What Does Everybody Want? An Interview! — One-on-One with Al Snow
Over 30 years ago, Al Snow was described by Jim Lancaster as “a leader in the ring who had natural drive and ability.” Now, at the age of 51, Snow still looks as good as he did in the ’80s. Boasting a resume that spans across ECW, WWE, TNA and many indie promotions, Al Snow is still extremely entertaining and captivating, both in and out of the ring.
Though a very impressive career has been had and countless titles held, Snow never was able to make a huge breakout and is often referred to as “the best-kept secret in wrestling.”
I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Snow and, from the early pleasantries to the final handshake, it was non-stop entertainment.
TuffGnarl: I am joined today by hardcore wrestling legend, Al Snow. Al, How are you today?
Al Snow: If I were any better, I would make myself into a drug and snort me.
(Laughs) If this is how we are starting, something tells me I’m going to love this interview.
You will. It’s going to be electric. I can feel it coming off you as we speak.
You are a long time seasoned veteran of the ring and recently made the move to a producer-slash-road agent for TNA. How has the transition been for you?
Seasoned is a good word. I feel more like beef jerky at my age.
Well, The Rock-N-Roll Express is here, so it can’t be that bad.
Exactly! The transition is rewarding and fun. It gives me the opportunity to still be a part of the business and try to help mold the younger talent. Of course, it’s less responsibility when I’m only responsible for myself, but overall I enjoy it.
I know at the age of 51, injuries take longer to heal and age will catch up with you quicker, but you appear still very much in fighting shape and we will see you later tonight against Edward Malken here at Ronin Pro Wrestling.
Indeed we are. I will be out there doing my magic act for the blind. They love card tricks. They’re like, “How does he do it?” They just never see it coming.
Training under Jim Lancaster, you made your debut in 1982 and after three years won the MCW title off your mentor. How did that feel?
Man, you’ve done your homework, taking me down memory lane. Winning the belt at that point was honestly a fluke. Nonetheless, it was an awesome moment. More than anything it was validation that I could do it and that I belonged in pro wrestling.
During the ’90s ’til the mid 2000s you had a fluctuation where you went back and forth between ECW and WWE. Did that take a toll on your psyche and faith in the wrestling world and your abilities?
That was actually nothing that unusual from when I started. When I had started there were wrestling territories all over the United States. It was common to jump from place to place. As a wrestler, you’re a product. The product eventually has to be sold in a new market, so that’s what a wrestlers life really is.
You ended up at the butt end of a few of Mick Foley’s jokes in his book to the point where it even carried into a bit of the storyline.
That happened for two reasons. Reason number one is if he didn’t use me as the butt of his jokes for his book, he would have no material and the story would be like his penis: very short. Secondly, we had started a verbal boxing game in which I consistently delivered the knockout hit. We always kept it between the two of us in the car. He eventually brought it out in front of other people and eventually the public so, like I said, without me he has no material.
Since you were there when it happened, what was your reaction to the infamous incident when Mick Foley was thrown from and eventually choke slammed through the top of the steel cage?
My first reaction was “I hope he’s not dead.” My second was “What a moron.” It was rough watching it take place. The fact that Undertaker and Mick did that match with some of the injuries they had is still a shock.
During your time with WWE, you did Tough Enough for a few seasons, a show where amateurs would compete to earn WWE contract. What were your thoughts on that experience?
I loved every minute of it. It was so satisfying and rewarding, I honestly wish it never ended. It was a great infomercial in a ways for pro wrestling. It helped attract new audiences that wouldn’t normally watch wrestling and also educated and garnished more respect from our existing fans.
There were quite a few times that creative tried shifting you to heel and it was met with such terrible backlash that they abandoned that angle. Do you have a preference being a face or a heel?
I prefer being the heel because I have a better ability to control the match. Honestly, there are no real heels anymore. I was a heel for about 14 years but, at the time when they would try to flip me, it was hard. People liked the head gimmick, and I so the crowd refused to accept me being a heel.
What were your feelings of being in/leading the J.O.B. Squad, which were considered a stable of jobbers so to speak?
Honestly, jobbers don’t exist and did even exist at that point in the business. Jobbers were specifically a local wrestler who wasn’t part of the territory brought in simply to do a job. When you wrestle and you’re on TV, it’s not a job; it’s an opportunity, win or lose. You are part of the roster that will be going out there and doing house shows. You have a chance to make money based on what you did on TV.
The J.O.B. Squad was actually a joke that I made. It was guys who thought that they actually won matches. There is only one thing in wrestling that is actually fake, and it’s the finish. There were guys that thought that they had really won titles and beat their opponents. It’s not real, though, so when it comes down to it you don’t really win because we don’t really lose. That what J.O.B. Squad was all about.
You went through part of the 24/7 Hardcore title defense era. How much of it was actually legit?
It was all on the fly. We asked ourselves what we could do to keep it entertaining. My thing became the night in Worchester, MA when Road Dogg and I went out of the building by accident and into the snow. All of a sudden that became my thing, where they wanted me to go out and around the building to different locations, so it became my call on how to get us out and eventually back into the building or into the Mississippi River, or other things of that nature.
What is your favorite non-wrestling activity to do?
I would have to say it’s riding my motorcycle. That’s always relaxing. Like I said earlier, I enjoy doing magic shows for the blind and I also volunteer at the library to read stories to the deaf.
What does everybody want?
Everybody wants head. Everybody needs head. Everybody loves head.
I’m actually excited for this. At the end of every interview, I leave it open format and give my guest full carte blanche to promote something or send a message. Mr. Al Snow, the stage is yours.
For those of you that want to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @therealalsnow.
Now there is someone I need to call out. I’m going to punch you in the face, Mom. You make the worst cookies and cheesecake ever. If you call me by my middle name one more time, you’ll get a five knuckle right upside the head. I may even tattoo door on one hand and wall on the other. Why? Because your going to walk into the door and get hit by a wall. Don’t try and sweet talk me either and say I have a nice ass. That only goes so far. I know it’s like two teacups turned upside down in the back of my pants. Don’t tempt fate or I will backslap you.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thanks man that was very cathartic.
Al Snow. Thank you for your time.
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