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  Nov 23, 2000



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

SLAM! Wrestling Editorial: Bald is beautiful
By ALEX RISTIC -- SLAM! Wrestling

Forget the story of Samson and Delilah. What kind of wimp loses all his strength at the mere snip of his hair? Real men do their talking with chrome domes. You want proof? Just look at the world of professional wrestling, where the hottest and brightest superstars have smooth skin and don't wear rugs to cover it up.

Don't cover it up, Macho Man! Be bald and proud!
This isn't the '80s anymore. Much like glam metal, big hair all teased up went out over a decade ago. But if you look closely at the '90s, a new statement was born. The time had come for warriors of scalp to take control of their fate, and much like their heads, many a career would shine.

Starting with WCW, one of its first bald champions was Big Van Vader. He proved his hairless might time and again. Just look at what he did to Mick Foley's ear. A more brash and brutal champion, bald or not, there never was.

Of course you can't forget aging stars like Hulk Hogan or Randy Savage. While both started their careers relatively young, it wasn't until the hair disappeared from their crowns that they ascended to the wrestling throne, and outside of Ric Flair (a notable haired exception), they were probably two of the biggest, balding wrestlers to help propel WCW in the mid-'90s.

Then there's the new guard. I don't know what Goldberg is thinking. He should change his name to Baldberg and the money would come rolling in at thrice the rate it does now. When the nWo was getting stale he carried the weight of a stagnant WCW on his muscle bound head. His contributions to the world of bald wrestling can't be ignored, regardless of what you think of him.

Where WCW and the WWF differ is in the respective company's history. The genes must run strong in the McMahon family. Vinnie Sr. propped up his first bald champion in the '70s, in the form of Ivan Koloff. That move was pretty much the harbinger of the bald bad ass champion that has dominated sports entertainment over the last five-years. Did Vinnie Sr. look into his crystal 'bald' and know what was to come? Following Koloff in bold-bald title reigns were Stan "The Man" Stasiak and Superstar Billy Graham. It looks the WWF has built its popularity on the bald and the beautiful, and Vinnie Jr. obviously learned a lot from his dad.

Of course, this is where the falling out first occurred for Hogan and Savage. The first few follicles that hit the floor were shed in the WWF, and paid off handsomely with the two superstars first major title reigns. But if we're talking about old timers here, let's not forget Sgt. Slaughter. Any guy who can stick it to the Ultimate Warrior the way Slaughter did had to be bald. Not only did Slaughter run roughshod in wrestling but he was a member of the U.S. armed forces. Only a bald man could do that. Further proof would be Jesse Ventura. Who else but a bald man could forge a successful wrestling career like his, survive being a Navy seal, and become Governor of Minnesota. No hair flapping pansy at any rate.

Then there's the most popular bald champion of all time -- Stone Cold Steve Austin. Multiple title reigns, a millionaire from merchandise sales, Austin's shiny baldness speaks to the people in hypnotic tones, much like a hypnotist mesmerizes a crowd with a shiny smooth pocket watch. The guy's neck has been broken, his knees are half bionic, and he drinks enough beer to make an elephant get a hangover. If he's not proof of the power of baldness than I don't know what is.

ECW's Holy Bald Trinity
A notable mention goes out to the brief title reign of Vinnie Jr. While he seems to have hair, any one who knows their wrestling history also knows he paid good money for it. Not only is he the Hair Club for Men's best client, but he won the WWF title and runs a billion dollar corporation. Let's see a guy with thick full hair do that.

If you're still not convinced, then how about the newer, more extreme forms of wrestling? I don't think anyone doubts the intelligence of Paul Heyman. (How can you? He's bald!) He saw what was coming when he put in his time as a fan boy, going from town to town selling photographs as a freelance photographer to any wrestling rag that would pay him to publish it. He also spent time in WCW. He knows any good federation must be carried on the backs of good bald champions.

In the last three-years Heyman has incorporated at least three bald champions, proof of the power in polished scalps. Since 1997, Bam Bam Bigelow, Taz and Justin Credible have all held the ECW's World title at one point or another.

Even those with thinning hair let their talents shine. It's as if starting to lose your hair is what gets people to notice you before you make it to the next level. Look at all the recent world champions who are starting to lose their hair: Paul Wight (Big Show/Giant), Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, The Rock and Sabu. They're just starting to scratch on the surface of greatness, and if they scratched their scalps some more they just may get there quicker.

What's the morale of the column? Bald is bad ass. For all those aspiring wrestlers out there, no matter how talentless you are, you know a bald head well open the door and get you going places. Hey, it worked for Big Vito. Who knows where his career will go next?


Reader Feedback

  • Nov. 16:The rise and fall of Survivor Series



  • Hey,

    I just wanted to say the "Rise and Fall of Survivor Series" column was awesome. Also, I think it would be great if you could basically break down the other 3 major WWF PPVs. The Rise and Fall was one of the best editorials I ever read at SLAM!. Thanks.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Greene

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