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Al Snow Says There Are No “Smart-marks”, Talks Wrestlers Airing Grievances Online

Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas recently caught up with TNA Wrestling producer Al Snow. Highlights:

– Al explains how his comedic Tweets come about

– Thoughts on wrestlers using Twitter to air grievances: “It shouldn’t be a venue to air gripes or complaints, by no means. The wrestling business was a closed business for a very long time (Jimmy can attest to this). It’s kinda like remember when you were a kid, and you were at home and something would happen within your family and it was never spoken outside of the house because it was your family. It was nobody else’s business because nobody else could appreciate or understand the situation, and therefore, would pass judgment on something they really didn’t have a part in. Because at the end of the day, the only people who are gonna have to go to bed with it and wake up with it are you and your family – and that’s kinda like the wrestling business.”

– On TNA talent using social forums (via Twitter) to comment on the competition: “We’re the ones who rely on and depend on the wrestling business for our livelihood and how we’re gonna feed our families. So why throw dirt on each other and throw muck around, or air out our grievances or talk about the competition in a public forum. It’s okay to do all of those things amongst ourselves, but once it goes outside those doors, and goes into an area where people don’t have a real stake in what happens or what it being said then it’s like your cousin Jim who went to jail – you don’t want to share that with anybody because he’s your cousin – he’s your family.”

– On his job description as a producer for TNA: “A communicator who conveys message from an agents meeting to determine what type of business we want to accomplish from a particular match – pushing a storyline, getting a babyface over, make a character, put heat on a heel, or start teaching the audience (6-montsh out) that a certain guy could be a champion so that 6-months later he becomes a viable threat/contender to the title (in the eyes of the audience).”

– “The most oxymoronic term out there is a ‘smart-mark’. Just doesn’t exist. Because how can you be smart at something – knowing somebody is lying to you, while actually believing the lie. It’s a term created by fans who believe they’re on the inside of something that they’re not really on the inside of. They’re not a part of the business because they don’t have a real stake in it.”

– “A great example is if you ask what was the best match of WrestleMania 3. Most people would say Savage/Steamboat. But it was Hogan/Andre because 93,000 people paid to see Hogan/Andre. The best match isn’t about ‘working’ or ‘taking the best bumps’, it’s the match that draws the most people and makes the most money. That’s the best match.”

Also Al Snow discusses ring psychology, internet smart-marks (and the irony of the term), lack of guidance in present day wrestling scene, his upcoming movie roles and much much more.

The twenty-minute interview can be accessed here.

  • Valo487

    Bigger isn’t better always. Hogan/Andre may have been a bigger spectacle and sold the tickets, but quality-wise, Savage/Steamboat was far superior. There’s a reason so many actual performers cite it, not Hogan/Andre, as the best match on that card. They’re people who would know, and that’s the match they want to emulate.

  • Devil_Rising


    You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Al Snow has been in the business for over 20 years. He’s worked for just about every major promotion in that time. And he’s always had a reputation as a smart, humble, stand up guy, who should have gotten more (push wise) than he ever did.

    There IS a difference between the most exciting match on the card, WRESTLING-wise, and what “puts butts in the seats”, as the saying goes. From THAT standpoint, he’s right. You’re mistaking what he’s saying, proving his very point for him. So a so called “smart” wrestling fan, yes, a match like Savage/Steamboat, or even Hart Foundation/Bulldogs, is going to win “best match” of Wrestlemania 3. But when it comes to the BUSINESS side of things, when it comes to making money, selling tickets, and “putting butts in the seats”, people went to that show, or ordered the PPV, to see Hogan vs. Andre. That match was immense in a way that no match really has been since, save maybe the Bret Hart/HBK Iron Man match at WM12. And even THAT really pales in comparison.

    Hart/HBK was the better technical match. I’d pick it 10 times out of 10 as one of the very best matches of all time (even IF HBK did act like a total ingratious punk afterwards). But from the standpoint of a single match standing out in the mind of the popular culture, a single match that has stood out as THE quintesential “Wrestlemania Moment” over the decades….yeah, it’s Hogan vs. Andre, Hogan slamming Andre. That HAD NOT happened before that. Back in the 80s, before hardcore wrestling and X Division style matches and the death of kayfabe, Andre the Giant was known world wide, he even graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, the first Pro Wrestler (to my knowledge) to do so. He was a genuine phenom world wide, even to people who knew nothing about wrestling. And NO ONE had ever beat him clean in a match before, he had NEVER cleanly lost, let alone been SLAMMED, and back then, that was such a big deal that it defies description. That moment really created “Hulkamania”, that moment was Andre passing the torch to Hogan, and that moment made Hogan, and consequently the WWF and wrestling in general, the big deal that they became.

    Maybe now that seems silly. But that was absolutely THE moment. That’s why at WM18, people paid money to see Hogan vs. Rock, because it was Icon vs. Icon, and a huge moment. That was the big seller on the card, not Jericho vs. HHH. It wasn’t even that good of a match, technically speaking. But it was very entertaining, because of the enormity of the situation. It still pales in comparison to Hogan/Andre, but that and Hart/HBK are really, in my mind, the only two matches that have really come close to truly creating THAT kind of “Big Fight” feel.

  • Chuva

    Never thought I’d disagree with Al, but I will here. The “best match” is the MATCH that’s the BEST, NOT what one that draws people in. I respect his opinion, but also greatly disagree with it.

  • KC

    Al snow is 100 percent right if you watch wrestling and want to believe its real then why in the blue h E ll are you on this site on commenting and bitching about the writers all the time. Sites like these are for people who are mature enough to know wrestling is not real its a money making business. We come here to see RUMORS and some “inside” information. We know it is not always real and it doesn’t matter. Ive been a fan of the wwf/e since 1982 and i wil always be a fan and im not dumb enough to think i know how to do it better then Vince or any wwe execs like the rest of you no good bottem feeding trash bag losers that post dumb a.s.s comments on here. This will be the last post i ever make!

  • Jacky

    asigh sad to read his comments on what he decides is a good match
    hes going to ruin what tna is and all tna has left
    before the onlything worthwhile about tna was the matches and talent since the stories cblew
    now the mathes are going to be booked to get views not to give viewers the best show
    that is sad

  • Truthiness

    You can’t blame these websites for the fact that you read what they posted, that was your choice.

  • Jesse

    soundsto me like he was mainly just singling u out slim.

  • Trixie

    I blame it on the internet in general.

  • Saintsman

    you may be right about that one. i remember when i thought wrestling was real. were good times. now…. everything thats gonna happen pretty much posted. i blame sites like this one lol.

  • Freakzilla

    Spot on Al. Most the idiots on here want the title stuck on a guy as soon as he gets some sort of reaction then they quickly get bored. If it doesn’t have 12 million high spots its a rubbish match. Geeks calling themselves smart.

  • slim

    Sounds like Al is speaking to all the internet wrestling geeks on this very site lol