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Al Snow
Ring name(s) Leif Cassidy[1]
Steve Moore[1]
Shinobi[1]
Avatar[1]
The Five Star Ninja
Al Snow[1]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[2]
Billed weight 235 lb (107 kg)[2]
Born July 18, 1963 (1963-07-18) (age 46)
Lima, Ohio
Resides Louisville, Kentucky
Trained by Jim Lancaster[1]
Debut May 22, 1982[1]

Allen Ray Sarven (born July 18, 1963) is a professional wrestler and actor better known by his ring name of Al Snow. He is best known for his work in Extreme Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment.

Contents

Professional wrestling career

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Early career

Sarven attended a professional wrestling tryout camp held by Ole and Gene Anderson. There he met Jim Lancaster, promoter of Ohio's Midwest Championship Wrestling, who agreed to train him.[3] Lancaster later described Sarven as "a leader in the ring" who "had drive and natural ability".[4] He made his debut on May 22, 1982. Sarven defeated Lancaster on May 5, 1985 for the Midwest Championship Wrestling title.[4]

Sarven wrestled in various independent promotions throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, capturing both tag team and singles titles, but failed to make any big breaks. He gained a reputation as "the best-kept secret in wrestling".[3] Sarven helped train future Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Fame member and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dan Severn.[4] During this time he would sometimes wrestle as Shinobi, a ninja-style masked gimmick. He wrestled in the November 19, 1994 tournament for the vacant NWA World Heavyweight Championship, but he lost to Chris Candido, the eventual winner of the tournament.

Extreme Championship Wrestling and Smoky Mountain Wrestling

After a tour of Japan, Sarven wrestled a match in Michigan against Sabu, an Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) regular, who suggested he try ECW.[3] On February 4, 1995, Sarven made his ECW debut against Chris Benoit as "The Snowman" Al Snow, in a 15-minute match that was hailed as one of the best of the year.[5]

Sarven was also being courted by Jim Cornette for his Smoky Mountain Wrestling federation. ECW booker Paul Heyman agreed to let him work for both companies. Sarven soon found that he was not being utilized by ECW and went to Smoky Mountain full-time.[3] In Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Snow teamed with Unabomb (Glenn Jacobs) as The Dynamic Duo and defeated The Rock 'n' Roll Express for the SMW Tag Team Championship.[4] Both wrestlers caught the attention of the World Wrestling Federation and were signed by the end of 1995.

World Wrestling Federation (1995–1997)

Sarven began working for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) when he signed a contract in August 1995. Sarven wrestled under numerous gimmicks in the WWF, such as Avatar (a superhero gimmick with Sarven putting on his mask right before starting a match) and Shinobi. He also competed in and lost a match against Marty Jannetty under the name Steve Moore. Sarven received his first mainstream exposure with the WWF as Leif Cassidy, the heel tag team partner of Marty Jannetty. The duo was promoted as The New Rockers, a throwback to the original Rockers team of Shawn Michaels and Jannetty. Eventually, the storyline was dropped, and Sarven was reduced to jobbing for mid-carders. In the late 1990s, WWF and ECW began to cross-promote their organizations to counteract the success of World Championship Wrestling (WCW); Sarven was one of the wrestlers sent to ECW, or Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (late 1990s)

Sarven found success back in ECW, billed once again as Al Snow. Sarven developed a new character gimmick after reading about abnormal psychology and finding a mannequin head on the street near ECW Arena during a Mummers Day parade. He got the idea to portray an individual with a schizophrenic disorder using the head as a prop for projection. In this role, Sarven received a lot of fan and management support for his J.O.B. Squad storyline, which promoted him as being driven insane by his years as a jobber for the WWF.

In the storyline, Snow, upset at his lot in life, asked Cactus Jack what he had to do to get anywhere in wrestling. Jack said to Snow that to become famous he had to "get a little head" (meaning he had to be willing to sleep with/have sex with the booker). Snow, however took this literally, and thus he started coming to the ring with a mannequin head (with the words "Help Me" written backwards on its forehead, an action Snow himself began to do) whom he talked to as if it were a real person, which prompted ECW crowds to chant "We want Head", an intentional double entendre. ECW promoters handed out styrofoam mannequin heads at wrestling shows, and audience members started waving them and shouting, "Head! Head! Head!" in time to his entrance music. The entire audience would then throw the heads into the ring before the match started. Snow's theme song also contained a backwards clip of a woman saying "I am the one in control", an obvious reference to Head, who is often seen as Snow's "source of power". Once in his ECW career, he wrestled for the ECW Heavyweight title, losing to Shane Douglas at Wrestlepalooza in 1998.

