|One on One
Inside Wrestling Magazine
The telephone wires sizzle each month, as two top wrestlers voice their rage and hostility towards each other. Here's the unedited transcript of their conversation, your chance to feel the raw emotion that results when two antagonists face off..One on One.Believe it or not, Al Snow and Steve Blackman have a lot in common. In Addition to being highly skilled veterans, both men have heard the same hasty evaluation:"This guy's too boring." In the world of wrestling, a little flash and a lot of attitude will often take you farther than a truck load of talent, and Snow and Blackman's quiet professionalism was sometimes read as a lack of charisma. Snow recognized the source of his frustration once he entered the WWF and began to experiment with a number of gimmicks.
There was Shinobi (a Ninja), the mysterious high-flying Avatar, and New Rocker Leif Cassidy. In the end it was a 'talking' mannequin head that gave Snow a foothold. When Mankind was ousted from the Federation and Cactus Jack returned for revenge on Triple H, Snow was left without a Tag partner.Though Snow and Blackman have never been friends, they shared a mutual respect. On a recent edition of Raw, Snow and Blackman very nearly defeated the New Age Outlaws for the WWF tag title before the Outlaws provoked the Radicals into joining the fray. Despite their in-ring success, Snow is convinced the team needs a new gimmick to make it to the top, and his ideas usually seem to come at Blackman's expense.
"The Lethal Weapon" has balked at carrying blocks of cheese or board games to the ring, thereby ruining such promising gimmicks as, "Head Cheese" and "Head Games". We invited both men to come up with some fresh ideas here and talk about some of the problems that have been plaguing them..
"One on One".
Al Snow: Steve, glad I got a hold of you. I've been doing a lot more thinking lately, and I think I've come up with a few winning names for us.
Steve Blackman: For the last time, do we really need a stupid gimmicky name, Al? Why can't we just be called Steve Blackman and Al Snow and concentrate on winning matches? After all, we nearly beat The New Age Outlaws on Raw, and I didn't have to dress up in a bunny suit to get the jop done.
AS: Steve, Steve, Steve. You just don't get it, do you? Do you really think the Road Warriors would have gotten over without the face paint, without the leather, and wrestling as 'the amazing Hank and Julius Schwartz"?
SB: But those aren't Hawk and Animal's real names.
AS: Try to stick with me, Steve. If anybody knows the importance of a good gimmick, it's me. Now you've already pooh-poohed Snow Bunnies. And you didn't seem to care for Snow Storm, Head Games, Head Cheese, Head Count, or Snow Balls, so I'm kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel now. But I think this next one's a winner. If we can get you an evening gown and a pair of high heels, we can be Head over Heels. I'm sure Mae Young wouldn't mind lending you whatever wardrobe accessories you need.
SB: Are you kidding me?
AS: Come on, Steve! It worked for Gorgeous George, Adrian Street, and Adrian Adonis, so you know the gimmick has to be sound.
SB: Absolutely not. I'm not going to be a transvestite because you like the way the name sounds. Al, why don't I just tell you MY plan?
AS: And I've got a feeling you don't want to be Potato Head, either, so here's my other plan. Since I'm all about recycling, how about we try to use one of my old gimmicks. If we both go under hoods, we can be the New Avatars. or we can call you Frankie Sunshine, and be the New New Rockers. What do you say?
SB: The New New Rockers? Do you understand who I am? I'm 'The Lethal Weapon'. I'm a hired gun. I'm a martial arts master. And you want me to do a teeny-bopper gimmick? Gimme a break! I'm not about to do anything so stupid.
AS: Let's face it, Steve, your finishing move is a kick to the chest. Don't get me wrong, it's a good kick and everything, but it's just impossible to get more bland than having a kick to the chest as a finisher. Half the time I have to slug a six-pack of Jolt to stay awake when I'm tagging with you. We've got to spice you up a bit if we're going to get anywhere.
SB: I didn't hear you complaining when I was hitting Billy Gunn with those 'bland' kicks. I'm sick and tired of running the rat race in the WWF. If I have to adopt some stupid gimmick to get attention, then I guess that's just something I'll have to do. I just think we should spend more time going over match strategy and training than trying to figure out what ridiculous outfits we should be wearing to the ring.
AS: You want to discuss match strategy? Fine. There's a lot of solid teams here in the WWF. How do we distinguish ourselves from the pack and manage to get a few title shots? What can we do to stand out?
SB: Finally, you've given up on your stupid ideas, and you're ready to hear from me. I think the first thing we should do is challenge the Acolytes.
AS: Challenge the Acolytes? And you say I'VE got stupid ideas?
SB: The way I see it, The Acolytes are the spoilers of the WWF. Once we beat them--and I think we can do it if we focus all our energy on training instead of on all this other nonsense--then more title shots are sure to come. I think we already proved we can beat The New Age Outlaws, and we don't have to be, "Head Cheese" to do it.
AS: But Steve, think of the T-shirt sales! 'What does everybody want? Head Cheese!" That's a winner, baby. That's the next 'Austin 3:16'.
SB: For some reason, I really don't see that gimmick taking off as quickly as you do.
AS: That's because I'm a man of vision, Steve. People said taking advice from a mannequin's severed head wouldn't do much for me, either. Who's laughing now?
SB: Sure. How about we forget all the cutesy names and just call ourselves, "The Lethal Weapons"? Let's make that our official name, get a contract with the Acolytes, and see how things work out.
AS: 'The Lethal Weapons', eh? I've been told that I could pass for Mel Gibson before, but could you really pass for Danny Glover?
SB: For God's sakes, it's just a name! It's not supposed to be a movie reference! Al, I don't have all day for this. I'm just about at my breaking point. You think up a name. I don't want it to be a stupid name that makes me wear a stupid bunny suit, or a vampire costume, or anything like that. I don't want to carry a block of cheese or wear a snowsuit or anything else, either. I'll put you in charge of coming up with a name, and once you do, that will be our new name. In the meantime, start preparing for some matches against the Acolytes. I'm willing to go along with you if it gets us another shot at the WWF tag team belts.
AS: Get us another shot? Stevie, once I come up with a new gimmick, we're going to be legends. I've got a couple of other ideas, but I need to fine-tune them a bit, so don't you worry. We're going to catapult ahead of every team in the WWF--as soon as I can figure out what to call us.