IYH Interview: Al Snow
By Neal Jones
WWE Superstar and talent scout, former ECW star OVW and Tough Enough Trainer Al Snow was our guest this week on http://www.inyourheadonline.com. Which can be heard live every Wednesday at 6:00 PM with Jack, OneInchBiceps and Barbie Richards, along with our full archive of interviews.
The hosts welcomed Al to IYH, and mentioned the upcoming MWF Zero Tolerance show this Saturday May 20th in Braintree, Ma. Al will be having a VIP Q&A, along with wrestling on the show in the Main Event and a wrestling seminar for trained Indy wrestlers. For more information including how to purchase VIP tickets to be part of the Al Snow Q&A and watch the MWF TV shows online please visit http://www.bostonwrestling.com or http://www.mwfprowrestling.com.
Al talks about being the Talent consultant for WWE and always on the look out for new talent when he is on Indy shows. Jack asks what factors he looks for. Al says size, appearance, charisma, professionalism but most importantly he looks for a passion for the business. Al says if they don’t have the passion they can crack and quit, which would cost all the time and money WWE invested in the talent. Al says guys should look like wrestlers and spend time in themselves. Al brings up the proper gear, not a t-shirt and jeans.
Jack asks if someone has the charisma but was lacking size what would Al do. Al says he would still be interested, Al says the wrestling business is the most unbiased business there is. It doesn’t matter on the race or religion etc, only if they have talent and can draw money.
OIB asks Al about Dan Severn. Al says he met Dan through a Denny Cast, and Al helped train him in professional wrestling.
Jack asks if Al has a passion for training the wrestlers. Al says it might sound corny but it gives back to the business that gave him so much. Jack asks if it helped that he wrestled for a long time in the Indy’s before making it to WWE. Al says it does, because he has been there and they can’t complain to him because he wrestled for 14 years before making it to WWE. Al says it isn’t too much to ask the guys to look athletic. Al says they don’t have to be gassed to the gills, or a body builder but they need to look athletic at least.
Jack asks what the mistakes he sees the Indy wrestlers make. Al says he sees guys driving to a town and only thinking of doing the best match on the show and doing a big crazy high spot. Al says they should think about having a match that will get the fans to pay for a ticket next time. Al says it’s not a wrestler’s job to do cool moves, or have the best match or even entertain the fans it is to sell tickets.
Jack asks if there’s a style the Indy wrestlers can work that would deter WWE from giving them a chance such as hardcore or strong style. Al says no, but then goes into “strong style”. Al says hitting your opponent really hard isn’t working. The only person who knows you are hitting really hard is your opponent, to work is to make it look like you are hitting a guy with out really hitting him hard. Al says the more you try and convince the fans you are trying to win the match the less you have to really hit guys hard.
Al says a match on RAW is a 6 minute commercial, it’s an investment in time and money from the WWE to get people hooked on the product and sell more tickets.
Jack asks if they ever thought of using Indy wrestlers on Tough Enough, so they would be ready to wrestle on TV when they win. Al says they always allowed them to, but a lot of the Indy fans thought it was taking the easy way out. Al says how stupid can that be ? Al says you do everything you can to get your foot in the door, if he had the opportunity of Tough Enough when he started out he would have taken it.
Jack asks if their will be another Tough Enough. Al says he would like there to be one, but he doesn’t think there will be. OIB asks if the winners were used to their full extent. Al says that’s not his call, some were and some weren’t. Jack asks of Tough Enough was flawed, because the winner wasn’t ready for TV and when they were the fans had forgotten and they lost the TV exposure they had gained. Al says no, it depended on the person, there was always the chance of finding that one special person who had it. Al says Tough Enough was a great infomercial for the business itself. It let a whole new audience see what it took to be a wrestler and bring in some new fans who may have never watched it before. Al says it like what Ultimate Fighter is doing for UFC. It brings a whole new audience to UFC and lets the fans see who the people are outside of the actual fights. It gives the fans a more personal connection with the fighters which in turn sells more tickets.
OIB asks Al about Matt Capotelli. Al says he is doing relatively well from what he understands. Al says Matt is looking at all options and is maintaining a positive attitude.
Jack brings up the Boogie Man. Al says Boogie Man is a great performer, he doesn’t have a lot of experience in ring but knows how to sell the gimmick and sell tickets. Jack pushes his idea of WWE selling Boogie Man Gummi Worms in the arenas.