World Wrestling Federation (1998–2001)

Sarven was then recalled to the WWF, where he continued his gimmick of talking to "Head," creating some of the more memorable humorous skits of "The Attitude Era" including fighting himself in a hardcore match (which he won by putting himself through a table) and his short lived comedy tag team with Steve Blackman.

Snow received some mainstream publicity in 1999 when Wal-Mart pulled his action figure from their shelves after Sabrena Parton, a professor at Kennesaw State University, complained that "Head" was a "decapitated woman's head" that sent an inappropriate message about violence towards women. Parton was quoted as saying "My sons are 6 and 11. What kind of message would this toy send them about brutalization of women?"[6] Snow used the story as part of an angle in which the controversy caused him to suffer from depression. In one skit, Snow called his mother (kayfabe), observing that the stores would not sell his action figures, but would sell shotguns and ammunition.

This led Snow to dump Head and his ECW persona, eventually overhauling his gimmick, but not before a feud and match with the Big Boss Man during the autumn of 1999. Snow replaced Head with a chihuahua named Pepper, who he claimed talked to him, leading to the Boss Man kidnapping Pepper. Boss Man agreed to return the dog if Snow defeated him in a match for the Hardcore title; however after losing the match he reneged and kept the dog. Later, in a segment on SmackDown, Boss Man invited Snow to his hotel room to discuss the situation, before serving Snow dinner which was then revealed to be Pepper. This led to the two competing in a "Dog Kennel" match at Unforgiven, which consisted of a regular cage which was surrounded by a Hell in a Cell structure, with "savage dogs" in between the two, and the objective was to escape both cages without being attacked by the dogs.

Snow would later team with real life friend Mick Foley, but turned heel by betraying him due to Foley's jokes about him in his autobiography, Have A Nice Day. He would later turn face again due to fan reaction. Snow was often the butt of Foley's jokes during Foley's tenure as WWF Commissioner in 2000. However, they are close friends in real life.[7] Foley continued to use Snow as the butt of many jokes in his second book, Foley Is Good: And the Real World Is Faker than Wrestling.

In early 2000, he began to team with Steve Blackman as an "odd couple" tag team called Head Cheese (so called because of Snow's attempt to get Blackman to wear a Green Bay Packers "Cheese" hat so as to adapt a more charismatic gimmick). Also in 2000, Snow won the European Championship from Perry Saturn. He then began a tongue-in-cheek gimmick of entering the ring to various European countries' native music, with his theme song sung in the language of the country, and wearing attire which would suit the stereotype of that country. This continued until he lost the title to William Regal.

In 2001, Snow tried to rally support from the fans to vote for him as the new Commissioner of the WWF following Foley's on-screen firing by Vince McMahon in December 2000. By March 2001, a match was set up between Snow and Regal to determine the new WWF Commissioner, which resulted in Regal winning. Snow then took some time off from the ring in order to commit more time for the reality show WWE Tough Enough. He made his return to the ring in October 2001 during the InVasion era and challenged Christian for the European Championship at Survivor Series, which he lost.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2002–2008)

Snow's last championship reign in WWE came on March 11, 2002, when he defeated Goldust to win his last Hardcore Championship. He lost the title to his former Tough Enough student, Maven, a few days later. He was drafted to SmackDown! as part of the 2002 Brand Extension,[8] where he teamed up with Maven.[9] After taking time off again for another season of Tough Enough, Snow returned as a member of the Raw roster[10] and eventually became a commentator for Sunday Night Heat alongside Jonathan Coachman. When the Coach sided with Eric Bischoff,[11] Snow followed suit, turning heel.[12] The two feuded with Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler,[13] and briefly replaced them at the Raw announce table after a victory at Unforgiven in 2003.[14] When Tough Enough IV came to SmackDown!,[15] Snow was on the scene and turned face once again.

