Al Snow's Brain

A User's Guide to Al Snow's Brain by Kevin Kelly

"I think therefore I am."17th century mathematician and philosopher Rene Desecartes' summation of human life is probably one of the most profound theories ever recorded.What happens when we think too muck?Or take thins too seriously?If we allow life and all it's tribulations to beat us down?Do we become like Al Snow and mentally unravel before the eyes of the world.

What chiefly resides in Al Snow's mind is intense creativity.He is a master of conjuring up stories and situations that are not only entertaining but believable.We belived he heard voices from"HEAD".We were entertained by his interaction with and affection for"Pepper".The action seen in the Hardcore matches doesn't happen sheerly by accident.The choreography and blocking necessary to pull off one of those matches is incredible and Al has been responsible for most of it.

Al Snow has a dark side as well.Durning his dark and depressed days in 1996,Al would tell again and again his tale of woe in the form of a parable what became known as the"Carrot and the Stick"story.When the horse pulls the cart,he gets a carrot.If he refuses,the horse is hit with a stick.While he always pulled the cart and pulled it well.Al says,te powers-that-be within the Federation never gave him the carrot....just the stick.Al would get extremely angery while telling the story to anyone who would listen.Most have viewed Al Snow as lke the crazy uncle who comes for Christmas,is humored by the famiy,but then is mocked whenever he leaves the room.

Al Snow has worn many personas in the Federation and all have been a reflection of who he really is.Each charactor has become increasingly darker as Al himself has become progressively darker.His first charator in te Federation,Avatar,debuted in 1995 and,as Al describes,was"the ultimate superhero and the defender of justice in the Federation."ccotding to Indian religion,the Avatar is a manifestation of God in man.Avata made one appearance on television and then vanished.

Snow then morphed into Leif Cassidy,whom Al describes as"the goofy guy from the 70's everyone wanted to see get his ass kicked"The only problem was,that was all you ever saw...(Leif)getting his ass kicked"Snow became Leif follwing one match as Shinobi,Oriental fightin master. had one match against Shawn Michaels,which Snow describes as "great".Having competed in Japan over the course of his career Snow adopted maneuvers he'd learned while competing overseas into his attack.Later that same ight,in fact,he debuted as Leif .But rather than bein someone smooth who did cool moves,Leif became a "goof"who was the punching bag for the entire roster.

Leif was paired with Marty Jannetty-who was"about as usefull as"HEAD" as far as activity in the ring,according to Al-in the New Rockers.

"(Marty)was disinterested in many things at the time,but mostly he was disinterested by acting like a goof,"Snow says of Jannetty

Al's attiude about the team soured quickly,but really hit a low during what he describes as the Leif,the Lawn Dart,Tour.

"Thats was the eight-day upsate New York tour where Marty and I were supposed to work a tag match against Doug Furnas and Phi Lafon.Furnas is very strong and liked to suplex opponents all over the ring.The same with Phil.It ended by becoming a 15-minute"Let's See If We Can Handicap Al Snow"match"

Al said he was kicked so hard in the back by Doug that his partner Phil even felt it.Marty was nursing an ankle"injury"and rarely if ever got involved in the action of the match.

Following the New York debacle,the New Rockers traveled to Kuwait for a series of matches and Snow called himself Leif of Arabia,Scourge of the Desert.In the United Kingdom it was Leif for Life Tour,as Al calls it,because"I never thought I would get rid of that stupid gimmick".

At that point,Al was just about over it"Very disrespected and just in general,abused.I felt the Federation were spitting on what had taken so many years to build up,the Federation basically was sayin,p*ss on it!"Too bad!You're not marketable because we kept giving you gimmicks that we didn't like,"says Al.

Leif Cassidy then begin to morph into the man we now know as Al Snow.

"But at that point,it wasn't going to amount to a hill of beans,he says."You know,it's very frustrating that no matter what you try,no matter what you do,no matter how hard you work,no matter how much you change your appearance,it's all wasted effort.

"The pressure really stared getting to me and I tried to quit.They wouldn't even let me quit because there was a third year on the contract that had rolled over on me.I was really being pushed to the limit,but my knight in shinning armor,Paul E. Heyman(owner of ECW),came and asked to borrow me,"Al recalls.

Nothing really changed for Snow,however,until he disovered a discarded mannequin head on his way to the ring one night whle competing in ECW.Along the way,Al has tried to maintain his sanity by entertaining himself and those around him.

"It's better to get people to laugh with you than at you,"he says

The characters Snow portrays are impressions of people he has met in the wrestling business who have left an impression on him.His most popular character is Bruiser,a parody of Bruiser Bedlam,whom Al has discribed as a five foot six inch,350 pound penitentiary bully.He and Bruiser met and worked together in Smoky Mountain Wrestling,based in Koxville Tennessee,in 1994.Also lurking within Al,he claims,are achim,the German Superman and professional bodybuilder:and Phyllis,a whiny,lonely old woman,kind of like a cat woman.

The bitterness has not subsided,even though Al has ahieved some success in a place where he had previously only known failure and frustration.The characters he creates are sort of defense mechanism.The crazier he feels himself,the more"out there"his characters become.

The spiritual decline of his characters is ironically symbolic of the downward journey Al's self-esteem and self-image have travelted the past five years-beginning with a manifestation of God within man,and now a man who hears voices from inanimate objects and animals.Al Snow's perception of himself follow's a dangerous parallel with the characters lurking within his mind

credit:WWF Raw magazine December 1999