Former WWE star Al Snow's grappling skills came in handy on Thursday, as he saved a child's life by pulling him from a riptide in Destin Beach, Fla. Snow, whose legal name is Allen Sarven, grew famous in the 1990s with gimmicks such as talking to a mannequin head and wearing a mask to wrestle as the "Ninja Ranger."
In an interview with TMZ, Snow said he heard yelling from the ocean then saw a young boy struggling to reach his floating device. The 58-year-old then jumped into action.
"I think the riptide caught him because every time a wave came in, it would start to pull him further and further out, and I could see him starting to panic," Snow said. "And I heard the mom screaming, 'Somebody help him.' The lifeguard had gotten up, but I knew she wasn't going to make it on time. And I was still pretty far away, but I started running through the water trying to get over there. I made it, thank God, and I caught him by the arm just as a wave started to pull him further out. If I hadn't grabbed him, I think he'd have went out to sea.
"That would've been it."
A wave then hit Snow and the boy, but the ex-WWE star remained upright long enough to hand the boy -- who Snow described as "pretty scared" and "really shaken up" -- to the lifeguard and return to the sand. Snow said he was nearly exhausted enough to collapse at that point.
The incident reminded Snow of Shad Gaspard, who died while swimming in California's Marina Del Ray Beach with his then 10-year-old son last May.
Once the boy and his mom reunited, they came to Snow to thank him. The boy then called Snow a bodybuilder, stoking Snow's ego just a bit.
"Ooh, I must look pretty good," Snow recalled thinking.
After ending his professional wrestling career in 2017, Snow purchased Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2018 then sold his controlling shares in January 2021. He still serves as the promotion's CEO and controls the day-to-day operations.
Snow's wrestling antics made him a hero to some in his heyday, but rescuing this child was his most heroic act yet. And unlike most wrestling personalities, he spoke about it modestly.
"I didn't do anything anybody else wouldn't have done," Snow said.