Jr. Heavyweight Championship Grows Up: 5-Star Gauntlet Match To Challenge All

December 6, 2012
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist

“I’m prepping for the wildest match of my life,” said Jonny Axx recently. As the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance 5-Star Champion, he is on the periphery of his athletic seat. On Saturday, Axx will be competing in a match designed specifically for FanFest and all of its glitz and glamour.

In 2010, seeing the need for new competitive blood, KSWA Owner Bobby O introduced a new championship to the organization’s legacy. Bobby O unveiled a “Jr. Heavyweight” Championship that would level the playing field for a burgeoning roster of Megastars who didn’t quite tip the 200 lb. mark. At the time, The Latin Assassin was tussling Ali Kaida for the KSWA World Title, while Anthony Alexander and “Big” Mike Malachi were battling for the KSWA Golden Triangle Championship. All four of those athletes were among the biggest and strongest the promotion had to offer.

A hard-working, mostly rookie class fought in a 6-Pack Gauntlet Challenge on December 4, 2010. Drew Belanger, JP Goulet, Jay Flash, The Jester & The Great Toyota (the only wrestler with significant history in the ring at that time) all took part in that debut match, but it was “The Ice Man” Tony Johnson who emerged victorious and went down in the record books as the KSWA’s first Jr. Heavyweight Championship. The 198-pounder from St. Louis Missouri successfully defended the new championship until he met Del Douglas in Millvale on September 16, 2011. “The King” defeated Johnson for the belt in his own hometown. Johnson regrouped and in a rematch the following afternoon, re-claimed the prize.

Johnson would continue to defend the belt before losing it to Shane Starr at FanFest 2011 in a Gauntlet Match. Douglas, Johnson, The Jester, “Rock n’ Roll” Dave Diamond and Kris Kash would take part in the December 3, 2011 match. The finals would come down to friends and tag team partners Kash and Starr. Starr would be victorious. Bobby O determined that the Gauntlet Match was so successful with the Krazies that it would become a permanent fixture for the December Classic.

The 199-lb Starr would go onto to defend the title until losing to a decidedly over-sized Jonny Axx on May 5, 2012. Announced at 199 pounds, Axx would later admit to being slightly over the weight limit. It turns out that the Legion of the Apocalypse’s manager Mayor Mystery corrupted some documents and at least one official scale. Mystery wasn’t finished yet, as he and Axx successfully petitioned the KSWA Championship Committee to “re-brand” the Jr. Heavyweight Championship into a “more inclusive”—Mayor Mystery’s words—title. Hence, the 5-Star Championship was born.

Now the Cleveland, Ohio-native Jonny Axx was victorious in not one, but two rematches against Shane Starr (including one in his hometown of Sharpsburg). Axx, who tips the accurate scales about 249 pounds, has also successfully defended against Super Ginger, Johnson and Kash, all the while assisting in Legion of the Apocalypse business as well.

Axx nearly lost his title in Arsenal Park on June 30, but Jay Flash only had his hand raised through disqualification. Flash injured Axx during that match when the high-flyer stomped on Axx’s sternum in a spectacular move. Axx, undaunted, marched on. In fact in a rematch on November 17, Axx was victorious over Flash.

In the interim, Mayor Mystery made himself a pest and Bobby O fired him in the middle of the ring earlier this year. A standing-room-only crowd of Krazies went insane over that development.

On Saturday, Axx will defend against one, some or all of the following: Super Ginger, Kash, and most interestingly, his LOA stable mate The Blood Beast. In addition, a new wrinkle has entered the mix. Jay Flash and “Ice Man” Tony Johnson will team up against the Mercenaries—“Nasty” Nick Crane and Sniper in Tag Team competition. The winner of that showdown will move onto the Gauntlet. The KSWA Championship Committee understands that the winners of the tag match will ultimately have a disadvantage in the Gauntlet Match; however, KSWA Owner Bobby O says the promotion is about opportunity, and someone would be left out of the hunt otherwise.

Axx realizes that holding onto the title in the Gauntlet Match—it’s never been done yet—is the biggest challenge of his KSWA career, but he’s ready. He wants to know if the other participants are of “5-Star Caliber.”

The KSWA 5-Star Championship Gauntlet Match is part of this Saturday’s FanFest/Toy Drive 2012. FanFest/Toy Drive, with special guests Bruno Sammartino and Domenic DeNucci, will be held at the KSWA Arena. All tickets are $5 for this special event. Fans are encouraged to bring a new toy for needy Allegheny County youth. Bell time is 7:30. Card is subject to change.