Lance Archer signed a developmental deal with WWE in April 2009 and by November 2009 he was called up to the ECW brand.
Only, he looked a little different.
Archer had long hair and beard in FCW, but moments before he was scheduled to make his ECW debut, both went by the wayside on the orders of Vince McMahon.
"In FCW, you could be something, and when they brought you up, you could be completely different," Archer said on Talk is Jericho. "That's kind of what happened to me when I got brought up. I was in FCW for six months and they brought me up to ECW. Literally, I showed up with long hair, a braided goatee, and a big ass biker jacket. Five minutes before doors open; it's me, the guy I'm beating up, Vince [McMahon], and Johnny Ace [John Laurinaitis]. All of a sudden, Johnny calls me over and is like, 'Kid, we're cutting your hair.' 'Alright, am I on TV tonight?' 'Yeah.' They literally took me to the hairdresser, they chopped my hair and told them to shave my face and leave the jacket. I was still getting the opportunity, but everything I created in my mind as an identity was taken away. It is on me to go, 'Alright, the ball is in my court,' but then they take it away five minutes before doors open and yell 'Go!' Sometimes, they bring guys up and throw them on a house show loop. That wasn't my case. I literally got called, 'Hey, we need you on TV this week.' I didn't know what was going on and it wasn't until the morning of and Joey Styles was there like, 'We'll get the info for your bio tonight.' Okay, I guess I'm debuting. Nobody told me anything."
Archer continued, revealing Vince's reaction to his fresh cut. "When they took me to Vince, they're like, 'Vince, is this okay?' He goes, 'We're gonna break you down to build you up.' 'Okay, you like it?' 'Yes, now get out.' Alright, see you later."
Archer said he wasn't given a reason as to why they wanted to cut his hair, but he went along with it. Jericho and Archer then discussed Frankie Kazarian, who famously refused to cut his hair when asked by WWE, which led to him leaving the company.
While Vince McMahon may have been happy with the haircut, the man who wanted Archer on WWE television didn't seem thrilled.
"I'm walking down the hallway and Michael Hayes, he's shuffling through his papers, and he looks up and sees me and he just throws his hands up, turns around, and walks off. I didn't know what the deal was. I found out later that they had come down to FCW and he saw something he liked. He was the reason I got brought up to TV and then they took away everything he saw and liked, but didn't tell him about it," recalled Archer.
Elsewhere during the interview, Archer revealed that Vince McMahon actually liked his beard when he was close to the end of his WWE run, which makes Vince's decision to shave his beard upon the initial call-up all the more surprising. You can find Archer's comments on Vince loving his beard by clicking here.
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