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