KSWA Top 35 Megastars Of All Time, Arguably The Greatest Pittsburgh Indy Champ Ever At #3
September 3, 2014
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
The 3rd Top KSWA Megastar of All Time is as intense a professional wrestler inside the squared circle as you’d ever want to meet. He’s nearly as passionate about his craft outside of the ring.
A five-time, former KSWA World Heavyweight Champion, he was the first to win what would become the most prestigious Single’s Title in the Commonwealth on August 4, 2000. He was 25 years, four months and 26 days old (that’s a different criterion than Skippy Hawke, who was 25 years, four months and 24 days old when he was named KSWA Champion on January 1, 2000). In fact, Hawke successfully defended the belt against this Megastar in the making in the very first Main Event ever recorded in the KSWA.
On May 20, 2000 this Megastar and Lou Martin bested Justin Sane and the Great Toyota to become the very first KSWA Tag Team Champions. The premier stable in Pittsburgh professional wrestling—the VIPs—was officially born.
The first multi-champion in the KSWA, he is the only Megastar in the promotion’s history to wrestle in every recorded, official event since 2000. His closest competitor is Lou Martin, who has missed four events for various reasons in the same time span. Some times in those early years, this Megastar would battle in the ring two or three times a night. He would defend the KSWA Heavyweight belt 10 times before losing it to Tommy Faime on April 28, 2001.
He would defeat Faime and “Big” Mike Malachi in a Triple Threat match for his second title run, beginning on September 21, 2002. He would lose it to Malachi in his first title defense two months later.
This tough Megastar would win the Tri-State Championship on January 24, 2004 by defeating Billy Rich (this was several months after he would disguise himself as “The Black Scorpion” and win a match against Rich). He would immediately lose that belt to “Mr. Puniverse” Bob Atlas on August 14, 2004. When Atlas would (temporarily) retire shortly thereafter, this Megastar would win the belt again, this time a Final Elimination Match. Six weeks later, he would lose that strap to Justin Sane. Two years later the Tri-State and Golden Triangle Championships would merge.
(Editor’s note: Sometime along the way he would forge a bond with Studio Wrestling staple Frank Durso. Durso would serve as the VIP’s “Advisor” for many years, before a knee injury would sideline him.)
On April 1, 2006 he would defeat Martin and Anthony Alexander in a Triple Threat Match for his 3rd Heavyweight Title run. He would successfully defend the belt 7 more times and have no contests with Alexander (one 30 minute time-limit draw, one double count-out), before succumbing to La Lucha at FanFest on December 2, 2006. This was considered a watershed moment in the KSWA because mainstream popularity in Pittsburgh was just starting to occur. The loss to La Lucha is considered by many to be the biggest moment in KSWA history.
Always salty with the fans—and even his supporters—he would win the belt back for an unprecedented fourth time just 49 days later. The match was a Triple Threat affair, and he pinned Kris Kash—and not La Lucha—for the title.
His fourth title reign would include four successful title defenses, but other matches ended in non-conforming ways. On February 24, 2007, the champion would wrestle to a time limit draw with Kash. This was a coming-of-age for the upstart, who was 20 years, 2 months and 16 days old when he took the KSWA World Heavyweight Champion to his limit. The Champion would win against Kash, Martin (twice) and Justin Sane, but would repeat an earlier 30-minute draw against Alexander. Another matchup would end in a double count-out before Alexander would win the strap on December 1, 2007.
Undaunted, this Megastar would win the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament in 2008 and would be in the running for it again in 2011.
He’d win the first Battle Bowl and become the Number One Contender for the Heavyweight Championship. On July 11, 2009 he would defeat Alexander and become the KSWA World Champion for the fifth time. At that time, no one else had one it more than once. He would defend it six more times (for a record 40 times in his career) and have one disqualification loss before losing it to The Latin Assassin on May 1, 2010.
On September 19, 2009 he and Martin would win the KSWA Tag Team Championship for a second time. On October 10, 2009 they would lose the titles to the legendary Demolition tag team. On December 4, 2010 they would win the tag team championships one more time at FanFest when legendary manager James J. Dillon (who came to the ring with tag team champions Kris Kash and Shane Starr, turned on his wards). The VIPs would go on to lose the belts to Party Gras on July 2, 2011.
This Megastar continues to wage wars with just about everyone in the KSWA he doesn’t agree with. He has battled Demolition Ax, Bushwacker Luke, and Dominic DeNucci, among others. On July 20, 2013 he defeated KSWA Owner Bobby O for control of the company and won. On March 29, 2014 he lost control of the company in a match with Kaida (who was serving as a client of Bobby O’s). However, as a parting gift, he sold his interest in the company to Tommy Faime, thus setting up a new era of proprietary drama. There is really no arguing his qualifications; he is more than arguably the most decorated independent wrestling champion the city of Pittsburgh has ever hosted. He is “The Enforcer” Shawn Blanchard.