It has been a long road for the veteran, who just recently debuted with All Elite Wrestling following a successful run in Japan.
Archer was a guest on a recent episode of Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast, where he talked about his time in WWE’s FCW developmental program and his call up to the ECW brand back in November 2009. He tells a story about WWE changing his look completely just five minutes before doors opened the night of his debut.
“In FCW, you could be something, and when they brought you up, you could be completely different. 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.”
“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 was never given a reason or any explanation for why they wanted to cut his hair and change his look, but he went along with it anyway. From there, he and Jericho talked about fellow AEW Star Frankie Kazarian, who refused to cut his hair when he was asked to do so by WWE, which resulted in his departure from the company.
He then goes on to talk about running into Michael Hayes, who was responsible for his call-up, in the hallway after cutting his hair.. which wasn’t a favorable one.
“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.”
You can listen to the entire episode of Talk is Jericho featuring Lance Archer below.
(Thanks to Fightful for the transcription.)
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