Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the most recognizable pro wrestlers in history. Most if not all wrestling fans, including jaded and lapsed ones, have the exact same image come to mind when they read/hear that name: of the bald-headed surly Texas redneck with a goatee, short temper, and penchant for hitting Stunners left and right.
But Austin didn’t always look that way; in fact, during the early-to-mid-1990s and during the first part of his WWE run, Austin looked very different. He was clean-shaven and had a golden buzz haircut. And according to the man himself, this look was deliberate because he was inspired by a very specific actor.
Steve Austin’s old WWE look inspired by Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction
Speaking on an UpUpDownDown livestream, Steve Austin explained why he changed his unique look, especially since the moment he walked into the locker room after doing so, many people were asking out loud why he did it.
“We were working in Pittsburgh one night and I was traveling down the road with Goldust. I still had the buzz haircut. I didn’t have the goatee. I looked at myself in the mirror and I looked like a raggamuffin. I looked at myself and said, ‘Dude, what are you doing?’, so I just shaved my head.
I went to the building that night and everybody said, ‘Dude, why did you shave your head?’ The hair would do me no good anyway. It was inspired by Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction.
So anyway, that’s where I started growing out that goatee, and once I got all the pieces together, and you get all that knowledge, but it’s not always about technical wrestling. It’s great to be able to wrestle technically or wrestle pretty, but it’s about, what does this character mean?
So I started learning to implement the character traits that transferred to the people and then they can identify with and either love, respect, or hate.”
h/t WrestlingNews.co for the transcription