Self Help is the story of the life and career of professional wrestler Al Snow.
I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Al was never really a particular favorite of mine, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I thought he was terrible in any way; I was just indifferent. I came to know him initially as one half of “The New Rockers”, a team Al himself deemed destined for failure. However, what I didn’t know was that Al had over a dozen years of experience before signing with WWE in 1995. Al’s early years were pretty wild and there are more than a few entertaining stories here involving shoot fights, stabbings and strange road trips.
To help tell his story, Al enlisted Ross Williams – the same man who worked with fellow wrestler Bob Holly on his book, The Hardcore Truth. Given the quality of Bob’s memoir, I thought this was a smart move. Self Help flows just as well and provides the same conversational tone as the latter, so for the majority of the book, while it sticks to a timeline, it isn’t afraid to go off on tangents when called for. Being from Nova Scotia myself, I appreciated Al’s story about working the indies on Canada’s East Coast – it’s just as backwards as I imagined. Really funny stuff that feels like he’s describing the insanity over a beer with you.
What is truly unique about Al’s book is that you get stories from many different positions within the industry. Al has been a wrestler, manager, trainer, color-commentator, executive and most recently, a promoter. So, it’s fair to say that Al knows a great deal about several aspects of the business. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s not afraid to bring to light his many mistakes during the course of his over thirty year career, so approaching his life story from a humble perspective provides an endearing quality to the book. He also isn’t afraid to call people out either.
There’s a plethora of wrestling books out there, many of which are from the big names in the industry. However, the most interesting ones seem to come from those who spent their time primarily on the under card. Al Snow’s Self Help proves that everyone has a story to tell, regardless of their spot on the show or in life.
Expected release date: May 07th, 2019
Publisher: ECW Press