Already August: Looking At The Top 10 Contenders For KSWA Heavyweight Gold
August 1, 2014
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
With August suddenly upon us—and an unusually long time between events—it’s a dandy time to look at the Top 10 contenders for the biggest prize in all the land, the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) World Heavyweight Championship.
Last December, Shane Starr defeated “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin for the most coveted Single’s Title in the entire Commonwealth. Since that time, Starr has been the quintessential “Fighting Champion.” He has defeated Martin twice, as well as “Nasty” Nick Crane, Bulldozer, and J-Ru. He had a Double Count Out decision against “The Enforcer” Shawn Blanchard and defeated the Mercenaries as part of a tag team contest. And the Krazies thought that this has been a reduced year for Pittsburgh’s Professional Wrestling Organization.
Soon the KSWA will return to action at Millvale Days, as well as a fundraiser at St. Raphael in Bloomfield on Saturday, September 27. Then the KSWA will return to Sharpsburg in November. In addition, before all interested parties know it, FanFest will be right around the corner on December 6.
Starr has been hitting the Pittsburgh streets, making appearances with the KSWA’s 10-lbs of gold. In fact, in recent years, the KSWA World Strap has been featured in print and local television. That’s one of the primary reasons why it’s the most coveted and revered trophy in all of independent professional wrestling. In fact it’s safe to say that no independent organization’s decoration has a higher profile.
That’s another reason why everyone is after it.
As is customary, the formal #1 Contender for the KSWA World Title is the holder of the second-most-prestigious belt in the Keystone State. Due to the fact that the larger-market Philadelphia does not have its own single’s belt, that is clearly the Golden Triangle Championship and its new holder is the Detroit Wrecking Machine, Bulldozer (along with Manager Mayor Mystery). On June 28, Bulldozer swept the field that was the Golden Triangle Championship tournament and defeated The Jester in the finals. That win vaulted Bulldozer to the top of the list. However, KSWA Owner Bobby O has already dictated that Bulldozer will face rematch clauses and other matches to solidify his championship before earning another KSWA World Title Shot. Additionally, Bulldozer lost to Starr on April 12 at the Guyasuta fundraiser. He has his hand’s full re-establishing the Golden Triangle Championship (which had been vacated by Starr following his FanFest win).
Number 2 Contender: The burgeoning 5-Star Championship is technically the 3rd most prestigious championship between New Jersey and Ohio, Maryland and New York (with West Virginia and Delaware also bordering), it has become its own dominion. Due to the controversial and contentious Bobby Badfingers, the 5-Star Championship has become less of status for technical expertise, but a wicked symbol of battery and dominance. Badfingers, who won his strap the same day Starr won the World Title, weathered the annual Gauntlet Match. Badfingers has successfully defeated the 5-Star belt against Kris Kash, and avoided Jack Massacre by count-out. Since that time he has been dogged by “The Drunken Luchadore” Joey Quervo, who is riding the most successful stretch of his long and spotty career. Badfingers, who has seen two Megastars retire and flat-out refused to wrestle “The Baddest Man in the Company” may get a shot at the big gold sometime soon, but ego would have him conclude his feud with Quervo first. As with Bulldozer, Badfingers is also managed by Mayor Mystery. It is definitely not a stretch to say that someday Mayor Mystery may be in possession of the KSWA World Heavyweight Title, or at least have it on some mantle in “Parts Unknown.”
Verified Investment Partner (half-owner) Tommy Faime always makes sure that Blanchard and Martin are in the playing field when it comes to title shots. Blanchard, who had a double count out with Starr on June 28, remains Faime’s hand-picked challenger (And Number 3 Contender) despite some in-ring losses to “Mr. Puniverse” Bob Atlas, The Jester, Kaida and Kash. The loss to Kaida meant that he coughed up ownership of the KSWA back to Bobby O. However, once Faime returned in an ownership swerve, Blanchard has regained his cocksure sway.
That being noted, the Number Four Contender would then be Lou Martin. Say what you will about Martin, he did help hoist the KSWA World Heavyweight Title to unforeseen heights. Ever since he lost the World Title at FanFest, Martin has struggled. He infamous noted that since losing a “Loser Wears A Chicken Suit” Match to Lord Zoltan at last year’s Millvale Days, Martin has been in a self-described “funk.” He has won sparingly, and in a return to the fowl suit, lost another match to Lord Zoltan. Martin has been forced by honor to wear the Chicken Suit in every match remaining in 2014. (Editor’s note: no world champion on the planet has the nerve to subject himself to the trappings of Martin’s Chicken Suit.)
