that he’s had short hair, no beard that’s been documented! It was during WCW in late 2000. That was a painful time for WCW, it was dying an agonizing death for all to see, so it’s a safe bet that what Duggan was doing during this period was reminiscent of the state of the show itself.
Hacksaw, who has been a patriotic babyface essentially his entire career, was turned heel, turning on America in the process and aligning himself with “Team Canada.” He cut his long hair off for the role, as well as shaving his beard. The team, lead by Lance Storm, consisted of Canadians and Americans who had an anti-American stance and saw Canada as superior. The gimmick never suited Duggan. He was uncomfortable with not only the gimmick but having to change his appearance also. It wasn’t long before Mike Awesome replaced him. Only months later, WCW folded.
WATCH: Heel “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan speaks out against America
As you can see from the video, he had already grown the beard back out, and it would only be a matter of time before the long hair would return, too, although, by that time, he had already disbanded Team Canada.
WCW knew he would hate the gimmick. It was a petulant plan on their behalf to get him to quit WCW and save some money whilst their struggles were continuously evident. They couldn’t fire him, it would be a breach, and they would’ve had to pay him out still. So they tried to humiliate him. First, they pitched a gimmick where he would be a janitor before putting him in Team Canada and suggesting he cut the hair and beard… and to Duggan’s credit, he never quit. All of this is mentioned in his book, Hacksaw: The Jim Duggan Story.
In that book, he goes into detail about being told to cut his hair. “They wanted me to cut my hair, shave my beard, and wear a suit,” Duggan wrote. “I’d had long hair my whole adult life, and my beard had also been apart of me for 30 years.”
“I actually went to the barber who recognized me and asked for the shave and haircut, and he looked at me in silence for a few seconds.”
The barber shook his head and said, “Really?”
Duggan continues, “I took my well-dressed, short-haired, clean-shaven self to where we were doing this week’s TV tapings. I saw guys I had known for 10 years or more, and they had no idea who I was! A couple of guys thought I was one of the state athletic commissioners.”
That’s what happens when people are only used to seeing you in one way! Duggan even says in his book that his daughters didn’t know who he was… It’s safe to say, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan feels more himself with the beard and long hair!
10. Lance Archer With Short Hair
Lance Archer really cemented himself in 2019 and 2020 as a dominant figure in NJPW with some stunning performances in the G1 Climax. He’s a former IWGP US Champion, just had a solid match with Jon Moxley for the title in a “Texas Deathmatch” at WrestleKingdom 14, and is a 3-time IWGP Tag Team Champion.
Archer is billed 6’8″ and 265lbs, is 42 years old, almost a 20-year veteran, and is still capable of some high flying maneuvers off the top rope. It’s incredibly impressive. His long red hair and menacing build makes him very distinct and stand out these days, the polar opposite of his WWE run from 2009-2010. Hell, even Lance is probably more well-known for his TNA run as Lance Hoyt than his one in WWE.
Unfortunately for Lance, his timing joining WWE wasn’t great. He was thrown onto the ECW brand, given the name “Vance Archer,” and before truly finding his stride, ECW had already disbanded. For a while, he was left on the shelf, wrestling only dark matches until he was then randomly paired up with Curt Hawkins in a team called “The Gatecrashers,” competing for the most part on the show Superstars. Archer was released not long after and simply changed his name to Lance Archer from Vance Archer, joined NJPW, and has flourished ever since.
Archer reminisced and tweeted out this photo in early 2013, captioning: “Look at that SHORT hair!”
In the replies, a fan said, “Believe me when I say I did not like the haircut. If you have long hair, don’t cut it.”
“Nor did I, but VKM (Vincent Kennedy McMahon) had other ideas,” Lance replied.
Here’s a recent picture of him for good measure.
11. “Macho Man” Randy Savage With Short Hair
Before he became one of the most recognizable names in all of professional wrestling, and undoubtedly the most recognizable voice in wrestling, Randy was dedicating a lot of his time towards baseball! It was a sport he was incredibly passionate about.
You can read all about his baseball career in this deep dive on our site.
12. Hulk Hogan With Short Hair
Long before Hulkamania was running wild, Terry Bollea was nervously smiling for school photographs. This might come as a shock to many people, as even in Hogan’s early career, he always looked older than his age by several years. Seeing Hogan young and look young too, that’s a rare combination, brother!
It’s not just the short hair here. It’s the lack of facial hair that comes as the biggest shocker. If you think this is bad, there was a brief period in WCW where the Hulkster had his coveted handlebar mustache shaved as apart of an angle. You’ll hate it.
That just ain’t right looking.
13. Shawn Michaels With No Hair
“‘Cause I’m a grown man. I’m 52,” Shawn Michaels explains as the reasoning behind cutting his hair in an interview with WWE.com.
Well, they don’t call him “The Heartbreak Kid” for nothing because this sight broke many hearts. We don’t know how Michaels intended to reveal to the public that his long hair was all cut off, but the way it blew up on Twitter with the before and after photos were not how he wanted it to go down. Michaels assumed that his barber was taking the photos for professional reasons, not personal. He wasn’t happy.
“I thought he was taking a before-and-after picture because he wanted it professionally, and the dude went and tweeted it out,” Michaels said. “I was home eating dinner and just decided to get on Twitter, and it was blowing up. I was like, ‘Oh snap, the dude went ahead and … oh.’ I felt so violated, you know what I mean?”
The barber, named Dell, was a fan of Shawn who potentially got a little too excited. He wrote on Facebook in a now-deleted post his experience cutting Shawn’s hair. Thanks to Popculture for quoting the post.
“Today, I had the honor of meeting a childhood hero of mine, Shawn Michaels, and getting him ready for WrestleMania this weekend,” Dell wrote on his Facebook. “Shawn has had the ponytail for over 20 years, and today he had me cut it off and give him a new look. Such a genuine and down-to-earth guy, it was such a privilege being trusted with the famous locks.”
Sadly for Dell, the genuine and down-to-earth guy he just described went on to berate him further in the WWE.com interview with Tom Phillips.
“Dude, for five minutes of fame, you cost yourself … I gave him a 30 percent tip that day, and I’ve done that every other month for a gazillion years,” Michaels said lightheartedly. “Short-term gain, you gotta go with the long-game, brother. That’s the key: Always go with the long game.”
We’re sure he didn’t mean any harm by it, so hopefully, for Dell, he still has high thoughts of the experience and for Michaels!
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure not to miss the following articles on our site:
- 18 Bald Wrestlers, But With Hair!
- 20 Nostalgic Wrestling Photos That Will Take You Back!
- 4 Wrestlers Who Live Unique Lives Outside of the Ring
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