Former WWE star Al Snow joined the It’s My House Podcast, where he offered some interesting critiques about modern wrestling. Chief among them was Snow’s theory that the modern day wrestlers are performing more for themselves than they do themselves.
“The talent aren’t performing for you anymore. That’s a fact,” Snow said. “They’re not going in the ring and wrestling for you. Your opinion doesn’t matter. They are wrestling for each other, trying to impress each other, and they are wrestling for that small group of people that write a report and give them a critical acclaim and say either it was really a good match or it was a bad match. That’s the truth. That’s why the talent are so caught up in today and in the locker room calling every single second. They’re not living in the moment, not reacting to each other, to the referee, not interacting with the audience like they used to. They’re so concerned that they’re gonna forget the next thing that’s coming up, and they’re scared to death that they’re going to make a mistake.
“It’s not that you’ll notice it because you won’t. It’s that somebody in the back will notice it, and we’ll call them out on it, or someone who’s writing a report will notice that they made a mistake or they did a botch. You can’t botch anything unless you expose the wrestling, the lie. If you ruin the illusion, that’s the only way you can make a mistake, otherwise there’s no way to do it. It’s not possible, because you can make and create everything you want to make and create, and you’re only limited by your own imagination and creativity, as long as it’s within the context of a competition. As long as you’re trying to still win and not lose.”
Snow, who currently runs the former WWE developmental promotion OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling), got most famous for his run in WWE where he brought a mannequin head to the ring, talked about said run. He talked about getting the gimmick over, part of which involved him taking the head out in public to give fans the impression he was different.
“It was quite honestly the reason something like that works and works well, just like in Steve Austin’s case or Vince McMahon’s case or, you know Undertaker or Goldust or Triple H,” Snow said. “The one thing I always tell every young wrestler is the most valuable thing that you have to learn is who you are and be able to have an audience describe you in a sentence or less. For instance, you know, if I say beer drinking ass kicking redneck you know I’m talking about Steve Austin. If I say evil a-----e of a boss, you know I’m talking about Vince McMahon. And that is key. A lot of people claim that today the wrestlers are playing a character and they’re not. Nothing could be further from the truth. Steve Austin, what you see when he walks through the ring is Steve Austin, it’s just that aspect of his personality he turned up full blast. It’s a lie. I liken it to if you walk into a dinner party or a room with a bunch of people, and you want to take control of the room you know you have to turn up your energy. You know how to turn up who you are without being obnoxious, so that it draws attention. And to take control of the room as a wrestler you’ve got to be able to do that with your personality in a room of 20000 people.
“And, you know, I would go to dinner after shows or go to breakfast when I was on the road and I would take the head into restaurants and sit there with it, order food for them. I mean, we’d argue and have conversations and I got asked to leave a lot of public places because it was creeping people out. But you know I did that because if you and your family were in there and you see me, and then next Monday night you’re flipping through the TV channels and you see me come out, you’re like ‘hey look there’s that crazy guy remember?’ And you believe I’m really insane, because, you know, I’ve been sitting there talking to the head the whole time.”
Snow then went back to talking about the current generation of wrestling and how wrestlers are worried about not getting over due to losing. He shared his philosophy on how a wrestler gets over even in defeat.
“I think a lot of talent get caught up in that,” Snow said of wrestlers being afraid to lose. “Because if they don’t win or win on a consistent basis they feel like they’re being buried, that the audience will view them as something less than. When nothing could be further from the truth. When you go out there in the ring, whether you win or lose, it’s your opportunity to get yourself over, meaning to connect with that audience and make them want to see you again. And you don’t have to go over to get over. You know there are plenty of people, a good example would be Tommy Dreamer and ECW you know? He didn’t win a match, the whole time he was in ECW, until there at the end, and he fought not wanting to win it but he didn’t want to win the ECW title and screw up his track record, But he was massively over in ECW as the you know, as Tommy Dreamer and that just goes to prove that you don’t have to necessarily win. You don’t have to go over to get over.”
You can watch the full interview below.