|Interview: Al Snow
WRESTLINGOBSERVER.COM INTERVIEW WITH AL SNOW.
By Alex Marvez (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Al Snow is ready to return to the World Wrestling Federation after spending the past month at home in Lima, Ohio recuperating from a hairline fracture in his wrist. In the following interview, Snow talks about the injury, the ready-made feud that awaits against Raven upon his WWF return, his friendship with Mick Foley and his thoughts on the industry entering 2001.
Q: How's your wrist doing?
Al: "It's much better. Basically, I thought maybe I had had a hairline fracture. But by the time I got x-rayed, it basically had healed but the bone still was pretty inflamed and swollen. They gave me a splint for a couple of weeks to immobilize it. It cut my sex life in half. I could have kept going anyway, but they were kind enough to allow me some time off. I was going to continue going, but on the same night in the match where we had done the injury angle, I broke a knuckle on my right hand. That really was no big deal either. Any time they want to write me back into TV, I'm ready."
Q: How did you initially injure it?
Al: "I knew immediately when I did it. It was a match against Albert in Columbus (in mid-November). I saw several different doctors in the building who said I should be x-rayed because they thought I fractured it, but I kept putting it off because of my schedule. When I finally did, it basically already was healed. But it showed I definitely had been injured. The ligaments and tendons were pretty weak."
Q: Are you looking forward to your ready-made feud with Raven?
Al: "I hope so. I hope I get that opportunity. He's creative and very intelligent. When he puts together a match, all he cares about is having a good match and an entertaining one. He's not so much concerned with how things reflect upon him or his status or things like that. I'm looking forward to it."
Q: How happy are you that it seems his personal life is back in order.
Al: "For him, I'm thrilled. He's a good guy. It's always a shame to watch somebody cut the legs out from underneath themselves. I'm just happy he's decided to turn himself around. Basically, what it comes down to is each person making an individual decision. He's done exactly that."
Q: I think hardcore matches are getting pretty tapped out. What do you think?
Al: "I think if you do anything for the sake of doing it, then of course it loses entertainment value. But if you try to construct a hardcore match the same as a regular match where everything has a place and purpose to escalate the story you're trying to tell, you can use those (foreign) objects to give you a little more leeway and add entertainment value."
Q: How much do you miss working with Steve Blackman?
Al: "Steve's a good friend. I'm real glad he seems to have found a little thing that clicks for him in the ring. Outside the ring, I thought the stuff Steve and I had done was some of the best stuff I had done. We almost had a little TV show within a TV show when we would do those vignettes. That didn't occur to me until when I watched a compilation tape of a lot of stuff we had done. The in-ring stuff I don't miss at all, but the out-of-the ring vignettes I thought were terrific and I enjoyed doing them."
Q: How happy are you to have Mick Foley back in the WWF? It seems like you guys have a really special chemistry.
Al: "Everybody seems to think we do. It seems we click and have chemistry. Even my wife says it, and she knows a lot being around the business watching from an outsider's standpoint. So I'm real happy he's back in some form or the other aggravating and taking shots at me. But there will be a day when I finally do it in public where I get back at him."
Q: How did the verbal jostling begin?
Al: "Basically, we'd ride together and kill time by ripping each other verbally. We started to equate it to a boxing match. A good putdown had to be creative. If it was really good, you'd have a knockout. Believe me, I knocked him out plenty of times but I doubt he'd admit it. Other guys would jump in the car with us and then shortly jump back out. They couldn't take hearing us any more."
Q: As an ex-ECW performer, what are your thoughts on the state of the promotion and the entire wrestling industry entering 2001?
Al: "I think Paul (Heyman) is a great promoter and a terrific creative genius when it comes to utilizing a person's strength and stuff like that on the air. But delegation and stuff like that is his downfall. He's a terrible manager. I think a lot of their trouble stems from mismanagement. WCW, too."I don't think the wrestling industry as a whole is suffering from a lack of interest. I don't think we're suffering from a lack of attendance or any of those things. I think more than that is that the rest of the wrestling industry suffers from mismanagement and misdirection. WCW is a prime example. It was very poorly run, therefore they are suffering. The WWF succeeds because of how well its run and managed and the passion held by Vince McMahon. Believe me when I say Vince McMahon it influential in it every step of the way. It's not just him, because everybody underneath is. If WCW could harness somebody who would have the same passion and leadership and direction, or if Paul relinquishes some control, I could see some rise in both of those companies. Keep in mind, though, for WCW in comparison to our ratings they look terrible. But what else they do have on TNT? It's a cheap form of TV to produce comparatively. Their ratings are still a lot better than most stuff on their network. They're drawing a solid (3.0) when the NBA game can't do but a 1. I think people still lose perspective in that regard. They say, 'Oh well, they've only done a 3 and the WWF did a 6 or 7.' There was a time when the WWF was hooting and hollering over a 3."
Q: Are you still running a wrestling school in Lima?
Al: "I sold that back in 1998 when I went to the WWF full-time. Basically, the first lesson I was taught (as a trainer) is to separate the mark and his money as quickly as possible. But I think it would be wrong of me to. I never had my name associated with the school, but now I could definitely benefit from the national exposure. But if I had one, I think it would be kind of wrong to represent to people that 'Hey, it's my school,' when they're not going to be trained by me when I'm not going to be there. And also, it has taken me a long time to build a reputation in the business. Whenever you train somebody, the way I was taught, they now carry a little piece of your reputation with them. I don't want anybody to say Al Snow trained them when I didn't really train them. The money would be awfully nice, but it all could come back to bite you in the rear end."
Q: What do you hope to achieve in 2001?
Al: I want to make absolutely as much money as humanly possible. I also want to do more stuff outside the ring with TV. "What really caught my interest with Steve was how much I really enjoyed doing stuff like that. I would really like to do more of that. If you want to call acting, I guess you can even though people who are professionals would laugh at that. I can't physically do what I've been doing another five years, but after that, I would like to try to do something else that would let me be creative and entertaining. The only other thing I could think of would be being a lounge singer at a Holiday Inn in Akron."