Edmonton Sun Interview

This comes from the Edmonton Sun, April 1999:


By Scott Zerr

Al Snow knew the day he graduated from high school that he wanted to step inside the squared-circle and become a professional wrestler.

He had never wrestled as an amateur nor was he a football player who wanted to head off in new direction. The Ohio native was taken in by the excitement and drama of the sports entertainment world and he would never look back.

Now 36, Snow and sidekick Head have created a unique cult following in the World Wrestling Federation - a grown man who totes a dolled-up mannequin's cranium into battle has to be at least a little off his rocker.

His entrance to the ring is unmistakeable and will ring out during today's matinee card at Skyreach Centre when Snow grapples with Dr. Death.

In reality, Snow, a student of numerous martial arts, is a well-spoken and humorous sort who has spent 17 years body-slamming opponents from one end of North America to the other. Over the phone from Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Wednesday, Snow explained the life of a WWF superstar.

Scott: What goes into creating the characters Al Snow and Head?

Al: You name it. Everything's possible when you make your own reality.

Scott: What aspect of your job gives you the greatest satisfaction?

Al: Going out there and entertaining people. Nothing makes me feel more alive than going out there and doing that. That and Head. That's definitely one of the fringe benefits of being me is I've always got Head.

Scott: And is the worst aspect the constant travel?

Al: I'll tell you, being on the road is very difficult and very trying. You end up coming up with ways to entertain yourself. We're right now concocting plans to mess with a certain fast-food restaurant tonight.

Scott: What do you do at a fast-food restaurant to entertain yourself? A: Nothing illegal. Just have a little fun with them.Speaking of food, you're all huge guys. Just how much food do you inhale?

Al: It's like sitting down at a feedtrough at a farm watching some of these guys eat. They don't go to a buffet just to eat, they go to graze at the salad bar. You put away a lot of food because you're burning it up all the time -you're always going somewhere, working out or in the ring. It's a very hectic life.

Scott: There is a craft to wrestling, correct?

Al: It's more than just a craft. It's an art. It is an artform but people don't appreciate it. And the reason people don't appreciate it is because you as a kid played football in the backyard and basketball on the driveway so you appreciate what they (pro athletes) go through to do that. Very few of you have gone out there and performed physically and psychologically and tried to bring the crowd along with you and tell a story in the ring with your actions. I don't think too many people when they were a kid had their brother climb up on the stairwell and drop an elbow on you while you're laying on the coffee table.

Scott: Sounds like the early beginnings of a hardcore match?

Al: I've being doing it all my career. Hardcore is just the new brand name, but I love them.

Scott: Injuries are a fact of your life. Do you ever worry about being seriously hurt?

Al: I could sit here and regale you with stories of injuries and how tough I am because I continued on, but it's not being tough - it's just out of necessity. You don't get paid unless you work. I've been fairly lucky not having one dramatic injury that I thought was going to end my career but a culmination of years of injuries have probably brought me on the edge of considering packing it in, especially as I've gotten older.

Scott: There's been a lot of flack in Canada about the WWF's racier content like the crotch-crop. Is the content in the WWF now too much?

Al: Wrestling has been and always will be a mirror of what society is. When we were in the Second World War, all the bad guys were from Germany and Japan. In the late '60s and early '70s, you had the hippies. There are those people who just don't want to admit to themselves that that's who we are. Basically what you see on WWF TV is basically what you're going to see around you every single day.

Scott: Would you let your kids watch?

Al: You know what I do? I actually sit there with them and if I see something I don't feel is appropriate, I turn the channel. Then when it's over I turn it back. I do that with every program, not just wrestling. I don't think it's too much for me to ask of you to be responsible for raising your children. So don't look to me to raise your kids - even though I'll gladly do it and probably do a better job than you will.