Starting the week off with a classic "phrases where the words in each phrase start with the same letters" theme. (I think that's probably what Will Shortz calls it.) This time the letters are W-O-W, as is revealed by the revealer, 36D: Pizazz ... or what 18-, 23-, 46- and 56-Across each has? (WOW FACTOR).
Second of all, ALGAL (3D: Like some pond growths) is very bad. ASWOON (5D: In a faint) and SNARF (6D: Wolf (down)) (I have always said "scarf") are not much better. Add to those ERAS, NOONS, ASON, ELS, TRE, AYES, ARETE, SNEE, and OPED and... OOF!
On the brighter side, and yes, there was one, we have such colorful answers as BLASTZONE (4D: Detonation area), FLINCH (19D: Recoil slightly, as from an oncoming punch), MATCHWOOD (34A: Material in a fire starter set) (brings me back to Boy Scout camp), and HOOCH (10D: Illegal liquor, informally). 1A: Jab with a knife (STAB) gets a C+. It's not terribly bad, but it's not a great way to start the week, thinking about stabbing. That answer and BULLET make a nice ONETWO.
Finally, the theme answers, WAROFWORDS, WALTZOFFWITH, WALKSONWATER, and WAYOUTWEST are decent enough. Onward!