Top 5 Managers In KSWA History: From Svengali "Gentleman" To Kommissioner
October 12, 2015
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
Long before he was the affable Kommissioner of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA), Joe Perri was an oft-diabolical manager and self-appointed mogul of the “Gentleman’s Club.”
Perri had used that name for many groups over the years and in many regional promotions, but really found a home in the KSWA about a decade ago. Shortly thereafter, Joe stopped talking about the “Club” and began dropping cryptic warnings of “IT.” Change was coming, he'd crow. And for a while, it looked as if he'd pair with Bobby O and "O's Army."
In the history of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance there has not been a group as menacing, as physical and as destructive as the International Thugs. The group's beginning was auspicious. “IT” will be a different way of doing things, according to the long-time wrestling personality. He eventually assembled a quartet of goons that commandeered the tag team division for three years.
The anchor of the squad was Ali Kaida, the Afghani Assault Weapon. Perri’s unwavering, Svengali-like influence paid dividends when it came to that brute. In addition to tag team gold, Kaida became Golden Triangle Champion in late 2008 under Perri's tutelage. He'd lose it in February, 2009 to Kris Kash and went berserk for a while.
Former military soldier Baracus wrestled Kaida in a match and thought he heard a discouraging word tossed his way. That was enough for Perri’s vice-like sway.
Then, add The Irish Bear, Big Mike Malachi. Much like Baracus, Malachi wasn’t receiving the respected he coveted. Perri gave it. Soon, the International Thugs were tag team champions and on top of the pro wrestling world.
And lastly, the Alaskan outcast Zero was a part of the group for a short while.
On September 15, 2006, “IT” defeated La Lucha and Justin Sane for the tag belts.They successfully defended and held onto the belts for more than a year. Their reign was the second-longest in KSWA history at the time and the most lengthy in nearly five years.
The group's history was detailed in the "Rise and Fall of the International Thugs," first published on May 26, 2009. That history is paraphrased in the break below.
By Perri's demand, The International Thugs employed a long-standing tag-team wrestling rule than enabled them to swap any member of the stable in defense of the titles. For a while, the team of Baracus and Kaida worked as a team, with Malachi pursuing singles gold.
Near the height of IT's rampage, Ali Kaida started to bring an American flag to the ring and after dispatching his opponent (often by nefarious means), he would place the flag over his opponent. This immediately enraged the KSWA Krazies and even after a while, Baracus appeared to be put-off.
In one of the most surprising moments in the history of the KSWA, Baracus speared Kaida during a tournament and caused IT to lose. The fans went wild and forgave the Pittsburgh Patriot. It was later learned that Baracus had a career-ending injury and he simply would not forgive himself unless he asked the Krazies for forgiveness. The Krazies embraced their hero back into outstretched arms.
After a short stint as an “enforcer” referee, Baracus retired from the KSWA.
At the zenith of power, Perri introduced Zero as the newest member of the International Thugs. A smaller, more technical wrestler, Zero became prominent in attempts to woo luchadores into the group. He made a mockery of the Drunken Luchadore Joey Quervo when he and La Lucha were challenging for the tag belts. Zero most infamously dressed as the masked Joey and went along with the match until the right time, then he attacked the Mayor of Mexico City.
Zero, originally from Anchorage, Alaska, a self-professed misfit who abandoned a life as a fan favorite when he sucker punched the immensely popular Latin Assassin, moved all of his worldly belongings to Munich, Germany. Professor Perri's International Kool-Aid was perfect for the young, impressionable Zero. Patriotism wasn't a virtue for the remaining International Thugs.
Zero's inclusion was rather short-lived as he failed to lure Joey Quervo, La Lucha, and then the Great Toyota into Perri's world. His best-of-three series against Great Toyota had weight: it was Zero's career verus Toyota's mask. All tied-up going into FanFest last year, Zero failed to show up. He stayed in Germany while the masked Toyota danced the victory jig at the home of professional wrestling in Pittsburgh.
Ali Kaida has become more unpredictable. He has even been at odds with Malachi. The two were regarded as the closest of friends in the entire mob, even moreso than when Kaida named Baracus a Sheik.
Malachi enjoyed a rather successful run as Golden Triangle Champion, before losing it to La Lucha. Ali Kaida nearly ended La Lucha's career when he tossed a fire ball into masked megastar's eyes. La Lucha held onto the GT belt for a few months before Ali Kaida won it.
Before that, Kaida nearly became the World Heavyweight Champion in a year-long feud with the current KSWA Champ, Anthony Alexander. Interestingly enough, the GT championship is often a springboard back to the Number One contendership.
Once the International Thugs partnership vanished, Perri was without a job, a place or a calling. He came to Owner Bobby O asking for a chance. Bobby O, overwhelmed by the VIPs and the emerging Mayor of Parts Unknown, was eager for some kind of assistance. He found an surprising ally in Perri.
Since that time, Perri has held his own as Kommissioner. He has helped the Championship Committee with its agenda of bringing professional wrestling the way decades of fans have grown accustomed.
But for the longest time, "Gentleman" Joe Perri was one of the most influential managers in Keystone State Wrestling Alliance history.