When Al Snow fully took over Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2018, he had a vision. One the veteran has worked tirelessly to realize even in the middle of a pandemic. The promotion began running shows again in July as it continues to expand its reach on a multitude of platforms and television outlets nationally and around the world. Snow stresses operations Louisville have been run with the safety of staff, talent and the audience put at the forefront.
"We created a COVID plan of operation that we submitted to the state health organization. We wouldn't be back running events if we did not get that approval from the state health organization and Department of Health from the state of Kentucky," he said. "Trust me when I tell you it wasn't easy. They were very conservative as far as their willingness to give us that freedom to operate again. We had to go through great lengths to provide to them the steps that would ensure the safety and well being of all involved.
"We take pride in trying to do that. With my partner Chad Miller, we've done everything we can to raise the level of professionalism for independent wrestling as a whole. We want to have higher standards for the company, for ourselves, for our staff, for ourselves and therefore for our audience as well."
For Snow, the biggest transgression you can make in the pro wrestling and sports entertainment business is not giving the fans their money's worth. That and provide an escape from the stresses and problems of the day. Jessie Godderz is as passionate as anyone when it comes to OVW. He is a proud ambassador, proven on social media. It's why the "Big Brother" alum turned wrestling star makes the weekly trip from California for television.
"We get a rundown of what we have to do to be able to come back to OVW," he said on the protocols in place. "They have made it so simple for talent to come back. Just follow the guidelines they've already emailed over. I was able to do it without skipping a beat. Traveling, coming here is a little stressful just because everyone has to wear masks and things of that nature. That is unfortunately the way it is right now until things start opening up. I pride myself on being as healthy and natural as possible throughout my entire career.
"I was the youngest natural bodybuilder in the country. Still tried and true, still natural today. Not for granted, I work out every single day and make these decisions based on health, so I have no qualms coming here. I knew I was going to be in a safe environment. I encourage everybody to come out and want to come to OVW because you too will be in a safe environment. If it's safe enough for me and to go back to my family, I think it's safe for every fan. It's because of the due diligence they did. The research they did and communication they had with the state to pass all the requirements and guidelines, actually supersede them."
"The number one rule in wrestling is the show must always go on," he said. "You have to learn to take crap and make shoe polish. The fact they have been able to come up with creative ways to produce content in spite of the challenges, in some cases not having an audience. It says a lot to the passion and drive of the people in these companies to produce content.
"It's easy to judge and critique. It's easy for those people that you are judging and critiquing to say, "You know what?" Throw their hands up and wait it out and see what comes on the other side. They're still trying to operate at the same time and provide entertainment for their audience and giving them a vehicle and a means for the talent that rely on that for a living. To continue to have an income."
Al and Jessie's full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.