Al Snow on AEW – “People are Looking for an Alternative!”


During a recent interview with “Interactive Wrestling Radio”, Al Snow spoke about his autobiography, the launch of AEW and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On the meaning of “Head”: “Everybody thinks that because it is a double entendre, I was referring to what the double entendre is. I actually, quite honestly, wasn’t. I was refering, quite honestly, to the head! What does everybody want? What does everybody need? I was trying to set up a basis for me to become jealous of the head and then turn on it. I treated it like it was a real person because of a nervous breakdown he’s wanted nothing more than success in professional wrestling and when he seemed to have gotten it, it is not him that everyone wants, needs, or loves. It is the head! I would eventually turn on it much like other wrestlers did with each other. Kids got it better than adults did. Adults thought, “Oh, kids are going to get the wrong idea.” Kids don’t view the world like adults do. If you were to talk to a kid, he’s going to say, “He’s talking about the head.” They were absolutely right!”

On “Stone Cold” Steve Austin writing the forward to his book: “Steve is such a fantastic person and I can’t thank him enough for doing it. I’m so flattered by the things he wrote. He’s a great friend. I think he’s only written one other one and that was for JR!”

On talking about things where he doesn’t come off looking innocent in the book: “I’ve come to accept it. I’ve come to believe that everything in life is experiences that make for good stories that you can tell when you get old. Even some of the most negative experiences that I talk about in the book, 1. I accept my responsibility for my part in it. 2. You into some interesting situations you can bring up in conversation every once in a while. People are like, “What? There’s no way!” I’m like, yep. unfortunately, there is a way. (laughs)”

On deciding to purchase OVW and what OVW’s mission is now: “What motivated me and how it came about was I met my business partner Chad Miller, whoa t the time was the head of the boxing/wrestling commission. Please understand that I’m not talking about the cosmetic aspect of what I’m about to discuss. I’m talking about the most important facet of it – To have standards! Requirements. A person that wants to get into the wrestling business and gets trained, there should be standards these people should be required to meet as far as athletic conditioning. And, there are none. I found that odd and maybe a little insulting. My beautiful wife who is a licensed masseuse.. If you want to have any other licensed vocation, you would have to go to a school, you have to go and be taught by a state approved certified teacher. You have to do a certain number of hours of training, take a state certified test, before you’re ever licensed to take that vocation. Then, you are required to pursue continuing education to maintain that license. That is just for massaging someone… Cutting their hair, shaving their beard… Be a mortician! And, those people are dead! You can’t do anything to them! But, as a professional wrestler, at the 8 minute mark, you can be in such poor condition that you can put yourself at risk to having a life altering injury or even possibly kill somebody. To say, “Oh, that’s outrageous.” The number of these incidents continues to grow and is on the rise every year. Just the year before last, there was a young man in Oklahoma. He was poorly trained, I think he was not trained. He went in, took a spine buster, he struck the back of his head, he had brain swelling, he was in a coma, and 3 days later, they pulled the plug and he died. I just find it, again, absurd. I found it insulting,… Believe me, I’m the last guy that wants to involve any more government regulations. But, if we’re going to continue down the road that we’re going to continue, One the wrestling business is going to suffer as it already is. And two, at some point, and John McCain already attempted this once and it didn’t get any traction, but as wrestling goes on another up-swing and possibly another boom period and wrestling gains more attention, if you get the right senator that wants to champion the cause… The next thing you know, because we won’t regulate these things ourselves, the federal government is going to decide that they are going to have a Federal Wrestling Commission to set standards. That is going to pretty much be the death of independent wrestling. It is going to be done! I just felt there is no reason why we should just accept the way things are. So, my partner and I (Chad), he decided to resign from the boxing and wrestling commission and we decided to make the change ourselves. I reached out to the Maryland state athletic commission, South Carolina… Of course, Kentucky. They all turned it down. They gave reasons why they couldn’t do something of that nature. It frustrated me. If we continue down this road, we’re going to continue to devalue the profession of wrestling and the audience who spend their hard earned time, money, and energy to come and see some of these independent shows. You see these guys, they wrestle in T shirts… And, again, it isn’t about the cosmetic. You don’t have to look like Charles Atlas. But, you should have the state of conditioning to where at 8 minutes, you should not be blown up to where you are personally at risk of injurig yourself or our opponent. You should be tought the true fundamentals and not, “This is how you take a bump, hit the ropes, and next thing you know you’re doing high spots like you saw on RAW.” That is what happens everywhere. And then, in 4 weeks, 5 weeks, the guy has his first match. That’s unreasonable. That is not the way it is supposed to be done. People are not taught timing or footwork or propper distance, evaluating propper distance. That concept isn’t even really taught anymore. The only thing that is fake about wrestling is the intent behind it as in everything you do in the ring is in the attempt to win and not lose. Other than that, everything you do in the ring is quite real and comes with some risk of suffering a life altering injury. There are plenty of examples of that with guys who are true professionals. D’Lo Brown with Darren Drosdov. Those were two highly trained, accomplished athletes and one couldn’t walk for the rest of his life. Now you have these guys who are barely trained, barely have any physical conditioning… And they’re in the ring doing the same things or taking even greater risks these days because everyone is interested in becoming a meme and getting that internet fame that they think is going to drive their careers. They’re taking bigger and bigger physical risks. To that end, we’ve applied for and have previsional approval from the Office of Proprietary Education to be designated as an actual trade school. Students can apply for financial aid, student loans, get graints to attend. The important thing is that we’re not just teaching the in ring portion of wrestling. We’re also teaching the backstage aspects. Opreating the camera, lighting, sound, producing. Social media management… Promotion! So that, now, a young man or woman doesn’tjust learn the skills to get into professional wrestling but now have an exit plan of skills that they can use at the end of their careers that is involved in either sports entertainment or some type of broadcasting. Like I mentioned before about standards and we made the announcement WrestleMania weekend, we’re actually holding a combine much like the NFL or Major League Baseball doe where we put the sport back in sports entertainment. We’re going to invite athletes whether they have wrestling experience or not. We’re evaluating them on their athletic ability and also they will take an IQ test and a psych evaluation. So, on June 1st, we’re going to have a combine and have quantifiable standards that we are going to score them on.” We will take all types of athletes… Football players, basketball players, former military, gymnasts, dancers, cheerleaders… They’re all athletes. We’re going to take the top 15 and we’re going to give them a 2 year scholarship to the (OVW) school as well as dorm facilities and we have a job placement set up to where they can get part time employment so that they can pay the bills while they’re attending the school”

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