January 11, 2013
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
For the past four years, wrestlers with the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) have realized that if they’ve felt “overlooked” by Championship Committee members or KSWA Owner Bobby O himself, they can right that wrong by winning—or placing well—in Battle Bowl. This year is no exception.
The top three finishers in Battle Bowl will have their names placed in a lottery. The winner of the battle royal is supposed to have the best shot at being the Number One Contender for the KSWA World Heavyweight title. Other high-placing finishers will have shots at the Golden Triangle Champion and the 5-Star belt at any time in the next calendar year. In some previous years, an opportunity for Tag Team gold was also included; however, the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament in March has been transformed into a tag team tournament for that distinction.
Two years ago, every one of the finishers successfully parlayed their opportunity to title wins, most notably “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin’s last-moment snatching of the KSWA title from Mitch Napier at FanFest 2011. Martin still has the belt and Napier remains at the champion’s heels.
Last year, none of the competitors turned their shot into Single’s gold, so the possibilities can be prickly at best.
The rules of the Battle Bowl are simple: two wrestlers start the match and two more combatants are brought in every two minutes. After everyone is in, the match turns into an all-out Battle Royal. The final three will have their names entered into a contest; a drawing will cement their positions for 2013. At that time, they can immediately challenge for the belt, patiently await an “easy pickins” win or something in between. The sky is the limit for the Battle Bowl winner(s).
Another nice aspect of Battle Bowl is anyone can vault themselves into more rarified air. Last year, The Jester—who at the time was not much more than “King” Del Douglas’ manservant—lucked into the KSWA Title Shot. Up until that point, there wouldn’t have been any way that Martin would have entertained that match. Subsequently, KSWA Owner Bobby O leveraged the title shot away from The Jester and towards Ric Rumsky, but Rumsky was another Megastar who up to that point hadn’t jettisoned himself to the Number One contendership. Moreover, he parlayed that position into FanFest, Pittsburgh Professional Wrestling’s premier event.
In addition to up-and-comers, veterans can also automatically put themselves into the Championship spot light. Original VIP “The Enforcer” Shawn Blanchard is the KSWA’s most decorated champion; however, he has been out of the Single’s championship scene for a short while. With fellow VIP Founder Martin holding the main strap, Blanchard could find himself in the Golden Triangle or 5-Star chase by this time next week.
With Lord Zoltan’s KSWA future in question (some observers still wonder if he gave a retirement speech at FanFest after losing the tag team championship), Party Gras partner Justin Sane’s main event status would be in limbo. Might he find himself in the “thick of it” with a shot at Martin’s gold? Could the Crazy Man from Haddonfield, Illinois find himself in the hunt for the championship he has never held?
What role could a group like the Legion of the Apocalypse play? A quartet of the KSWA’s largest and strongest wrestlers, if they successfully stick together, any of the four—Ali Kaida, Blood Beast, Jonny Axx or Bobby Badfingers—could each other in the Championship round quickly.
Conversely, it might be smart for a stable of wrestlers to team up—at least temporarily—to hoist a favorite like Jack Massacre. The 7-foot-tall, 365-lb Waco, Texas native is considered a probable winner and should be accounted for immediately.
Then there are guys like “The Ice Man” Tony Johnson and Jay Flash, who have had incredibly successful early careers, but who could get lost in the shuffle of championship opportunities with a bad Battle Bowl showing. That is unlikely, what with Johnson and Flash being such incredible competitors, but it is a sign of how competitive the KSWA has become.
An upset win for someone like J-Ru could be a game-changer. The “Instigator” certainly made no friends with the Latin Assassin at FanFest, but with unchallenged verve and the possibility of New Year’s momentum, it would not be difficult to see J-Ru in the role of spoiler in any Single’s scene.
The KSWA has always been about opportunity and Battle Bowl V is no exception.
Battle Bowl V is this Saturday, January 12, at the Home of Professional Wrestling in Pittsburgh the KSWA Arena. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for kids. Bell time is at 7:30. Card is subject to change.