Al tells a story about Bea Arthur in Hooters.
Al talks about being a big fan of Estrada, the manager of Umaga. Al says he is a protégé of his from OVW.
OIB asks Al about Wal-Mart taking Al’s action figure off the shelves. Al says it was all because of 2 women complaining. And the same time you could still buy guns and live ammo at Wal-Mart and Sleepy Hollow figures with severed heads.
Jack asks if Al ever misses giving all the fans a little head before their matches. Al says he misses wrestling, but enjoys what he is doing in OVW now.
Jack asks if Al will be a part of the new ECW. Al says he has heard maybe but he doesn’t know until it happens.
Jack asks if Al enjoyed last year’s One Night Stand. Al says yes he thought it was really good, and was a chance to catch up with the old ECW guys.
OIB asks Al if he has any good Mick Foley rib stories. Al says he isn’t obsessed with Mick like Mick is with Al. Al tells a rib story involving Maven. Al said it wasn’t “him”, but someone put a large dildo in Maven’s bags at the airport.
OIB asks about working with Kane in SMW. Al said it was great, but Kane would hurt Al tagging with him. Kane was big and would kick him when going over the ropes after the tag.
Jack says both Al and Kane had previous gimmicks that didn’t get over well, but eventually found ones that did. What advice does Al have for guys who get called up to WWE and are given a gimmick they may not like. Al says it’s all an opportunity, to try and make the most with it. It’s a chance to get over and be on TV, if you get over you will be able to evolve and change the gimmick.
Jack asks if ECW would be a good place to send guys to be repackages. Al says it would be just like what happened to him in ECW. Al also says it would be good for guys in developmental who aren’t quite ready to go to WWE. Jack brings up CM Punk. Al says Punk is doing well in OVW and if he continues to learn then he will make it.
Jack asks about IYH’s Wednesday’s guest Harry Smith. Al says he has a great look, size and is the son of Davey Boy so he has a lot going for him.
Al talks about loving to work in front of the ECW fans. Jack asks what Al thinks of TNA running the ECW Arena. Al says it’s just a building to anyone but ECW. Al can understand the promotions fighting over it, because of the ECW aura.
OIB asks how important Paul E was to Al’s career. Al said he gave him an uninterrupted opportunity, Paul didn’t always agree with what Al wanted to do but let him go with it.
OIB asks about WCW. Al said he was willing to go anywhere they paid him. He never wanted to, he has loyalty to WWE and Vince McMahon but his loyalty to his family is greater. Wrestling isn’t a hobby to him it’s a way to make a living.
Jack brings up the story of the Andersons (Ole and Gene) stretching Al. Al says they didn’t stretch him they kicked the shit out of him. Jack asks if it something he remembers when training the guys. Al says yes and he also remembers how the guys beat him physically and mentally for the first 6 years in the business. Al talks about Steve Irwin beating on the back of Al’s head until he was almost blind. Al says he understand why things were done that way back then, he believes too many guys are given opportunities and not earned. Al says he does not condone that behavior, and would never treat the guys he trains the same way, he considers them his kids. al says you should be responsible for the guys you train, wrestling is built around trust.
Jack asks if you had to have made it in the business to train wrestlers. Al says they have to have a genuine understanding but that doesn’t mean they had to have been world champion or on top. Al says a real trainer can tell his students to learn from his mistakes and experiences.
Jack asks if Al feels proud to see his “kids” on TV. Al says of course, it is a reflection of him. Al takes what he does very serious, he loves the business. Al wants to make sure they are taught the proper way, not just how to take a bump but knowing the business itself. There are certain things that have are intrinsic to the business since the Carnival days and once they cease to exist the business change into something else.
Al says he is not sure about Paul Heyman leaving OVW when ECW starts.
Al says in a perfect world ECW needs to be taped in it’s own building in front of it’s own fans.
Al plugs the MWF show in Braintree, Ma. and tells everyone he always gives it his all to make the fans happy and appreciates all the support. For more information please visit http://www.bostonwrestling.com
To hear the interview in it’s entirety, and our full FREE archives please visit http://www.inyourheadonline.com and join us live every Wednesday. TNA’s Showtime Eric Young, and future WWE superstar Harry Smith join us this Wednesday the 17th.