Many Questions Abound As To Who Really Is the #1 Contender Going Into FanFest On December 5
November 17, 2015
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
Now with Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) less than three weeks away, the organization representing Pittsburgh Professional Wrestling’s Championship Committee are tasked with a series of important questions. Most notably, who challenges “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin for the Golden Triangle Championship (we can look at those options later) and ever more hectically: what about the most relevant World Heavyweight Championship on the planet?
(Through interviews, discussions and booking trends, the following is a guess as to what the KSWA Championship Committee may be planning with weeks left to go before FanFest.)
With no titleholder showcased on international television, KSWA World Heavyweight Champion Shawn Blanchard has earned the right at the most important champion in professional wrestling. As a 6-time KSWA Champion, no regional champion can boast that claim. But enough about his credentials, as the most heralded independent wrestling event anywhere is right around the corner. Even KSWA Owner Bobby O has said that this is the most compelling FanFest season in the 11 years of the event.
The first name that comes to mind for anyone following the KSWA for the past six month knows is The Latin Assassin. While the former KSWA World Heavyweight Champion has made his presence felt, most recently as a special guest referee for the Blanchard, Kris Kash and Justin Sane Triple Threat Match in Sharpsburg, you can scratch his name from the list. Latin has not been cleared to wrestle and it would be foolish for the Championship Committee to vault him into such a spotlight. Latin’s last match was on June 15, 2013 when he and Jack Massacre defeated J-Ru and Bulldozer in a tag team competition.
That leads to Jack Massacre. Massacre, the 7-foot-tall now-former tag team champion, has to be considered, but it is unlikely that he’d stray far from the tag team division going into FanFest. He and Mike Malachi have some unfinished business with Jay Flash, who cost them the tag team titles. In his opportunities at heavyweight gold, Massacre has not been victorious.
Mike Malachi, also another former KSWA Champion, recently had a shot at the gold and lost when he was dropped with a piledriver. During that move, Blanchard injured his knee, but he kept on going like a true World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. Like Massacre, Malachi is best suited at a rematch for the tag belts. In addition, Malachi has been a part-time KSWA Megastar this past year, and the grueling schedule a Champion must keep may be too much for the family man.
Shane Starr is another former heavyweight champion that could benefit from a rematch on independent wrestling’s biggest stage. A true competitor and modern-era champion, Starr most recently spelled a sick Kris Kash and nearly rested the KSWA belt off of Blanchard as a last-minute substitute. In the no-disqualification contest, Starr held his own but ultimately lost to Blanchard. The KSWA Championship Committee is thinking long and hard about Starr and his future. Plus, even though his public appearances and community outreached waned right before his March 28 loss to Blanchard, he has shown the commitment expected from a KSWA champion.
That also leads to Kris Kash. Probably Blanchard’s most frequent foe, he was dispatched along with Justin Sane in a heady and hearty title defense in Sharpsburg. In the Triple Threat matchup, Blanchard used his size and strength advantage to best both veteran Megastars. The match was a tour de force for Blanchard, who has been inspired by the responsibility as the most relevant champion in professional wrestling. He dispatched of Sane and Kash in superior fashion. In some ways, neither Megastar had a chance. In addition, Kash recently fell ill and missed his November 14 title shot against Blanchard. That unfortunate turn of events has reportedly soured the Championship Committee.
Justin Sane, like Kash, has had dozens of heavyweight championship opportunities over his illustrious career. Arguably the greatest Golden Triangle Champion in KSWA history, Sane has excelled in that role, as well as in tag team competition as half of Party Gras. Like Kash, Sane is one of the best KSWA wrestlers to never win the promotion’s top prize. His inability to best Blanchard has to weigh heavily on the minds of the KSWA Championship Committee.
Lord Zoltan is another member of the “short list” for the KSWA Heavyweight Title. When the list of the Top KSWA Megastars of All Time was released last year, Zoltan was the highest-ranking wrestler who never won the title. He has been a Joe Abby Memorial Tournament winner and just recently won the Mario Ferraro Sr. Memorial Tournament on November 7. The KSWA and the Pennsylvania State House both recently recognized his 40 years as an active wrestler, which is unprecedented in today’s marketplace. Zoltan’s pedigree is second-to-none, and he has had unsuccessful bids at the Heavyweight Title. With Zoltan being one of the busiest wrestlers on the circuit, the KSWA Championship Committee may think twice about putting him in the top spot at FanFest. The schedule of appearances and responsibilities is always of the utmost concern for the Committee.
Another ultra-popular Megastar is The Jester. His part-time schedule in the KSWA would also be a detriment for the Championship Committee. A former 5-Star Champion, The Jester is technically sound and an exciting athlete by all estimations. There is some thinking in the Championship Committee that his best match at this point may be against Martin for the Golden Triangle Championship.
The current 5-Star Champion Mitch Napier has proven to be one of the best title holders in that division. Tough and ready to rumble, Napier could fall in line with Shane Starr’s “Title v. Title” theme from a few years ago. While the Golden Triangle Championship has always been considered the “number two” title in the organization, there’s no way that Martin will face Blanchard at FanFest. Napier would be an outstanding choice for the match, so he is also on the short list.
There are other part-time athletes like Kaida that can be considered. But like Malachi, Kaida was given a headlining title shot just a few months ago and didn’t fare well against Blanchard. His absence for large chunks of the calendar will leave him on the outside looking in, even though Kaida has had many of the highest-profile matches in FanFest history.
It’s fair to assume that Blanchard-friendly Megastars like “King” Del Douglas, J-Ru, Bobby Badfingers, Jay Flash and Harley T. Morris won’t even look at challenging for the top prize. In addition, all of Mayor Mystery’s concerns of late have been of the tag team variety. They all want to stay in good standing with KSWA Owner Tommy Faime, and the VIPs. That’s what’s best for their business.
We will soon find out what the Championship Committee has in store. KSWA FanFest is on Saturday, December 5.