Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Al Snow about everything from his memories of teaming with Mick Foley and Marty Jannetty, to running OVW and his very own Al Snow Wrestling Academy.
The former WWE Tag Team, Hardcore and European Champion, though, also opened up about why he had such great success by, well, talking to a mannequin head.
I think, quite honestly, it's because it was who I really was. At the time, I was really pretty frustrated personally, and blaming a lot of people when I should have put the finger towards myself.
I went to ECW on loan, specifically to try and "get myself over" in wrestling terms, and I think what happened was that voicing my frustration through the head is what got it over because it was real.
People could sense it, they could tell - and to a degree, I felt a little unhinged, I'd had a bit of a nervous breakdown because I wanted to do what I wanted to do so badly and not being able to achieve it, that was really, really tough at the time.
But that was ultimately what created a gimmick that really worked and connected with people, thank God, and allowed me to have a career!
Lots of people tried at that time to recreate it. There was the stickhorse, the mop... There was a guy I'd heard about who was coming to the ring with a loaf of bread at one point. They say the sincerest form of flattery is imitation, and it quite honestly is, but it was never about the object.
The reason that I think that it worked was it was quite honestly about that connection, that feeling that people thought I was legitimately insane. They did.
People would come up and ask me, "Hey, why do you talk to this head?" I'd reply, "Well, it's rude not to talk to someone when they talk to you." They say, "That head really talks to you?!"
And I'd reply, "Let me ask you something, do you believe in God?" They'd say, "Yes," and I'd say, "Do you talk to God?" Yeah." "Does he talk to you?" "Yeah." And I'd go, "Well, I can't hear him talk to you, does that mean you're crazy?!" And that'd make them question the legitimacy, and they would have to wonder, "Well, maybe he's right," and it gave them pause.
I think that belief, holding that belief to the point where it was who I was, that helps people connect, and the head was so instrumental because people could describe me to their friends, who weren't wrestling fans - and that was the key!
They'd say, "Watch this show, there's a guy who's a lunatic that talks to a head, it's real and he does all these crazy things." Now, if you turn it on, you know exactly who I am whether you've seen me before or not.
ALSO READArticle Continues below
That makes all the difference. You can be the best wrestler in the world, but if they can't describe you in ten words or less, you should just give up. That was the thing I'd been missing for years.
People would say I was so good and the best kept secret in wrestling. The reason the secret was kept was because no-one could describe me to their friends. Once you find that, you're on the right path.
Vince Russo doesn't think Paige should return to WWE. He explains why here.