|A number of wrestling schools run classes throughout the country; one of the most prestigious was Bodyslammers in Cleveland.
Established nearly 10 years ago by pro wrestler Al Snow (who was a member of the J.O.B. Squad in the WWF), Bodyslammers trained wrestlers for life both in and out of the ring. which included classes in "television interview techniques" and "assistance in development of your gimmick." The eight-week training schedule cost was $2,600.
"This is how everybody starts," says head trainer Wayne Cryderman, 29. "This job is no different than most. You don't start out as the president of the company."
Webmaster:please note that Bodyslammers is no more,but you can read......
|Part of an Interview with John Muse
QUESTION: Thanks for taking the time to do a interview
JOHN MUSE: Thanks for having me...
QUESTION: When did you get started in pro wrestling:
JOHN MUSE: I broke into the business back in late 1991 to early 1992 after being introduced to Al Snow through a mutual friend. Al was running his promotion down in Lima, Ohio and he was looking for people to throw ideas in. We talked, I tossed some ideas at him, and he liked them enough to let me help out. Wrestling is (or was at that time) a fairly closed business and it wasn't easy to break into it. Al really welcomed me aboard and was very open to ideas as well as sharing knowledge. I learned a lot from him in those days and still learn from him now. I'll always be grateful to Al for giving me my break.
QUESTION: What promotions do you work for and have worked for in the past?
JOHN MUSE: I guess we should go in order. I worked for GWA (Al Snow) and then took a hiatus of sorts from late 1992 to 1994 where I didn't really have any official roles but I did give ideas to people and kept an eye on the area. In January of 1995, I began working for Gary Woronchak with MTW. Gary was a great person to work for. He trusted me enough to let me run with some ideas and there were times when I could tell he was a little uncomfortable with what I wanted to do but he gave things a chance and that is really all you can ask for. MTW had a great core group of people like Al Snow, Ray Roberts, Los Rudos, Chris Carter, Johnny Bradford, and some others I'll kick myself for forgetting who either busted their asses in the ring, gave ideas, or did both. As far as "business side" promoters (getting sponsors, publicity, etc), Gary was the best promoter this area has had...hands down. He gave his heart and soul (and money to boot) to the area. It's too bad he's busy in other ventures to be involved during this boom period for wrestling. I'm very proud of my involvement in MTW from January to August 1995 while it was running.
|Mutant Renagade Zine-Stange and Exotic Dayton #12
Part of Interview with Les Palmerville(Cameraman/Announcer)-by Mite
Les:I kind of got my big break back in 1988 when Preston Mustard worked at the Dayton Fairgrounds and he brought the original Sheik in to the fair. I did the announcing for them and a couple of guys were there who were putting on shows in the Cincinnati area. I worked for them until the early 90's until another organization opened up under the name of Global Championship Wrestling, which was headed by Al Snow.
It was Al who brought me and a fellow name Dale Grow here today. Dale and I went up to Lima and we taped matches. Dale did the play by play and I worked the camera. In fact, it was Al who got Pee Wee Moore into the business full-time with ECW and also brought in some of the other wrestlers, the Blue Meanie, Brian St. John, etc. So I stayed with them for awhile.
|Part of an Interview with Referee Danny Williams
WR: In addition to NWW, I see that you also do some work with the Global Wrestling Alliance in Cleveland. Wasn't there some sort of Al Snow connection there?
DW: Yes as a matter of fact, Al Snow started BodySlammers in Lima, Ohio and it eventually became what it is today. That being GWA and BodySlammers wrestling school and workout facility. You'll see some of their trainees in the WWF sometime in the near future as some are being looked at already.
To everyone in Al Snow's universe my name is Crusher Kline. I decided 10 years ago to become a professional wrestler. In search of the best training centre for me, I visited many schools including one in Lima Ohio called Bodyslammers. That is where I met Al Snow for the very first time, he was inviting and very enthusiastic about his school. He had a great set up in an old theatre! The thing that impressed me the most was his straight forwardness about the business. He told me he would teach me to the best of my ability and that the rest was up to me. I liked hearing that because coming from a pretty intense sports back round in Canada I had heard it all from people that say all these things they can do for you. That was my first attraction to go to Bodyslammers. Al at that time was wrestling for a group called Smoky Mountain Wrestling, I asked him if I could travel with him to see what being on the road is like, he accepted and we started off on our 8 hour drive to Tenessee. During that drive is when I really got to know Al as a person, he really cares about this business and loves it. It is hard not to have that rub offf on you! He schooled me on the drive down some small things about how to meet and greet people, to say as little as possible, and help out wherever I could. It was amazing that on my very first weekend travelling with Al, I met so many names that I grew up with, the Rock and Roll Express, Buddy Landell, Tracy Smothers, The Armstrongs, Jim Cornette, etc. The biggest thrill though was in Johnstown Tenessee, I was watching through a side curtain some of the matches when I heard a deep voice say Heh kid what's up? I turned around and it was the Undertaker. He talked to me about my future training and a little about wrestling in general. This was a great initiation into the pro wrestling world! I told Al on the ride back to Ohio that I wanted to train with him. He told me he looked forward to it.