All the way down at Number 5 Contender is a dark horse in J-Ru. The “Instigator” has long proved to be a worthy foil to Starr. Both Megastars are young and athletic. Starr has more strength, but J-Ru most likely possess a more-explosive arsenal of offensive moves. Starr has efficaciously held off J-Ru, most recently on May 31. Those who pay attention say that J-Ru’s June 28 win against “The Ice Man” Tony Johnson was a coming-out party of sorts. Plus, J-Ru still holds onto the winning Battle Bowl ticket from January. He has until the close of 2014 to cash in that opportunity.
Because of recent wins in the ring, Megastars like Contender Number 6—The Jester—have to be considered. That being noted, match makers have positioned him to battle Bulldozer for the Golden Triangle Championship. Jester and Bulldozer had a classic Main Event in the Golden Triangle Title Tournament. Additionally, it’s not like Shane Starr wouldn’t immediately grant an opportunity to The Jester—the two have become friends—but Jester believes he has plenty of time to reach the highest pinnacle in the sport.
Contender #7 is another no-brainer based on skill, success and savvy. Lord Zoltan always has to be considered a fantastic challenger for the World Title. Arguably the best tag team wrestler to ever paint his face in the organization’s history, Lord Zoltan has never held Single’s gold in the KSWA. He has had opportunities in the past but never fully collected. Winning gold against then-KSWA World Champion Lou Martin had always seemed secondary to dinging the façade of the company’s top brass. Zoltan’s win at the 7th Annual Joe Abby Memorial Tournament on March 29th also proved that the veteran can still win important Single’s matches. Zoltan could always have a shot at the title, but his Party Gras days may not be behind him, and his unlikely victories against Bulldozer have not gone unnoticed.
Contender Number 8 is the remarkably resilient “King” Del Douglas. Since his debut in July 13, 2002, Del Douglas has been the “Single Threat” and “Stat Tracker.” He has been in stables and power partnerships. He has been a two-time Golden Triangle Champion and a three-time Tag Team Champion. Douglas was the second man to hold the Jr. Heavyweight Championship (even if that was for less than 24 hours) and nearly won the also-defunct Tri-State Championship. His last World Title Shot was a homecoming loss against The Latin Assassin during Millvale Days on September 17, 2010. His second tag team title reign—in 2005—was alongside Tommy Faime. It would not be out of the realm of possibility to suggest that Faime may give Douglas a world title shot on September 12 and/or 13 this year. Faime would love to see the “King” parade his hardware through the streets of Millvale during the annual parade.
The Ninth and Tenth Contenders could include Megastars such as Kris Kash or Tony Johnson; however, they are already lining up for shots at the Golden Triangle and/or 5-Star belts. Wrestlers like Edric Everhart and Tyler Cross will still earn return matches against The Wall Street Cover Boys—KSWA Tag Team Champions “Big” Mike Malachi and Jack Massacre. So that leaves Megastars who have actually been bandied about as possible challengers. The veterans most apt to fill that design are “Nasty” Nick Crane and Sniper—the Mercenaries.
At Number 9, Crane was bested by Starr on February 22. The match proved that the longtime vet Crane still has plenty in the tank. Plus, Canada’s National Treasure has been buoyed by Olympic, hockey and baseball wins. A stamp with Crane’s mug is still expected to be released.
At Number 10 is Mercenary co-hort Sniper. It is not out of the course of action for Tommy Faime to include Sniper in another title shot against Starr. Like Crane, Sniper has not won KSWA gold and they both continue to look at every angle to gain that advantage. Sniper did lose to Quervo right of the box in February, but the South African remains vigilant and eager to pounce.
Top 10 Challengers for the KSWA World Title
1. Bulldozer (w/Mayor Mystery)
2. Bobby Badfingers (w/Mayor Mystery)
3. Shawn Blanchard
4. Lou Martin
6. The Jester
7. Lord Zoltan
8. Del Douglas
9. Nick Crane