In 2006, Snow returned to wrestling full-time as a member of the new ECW brand. His first appearance in the new brand was in the WWE vs ECW Battle Royal at the "WWE vs. ECW Head to Head" special, where he was accompanied by Head. He was eliminated from the match.[16] On the June 13, 2006 debut of ECW on Sci-Fi, Snow participated in an Extreme Battle Royal, which was won by Sabu.[17] Over the next six months, he was used sporadically, mostly as a jobber, losing to people such as Test[18] and Kevin Thorn.[19]

On January 18, 2007, Snow was released from his WWE contract, along with several other superstars. However, he remained with the company as a trainer at Ohio Valley Wrestling. On the February 3, 2007 OVW TV tapings, Snow was named the new OVW Troubleshooter by Danny Davis in response to Danny Basham's WWE release. On Raw XV, the 15th-Anniversary special on December 10, 2007, Snow participated in the 15th Anniversary Battle Royal. After WWE ceased affiliations with Ohio Valley Wrestling, Snow was released from his position as a trainer.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2008)

On December 7, 2008, at Final Resolution, Snow made his TNA Wrestling debut when he helped Kurt Angle defeat Rhino by distracting and slapping special guest enforcer Mick Foley in the face. This was his one and only appearance with TNA to date.

Independent circuit

Prior to returning to WWE's active roster in 2006, Snow competed in the Millennium Wrestling Federation (MWF) and was pinned by MWF Heavyweight Champion "Sudden Impact" Dylan Kage of Paul Bearer's Trifecta at MWF Fireworks On The 4th.[20]

At the early stages of 2009, Snow participated regularly in several independent promotions in the US and in independent promotions in Europe, especially UK and Germany. He debuted in Damn That's Wrestling in South New Jersey, where he won in a tag-team match with local wrestler Tommy Golden against local wrestlers Patch and Jojo. Al Snow made an appearance in Chikara's King of Trios 2009, teaming up with Glacier and D'Lo Brown.

On Saturday April 18, 2009 Snow wrestled his first match in Australia at St. Jays Recreation Centre, Salisbury, South Australia along with Chris Masters and various local wrestlers.

In 2009 Snow was the GLCW Heavyweight Champion. On August 8 at GLCW SlamFest, Snow was set to defend the GLCW Heavyweight Championship against X-Pac. Due to not being able to make the event, he was stripped of the title as a result.

On January 16, 2010, Snow made another independent appearance, wrestling at the Throwdown in Downtown II at the Fort Smith (Arkansas) Event Center. Snow was the headliner of the seven match card, taking on Total Championship Wrestling International heavyweight champion Tim Storm in a title match. Snow was extremely over with the capacity crowd, but he lost the match to Storm after interference from Storm's tag team partner from the Dark Circle, APOC.

Return to TNA Wrestling (2010-Present)

On March 8th, 2010 it was reported that Snow was backstage at the first Monday edition of TNA iMPACT!. It was later reported that he returned to the company as an agent.

Acting career

He had an uncredited role in the 1993 film Rudy.[21] Snow also appeared in 2006's They're Just My Friends and co-stars alongside Tiger Chung Lee in 2009's Mountain Mafia.

Snow and his wife Cindi can also be seen as the brutal serial killers Grim and Lady, also known as "The Reaper's", in Feathered Italian Films[22] latest slasher films The Legacy[23] and Hell House.[24] Head also cameo's in "The Legacy".

Snow also participated in the wrestling documentary, Bloodstained Memoirs.[25]

Al Snow also appeared as a coach on WWE Tough Enough during the shows first season.

