Before he was the Murderhawk Monster in AEW, Lance Archer wrestled as Vance Archer in WWE.
Archer first appeared on WWE television as part of the ECW brand in 2009, but once the brand went under, he ended up on SmackDown in a tag team with Curt Hawkins in 2010. Archer & Hawkins didn't exactly accomplish much as a tag team, but Vince McMahon did notice Archer's impeccable facial hair.
"We were supposed to have all these vignettes getting ready for our debut and it didn't happen because the show changed all the time," Archer recalled to Chris Jericho on Talk Is Jericho. "We worked a dark match, we get done, come through the curtain and Billy Kidman is like, 'Hey, Vince likes your beard.' 'What?' 'Vince likes your beard.' I walked away, didn't know anything. Billy came to FCW and decided to tell the story and the whole point was, 'You never know what Vince is going to like.' Vince piped in on the headset and said, 'Has Archer always had that beard?' I'd see Vince every single week for the last three months, shook his hand, said hello, but he had no reason to pay attention to me. Now I'm on his TV screen, he sees my beard, asks Billy if I've always had it. 'I really like his beard. Tell him I like his beard.' Next week, we were on TV, me and Curt, got a little bit of a push until it went downhill."
The push didn't last long as the two were regulated to Superstars within three months of their SmackDown debut after mainly losing to more established wrestlers. Archer was eventually released in November 2010.
But at least his beard looked good.
Archer has found more success with a braided beard in AEW, where he is set to face Cody at Double or Nothing in the finals of the AEW TNT Title Tournament.
If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.