Top 5 Managers In KSWA History: From Four Horsemen To VIP


October 11, 2015
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist

The unquestioned leader of the legendary Four Horsemen of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and WCW, James J. Dillon has been an international star for decades. In fact, he acknowledges getting his start in Studio Wrestling thanks in no small part to KSWA Hall of Famer and all world superstar Bruno Sammartino.

James J. Dillon’s return to Pittsburgh was always to be destined.

On December 4, 2010, Dillon arrived at KSWA FanFest/Toy Drive as an equalizer in the Kris Kash/Shane Starr tag team title debate with the Frank Durso-lead VIPs—Shawn Blanchard and Lou Martin. The match was a best-of-three-falls affair. After a great deal of action, the first two pins were registered in a frenzied fashion. Ultimately, and the third fall would be the tie breaker.

When the time came, Durso climbed to the apron and distracted the referee. That was enough to allow Dillon to reach into his Four Horsemen jacket and toss a pair of brass knuckles to Shawn Blanchard! Blanchard tags Kash in the heart with a fist full of brass and the VIPs score the win. The tag team match ends with the VIPs, Durso and Dillon all celebrating a tag team title change.

Fast forward to March 29 of this year, Durso has long retired. Dillon returned as a “surprise” member of the KSWA Hall of Fame, Class of 2015. Later that night, he came to the ring with Blanchard, who was challenging Shane Starr (with fellow Hall of Fame inductee “Big Bully Busick” in his corner) for the most prized gold belt in Pennsylvania. This time and after a long, hard-fought match, Dillon absconded with the time keeper’s bell. He juked the referee and tossed the metal bell to Blanchard, who planted it into the mush of Starr. A three count later and Shawn Blanchard is your 6-time, record-extending KSWA Heavyweight Champion.

What immediately followed was one of the most touching and compelling photographs in Pittsburgh professional wrestling annuls. KSWA Head Referee David Fedor held up the hand of Shawn Blanchard in victory. Dillon embraced the new champ and reportedly told him that he’s “proud” of the accomplishment.

With two appearances, manager James J. Dillon has direct involvement in two title changes. Direct impact on the two most revered titles in Pennsylvania is something only a Horseman...and VIP...could make happen. That's enough to put J.J. Dillon on the list.





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