Al Snow Talks Rebuilding TNA’s Image, Reinventing Himself As A ‘Grizzled Vet’, Paul Heyman Being ECW’s ‘Biggest Star’

Bill Pritchard
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TNA Al Snow recently took part in the ‘Five Questions’ portion of the Sports Illustrated Extra Mustard’s Week In Wrestling with Justin Barrasso. 

Snow talks about his work as a wrestler and producer for ECW, WWE and TNA, working to revamp Impact Wrestling’s image, and much more. You can read a few excerpts below: 

Al Snow compares OVW to NXT:

The difference between OVW and NXT is OVW was a throwback to a very regional territory. It was operated on a very local and regional basis, and under the same premise as what we used to do. I wanted to build it up when I first came in and took over. They were running two or three live events a month, and a weekly television production show every Wednesday night. We ran 186 live events and drew, on average, 400 people. The TV show became the number one rated show on the local network, and several times beat out the local news. For us, that was successful, but NXT operates on a different platform. It’s not regional or local, but it’s more of a sister company to WWE. They tour, run smaller venues, and they’re doing really, really well, which is great. Any success that allows the talent more of an opportunity to perform in front of a live audience is always a boon for the wrestling business as a whole.

How does Al Snow try to help rebuild TNA’s image, which has been soiled over time: 

TNA is on the right track. They’re bringing in new and different talent, and that’s the biggest thing. Everyone was talking about Cody Rhodes leaving WWE and how that was terrible, but it’s not at all. You need to put yourself in a position where you can leave on your terms. I recommend talent if I see somebody out there that I think can do business and do what a wrestler’s job really is. There is a lot of misunderstanding over a wrestler’s job–a wrestler’s job is not to wrestle. A wrestler’s job is much like a movie actor, and it’s the hardest job you can do. A wrestler has to motivate people to leave their comfortable chair in their house, drive to a building, pay a significant amount of money to sit in an uncomfortable chair around people they don’t want to sit around, to watch you do your job. That’s a tough, tough job to do.

Snow comments on if Paul Heyman being ECW’s biggest star is a surprise: 

​Not at all, not one bit. Paul Heyman was ECW. Paul Heyman manufactured and created ECW, and Paul is a master of reinventing himself–that’s how he has lasted as long as he has. You only serve one of two purposes in professional wrestling. Unlike any other form of entertainment, there is no third option. You’re either the thing that sells tickets, and that’s the thing that motivated everyone to show up at the building that night or tune in on television or buy that pay per view, or you are one of the things that helped that thing sell tickets, motivate people to watch the television show, etc. There is no third option, and Paul E. has been able to adeptly function in those two roles for his entire career.

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