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  February 18, 1999



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Snow-blind in Titan Land
Snow
"Hardcore" asks...will the multi-talented Al Snow ever get ahead?
By "HARDCORE" CHRIS GRAMLICH -- For SLAM! Wrestling

  There is no disputing the fact that Al Snow is by far one of the most talented wrestlers in the game today. There is also no disputing the price this man has paid to get to where he is; the question that somehow hasn't been answered is that where exactly is he and where the hell is Vince McMahon taking him?

Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation haven't exactly been kind to Al Snow. Long time followers will no-doubt remember the Avatar and other failed martial arts-inspired gimmicks where he was never allowed to demonstrate his tremendous abilities. Then there was his tenure as a New Rocker where he got to act like an idiot and job a lot (not to mention being called a "Rocker"!). These failed gimmicks and lack of pushes aside, Al Snow was taken for granted by the WWF.

He was the one the bookers went to when they wanted someone to get over and look good in the process. Al in the "time honored tradition of the business" always thought that if he did what was asked then his time would come. Sadly it never did and eventually Al reached his boiling point and refused to job to lesser talent any more. Now this isn't a case of some egomaniacal star refusing to work. This was a case of a man being taken advantage of and finally saying enough is enough.

To quote Al: "They couldn't job me out because I was always doing the job, they couldn't fire me because I wanted to quit and they wouldn't let me". So reluctantly he was lent to the ECW while still under contract to the WWF. This would turn out to be one of the best things that would ever happen to him. Al wasn't exactly new to ECW, having wrestled there from time to time in the ECW's more formative years (most notably against Taz, Chris Benoit and Sabu) but this time things would be different.

However nothing changes overnight and his return to the ECW was less than triumphant. While he made it clear to the fans that he wasn't Leif Cassidy anymore, he still had the New Rocker tights, the New Rocker look and was still doing the tantrum thing after each loss and...oh yes, he continued to lose. Yet there was a method to his madness, Al was playing-up the "losing my mind" angle in preparation for the gimmick that would finally get him over and take him to the top of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Head!

Head was brought into the equation as a tangible representation of the voices Al Snow heard in his...you guessed it, head. Bestowed by the benevolent Mick Foley, Head was about to take the ECW by storm. With Head, Al Snow gradually became a baby face just like Paul Heyman predicted he would and gradually, then dramatically, his popularity rose. As his popularity rose so to did his stock and it wasn't long before Al Snow (and Head) were challenging The Franchise Shane Douglas for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

Whether he actually would have won it if Vince McMahon and the WWF hadn't reasserted themselves is a debate for another day (but since Shane was in need of some serious down time and Al was a major face, logic suggests he would have). The fact that Wrestlepalooza would be his last ECW televised appearance obviously precluded him from defeating Douglas and once again the WWF forced him to job, costing him not just a victory but something that he was most deserving of: the ECW Heavyweight Title.

The WWF had their reasons and soon Al Snow was back in the fed, at first desperately trying to get a meeting with Vince, (an inside joke about only having a couple face to face meetings with the WWF owner while he was in the WWF). Then in a brief feud with Jerry "The King" Lawler. Neither angle garnered Al the popularity he enjoyed in his short stint with the ECW and he quickly disappeared before resurfacing in short taped interview form with Jim Ross.

In much the same fashion as the Mankind series (but nowhere near to the same extent) these interviews served as a vehicle to get Al over and explain the how and why of himself and of course of head. During all of this Snow still had yet to achieve any major victories and to this day hasn't been established as more then a mid-carder. Sure he defeated Vader but that was on Vader's way out. Sargent Slaughter? Well beating someone who's over the hill isn't that big a deal unless of course you exist in the WCW but I digress.

Snow Al Snow then went on to form the J.O.B. Squad, yet another inside joke about the jobbers in the business having the real power to make and break stars and went on to lead the group to less than stellar heights. With the emergence of the Hardcore Title in the WWF scene Snow should have easily established his dominance, but it didn't happen that way. After failing to win the belt from Road Dog and losing to Bob Holly last weekend, history is no-doubt beginning to repeat itself.

Al Snow, a man who actually would have captured the ECW belt if not for the WWF, now cannot defeat either the Road Dog or Bob Holly. The fact that Bob Holly or the Road Dog for that matter are even getting a push over a talent like Snow is disconcerting enough but when it is coming at the price of Snow one has to wonder what the WWF has in mind for Al. The history so far would suggest little if that.

Al Snow's most recent stint in the WWF has been like all the others, an incredible talented athlete promised the world yet stuck putting over mediocre talent and participating in pointless angles that make little sense, to this day no one knows how the Goldust feud started or why? Let alone why Bob Holly turned on him or why for that matter why he's ripping-off Sabu and moonsaulting through tables. Al Snow is again not being utilized correctly, history does have a tendency to repeat itself if one does not observe the lessons learned.

In this case the WWF's chore of establishing Al Snow as a main-eventer was made even easier by his popularity in the ECW and the Head gimmick. Still the WWF has managed to put Al Snow into much the same position that he was in when he left the last time and he to a certain extent has let them. Maybe they promised him the world, maybe they promised him that things would be different this time, but they haven't been. The day the wrestling world saw Al Snow put Tiger Ali Singh over (again), was the day the wrestling world knew this time wouldn't be any different than the previous.

Al Snow deserves better.

Al Snow deserves to be champ!

RELATED LINK
  • More on Al Snow
    Chris Gramlich originally hails from "anywhere he damn well pleases" (a.k.a. Vancouver, BC). His hobbies include: wrestling, piercing various body parts, aggressive music, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Star Trek related programs, good animation, any all shark programs, video games, wrestling and walking his dog. Gramlich plays in a jazz/metal/punk/noise band called Association Area, being previous associated with bands such as Bad Blood and Tchort. Also a respected music writer based out of Toronto, "Hardcore" writes for the Exclaim and Doomhauled magazines.

    Discuss this topic in our Wrestle Talk. It is a moderated chat group because of problems in the past, and will only stay active if people behave themselves.




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