Many Superstars currently in WWE made their way there after getting a start in TNA/Impact Wrestling. Al Snow worked with a number of those talents in TNA and he talked about Robbie E (aka WWE NXT's Robert Stone) when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"I couldn't be happier for him. I think Robbie really – and I'm not going to say this to him – but Robbie is a really talented guy. He knows how to work; he gets it. He is a worker. Robbie is very underrated and I think he's underappreciated as a worker in the wrestling business," said Snow. "He listens. He goes and he talks to older guys and doesn't shut them down. He actually listens to the advice and he's not out there just trying to be the next hot thing or get that that critical acclaim or that pat on the back. He's trying to make himself into an attraction.
"Another guy like that too is Spud – Drake Maverick. Same guy, same thing – smart and he gets it. Look at what he did – he legitimately was getting released. Then he went and spun it into an angle where he ended up getting himself hired back. He's made himself even more of an attraction now and more valuable when he does get released because he's done that."
Snow is currently the owner of Ohio Valley Wrestling which used to be a WWE developmental territory. He talked about OVW getting a TV deal and how many homes it's now available in.
"We just recently signed a deal with the YTA Network. The YTA Network is not a prominent, but it's a national network in the US and now out TV show airs in 44 million homes nationwide which is a big deal for us to have that kind of exposure. It's both broadcast and a cable network and they have their own streaming platform as well," stated Snow.
"I met with the people from Film Volt and they're in the UK. They wanted to handle potential distribution and marketing of the TV show. So, we signed a multi-year deal with them and they developed a Roku channel that is accessible in the US, Canada, Germany, several South American countries and several more Eastern European counties. As of Friday, we'll be available in Japan, China and Israel and next week we'll be working on the third stage where we'll be available in even more international markets."
He said they will then be on Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire and Apple TV come the winter and that allows them to expand their audience which increases opportunities for their talent.
"We've been on broadcast TV now for probably over 30 years. A year ago, we had our 1,000th consecutive episode of television. So, the only other company that's close is basically WWE and I think Raw only beats us by a little as far as consecutive episodes right now," revealed Snow. "But if you were here, it was just on a regional basis. It was just in the local market, the regional market, that you were on TV and you had that TV presence and that exposure. But now trying to create a platform that you'll have both a national and international exposure so it creates opportunities for the wrestlers themselves. Now they're building an audience, let's say in Israel, and if there's a promoter in Israel, which there are, and they realize that one of the stars in OVW has an audience already developed and they are already an attraction and a draw, it gives them a chance to go to Israel or other countries and perform now that they wouldn't have normally had."
NXT is unique in that it's both a developmental territory and a standalone promotion. Snow was asked which of those he thinks OVW falls under.
"It's everything. I've wanted to create a platform that gives both newcomers a place to truly be trained to a certain standard, because unfortunately, with the proliferation of wrestling schools that are out there, there are no standards anymore. That was what motivated me to buy OVW in the first place. It was my frustration and my aggravation being on a lot of these independent shows," admitted Snow.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that everybody has to look like a bodybuilder or an underwear model because they don't. Some of the beauty of professional wrestling is that it has to have something that appeals to everyone in every way. But you've got to be able to not only carry yourself in a manner that makes an audience believe that you can make your living in a competitive combative situation. But you've got to be trained properly to be able to portray that from start to finish to help allow an audience to immerse themselves in that illusion. And these days, people just aren't."
Snow said "we've all become such whores" as a way to describe people who just take money no matter their accepted standards. He said it should be hard to become a pro wrestler and he talked about his wife who is a masseuse and has to go through lengthy training in order to be accredited.
"In any state that has a commission that they claim they're doing for the betterment of the sport, you just take a physical and pay your money and ta-da, you're a professional wrestler. There's no standards as far as trainers or training or training facilities and that's why it took me a year-and-a-half, but we're the only training school, the only wrestling school in the world that we are actually accredited by the State Office of Proprietary Education. They oversee our secondary education by trade, schools, universities, colleges; they oversee all of that. So, it took a lot of time, it took a lot of effort, and it took a lot of money to become that. But we now have that accreditation," revealed Snow.
At OVW they also teach their students how to be pro wrestlers both inside and outside of the ring. That helps them prepare for their lives after wrestling and they are taught skills that can help in the entertainment industry.
"On top of that we're going to work with you on your diet and we're going to work with you on your nutrition. We're going to work with you on your physical training – we're not just going to leave it to happenstance that you just go to the gym and just do yourself," said Snow. "We're going to actually use real strength coaches that are professionals and are trained in making you an athlete. We're going to use quantifiable metrics to gauge your physical ability to allow you to know where you start and then when you come to me and say, 'Hey, what do I need to work on?' Here's where your score is at and here's where we need to get it to so you can perform at the level you need to perform at. If you get an opportunity, let's say, with AEW or WWE or any other three letters on a major platform, you're going to be able to take the best chance at that opportunity that you can because you're only going to get one shot at a first impression. We're going to make sure you do everything you can to make the most of it."
You can learn more about Ohio Valley Wrestling by visiting ovwrestling.com. Al's full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.