J.J. Dillon Hopes To Mentor Blanchard To 6th KSWA World Title This Saturday
March 24, 2015
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
James J. Dillon considers Pittsburgh to be one of the premier stops on his glorious road to a Hall of Fame career. Dillon, then a 26 year old veteran referee in 1968, competed in his first single’s match on WIIC TV’s “Studio Wrestling” against “Killer” Kowalski.
Dillon took that start and crafted one of the most successful careers in all of professional wrestling. Many fans don’t realize that Dillon was a 10-time champion before ever captaining the Four Horsemen.
But for Pittsburgh-area fans, Dillon remains a revered figure. In 2009, he participated in his final contest, a Deaf Wrestlefest match arraigned by Lord Zoltan. “I am proud to have started and ended my (active) wrestling career in Pittsburgh,” said Dillon during a recent visit to the steel city.
More than a year later on December 10, 2010, Dillon returned to Pittsburgh to pack the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) FanFest. Dillon served as an adviser to young wrestlers and tag team champions Kris Kash and Shane Starr, against the villainous VIPs and longtime rival Frank Durso. However, temptation would be too much for Dillon and he would turn on his wards with brass knuckles. He blasted one of them with the weapon, thus helping Blanchard and Martin win tag team gold. At the end of the night, Dillon would celebrate with Durso, Blanchard and Martin.
Now, Dillon is back in what may be the most important single match in the 15-year history of the KSWA. Dillon, who continues to mentor 5-time former KSWA World Champion Shawn Blanchard, will be in “The Enforcer’s” corner for the Main Event of the Joe Abby Memorial Night this Saturday, March 28.
Blanchard will take on “The Future” Shane Starr in a match that has been building all year. Since Starr won the KSWA World Title on December 7, 2013, the two have met in single’s competition twice. June 28, 2014 their match ended in a double count out. On September 13, 2014, Starr won a challenge by disqualification. The always opportunistic Blanchard believes that this third time may just be the charm in garnishing a record-extending 6th KSWA World Title.
A Blanchard win would continue to elevate him to independent wrestling hierarchy. Dating back to the KSWA’s infancy in 2000, Blanchard won his first heavyweight championship. All told, he has held 5 KSWA World titles (and one more Tri-State Wrestling Alliance heavyweight title), three KSWA World Tag Team Championships—and one with Mon Valley Pro Wrestling—(all with “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin), and two KSWA Tri-State titles, Blanchard may well be the most decorated independent professional wrestler in the business today.
In nine title defenses, Starr has only buckled with the Blanchard no-decisions. Starr has bested all other comers, including former KSWA Champion Lou Martin twice, and “The Instigator” J-Ru twice. Starr would also successfully dodge the sly veteran “Nasty” Nick Crane, the behemoth Bulldozer and blood thirsty Blood Beast.
In addition to being a KSWA World Champion, Starr previously was a Golden Triangle Champion, two-time World Tag Team Champion and the last Jr. Heavyweight Champion (before that belt was branded the 5-Star Championship).
Starr has also revolutionized the image of the KSWA World Title, but attending fundraisers and making public appearances on behalf of the company.
This Saturday’s contest will be one for the KSWA annuals. Dillon will proudly serve in Blanchard’s corner. It was recently rumored that Starr will have a second of his own, but that has not yet been verified.
The KSWA World Heavyweight Championship Match headlines a Joe Abby Memorial Night which includes a Hall of Fame Ceremony and a “Joe Abby Memorial Match” that will determine ownership bragging rights in the KSWA. The 5-Star Championship is on the line as the champion—The Jester—defends against Edric Everhart. Other exciting matches have also been added to the card.
The KSWA returns to action this Saturday, March 28 at the Teamster Temple—largely recognized as the premier facility in independent wrestling—with bell time at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for kids. Card is subject to change.