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Al Snow

Al Snow

REAL NAME: Allen R. Sarven
6', 234 pounds
BORN: July 18, 1963 in Lima, Ohio
NICKNAMES:Leif Cassady, Shinobi, Avatar

He may be best remembered as the butt of countless jokes at the hands of Mick Foley but Al Snow's ultimate contribution to the sport may be the people he trained.

Snow himself was trained by Jim Lancaster, the very man that he would defeat for the Midwest Championship Wrestling title on July 5, 1985 in St. Mary's, Ohio, shortly after his professional debut. Snow would wrestle on the Midwest independent circuit for the better part of a decade, capturing six MCW/ICW United States Tag Team Championships, team with Danny Kass as the New Fabuous Kangaroos (and capture two MCW Midwest Tag Team titles), form the Motor City Hitmen with Mickey Doyle and, wrestling as Shinobi, even defeated Dan Severn (a man that Snow helped train) to win the GWA Championship.

In 1994/95, Snow left the Midwest behind and headed south to Smokey Mountain Wrestling where, on April 7, 1995, he teamed with Unabomb (Glenn Jacobs, aka Kane) to defeat the legendary Rock and Roll Express and capture the SMW Tag Team titles. By the end of the year, Snow would be signed by WWE, and would debut in October.

After a couple of failed gimmicks (Avatar and another run as Shinobi), Snow would be renamed Leif Cassidy in March 1996 and team with Marty Jannetty as The New Rockers. Cassidy and the New Rockers met with little success, with the team losing to the Smoking Gunns, the Godwinns and the Bodydonnas.

Finally, in 1997, Snow went to ECW as part of talent exchange between the WWE and ECW. Although Snow met with little success at first (submitting to Taz at Born to Be Wild in August 1997), that began to change when Snow began talking to himself, as if he was having a nervous breakdown. And with the arrival of Head, a plastic mannequin head, it was all uphill from there. By the end of 1997, Snow was finally regaining his winning ways, defeating Paul Diamond, Amish Roadkill and Tracey Smothers.

Shortly after defeating ECW Champion Shane Douglas in a tag match (Snow was partnered with Lance Storm), Douglas with Chris Candido, Snow was given a shot at Douglas's title. The match was at Wrestlepalooza '98. Snow lost the match but was headed back to the WWE.

Of course, it wasn't easy for Snow. Jerry Lawler tried to block Al's return, appointing himself referee during a match pitting Snow and Head against Too Cool, ensuring that Snow lost and was banished, temporarily, from WWE. But Snow persevered and a few months later, was even entered in the WWE title tournament at the 1998 Survivor Series. Snow defeated Jeff Jarrett but lost to Mankind.

Snow would team with Scorpio, the Blue Meanie, Bob Holly and Gillberg to form the J.O.B. Squad. The Squad would feud with the Brood for the rest of 1998 but, with Scorpio and Gillberg departing WWE, Snow and Holly began to feud over the Hardcore Championship and the Squad was no more.

Head would also depart, replaced by a small dog named Pepper. By the summer, Snow would tangle with the Big Boss Man after the Boss Man fed the remains of Pepper to Snow, leading to the infamous Kennel From Hell bout at Unforgiven '99.

Although Snow would gain no small amount of infamy from the Kennel match, he would also gain some unwanted fame when, in November 1999, Walmart pulled the Al Snow doll from their shelves over complaints that because the package contained a minature reproduction of Head, customers complained that it made light of violence towards women.

No matter how many times Mick Foley made jokes at his expense in his bestselling book Have A Nice Day, Snow still teamed with him and defeated the Hollys to become WWF Tag Team Champions in November 1999. Snow later teamed with Steve Blackman to form the funny but not too successful "Head Cheese" team. Snow, temporarily, turned heel after beating up their mascot, Cheesy McCheeserton, after losing to Test and Albert at Wrestlemania 2000.

In August 2000, Snow would defeat Perry Saturn to win the European Championship and would proceed to "represent" Europe, wearing a costume from a different European country before losing the belt to William Regal. Regal would also win the role of WWE Commissioner, which Snow had campaigned for after Mick Foley had been "fired" by Vince McMahon.

Snow would make less frequent appearances on WWE televison during much of 2001, as he, Tazz, Jacqueline and Tori served as trainers for the WWE's reality series Tough Enough. Snow would return, however, to take over colour commentary duties on Sunday Night Heat, teaming with Jonathan Coachman.

Snow would still compete in WWE, defeating Goldust to regain the Hardcore Championship in March 2002. Snow would also take his Tough Enough charge, Maven, under his wing and the pair would team. Snow would also spend the latter months of 2002, feuding with another former Tough Enough contestant, Chris Nowinski.

Although Snow's WWE career for most of 2003 would see him behind the microphone for Heat and working on Tough Enough, he would work a lot of independent shows, winning the Jersey All-Pro Wrestling title in August 2003 and the USA Pro Heavyweight title in June 2004.

Back in WWE, Snow would turn heel and come to the aid of Jonathan Coachman as the pair battled the Raw commentary team, Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler. During September 2003's Unforgiven pay-per-view, Snow and Coachman defeated Ross and Lawler to win the right to commentate on Raw, but the tenure behind the mics on Monday nights did not last very long.

Snow jumped from Raw to Smackdown! and headed up the fourth edition of Tough Enough. However, with the finale of the latest Tough Enough, Snow disappeared from WWE, heading to the company's Ohio Valley developmental territory to become a full-time trainer. Snow remains at Ohio Valley but continues to work independent dates as well.

While Snow may never have climbed to the heights of, say, a Triple H or even his friend, Mick Foley, but he is helping to train the next generation of superstars, and has helped to introduce several others, including Maven, Nidia and Johnny Nitro to the industry.

---compiled by John M. Milner



AL SNOW STORIES

  • June 12, 2013: Al Snow turns focus to film
  • Nov. 12, 2008: A wrestling lesson with Al Snow
  • June 20, 2008: Al Snow happy to be independent
  • December 21, 2005: Big enjoyment factor in Snow's job
  • September 27, 2004: Al Snow still has a passion for wrestling
  • June 20, 2001: WWF enters reality TV with 'Tough Enough'
  • April 18, 1999: Snow Warning
  • February 18, 1999: Column - Snow-blind in Titan Land


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  • Al Snow vs Homicide! Order JCW 'Snow Day' DVD-R