|Going SNOWhere-Trendsetter Press
Writen by Samir-7/9/2000
Grand robbery has occurred in the WWF. I know I've harped on how little Al Snow is being used before, but that was a blurb in a sea of other (compelling) thoughts. Let's get serious now, and dedicate a whole column to a man who is the unsung hero of this smart mark, a man who has been given terrible angles, and gotten over. A man who is blessed with the mouth of Foley and the skills of Shawn Michaels (I said it!), and yet meanders the bottom of the pool in a federation where Road Dogg and X-Pac are regular main eventers, where Bossman has pinned The Rock, and where Stephanie McMahon has been a title holder. Al Snow has been robbed of a career, and I will illustrate this by describing Al's performance in past angles that showed us he deserves better.
Angle #1- The Job Squad
Yes, this whole thing was Al Snow's. It seems to long ago, and so vague, now that Scorpio has moved onto stardom as a "genitalactic freak", Bob Holly has rejuevenated his singles' career, and Blue Meanie, well...umm... I hear he has a website. But think about it for a second. If you were given a stable comprised of Thurman Sparky Bob Spark Plugg Holly, Too Cold Flashfunk, and this new, fat guy with less heat than Goldust, how would you fare? Look at what happened to the once rising Taka Michinoku, when he was saddled with the talented but heatless Funaki, Togo and Teioh. That's right. Taka went from a proud lightweight to a jobber with the tackiest outfit this side of Tammy Sytch's ass. A similar fate could have happened to Al Snow, but he didn't let it get him down, and for awhile, the Job Squad enjoyed a brief run of success in the WWF.
Angle #2- The Bossman Feud
Hey, how successful was The Big Show's title reign? Ha, if you blinked at the wrong time, you would have missed it. Why? Because unlike Stone Cold, HHH, Mankind and Rocky, who had terrific foils in their championship angles, Big Show was pitted against The Bossman. It's a known fact that Bossman is a black hole for crowd heat. He doesn't get "I love to hate him" heat, he gets "why the fuck are we paying to see this asshole?" heat. And everyone Bossman feuds with, he is sure to drag down into a cesspool of mediocrity and matches lined with nothing but uppercuts and nightstick shots. Everyone, that is, except Al Snow.
Unlike Big Show, who never regained his championship form after surfing caskets à la Bossman, Al Snow managed to salvage a few shreds of his career from the Bossman incident to at least feud with Rocky Maivia, albeit briefly (more on that later). And that Al Snow managed to do this is even more apalling when you consider Al Snow and Bossman had what was probably one of the three worst matches in WWF history- The Kennel from Hell. Between that match and the monster truck match or whatever it was called with Hulk Hogan and Big Show (I think), I don't know what hell's video store carries more of... Yes, Al Snow escaped this feud, and that alone is grounds enough to push him. But there's more.
The Phantom Rocky feud
Mick Foley was right between his good friend Al Snow, the old road buddy who had come up with his socko gimmick, and The Rock, a new buddy who respected Mick, but rarely showed it. The makings of a feud were already in place, as these 3 dynamic, and rich characters could have really told a good story about 3 guys just trying to get along. The crowd already knew Rocky and Mick Foley as well as they would know their own mothers, but we were seeing a side of Al Snow that he rarely got a chance to showcase while he played a deranged psycho- Al Snow, the comedian, the heel, the disgruntled friend.
Remember when Rocky told Mick and Al they better read his book when it comes out? Who made that interview? It wasn't The Rock. It wasn't Mick Foley. It was Al Snow, when he curtly told Rocky, "sure, I when I have 5 minutes." Al Snow hung with those 2, matched interview for interview (now that I think about it, that feud was so short, but it had some money interviews), and actually got good response heat. It seemed like it was all coming together for Al, because he finally got a feud where he could be himself. But, alas it was not to be, as Vince McMahon saw more money in a Rock/HHH feud. It may have been true, but I'll bet had Rock and Al Snow had a good feud, it wouldn't have *totally* sucked either, and HHH and Rocky would be happening right now.
Steve Blackman- the silent miracle
If Bossman is a black hole of crowd heat, Steve Blackman is 3 black holes. Feuds with Blackman almost ended the careers of Val Venis, Ken Shamrock, and a host of others. When Vince paired Al Snow with Blackman, Al was all but written off as another star who would join Vader, The Jackyl, Hakushi, Taka and from the looks of it D'Lo Brown in the collective graveyard of promising WWF talents that went nowhere. But no, Al Snow smartly played on Blackman's biggest weakest, and made it a cornerstone of the Head Cheese angle. Skits with Al and Steve and old age homes, night clubs, encoutering Ben Franklin, were carried fantastically with the odd chemistry between Al's wit and Steve's admitted inability to have a personality. And the crowd ate it up. Their most recent vignette, "the poem", was terrific. It made use of Al's wit and sarcasm, as well as his flare for the dramatic, with Steve's obssession with violence. It was a darkhorse for the highlight of the week for WWF TV.
It was a silent miracle however, because to this date, the WWF did not take notice, and Al's appearances are becoming fewer and further between. Hey, if Al Snow can survive angles with Bossman and Blackman, what could he do with a heel like Eddie Guerrero? HHH? Vince McMahon? I don't pretend to be an Al Snow expert. I haven't seen all his old ECW and Japan matches, in fact all I've seen is a fraction, but I know this guy, when he wants to, can be terrific in the ring. My only true experience with Al Snow has been his WWF run, and I have a feeling a lot of his old fans are finding that the WWF only scratched the surface with Al Snow. To be honest, I don't need to see much of Al Snow to realize he has talent. And that's a good thing, because from the looks of it, we aren't going to see much of him at all.