December 17, 2012
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
When Bobby O, the owner of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance strode to the ring during FanFest/Toy Drive 2012, he had a purpose. His mission was to honor his friend and sports broadcasting colleague Lanny Frattare with a gift.
For several years, Bobby O has broadcasted high school football games with Mr. Frattare, the former long-time Pittsburgh Pirate announcer. The realized dream still tickles the owner of Pittsburgh’s professional wrestling organization, regardless of how many games they have worked together. On this day, Bobby O presented Mr. Frattare with a “Lifetime Krazy” award that had been bestowed on only two other KSWA fans. Mr. Frattare was appreciative of the VIP placard attached to a neck strap emblazoned with baseball logos.
Fact is, after Mr. Frattare’s invitation to serve as a guest ring announcer for one match, he has asked Bobby O about coming back. This year, Mr. Frattare brought his daughter, Megan, as well as several other family members. They had no idea that Bobby O was going to present the award. They hooted and hollered for Mr. Frattare and seemed truly touched.
Later in the same sold-out evening, Bobby O put a punctuation on the evening my presenting “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino with a certificate of induction to the KSWA Hall of Fame. It was the first time that an induction was made outside of the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament. Mr. Sammartino seemed appreciative of the award, and frequently touted the loved showed to him by the Krazies.
The biggest night in the history of Pittsburgh’s Independent Professional Wrestling scene took a lot of hard work. Bobby O and the KSWA Championship Committee are constantly looking for ways to make the Krazies the real stars of FanFest. Admission prices are slashed with hopes that fans would be new toys to needy children throughout Allegheny County. The fans are generous above all others and they give in droves.
Events were just getting started with a surprise appearance by Kris Kringle—the jolly ole’ Elf himself: Santa Claus! As fans rolled in, PNC Park’s Lexus Club vendor “The Rick” came to ring to toss out dozens of candy bags. The night was electric.
The night continues with a live performance of the National Anthem—this year by Zach Giovaniello on an electric guitar—and presentation of the colors by Civil Air Patrol Allegheny County Squadron 602. After the stirring rendition, a stellar card of action filled the evening.
The KSWA Chinese Auction provides prizes unlike any professional wrestling organization anywhere, and that’s thanks in large part to Bobby O and the KSWA Championship Committee. While Bobby O signs the pay checks, he is generous is acknowledging others for their help.
FanFest/Toy Drive 2012 was the culmination of a year unlike any other. Since buying full interest in the promotion several years ago, Bobby O’s KSWA has continued an ambitious schedule and unparalleled dedication to the industry. When KSWA Hall of Famer Domenic DeNucci was the subject of a slight “roast” by organizers familiar with the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, it was the KSWA that was front and center. When DeNucci was announced as the newest member of the Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, New York, it was the KSWA that was there to celebrate him. When it was announced that Bruno Sammartino was going to attend the event (to collect his own ring and accept induction) alongside his longtime friend, it was the KSWA who represented the independent industry unlike any other group.
When Lord Zoltan was tapped to emcee the dinner and awards ceremony in May of 2012, it was the KSWA that accompanied him.
Under Bobby O’s leadership, the KSWA has picked up its fundraising events dramatically. Whether it’s for fire departments, cancer research organizations like Gilda’s Club, or groups like PA Connecting Communities who need assistance, it’s the KSWA that leads the way.
Bobby O has coined the phrase that the “KSWA is all about opportunity,” and has steadfastly attuned to that philosophy. He has spearheaded efforts to bring in new, exciting talent, as well as veteran leadership into the KSWA fray. He has forced KSWA Heavyweight Champion “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin to take on all comers for the organization’s most prized possession.
Most don’t know what Bobby O has up his sleeve for the KSWA in 2013 and all of them can’t wait!