|the SNOWMAN cometh-Real Detroit Weekly
Writen by Monday Busque
While Al Snow isn't the most popular wrestler on the WWF roster, he quite possibly one of the most talented. He's got the total package, great wrestling skills, charismatic on the mike, and can also take ridiculous amounts of pain. And when you're in the WWF you're going to need all that and more. Al and I talked about the industry today and about the albums he hates.
Busque: Al Snow fans around the world want to know: where are all the moonsaults?
Busque:Everyone I know who is an Al Snow fan is like, where are the moonsaults?
Al: Oh, well I'll have to make sure I do more. I did one Sunday against Taz.
Busque:You're a pretty proficient mat wrestler, you also mentioned Taz, you both are. Do you think that mat wrestling has been gone lately?
Al: You get a bit with Benoit, he integrates some of that in there. Dean Malenko definitely does too. He integrates that into it, but it's not quite as dramatic as it used to be though.
Busque:I'm just a big sucker for good chain wrestling and high spots too. Like with the Hardy Boys, and you have a nice aerial assault as well. You don't see that in the WWF as much.
Al: I think a lot of guys think it's safer for them to go out there and just go right into it. They're afraid that they'll lose the audience if they go into the mat-wrestling thing. I personally try to integrate some of it, even just a little bit somewhere in there.
Busque:What do you think about the industry being on such a huge high right now? You guys are beating Monday Night Football. Do you think the popularity is finite or are we looking at a new national past time?
Al: Well, if you consider it a national past time, it already is. I mean wrestling has been around forever. You can go back as early as the 1930s or 40s and it sold out baseball stadiums for huge matches like Pat O'Connor versus Buddy Rodgers. Those are pretty impressive statistics even for back then. It's not like this just suddenly blossomed into being. I mean, it's been around. So I do think it's a national past time already. I don't think people agree with that, but I think history and chronological order would prove me right.
Busque:Do you think that wrestling still has the stigma of not being a real sport?
Al: I think it's past that with some people. I think that certain journalists are like, "Oh well, it's fake or it's scripted." Well, no kidding! Wrestling's the exact same thing as a magic show. Both are an art form in that there is very little people can relate to, and they both do the same thing, which is to suspend their disbelief and be entertained.
Busque:With that being said wrestling leaning toward more of an entertainment feel, have you ever considered wrestling a sport?
Al: No, and I was actually asked this question just the other day. It is a business, but I don't believe, in my opinion, that there are any true sports left. For example, football is not a sport anymore. It may not have its outcome predetermined, but when you involve money and high-paid contracts, marketing and TV ratings, that, to me, becomes a business and it's the same for basketball.
Busque:Are you in Lima (I mispronounce it as LEE-muh) Ohio right now?
Al: No, I'm in LIE-muh, Ohio. One's in Peru; the other is in Ohio.
Busque:Do you have your wrestling school there?
Al: No, I sold my wrestling school about two years back when I started back with the WWF. I didn't feel it was right to continue to operate the school and make people believe that I was going to be there training them, when I really couldn't.
Busque:When you were still teaching, what sort of advice would you give to your students?
Al: I would ask them, "Do you really want to do this and why do you want to do it?" And if they answered because it was something they absolutely loved to do and that they would enjoy doing it, then I told them they were doing it for the right reasons. You'd get these people who said they wanted it for the fame and money, and I'd tell them they're in it for the wrong reasons. You don't really start making any money for about 10 years, and during that time you still have to maintain a normal job.
Busque:Did you have any part-time jobs during your paying-the-dues era?
Al: Oh yeah, from driving a school bus to a carpenter, all sorts of things.
Busque:You think that some of those kids you drove around on the school bus are watching you on TV now?
Al: Ha! I don't know ... that would be great.
Busque:So what do you do when you're not Al Snow the wrestler?
Al: I head back home and hang out with my wife and kids.
Busque:There's no off season for wrestling; you're on the road all the time. Is there a sort of rhythm you have to get in to be on the road?
Al: Not really. You just wake up, catch the plane, eat, find a gym, work out, eat, find a hotel, wrestle, eat, sleep and start over again.
Busque:Do you have a favorite person to wrestle?
Al: Lately, it's been Bob "Hardcore" Holly. We really seem to click well together.
Busque:Now I get to ask the funny questions.
Al: Great, ask anything you want.
Busque:OK. You're stuck on an island. What albums would you NOT want to be stuck with?
Al: Hmm ... anything by Weird Al Yankovic. He's kind of lost his appeal. And Frank Sinatra, he's highly overrated. Bob Dylan, too.
Busque:Wow! You're raising a lot of eyebrows in the office. What sort of goals do you have in wrestling?
Al: Hopefully, I will achieve some sort of gold, and be able to get out before I'm an embarrassment to the business. But I hope to achieve some sort of immortality in some capacity.
Busque:Who do you think are the future big names in wrestling? Who should we be looking out for?
Al: Kurt Angle, even outside of the wrestling business. He is so talented; I'm a big fan of his. He just has the whole package. And Eddy Guerrero as well. He's another person the fans should watch if they want to be entertained.
Busque:One last thing,what's the funniest thing you know about Vince McMahon that the public does not know?
Al: (laughs) The funniest thing? Probably that he is the character he is on TV.
Busque:Is that a bad thing or a good thing?
Al: Well, let's look at it like this. If 95 percent of America watched wrestling, Vince couldn't sleep because he'd be thinking of a way to get that other five percent.