January 10, 2012
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
Coming off of the biggest year in KSWA history, as well as the biggest single event ever in Pittsburgh's independent wrestling scene, the Megastars are gearing up for the biggest challenge of the new year: Battle Bowl!
At New Year's Knockout this Saturday, January 14, bell-time 7:30, the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance shuffles the deck for wrestling prominence with an over-the-top-rope spectacular. KSWA Owner Bobby O has been busier than a stink bug looking for winter warmth with Megastars demanding beneficial slots in the Battle Bowl.
The final four combatants in the tournament are guaranteed title shots (for Heavyweight title, Golden Triangle, Jr. Heavyweight and Tag Team) anytime in the calendar year and the winner becomes the prestigious Battle Bowl champion. Surviving the ordeal has proved beneficial in the past. Last year, all four winners..."The King" Del Douglas, Justin Sane, Jay Flash and "Dr. Devastation" Lou Martin all won titles with their respective spots. Douglas beat "Ice Man" Tony Johnson in Millvale for the Jr. Heavyweight belt, Sane and Lord Zoltan became Party Gras and beat the VIPs in Arsenal Park during Independence Day weekend for the Tag Team Straps, Flash bested Bobby Badfingers at FanFest, and Martin cashed in at the last possible second to defeat new champion Mitch Napier at the conclusion of FanFest.
Who might be catapulted into fame this new year? Might an underdog like newcomer Jonny Axx from the Legion of the Apocalypse surprise the Krazies and get a title shot somewhere in the new year? What about an veteran like The Latin Assassin who usually surges into new years? Could J.P. Goulet or Drew Belanger get back into the win column with a title birth? What about someone like Diamond Dave Diamond, who could use a kickstart in 2012?
KSWA Owner Bobby O dropped a bomb shell just within the past few days when he hinted that a new face or two may make their debuts in Pittsburgh professional wrestling. That was enough of a drop to send social media into a tizzy. Just who might surface this Saturday?
The new KSWA World Heavyweight Champion, "Dr. Devastation" Lou Martin made it official on Facebook when he announced that the former Jr. Heavyweight Champion "Ice Man" Tony Johnson will be the first challenger of this, his second reign. Johnson will be looking to regain confidence after dropping the Jr. Heavyweight title during the daunting "Gauntlet" Match, and what a better way than to upset Martin? Lou Martin, who delivered a "Death Certificate" to Mitch Napier 10-seconds after Napier won the gold at FanFest, is already taking Johnson lightly. However, it needs to be noted that Johnson is considered one of the most dynamite pure athletes in the KSWA. The crafty Martin will need to be prepared (along with VIP "Advisor" Frank Durso at ringside) to take on Johnson.
In a match between former friends, The Latin Assassin will take on now-former KSWA Heavyweight Champion Mitch Napier. Napier was the athlete who literally threw in the towel in an attempt to aid The Assassin, who had succumbed to Ali Kaida's Camel Clutch, thus losing the KSWA title. The two fan favorites have been at odds ever since. With any luck, these two superb Megastars will be able to settle their differences within the squared circle. KSWA Owner Bobby O and Kommissioner Joe Perri have been fielding calls, texts, emails and twitter bombs from Latin and Napier for weeks, as they have shown their displeasure with how FanFest ended.
In Six-Man competition, the KSWA World Tag Team Champions Party Gras--Lord Zoltan and Justin Sane--team with Kris Kash to take on "The Enforcer" Shawn Blanchard, "The King" Del Douglas and "The Jester." No tag team has been hotter or more popular than Party Gras and they've decided to bring Kris Kash along for the ride against the veterans Blanchard and Douglas, as well as ward Jester.
The Golden Triangle Championship is on the line when Jay Flash defends against Drew Belanger, one half of Canadian Perfection. Flash has done so much preparation for larger competitors like former Golden Triangle Champion Bobby Badfingers and former KSWA Champion Ali Kaida. In November, Flash gave Kaida all he had and of course the Badfingers matchup was one of the highlights of a highlight-filled FanFest. Belanger is stepping out into Single's Action and would love to take the Golden Triangle belt up north.
Meanwhile, the Jr. Heavyweight Championship is on the line when brand-new champion Shane Starr takes on J.P. Goulet. This match showcases two of the federations most technically-skilled and versatile wrestlers. Goulet, the "Flawless One" may one day reach the physical fitness plateau of Shane Starr. It was that resilience and stamina that propelled him to victory in the Gauntlet Match at FanFest. Might Starr's championship run be short lived?
In other action, former KSWA Champion Ali Kaida looks to take his frustration out on The Great Toyota. Kaida was berserk for losing the KSWA belt without ever being pinned. He looks to make a statement in the ring, perhaps at the expense of the International Megastar, the Great Toyota.
The Main Event, of course, is the Battle Bowl. It's every man for himself in this, the most important Battle Royal in the annuals of the KSWA.
New Year's Knockout is This Saturday, January 14 at the Home of Professional Wrestling in Pittsburgh, the KSWA Arena @ the L V M, 51st Street (Off of Butler St.) in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh. Bell time is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for kids. Card is subject to change.