Baiamonte's Casa #11
April 20, 2009
By: Joe Baiamonte of WrestleView.com
Well hello there. I?ll be honest, I?m typing today's column with a fair amount of regret. See, I?ve had a relatively quiet week. No family commitments or errands to run and university work being saved for the coming fortnight. Somehow though, in this week of leisure, I still left the Casa to the last minute, on a glorious British summertime day, with the Mancunian socialites enjoying an al fresco beverage or four. Meanwhile, yours truly is camped up back at my University house, a rather pungent one at that, with no housemates to be seen and not so much as a backyard to type my column in so as to enjoy the sun on my back as I type.
Bitter ramblings aside however, it is perhaps a good job that I saved such a classic topic for today's column, so to save me from the green eyed monster. Today's visit to the Casa will be covering the topic of great wrestling hairstyles, thus completing my holy trinity of columns; Facial hair, ring attire, and now hairstyles.
Like facial hair and ring attire, what a sports entertainer chooses to sport atop their dome is of vital importance to his or her career. Don?t believe me? Ask Steve Austin.
Back in his pre WWF/E days, many of you will remember that Austin was one half of a tag team named ?The Hollywood Blondes? alongside the late Brian Pillman. The Blondes were a very successful tag team down in WCW no doubt. They held the Tag Titles, had some pretty major feuds, and also had a great look. Matching jackets and gold chains, and of course, fantastic heads of blonde hair respectively.
Now fast forward roughly 18 months or so, and after his infamous phone firing by Eric Bischoff, Steve finds himself under the tutelage of Ted Dibiase senior as ?The Ringmaster?. The golden locks he sported down in Atlanta very much a thing of the past, but a hairline still visible, as if he could command them to sprout forth at any given moment. Needing a release from ?The Ringmaster? gimmick in the hope that he could make a major breakthrough in the company, Steve underwent the change from ?master to ?Stone Cold?. Now, what's 'stone cold? about long blonde hair? Would you have taken Austin as seriously if he?d have still looked like he should maybe be in Duran Duran? Bic?d to the bone and as mean looking as they come, an image and a legend were born.
Now, I know technically, Steve Austin's skinhead isn?t a ?hairstyle?, but rather a lack of hair, but he proves my case in point. Had he kept the blonde bangs, he could never have been ?Stone Cold Steve Austin? and never been the megastar that he went onto become. He could have been ?Chilly Mcfreeze? or ?Ice Dagger? (yes, creative almost went with those names before Austin himself suggested 'stone cold?), but not the Texas Rattlesnake we all know and love.
Another guy to look at when it comes to hairstyles = success is Frankie Kazarian. Now, I?ve not seen a lot of his work. In fact, my Kazarian knowledge is limited to a handful of appearances on Velocity several moons ago and a couple of matches I saw in TNA (I was dangerously bored one day, hence why I was watching TNA). But what I do know about Frankie is that during his last run in the ?E, there were plans to push him in the Cruiserweight division, probably as the champion. Ok, it wasn?t main eventing WrestleMania, but it was a title and a push in the world's biggest wrestling promotion right? However, there was just one condition. And that condition was that Kazarian ditched his bedraggled, greebo locks and opted for a shorter hairstyle. Well, Frankie wasn?t too happy with this follicle related request, and soon after was plying his trade in the booking acid trip that is TNA. Now he wrestles under a mask as a video game character. Well done Frankie! Should have lost the ponytail sooner and enjoyed some decent exposure and probably the best money of your career.
A decade that I hark back to nostalgically in almost every column had a big say in the world of wrestling hair do's. Fuck it, with hair do's full stop. I am of course talking about the 1980's. The two biggest stars in North American wrestling were rocking particularly notorious hairstyles. First of all you had ?Nature Boy? Ric Flair (he tends to get at least one mention every column) somehow managing to keep his hair a luminous shade of platinum blonde at all times whilst also keeping it particularly enormous in size and shape. If I didn?t love the man so much I?d be investigating as to whether he?d been going to the Donald Trump school of hair (i.e. using a dead asylum seekers hair to hide your ever expanding bald patch). Then, you had ?The Immortal? Hulk Hogan. What no doubt started as a lovely, full head of immaculate, buttery blonde hair, gradually evaporated on top but stayed as glorious as ever around the sides. Big Terry's ?do is as big a pop culture icon as him and his Walrus 'stache. He's just lucky he's got the pythons to back up a hairstyle like that. Although in hindsight, maybe it's the reason Linda left him. Who knows? Still something to show off to the Grandkids. Should they be adopted of course. Because anything Nick or Brooke Hogan produce will surely fail to understand the concept of hair, or life in general for that matter.
Of course, I can?t mention the 80's and wrestling hairstyles in the same sentence without mentioning the Fabulous Freebirds. Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin need no introduction. Just do yourselves a favour and Google image those bastards. Dog The Bounty Hunter stole Hayes? hair, that's all I?m saying.
When it comes to wrestling hair, I?ve always sided with longer locks personally. From the aforementioned Hayes and Flair, all the way through to The Undertaker and HHH doing his best to look like Thor, I?ve always thought longer hair was the way to go as a wrestler (no Kazarian you?re still not off the hook, when your promoter wants you to cut your hair so they can push you and possibly give you a title reign, you clip that shit yourself if you have to). However, sometimes you?ve just got to know when to give it up. Here's looking at you Shawn Michaels. Now, I?m a huge HBK fan, I have been for as long as I can remember, but he's certainly no ?boytoy? (shudders) any more, and his hairline is residing back in 1997 where he left his working spine and knees. Note to all: If your hairline begins halfway down the back of your neck, it's probably for the best that you throw vanity to one side and go for a shorter look, rather than the anorexic mullet. It's not a good look. So I plea to you HBK, bow out with some dignity. Not wrestling wise, but hair wise. The grizzled old man goatee is great, just lose the brown wire emanating from your skull please? It has all the volume of brown smoke. A quick trim circa 2002 and you?ll be good to go. Whether you think your 2002 look was a bit like a ?little Dutch boy? (his words, not mine), it?d still be a marked improvement on what's going on right now.
And with that plea, the Casa must sadly close it's doors for another week. But don?t fret, you?ve still got a week's worth of Michael Hayes pictures to take notes from hair fans! Trust me, when you?re up to your neck in sluts because of a ?Hayes special? from the Barbers, you?ll thank me for pointing you in the right direction.
But now I must leave you. Next week I will be predicting the future of the wrestling business. Eight sided rings? (probably not far off in TNA), an animal division? (again probably not far off in TNA), a woman Heavyweight Champion? (yet again, well you get the picture now). Who knows what the future holds for the wrestling world. But we all might be a little more enlightened after next week's column. I promise any TNA fans reading, it's not going to a TNA bashing thread.
Also, any hair related thoughts or thoughts in general? Maybe you just want to call me a cockspanker, feel free at [email protected]
Until next time, arriverderci!