Happy Labor Day: The Top 6 Hardest-Working Megastars To Not Be Heavyweight Champion
September 7, 2015
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
The Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) Heavyweight Championship has long been established as the premier single’s wrestling title in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Since the organization’s inception in 2000, only 11 wrestlers have hoisted the prize high into the Pittsburgh sky.
The belt has been on the shoulder of a Mayor, around the waist of a U.S. Congressman, and been in the presence of County Councilmen. It’s the only title anywhere, ever to be featured in the Wall Street Journal and in numerous publications. Under the KSWA brand, dozens of charities have benefitted from the longest-running wrestling federation in Pittsburgh’s glorious history. There isn’t a professional athlete in the sport who doesn’t want to wrestle in front of the KSWA Krazies, and earn an opportunity for the promotion’s top prize.
While the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) championship has changed hands 67 times since 2000, the KSWA championship has changed only 14 times. Another long-time Western PA federation, with a long history of its own, has witnessed 41 title changes in 15 years. The prestige and exclusivity of the KSWA Title makes it the most revered and sought-after of its kind.
Current title holder Shawn Blanchard has held the championship a record-extending six times. Lou Martin has been champion twice. The remaining title holders: Skippy Hawke, Tommy Faime, Mike Malachi, La Lucha, Anthony Alexander, The Latin Assassin, Ali Kaida, Mitch Napier and Shane Starr have all held the ten pounds of gold once.
Dozens of other wrestlers have tried for the KSWA belt, but only 11 have reached the heights of Mt. Washington to Mt. Davis. There are an unquantified number of hard-working wrestlers who are qualified to earn a shot—none are entitled—but here are six of the most elite professional wrestlers in Pittsburgh who have not won the most prized possession in the land.
[The KSWA Championship Committee couldn't agree on five so they added a sixth member of the list.]
6. “King” Del Douglas - Certainly one of the longest-tenured Megastars in the KSWA, Douglas is a two-time Golden Triangle Champion and three-time tag team champion. He has always been on the cusp of ultimate KSWA greatness for the better part of a decade. In fact, he’s been a mainstay of the roster since his debut on July 13, 2002. On September 16, 2005, Douglas won the first-ever “King of Millvale” Battle Royal and hence became the “King,” with an accompanying 10-bedroom palatial estate high-above the valley-based municipality. On March 28, 2008, Douglas failed in his attempt to up-end Anthony Alexander in a one-on-one match. Then on February 21, 2009 he and Kris Kash both failed in their attempt to defeat Double-A for the belt. That was Douglas’ last attempt at the KSWA World Title. Chances are Douglas doesn’t even want to challenge his old friend and former running mate Shawn Blanchard for the title, but that doesn’t make him any less worthy--or unheralded--of an opportunity.
5. The Jester - The one-time manservant to “The King,” the Jester has proven to be an attraction in and out of the squared circle. Most recently a 5-Star Champion, The Jester was a former tag team champion with Del Douglas, and has long-been one of the best of a batch of wrestlers who debuted at the KSWA’s 10th anniversary bash in 2010. In a class that included Drew Belanger, J.P. Goulet, “Ice Man” Tony Johnson and Jay Flash, all have made an impression on the KSWA and its Krazies. The Jester was one of the Megastars featured in a prominent Wall Street Journal article in June, 2014. Any and all other regional success The Jester achieved came as a result of the time fine-tuning his career with Flash, Johnson, Vinnie Stone, Douglas, Alex Arcadian and others in the KSWA ring. The Jester has taken a break from major-market professional wrestling to adjust his style for future success. Assuredly, the youngster will be back to perhaps one day become KSWA Champion.
4. Jack Massacre - The 7-foot-tall giant, like The Jester, was featured in the story and accompanying video detailing the KSWA in Pittsburgh. Massacre has had numerous opportunities for the KSWA title, against both members of the VIPs, when they held the strap. Massacre came closest to the top prize when he battled against Lou Martin a few times, but he’s challenged Shawn Blanchard as well. The KSWA Championship Committee thought it wise to allow for the Wall Street Cover Boy to challenge for the championship, but ultimately had him change gears when the KSWA tag team championship was on the line. He and former KSWA champion Mike Malachi have been one of the most dominating tag team championship duos in Pittsburgh history. While nowhere near as prolific as Party Gras’ 75 week and 15 successful title defense run, Malachi and Massacre are a formidable team. Who knows what the future holds for Jack Massacre, but it could contain a shot at the KSWA’s top gold.
3. Justin Sane - It might be hard for some to believe but Justin Sane has never been KSWA World Champion. The unhinged Megastar is perhaps the greatest Golden Triangle Champion of all time, and one of its greatest tag team champs, but Sane has never been able to pin the shoulders of any world champion. On February 21, 2001, Sane lost to Shawn Blanchard in his very-first challenge for the Heavyweight Title. Sane would challenge innumerable champions along the line. In fact, no Megastar has had more opportunities, or he’d be higher on the list. His most recent challenge was May 2, 2015 against Blanchard. In recent months, Sane has been battling young Megastars bent on discrediting his legacy as the quirkiest, yet most successful champions the KSWA has ever seen.
2. Lord Zoltan - Since 2009, Lord Zoltan has called the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance home. The near 40-year legend has earned an early Hall of Fame nod, won the Joe Abby Tournament in front of Mayor Bill Peduto and after a visit from “Chilly” Bill Cardille, “Jumpin’” Johnny DeFazio and “Cannonball” Chuck Martoni on their induction into the HOF. Along with Justin Sane, Zoltan is the most decorated and successful tag team champion in KSWA history. Zoltan has had his opportunities for the KSWA Championship—primarily in hard-fought, classic battles with Lou Martin—but his legacy is enough to keep the kabuki-faced in any heavyweight hunt. No wrestler is more sought-after in the tri-state area, but Zoltan would secretly love to hoist the KSWA World Title high above his dancing head. Might the KSWA Championship Committee once again give him that prospect? One can only continue to pay attention to find out.
1. Kris Kash - Much like Justin Sane, Kris Kash has had many, many opportunities for Pennsylvania’s premier grappling prize, but has fallen short. Since Anthony Alexander’s abrupt retirement from the ring, Kash has been Shawn Blanchard’s primary nemesis. While the two have met in single’s competitions nearly 20 times, they have also faced off in dozens of other types of matches over the years. Despite Blanchard outweighing and out-powering Kash in every instance, the high-flying former Golden Triangle and tag team champion is still a hiccup for the current 6-time champion. Still in his 20’s, Kash has been a peer and long-time friend with Shane Starr. It is not out of the question that Kash might one day reach the top rung—he nearly did just that at St. Raphael’s fundraiser a few months ago—but so far the strap has just been out of his reach. The Krazies are assuredly behind Kris Kash, and some day he may just reach the pinnacle of the independent wrestling industry in Pennsylvania…and beyond.