Stephen "Steve" Paul Keirn (September 10, 1951) is an American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for being part of the tag team The Fabulous Ones, with Stan Lane, and later for a run in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as Skinner, a gimmick that portrayed him as a tobacco spitting alligator hunter from the Everglades. During his time in WWF, Steve was also one of a number of wrestlers to play the role of the masked Doink the Clown.
Much of Keirn's early career was spent wrestling as part of a tag team. While wrestling in Championship Wrestling from Florida (CWF), he held the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship twelve times; once each with Bob Backlund, Jimmy Garvin, and Brian Blair, and nine times with Mike Graham. In addition, the team of Keirn and Graham won the NWA Florida United States Tag Team Championship three times.
In 1980 and 1981, Keirn focused on his career as a singles wrestler. He won many titles in Florida and Georgia, including the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title by defeating Chavo Guerrero Sr.. This title reign was recognized by New Japan Pro Wrestling, as well as the Los Angeles and Florida NWA territories, but not by the NWA as a whole, which considered the title vacant and held a tournament to crown a new champion. The title Keirn held was later renamed the NWA International Junior Heavyweight Title. Keirn also won the NWA National Television Championship twice, defeating Terry Funk and Kevin Sullivan.
In 1981, Keirn began wrestling with the Tennessee-based Continental Wrestling Association (CWA). He was successful as a singles wrestler, winning a tournament to claim the AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship. He also held the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Championship on two occasions. As in CWF, Keirn found his greatest success in the tag team division. He held the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship 17 times, including 14 reigns as one half of the Fabulous Ones with Stan Lane. Keirn and Lane also teamed to win the CWA World Tag Team Championship twice.
The Fabulous Ones competed in various promotions over the next decade. In 1984, the team won the Southwest Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship while wrestling in Australia. In the United States, they won the NWA Florida United States Tag Team Championship twice. In 1991, the pair wrestled in the United States Wrestling Association, defeating Tony Anthony and Doug Gilbert to win the USWA Tag Team Championship.
World Wrestling Federation (1991–1993)
In the summer of 1991, Keirn debuted in the WWF as Skinner, an alligator hunter from the Florida Everglades. He was portrayed as a generally nasty individual, always chewing on tobacco and sometimes spitting it on his opponent. He carried an alligator claw to the ring with him, which he would often use as a weapon against his opponents. He competed in the 1991 King of the Ring tournament, defeating Virgil in the first round but losing to Bret Hart in the second round. While still being billed as undefeated, he challenged Hart for the WWF Intercontinental Championship at This Tuesday in Texas on December 3, 1991 but lost by submission. At WrestleMania VIII, Skinner was defeated in one minute and eleven seconds by Owen Hart.
World Championship Wrestling (1994)
Along with Bobby Eaton, Keirn wrestled in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1994 in a tag team known as "Bad Attitude". Despite the tag team success both Keirn and Eaton enjoyed in the past (with The Fabulous Ones and the Midnight Express respectively), the team made little impact, losing dark matches to Brian and Brad Armstrong at Bash at the Beach 1994 and Fall Brawl 1994. While in WCW, Keirn was also involved in an angle in which masked men attacked Hulk Hogan. Several times in October 1994, Keirn wore a black mask to attack Hogan during and after Hogan's matches.
Retirement and FCW
Since the late 1980s, Keirn has run a school to train wrestlers. Originally located in Tampa, Florida, Keirn's "Professional Wrestling School of Hard Knocks" is now located in Brandon, Florida. Keirn helped train many wrestlers, including Mike Awesome, Dennis Knight, Joe "Destiny" Clapp, Diamond Dallas Page, Dustin Rhodes and Tracy Smothers.
The school was incorporated into the WWE's developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling where Keirn was President of the FCW. and made regular appearances on FCW television. In 2013 FCW was discontinued after the opening of the WWE Performance Center. Keirn later stated in an interview that he is no longer employed by WWE, although he did not state the year of his departure
- Finishing and signature moves
- Tag teams and stables
- Wrestlers trained
Championships and accomplishments
- NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion (2 time)
- NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Champion (2 time)
- NWA Florida Television Champion (1 time)
- NWA Florida Brass Knuckles Champion (1 time)
- NWA Florida Tag Team Champion (12 time) - with Mike Graham (9), Brian Blair (1), Bob Backlund (1), Jimmy Garvin (1)
- NWA Florida United States Tag Team Champion (5 time) - with Mike Graham (3), Stan Lane (2)