After I committed to the school we set up for me to attend the summer camp and stay in his dorms. About 2 weeks after I got home Al called me and asked if I wanted to go to Japan for a match in July? He said it was a main event match against Koji Kitao (Wrestlemania 7) and I would make $2,000. I said for sure! I had to come and train early to get ready, so with three weeks of training I was off to Japan. I did not realize how big a deal this was until the guy who Al had hired to be his assistant at the time (D-LO BROWN) showd up. As I was helping him unload his car we talked about the business, how long we had each been wrestling, etc, etc. Then I told him I was leaving the next day for Japan with only 3 weeks of training. He freaked out! He told me how huge going to Japan was! In a lot of peoples careers they dream of it and you are going for your very first match. It is then that I realized that Al must have thought a lot of me to ask me to do this. I did not want to let him down, when I got back from Japan the promotion I worked for had already called Al thanking him for sending me. I went back to Bodyslammers to finish my training and ended up staying for 8 years. If I only had more time for more stories, maybe next time.
|Al Snow the
Student:Jimi V.Many of
you may not have heard of me, my name is Jimi V.
In May of 1994, I walked into a gym in Lima, Ohio and met the man who would soon become my trainer, Al Snow. Right from the start, it was
clear that Al was a stand up guy who told it
"like it was" and didn't candy coat anything. I
respected his sincerity as well as his honesty
and decided to spend the next 6 months living in
this man's gym..
Right from the start, it was clear that Al was a stand up guy who told it "like it was" and didn't candy coat anything. I respected his sincerity as well as his honesty and decided to spend the next 6 months living in this man's gym..
Day in and day out, Al taught me the finer points of what it would take for me to succeed in professional wrestling. I learned many valuable lessons from Al that have helped me live out my childhood dream..
My day with Al would typically begin at around 9am when he would wake me up while checking his loud ass answering machine that had the volume button broke off on setting "10", soon after, we would go downstairs to the gym for an hour and a half weight training session, afterwards, we would go back upstairs and wrestle for next 2 and a half hours, and finally end the morning with a talk about the business in general..
I cherished these sessions the most... the stories, experience, and lessons I picked up from him are priceless..
Later in the day, there would be an evening training session from 5:30pm till around 9:00pm which would conclude our day. At the time, Al was just starting to get noticed as he was currently wrestling Sabu all over the country..
I knew in my heart that it would be a matter of time before Al Snow would be noticed on a nation level, we all did. That's why the moments spent learning from him were precious..
I can picture Al reading this and rolling his eyes, but little does he know how much he impacted the lives of his students, his fans, and the wrestling community in general. I have never seen such a well-liked guy be able to come in and replace him in the locker rooms across Ohio and Michigan..
It's been five years for "Jimi V" and the future is bright. Having had a couple of WWF tryouts, bookings every weekend, and a favorable reaction in nearly every town, I take the lessons learned from Al about the business and apply them at every turn..
My wrestling education can have no price tag attached. Whether it was fate, chance, or God, I am very fortunate to say that I was trained by one of the greats, and not just in the ring, but life in general. Thank you for everything Al !!! Continued success my friend..
Jimi Varner (Jimi V)
|Student The Rotten Dawg,Mark"Killer"Kumpf:While looking for a school to finish off my training as a professional wrestler, I came across a place in Lima, Ohio called Bodyslammers Pro Wrestling Gym. I sent a letter out, telling of my experience in the business and interest in their gym and asking for more information on their facility.
After about a week, I got response from the gym. A package of papers explaining training, dorms, meals, contacts, and cost. At the bottom of one of the main sheets it was signed, Head Trainer "Al Snow / Leif Casidy".