Personal life

Snow is divorced from wife Pam with whom he has two children, Jake and Brittany. He is currently married to Cynthia Lynch. He has a real life friendship with fellow professional wrestler Mick Foley. Foley has included Snow in his autobiographies. Al's real life brother (also a wrestler) going by the name Logan Caine, was a NWA World Light Heavyweight Champion.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Al Snow profile". OWOW. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/a/al-snow.html. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  2. ^ a b Shields, Brian; Kevin Sullivan (March 2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  3. ^ a b c d Leverro, Thom (2006). The Rise and Fall of ECW. Simon & Schuster. pp. 83–84. ISBN 1416510583. 
  4. ^ a b c d Smith, Jason. "Weekend show pays tribute to Midwest stars". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2004/02/17/351193.html. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  5. ^ "ECW Best of the 90s". DeathValleyDriver.com. http://www.deathvalleydriver.com/Bestof90s/ecwresults.html. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Snow action figures pulled off shelves". Canoe.ca. http://www.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingArchive/nov2_snow.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  7. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (Foreword p.x)
  8. ^ "RAW - March 25, 2002 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/raw/020325.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  9. ^ "SmackDown - April 11, 2002 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/smackdown/020411.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  10. ^ "RAW - October 7, 2002 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/raw/021007.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  11. ^ 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts. Kappa Publishing. 2007. pp. 113–114. 
  12. ^ "RAW - September 1, 2003 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/raw/030901.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  13. ^ Martin, Finn (2003-10-22). Power Slam Magazine, issue 112 (SW Publishing): 22–23. 
  14. ^ "RAW - September 22, 2003 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/raw/030922.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  15. ^ "SmackDown - October 21, 2004 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/smackdown/041021.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  16. ^ "WWE vs. ECW Head to Head - June 7, 2006 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/wwe/wwevsecw.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  17. ^ "ECW on SciFi - June 13, 2006 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/ecw-wwe/060613.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  18. ^ "ECW on SciFi - July 4, 2006 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/ecw-wwe/060704.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  19. ^ "ECW on SciFi - August 8, 2006 Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/ecw-wwe/060808.html. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  20. ^ Welcome To The BOSTONWRESTLING.COM Supersite!
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ [2]
  23. ^ [3]
  24. ^ [4]
  25. ^ "Kick Wrestling". http://www.klqwrestling.com/2009/02/al-snow-in-bloodstained-memoirs.html. 
  26. ^ "Finishing Moves List". Other Arena. http://www.otherarena.com/nCo/finish/finish.html. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  27. ^ "Jim Cornette profile". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/j/jim-cornette.html. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  28. ^ "Independent Wrestling Results - August 2003". onlineworldofwrestling.com. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/other/2003-08.html. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  29. ^ "Independent Wrestling Results - June 2004". Online World Of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/other/2004-06.html. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 

References

  • Mick Foley (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. ISBN 0061031011. 

External links


Simple English

Al Snow
Statistics
Ring name(s) Leif Cassidy
Steve Moore
Shinobi
Avatar
The Five Star Ninja
Al Snow
Billed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
BornJuly 18, 1963 (1963-07-18) (age 47)
Lima, Ohio, U.S.
Billed fromLima, Ohio
Trained byJim Lancaster
DebutMay 22, 1982

Allen Ray Sarven (born July 18, 1963 in Lima, Ohio) is a American professional wrestler, actor and trainer who is best known for wrestling with WWF/E and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). Snow is currently working as a road agent for the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling promotion.

Championships

Snow has won many belts with different wrestling promotions:

  • Border City Wrestling
    • BCW Can-Am Tag Team Championship (one time) with Denny Kass
  • Global Wrestling Alliance
    • GWA Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • GWA Junior Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • GWA Tag Team Championship (five times) with Mike Kelly
  • Great Lakes Championship Wrestling
    • GLCW Heavyweight Championship (two times)
  • Jersey All Pro Wrestling
    • JAPW Heavyweight Championship (one time)
  • Midwest Championship Wrestling
    • MCW-ICW Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • MCW Midwest Tag Team Championship (two times)
    • MCW Midwest Territorial Championship (one time)
    • MCW-ICW United States Tag Team Championship (six times)
  • Midwest Territorial Wrestling
    • MTW Heavyweight Championship (two times)
    • MTW Tag Team Championship (two times) with Ray Roberts
  • Motor City Wrestling
    • MCW Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • MCW Tag Team Championship (one time) with Denny Kass
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #329 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003
  • Smoky Mountain Wrestling
    • SMW Tag Team Championship (one time) - with Unabomb
  • Top of the World Wresting
    • TOW World Tag Team Championship (one time) - with PCO
  • USA Pro Wrestling
    • USA Pro Heavyweight Championship (one time)
  • USA Xtreme Wrestling
    • UXW Heavyweight Championship (one time)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
    • Most Underrated Wrestler in 1996
    • Worst Worked Match of the Year (1999) vs. the Big Boss Man in a Kennel from Hell match at Unforgiven
  • World Wrestling Alliance
    • WWA World Tag Team Championship (one time) with Mickey Doyle

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