January 2, 2014
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
New Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) World Heavyweight Champion and reigning Golden Triangle Champion, Shane Starr, won a tight race for Wrestler of the Year on kswa.net. Krazies voted for Starr, but a lot of fans still stacked the deck for various members of the VIPs.
Starr pushed ahead in the last few days of the year, as a strong contingent had former, two-time KSWA Champion Lou Martin a close second. Starr had been in the lead, but he pulled ahead, 50%-38% in the last few days of 2013. Mitch Napier, at 9%, and Jay Flash, at 2%, were also in the hunt. Napier, the former 5-Star Champion, like Martin, lost his title at FanFest on December 7. Flash wrestled more in tag team situations last year, and that may have affected his polling. However, Starr did really step on the accelerator when it came to in-ring work. Last year’s winner, Jonny Axx, retired from the ring and wasn’t included in the voting.
Kris Kash ran away with the “Most Popular” Wrestler of the Year nod. Kash registered 69% of the votes, and Starr was in second place at 21%. This vote exemplifies the diversity of the voters. Kash, the Mario Ferraro Sr. Memorial Tournament Cup winner, also won the distinction in 2009 and 2010. With three wins, he ties Double-A Anthony Alexander for the most “Most Popular” wins with three. Last year’s winner, Jack Massacre, didn’t show in the voting, largely because he was out with injuries and other issues. Napier and even Kaida were in the running, albeit down the list.
The current KSWA Tag Team Champions—Edric Everhart and Tyler Cross—and the newest members of the VIPs, won “Tag Team of the Year.” There has long been a block of fans who will vote for the VIP banner, and they stuck to the “new age” Lou Martin and Shawn Blanchard. The former Canadians defeated their closest competitors—Justin Sane and Lord Zoltan (Party Gras)—47% to 33%. Former Tag Team Champs “The Jester” and “The King” Del Douglas garnered 1% of the vote, while even fans of the Mercenaries—Sniper and “Nasty” Nick Crane—helped record 18% of the vote.
The “Most Hated” Wrestler in the KSWA has almost always been “The Enforcer” Shawn Blanchard. Lou Martin won the vote in 2001 and “Big Mike” Malachi won in 2002. Since then it has always been Blanchard. This year, Blanchard more than doubled the runner-up Bobby Badfingers, 67% to 31%. “The King” Del Douglas was far behind at 1%. Martin was featured in the race but didn’t covet a single vote.
The Feud of the Year is the year-long struggle between former KSWA Owner Bobby O and the VIPs. The Feud also featured the Match of the Year. The feud reached its apex on July 20 when Bobby O and Shawn Blanchard had a no-disqualification, Street Fight showdown for ownership of Pittsburgh’s only professional wrestling company. Bobby O, who has participated in a handful of wrestling matches in his KSWA livelihood, nearly pulled off the athletic upset against Blanchard, but lost in the end. Bobby, who has stayed on as a representative of the KSWA’s independent “Championship Committee,” recently obtained his Manager’s License and has partnered up with “Mr. Puniverse” Bob Atlas. It’s the 10th time that Blanchard has been involved in a “Feud of the Year” and Bobby O’s third.
It should be noted that the fans voting in these web polls are a unique and loyal bunch. Shawn Blanchard’s name appears in every single “Match of the Year” since its inception 13 years ago. Last year’s installment was another Lawrenceville Street Fight in which Blanchard and Martin battled The Latin Assassin and Mitch Napier.
The Bobby O/Blanchard battle bested the implosion of the Legion of the Apocalypse 59% to 40%. Under normal circumstances the feud between Jack Massacre and Bulldozer would have claimed more than 2% of the vote, but both Megastars made minimal appearances and Massacre missed time due to a Bulldozer-planted attack.
The KSWA returns with the action-packed "Battle Bowl 6" on January 11 at the Home of Professional Wrestling in Pittsburgh, the KSWA Arena.