Al Snow Interview: People Joining The Business For Fame, His ECW & WWE Runs
December 12, 2020
Al Snow appeared on the The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast for an almost-2 hour discussion about his career and the direction of the professional wresting industry. Al spoke to John and Chad about how he was wrestling’s best kept secret for nearly 15 years and how his unique character, undeniable in ring work and desire to conquer the wrestling business in nearly every big name company propelled him to be possibly the most respected trainer in modern day pro wrestling.
Here are the highlights:
Is the now non traditional means of getting into the wrestling business making people more focussed on being famous rather then becoming a star in professional wrestling:
“To one part of that, certainly. It takes away the mystique of it all. It takes away that being enamored with of wanting to be it, because no longer is it this great, grand thing that only select people get to do or be apart of. I really feel and this is purely conjecture and opinion but I think it really is our society now supports my opinion and that is that maybe seven or eight out of ten people whether it be wrestling or anything anymore are more concerned about being famous for being famous sake or being a celebrity then they are about having a true passion for doing the things they do.
I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there that still have a passion for doing it but the real true motivating factor for a large number of people is that they get to be a celebrity and a prime example of this as far as wrestling is concerned is and you talk to anybody and rightfully so, they all want to be in WWE and who wouldn’t because it’s the biggest platform to sell your product, which is you. But the problem is some of these people don’t look at this as a platform to sell your product they look at it as a partnership with WWE and a business relationship. They look at it as an opportunity now to be recognized on the street and for people to come up and ask for autographs and there be all end all is in professional wrestling is to be a WWE Superstar and for a lot of these people they feel like that once they are removed from WWE their careers are now suddenly over and they no longer can exist as a wrestler when that’s not the case.
You now have the opportunity to go out in the world and take advantage of the platform that WWE gives which is such an immense amazing platform and then reinvent yourself and maybe be brought back again in a completely different manner and get a completely different run to WWE one more time. “
How he originally got noticed by the WWF in the early 1990s:
“At the time I had been working for probably thirteen years and they weren’t there yet but were just becoming Independents because back in that day you just worked the territories and then when the territories started going away there were outlaw groups. They weren’t aligned with the National Wrestling Alliance or any one particular territory.
One of the last hold outs at the time in 95 and the early part of the 90s was ECW of course and WCW was still in existence and then Smoky Mountain with Jim Cornette. I had known Cornette for quite a few years and he never really seemed to take notice of me because I didn’t have a character or definable personality per-say but that’s the one thing you have to figure out for yourself. I was working with Dan Severn and I had broken him into professional wrestling. He wanted to do UFC, which back then was truly it’s own style of mixed martial arts. We went to Oklahoma City for UFC 4 and I trained and worked with Dan to prepare him for that and I was in his corner. He had won two fights and was being interviewed and I could tell that the interviewer was trying to have Dan put over Royce Gracie as the star of the UFC and they were trying to lead him on into saying something and I just snapped and after another stupid question I said what do you think he was going to do? He is going to have sex in the locker room and they cut us off real quick and got us out of there.
Cornette was watching the pay per view and thought it was awesome and at the time I was working for ECW for Paul Heyman and he brought me into Smoky Mountain to be this smart-alecky chicken heel and unfortunately Eddie Gilbert had been in that spot and had passed away. Cornette had brought me into be Unibomb’s (Glen Jacobs/Kane) partner and I was supposed to be the mouth and pick the fights and Kane would be the muscle and Jim Ross was doing the announcing there and Jim recommended me and suggested me to WWF.”
Why his enormously successful run in ECW ended after being on loan by the WWF and not beating Shane Douglas at Wrestlepalooza 98:
“Paul loved to do the opposite and alternate thing and I think because Paul was in communication with the WWE a lot. I was really happy in ECW and I was prepared to send a letter to ask for my full release (from WWE) because you had to do it 90 days in advance. I was prepared to stay in ECW. But Paul E. never really invested anything in me, other then he gave me the TV time and he took what I did and I never really beat anyone or I didn’t get what you would call a “wrestling push”. I didn’t beat Sabu, I didn’t beat Rob Van Dam, I didn’t beat Tommy Dreamer on my way up to Shane Douglas.
I worked with all the underneath guys, which was fine. But I had gotten over to the point where Paul E and ECW would have to capitalize on it. His great plan according to him was that everybody knows you are going to win. It’s not going to change that fact that I am going to still get myself over and that sounds kind of arrogant to say but it’s the truth so it didn’t matter to me if I won or lost because the one thing that is fake about wrestling is the won or loss doesn’t matter if it still gets you over. I didn’t think it was the right thing to do business wise personally because I thought that people would not be happy about it and I felt that business wise it would have been better to let me win it.”
Outside opinions on ECW’s use of Al Snow and who suggested he rejoin WWF in 98:
“To prove that point I had spoken to Terry Taylor when I first went to TNA and he said “I’ve got to tell you that was the biggest mistake I had ever seen because I so expected you to win and felt you should have. The minute you didn’t that was it, I was done. I didn’t care about ECW anymore.” That’s an unsolicited opinion.
So at that same time I had just resigned with WWE and the reason I had was because Vince Russo had contacted me about sending tapes on what I had been doing into the office. I was reluctant to do it and to go back. It wasn’t about the money for me, I just enjoyed doing what I was doing. But then I saw a brand new opening to the (ECW) show that they had just redone it and I wasn’t featured anywhere in the opening. Which told me I wasn’t one of the acts that Paul E. had plans for. That made my mind up and I was going to send my stuff into Vince.”
Download: New Pro Wrestling News iPhone App – Check It Out!