|I want to talk this week about what might just be one of the better gimmicks for a wrestler in some time. I'm speaking of Al Snow.
Al Snow's been an undercard wrestler for some time in this industry, having had some successes in SMW and ECW. Al looked to finally be making a break for the big time when he signed up with the WWF a couple of years ago.
Things got off to a bad start quickly for Al in the WWF, as both he and McMahon could not agree on a gimmick. Several ideas were tossed around including one that was actually used once or twice on the WWF's weekend shows.You might remember a masked wrestler by the name Avatar.
The gimmick was poor from the start, a masked wrestler who removes his mask after each match?The gimmick was quickly dropped and they went back to the drawing board. One gimmick that got close to being used, then scrapped at the last minute was a James O'Barr's "Crow" gimmick.
I think McMahon may still be kicking himself for scrapping that one, seeing that he could have had it first, and I personally believe Snow would have played it better than Sting.
Not long after that,Marty Jannetty re-entered the WWF once again.It was then that McMahon paired Al with Jannetty as out of touch Rocker Leif Cassidy.Say what you want about these two being delegated to Bushwhackers status in the tag ranks, I found Snow as Cassidy amusing, but with obviously underused talent. I was ringside at a WWF card just days before the infamous going away party at MSG for Hall and Nash.
I had come to this event primarily to heckle Hall, Nash, and Michaels too, just for good measure.I was treated to one of the more entertaining matches on the card when the New Rockers appeared.
As usual they got their heads handed to them in the match, and at one point Snow had been thrown out of the ring to the floor, practically right in the lap of a Philadelphia Spectrum security guard.
Snow struggled to his knees and crawled onto the security guard's lap, grabbed the guard by the collar and screamed at him, "Oh the humanity of it all!"
Even as Cassidy, he could work the pro-ECW crowd pretty good, mocking ECW favorite Sabu while waiting for Jannetty to tag him in.It was easily the most involved the crowd was all night, including the Michaels/Nash cage match main event.
Jannetty found himself once again on the outs with the WWF, and much to most people's surprise they revamped the Leif Cassidy role, instead of assigning Snow a completely new gimmick. The leaner, meaner, and all around better Leif Cassidy wasn't given much of a shot, and was quickly reduced to job duty.Somehow Snow escaped McMahon's grasp and showed up in ECW. This is where Snow may finally have found his niche.
An interview was cut, showing Snow in the backseat of a car, in mid-conversation, speaking of just when he might have gotten a push with the WWF. "What's that? We'll give you a huge push? Just give us a little head," Al said, revealing he was talking with a hair stylist's dummy head.Thus was born Al's just slightly psychotic gimmick.
Joey Styles then gave the company line that Snow had snapped after more than 15 years of service in the wrestling industry without a break.
Snow is seen carrying the head with him wherever he goes, talking to it, revering it as a prized possession.The ring announcer announces Al Snow accompanied by the head.At moments during his matches, Snow goes to the corner to seek advice from it.At times Snow is whipped into the corner where the head resides, only to panic and put on the brakes at the last minute, apologizing to it.At first sight this may seem like another Leif Cassidy, comic relief type gimmick.The gimmick is done however in all seriousness, and has recieved an amazing reaction from the ECW crowd.
During a match aired two weeks ago on ECW's weekly TV show, Snow came to the ring as usual with the head.This time however, it seemed everyone in the crowd had a styrofoam wig head. The heads were obviously plants by the ECW producers,but it worked nonetheless.
The heads were waved crazily as Snow made his way to ringside, accompanied by music from the English band Prodigy, and ECW's trademark "quick zoom" camerawork. When Snow takes a triumphant position in the center of the ring, the crowd claps their hands against the styrofoam heads. Al holds his head high in the air, creating a scene that is both hilarious and haunting.
Following the match, a bout in which Snow got help from the head in dealing with his opponent's manager Chastity, Al grabbed the mic. He thanked the head for dealing with the light work, and then asked the crowd, "Now I want you to give me a little head!"It was the cue they were looking for, and the crowd proceeded to throw the stryofoam heads into the ring,creating a sea of heads at Snow's feet.It was truly a scene you don't forget.
It's amazing the way the fans have reacted to this gimmick. One of the styrofoam heads could be seen in the crowd at this year's Royal Rumble, thousands of miles from ECW arena.
It doesn't end there. On this week's ECW show, we saw Bam Bam Bigelow searching for a partner to help him against the Triple Threat. During his search he encounters Snow and the head. Snow assure Bam Bam that he would make a great partner. Bam Bam just shoots him a bewildered look and goes into the next room. The head then peeks through the door, pleading with Bam Bam to choose Snow as a partner. Bam Bam shouts a reply to Snow, "You need help man, you've been working with McMahon too long."
Al Snow's new gimmick may be his best ever. But even as I write this I begin to wonder when Heyman and company will pit Snow against ECW's star talent.Every match I've seen Snow in since the start of this gimmick has been against former Kato, Paul Diamond.At least I read in a recent TBR that he faced Furnas this past weekend, but Furnas is still not Tommy Dreamer, Taz, Sandman, Sabu, or even Justin Credible. I think it's time Snow gets a major push, possibly a title.
The Informer/Issue#33 of the Ring Informer