At the time, I didn't know much about Al Snow. Just that, I heard of him once, working an angle with some guy calling himself the Unabomber. But I knew who Leif Casidy was, a bum (jobber) for the WWF. He was the guy trying to take Shawn Michaels place as a member of the Rockers with Marty Jannety. When that wasn't getting over, he was the one trying to make the New Rockers into corny 70's teen idols, Jannety wasn't helping get that over either.
I wasn't sure if that was the guy I wanted to train me. His gym sounded great and just perfect for me, but at the time I thought being trained by Leif Casidy, was like saying you were trained by Duanne Gill or even worse Barry Hardy. Still, I had to go and see the gym at least.
A day before ECW's second pay-per-view (the one with Leif Casidy who was now being called Al Snow again by ECW), I got in my truck and drove 7 hours to Lima, Ohio to go and visit Bodyslammers. After taking the tour, talking to some former students, and going over training techniques, I was in love with the gym and so excited about finishing my training and by the thought of getting in the ring. The next day I went to a friends house, watched the ECW pay-per-view, and was amazed by Al's match.
I signed up for the fall of '97 class. After that, I started trying to find everything I could about Al Snow. I mean I was going to spend a couple of months training with this guy and living in his gym. I wanted to know his history and his background. Where he's wrestled and the thing he's accomplished, stuff like that. What I found out was, Al was a great worker, he was respected in the business by many, and was miss used by the WWF.
The couple of months I spent at the gym were great. That was one of the best times of my life. I was learning the ropes of a sport I have loved since I was a little kid, from one of the best wrestlers in the sport today. I'll never forget those days.
Al is an amazing trainer, an outstanding wrestler, and one of the greatest guys I know. Taz may have showed me how to wrestle, but Al Snow taught me how to work. I'll always have a big debt of gratitude for Al.
Thank You Al,The Rotten Dawg, Mark "Killer" Kumpf
|Student Brian Ireland:Being trained by Al was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I had many reservations on actually training. I was often told , and thought myself at the time, that I was too small. When I first visited Al Snows Bodyslammers I went with Kodiak Scott Stone and we were very trepidatious.
D-Lo Brown greeted us and showed us around. Al wasn't there, however D-Lo answered our questions and encouraged us both to train. Finally the time to train arrived and we met Al. He was very easygoing , yet held a level of respect as a coach would. His regimen stressed flexibility, strength and bodily awareness.
Bumping was done in repitition until it became reflex. Mat skills and chain wrestling were highly stressed. To give a move, you took it first and ring positioning was everything. Al was often working with the fed towards the end so D-Lo assisted. He taught character and ring presence. I learned how important expressions and drama were from him.
They also took us to shows ( us being myself, kodiak,elvis elliott,and mr.main event). This is where etiquitte was aquired. This was three years ago and all of us are still active today becauase of our training. Now I can understand why Al was so adamant about the order we did things and its not what moves you do but why. Instead of calling the match completely, we try to feel out the crowd and tailor it to them accordingly with respect to the placement on the card.
We owe it to Al and D-Lo that ring psychology is dawning on us and that its both what you think and what you feel right. It may sound like I'm kissing ass , but thats just how it was.
Thanks for the opportunity to write.
Jessica was trained back in the day by Al and D' Lo. Only 1 of 2 girls trained, the other was being trained by Elvis Elliott and Al about a year back. I don't know if the 2nd girl finished or not.
Jessica enjoyed playing varsity and premier soccer as a goalkeeper for four years. She decided to attend Al Snow's Bodyslammer's Pro Wrestling Gym in Lima, Ohio, three weeks after her high school graduation. She was trained by Al Snow and his assistant trainer, D-Lo Brown, in a class of 10 men aged 19 to 28 years old. Jessica, as "Black Ice," had her first pro match against "Masked Unknown", a male wrestler from Les Thatcher's training camp in Cincinnati, Ohio, on a Global Wrestling show at Bodyslammer's Gym on 11/4/95 (the main event was D-Lo Brown beating Krom [Geza Kahlman of UFC] to win the GWA title). She beat him! Since then, she has wrestled for Cleveland Wrestling Alliance, Big Time Wrestling, California Wrestling Association, and Arsion, a Japanese women's wrestling organization.
|Click to read what others have said about Al
Editors note:The training tape from these snapshots are from a tape made in Johnson City, TN at Freedom Hall before Fire on the Mountain '95 (8/12/95). It was part of the SMW Fan Week.
I will say that Mark Curtis was there training,along with those sitting at ringside cracking jokes
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