January 12, 2012
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
When Lou Martin dragged referee Jimmy James from the locker room to the ring at KSWA FanFest on December 3, it was the culmination of a nearly year-long quest. "Dr. Devastation" had in his clutches the original contract he earned as a result of last January's Battle Bowl. The option, all but forgotten, was burning a hole in his "garbage pants" pockets.
Mitch Napier, the Midwestern hero of milk-and-cookies pride, stood in the center of the ring after pinning Shawn Blanchard in a Fatal Four Way for the KSWA Title. Outside the ring Ali Kaida was--without being pinned--the former champion. Kaida had his hands full with the man he beat for the strap, The Latin Assassin.
Frank Durso, the Advisor to the VIPs, had snatched the microphone and gave it to Blanchard. Blanchard teased and taunted Napier as Martin slid in the back door. Blanchard reminded the KSWA Krazies that Martin had not yet challenged for the KSWA's top gold. With that the bell rang, Napier turned around and stepped right into Martin's boot and Death Certificate. One, two, and three, just that quickly and Napier was relegated to the shortest title reign in KSWA history: less than a minute.
Martin left in celebration, while Napier and just about everyone else was left in shock.
How exactly did Martin pull it off?
At the beginning of 2011, The Latin Assassin was the KSWA Champion and deep in feud with Ali Kaida. While some observers might have thought that Latin was ripe for the picking, Martin obviously didn't. When Kaida beat Latin on July 9 in controversial fashion (Napier actually threw in a towel to stop Kaida's punishment on The Assassin), it would have not been particularly intelligent for Martin to prod an incensed Afghani Assault Weapon. But he waited.
Kaida faced a number of challengers in the interim, including Jay Flash. On November 5, Flash seemingly defeated Kaida for the title but the decision overturned when then-Interim Kommissioner Gentleman Joe Perri noticed that Kaida's curled boot was under the bottom rope when the third pin occurred. The match was restarted and Kaida quickly held onto the strap.
An insider reports that Martin would have cashed in his opportunity had Flash been awarded the belt, despite the fact that the FanFest Fatal Four way had already been announced. It's believed that Martin would have still headlined FanFest with Blanchard, Napier and Kaida, with the understanding that the VIPs would have protected the gold.
But with none of that working out, Martin was running out of time. At the end of 2011, his opportunity would have expired.
In actuality, Martin started the year as a Tag Team Champion with Shawn Blanchard, so potentially winning single's gold was on a back burner. The VIP's ruled the roost until July 2nd when they were run over by the brand-new Party Gras--Justin Sane and Lord Zoltan. Then Latin was bested by Ali Kaida a week later.
The last thing Martin wanted was a one-on-one altercation with Ali Kaida. In addition, Ali Kaida now anchored the Legion of the Apocalypse and their manager Mayor Mystery wasn't going to permit Kaida to defend against any member of the VIP's.
On October 15, a weary Ali Kaida beat Alex Arcadian. Observers say that this was the first time that Martin was going to ambush a Megastar, had Arcadian come away with an upset.
Around this time, KSWA Owner Bobby O had instructed Interim Kommissioner Perri to watch over Martin's intentions. Perri reported that Martin had referee Justin Smith nearby if Arcadian (who suffered from an increasingly-deteriorating rib issue all of 2011) had pinned Kaida. However, Kaida was just too strong and that kept Martin on the sidelines.
Kaida faced Jay Flash and Mitch Napier throughout his reign. Such tough competition had Martin picking just the right time to move. It also should be noted that Martin was trying to regain the Tag Team belts to help solidify the VIP's as a force well into the 21st century. On October 1, Martin and Del Douglas tried to up seed Party Gras for the belts, but came up short. Lord Zoltan kept Martin busy throughout the year.
Then came FanFest. The lynch pin to that deception was Shawn Blanchard. The former 5-time KSWA World Champion last lost the belt on May 1, 2010 to the Latin Assassin. He had changed gears and focused on the Tag Team division. Blanchard inserted himself into Latin's challenge to Ali Kaida. Blanchard coerced Latin into the four-way match by promising a healthy payday, regardless of the outcome. The move looked forced at first, but ultimately it was a decision of genius.
Mitch Napier, the winner of the 2011 Joe Abbey Memorial Tournament, was the Number One Contender for the championship. So, the match was set.
Martin had to be waiting in the wings, and when Napier pinned Blanchard, the scene was set. No one knows what would have happened had Blanchard won the belt. Rumors swirl that he would have invited Martin out and laid down for a quick pin. That way Blanchard would be a six-time champion and Martin could go into the new year with the gold around his waist.
There was nothing KSWA Owner Bobby O could have done but watch. It was Gentleman Joe Perri who scheduled the Ali Kaida/Alex Arcadian match in October. Might a secret deal have been struck between Perri and the VIP's? Arcadian has had success against Kaida in the past, but his vulnerable ribs would have left Arcadian weakened for two matches. Perri denies the allegations, saying he's turned a new leaf and trickery is in his past.
Napier overcame a Herculean task to defeat three other Megastars at FanFest, only to be duped by the mastermind Martin. In reality it took four world-class athletes to defeat Mitch Napier.
Lou Martin enters 2012 with the KSWA's top prize, but for how long? 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. Bell time is at 7:30. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for kids.