I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Al Snow. To me, he is the very embodiment of perseverance. The Lima, Ohio native spent over ten years on the independent circuit before finally catching a break in Jim Cornette’s old Smoky Mountain territory, at which point the industry finally took note of the guy and considered him a “can’t miss” prospect. For whatever reason, though, Snow never really became the mega superstar that many thought he would be.
That’s too bad. It’s too bad, because to me, Al Snow is not only a heck of a wrestler, but one of the most comical performers I’ve ever seen in the business.
I have my ideas as to why Vince McMahon has never been eager to push the guy. During one of his first matches in the Federation, at which time Snow was performing as the masked Avatar (a horrible gimmick in which he would wear a mask to the ring, then remove it, then put it back on), he proceeded to blow two spots in major, MAJOR fashion. Now granted, they weren’t simple moves (one was a springboard splash from the top rope to the floor), and it was one of his first nights in the company, but we’re talking a Jackie Gayda level of botchery (™ – Bryan Alvarez, Figure Four Weekly) here. And you could hear Vince’s displeasure during commentary.
Still, he kept Snow on, and eventually paired him up with a way past his prime Marty Jannetty, who hadn’t done much of note since getting thrown through a barber shop window courtesy of Shawn Michaels in the early 90’s. The pair formed the NEW Rockers, and as anyone who has followed wrestling for any length of time can tell you, being the NEW version of a tag team is truly the kiss of death.
Snow became teen idol Leif Cassidy, a clever play on former Tiger Beat coverboys Leif Garrett and Shaun Cassidy. And, as always, Al played the part WAY over the top, pumping his fists up in the air and running around like a total dork. If you ever get the opportunity to catch a New Rockers match, I dare you to watch it and NOT laugh – Snow was just too funny in his role, especially when he was hanging out in the “Rockers Tour Bus.”
Unfortunately for Al, Jannetty left the company, either due to injury or those pesky “PERSONAL DEMONS” he had been fighting since the glory days with Michaels. Snow eventually “went crazy” following several losses, and also departed the promotion. He wound up in ECW, where he struck gold by grabbing a mannequin’s skull and getting the fans to chant “HEAD!” He went back to the WWF, where he became primarily known as the butt of Mick Foley’s jokes and the lead trainer of Tough Enough.
Oh yeah, and being force-fed his deceased chihuahua.