Top 10 Moments In The KSWA For 2015: From Wootton To Kash 5-1
December 31, 2015
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
Number 5: Pittsburgh actor Curt Wootton agreed to be a part of KSWA FanFest largely because of his love of professional wrestling. In an interview leading up to his appearance, Wootton talked about how he was a fan of the old WWF and especially “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. The ultimate bad guy left such a mark on the star of “Pittsburgh Dad” that he used Dibiase’s “Million Dollar Dream” sleeper hold on Sasquatch in the horror/comedy feature film “Bigfoot.”
When Wootton was introduced to the capacity crowd at FanFest, some fans booed the beloved actor, and some chanted “Not My Dad,” in defiance of the popular online video series. Later in the evening, Wootton accompanied Justin Sane to the ring in a “Flag Match” against Harley T. Morris (with David Marbell in his corner). During the match, Wootton was firmly in Sane’s corner, cheering the fan favorite, who was representing the University of Pittsburgh against Morris’ West Virginia University. Wootton even distracted both Morris and Marbell when it looked like they had an advantage over Sane. When Sane grabbed the Pitt flag, he was declared the winner. Wootton came in and celebrated with the veteran wrestler. Just then, Wootton kicked Sane in the gut and smashed the Pitt flag pole over his back. It turns out that Wootton was in cahoots with Morris and Marbell. It was later discovered that Wootton is a WVU alum and he wasn’t going to betray his alma mater. The Pitt crowd heartedly booed and cat called Wootton, who gladly rained on the parade of Panther fans. The turn was easily one of the most-hated of the KSWA year.
Number 4: Jay Flash started the year with a bang by winning Battle Bowl VII in January. He was the deciding factor in Team Faime winning the Joe Abby elimination tournament in March. On May 2, Flash and “Ice Man” Tony Johnson headlined a Teamster Temple event that had the Krazies shouting “This Is Awesome” throughout the evening. The give-and-go between the two premier athletes had many declaring this showdown the “Match of the Year.”
The two former friends went at it “tooth and nail” for more than 22 minutes before Flash distracted Johnson and kicked him in the chin for the win. Video of the matchup went viral for a while, with observers commenting on how it was already the best match they had seen in quite some time. The two took part in a 5-Star Championship Match in May, but lost the match to Super Ginger. Johnson would take a break from wrestling action while Flash would stay in the mix for months to come. At FanFest on December 5, Flash and KSWA Owner Tommy Faime extended an open invitation to “Big” Mike Malachi to come up with a tag team partner for the city’s top wrestling event. Malachi scored Johnson’s return. The duo defeated Faime and Flash, but most fans still rank the Flash v. Johnson one-on-one contest to be the best they have seen in 2015.
Number 3: The Keystone State Wrestling Alliance has held almost 200 events in its historic 15-year run. In the early years, matches were held sporadically. It would be 2006 before a regular schedule was followed. That year there were 14 events. The next few years, the organization would regularly run 13-14 events. In 2009 there were 18 events and 20 in 2010.
In 2015, the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance tied its record for 20 events in one year. More remarkably, starting on June 6, the KSWA hosted events five weekends in a row (an organization record). On June 6, the KSWA was at the Teamster Temple in Lawrenceville. The next day, the “KSWA Krazy Tour, 2015” hit the road for the Children’s Miracle Network fundraiser in Blade Runners Ice Complex in Harmarville. On June 13, the KSWA made its first-ever summer stop at the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department #265 for a fundraiser. On June 20, the KSWA debuted in Homestead for the “Brawl Under The Bridge” that featured the borough’s grandmotherly Mayor, Betty Esper rope-a-doping Golden Triangle Champion Lou Martin during the ruckus main event.
The KSWA also traveled for a fundraiser in Tidioute, PA (the farthest the group has ever traveled for an event), some 120 miles from downtown Pittsburgh to the rim of the Allegheny National Forest. From May 2 to July 17, the KSWA hosted 10 events in 12 weeks.
Number 2: Shawn Blanchard has always been the most opportunistic Megastar in the vaunted history of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance. The five-time former KSWA Heavyweight Champion has always found a way to win, especially in key situations. One doesn’t become the Greatest Sports Attraction in a rich sports city like Pittsburgh without knowing a thing or two about winning. At FanFest 2010, he and Lou Martin shocked the professional wrestling world when the legendary James J. Dillon accompanied KSWA Tag Team champions Shane Starr and Kris Kash to the ring, only to incapacitate their defense with a wing-tip to the temple. After the title-changing three was counted, Dillon joined Blanchard and Martin (along with their then-Advisor Frank Durso) for a celebratory flaunt in the middle of the ring.
At the Joe Abby Memorial tournament on March 28, Dillon and “Big Bully” Nick Busick were inducted into the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame. The ceremony clearly touched Dillon, who was accompanied to the arena by his daughter, as well as hundreds of KSWA Krazies. The honoree’s plaques were handed to Dillon and Busick by Dominic DeNucci (Class of 2010).
Later yet that evening, Dillon—freshly appointed with a Manager’s license—accompanied Blanchard to the ring, to challenge KSWA World Heavyweight Champion Shane Starr. Starr was accompanied by Busick—much to Dillon’s chagrin—with an even fresher Manager’s license. Blanchard, energized by his mentor’s presence, wrestled one of his finest contests. Starr, at his physical peak and up to the challenge, fought toe-to-toe with the industry’s best. Finally, it took a hard-fought battle and Dillon employing the time keeper’s bell (instead of a wing tip), to black out Starr. Referee David Fedor slapped the canvas three times and Shawn Blanchard became the record-extending 6-time KSWA World Champion. Seconds later a photo was snapped from ringside. Fedor raised Blanchard’s arm in victory and Dillon embraced his ward. Dillon reportedly told Blanchard that he was “proud of you” for the impressive victory at that very moment.
Number One: Kris Kash has been one of the hardest working Megastars in the history of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance. Along with his lifelong friend Shane Starr, Kash trained to become a Megastar before he was legally allowed to wrestle in a ring. The two then-teenagers worked diligently to make it to the top of the independent wrestling scene in Pittsburgh. As a result of their utmost loyalty and professionalism, the two have not waivered or strayed from their home promotion. On August 20, 2005 Kash and Starr—known collectively as the “Lost Boyz”—defeated Shawn Blanchard (by disqualification) in their very first match. Five years later, Kash and Starr defeated Ric Rumsky and Vinnie Stone for the KSWA tag team championships. They would lose them about six months later to Blanchard and Lou Martin. On December 5, Kash and Starr defeated the Mercenaries—“Nasty” Nick Crane and Sniper—at FanFest.
And then both Megastars went into the first-ever “Championship Cavalcade” against KSWA Champion Shawn Blanchard. In this unique and refreshing match, all reigning KSWA Champions were in the free-for-all. While Blanchard was outnumbered, all of the other participants (except Mitch Napier) had already wrestled that evening. The veteran Blanchard did exceedingly well against all comers but ultimately lost the number’s game when special guest enforcer The Latin Assassin clotheslined Blanchard and Kash landed his patented swon ton splash. Moments later, Kris Kash realized his decade-old dream of being the brand-new KSWA World Champion. With Latin Assassin and Shane Starr celebrating the victory at his side, Kash hoisted both belts high into the Lawrenceville sky, thus cementing his moment as the best in the KSWA for 2015.