Opportunities Abound For Potential #FaceOfPittsburgh Challenger

February 4, 2016
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist

Love him or hate him, current and two-time Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) Golden Triangle Champion, “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin, is always a step ahead of the competition.

Recently on social media, the former 2-time KSWA World Champion was contemplative about Battle Bowl VIII, losing out on the KSWA tag team titles, and the field that makes up professional wrestling in Pittsburgh.

Martin fared well in Battle Bowl, but couldn’t overcome challenges, particularly those from the 7-foot-tall giants Jack Massacre and T-Rantula. Martin also was ambushed by Lord Zoltan, who readily used wrenches, a bell hammer and anything else he could find at ringside to administer punishment on the North Side peach.

Martin did say that frequent foes Shane Starr and the current KSWA World Champion, Kris Kash, are worthy adversaries. He called Kash’s current run “career defining.” Actually, Martin’s words were complementary toward the Lost Boys (who currently also hold tag team gold).

“It doesn't really matter because I am going to prove why I am the only current KSWA champion that means anything," said Martin, who recently had his face insured by Lloyd's of London for one million dollars.

Then, Martin took action where one might not suspect. He initiated "Dr. Devastation Lou Martin's #faceofpittsburgh Challenge" for the Golden Triangle Championship, Pittsburgh’s premier regional crown, and second only to the KSWA World Title.

(Since its inception in 2000, only 17 wrestlers have held the Golden Triangle Championship. Justin Sane leads all Megastars with 5 reigns. Martin, Kaida, Anthony Alexander, Mike Malachi and Jeff Lockhart have all held the 10-pounds of gold twice.)

The Golden Triangle Open Challenge is unprecedented in the KSWA. In some instances, an Open Challenge concept could be an invitation for opportunity, and the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance is the recognized industry leader for that.

But who are some of the leading candidates to take the challenge in the KSWA locker room.

1. Tony Johnson. “The Ice Man” is coming off of a huge FanFest and Battle Bowl. Johnson returned after a lengthy absence to take on former friend Jay Flash and KSWA Owner Tommy Faime at FanFest, and he took Mayor Mystery’s Gauntlet Match against Sniper, J-Ru and Bobby Badfingers. He was viciously attacked by Mystery and his stable of goons, and came back as the last competitor of Battle Bowl, and nearly won. However, this won’t happen because Faime has put Johnson in a six-man match with Starr and Kash against the aforementioned Sniper, J-Ru and Badfingers.

2. Jester. The one-time 5-Star and tag team champion fared very well against Del Douglas in the Battle Bowl preliminary match earlier this month, and also did very well in Battle Bowl. But Jester did lose in a Golden Triangle Championship match against Martin at FanFest. He may have to wait a while to make it back up the championship ladder.

3. Mitch Napier. The current 5-Star champion won an impressive Battle Bowl. He also defended the belt against Kaida earlier in the evening. In the night’s most striking maneuver, Napier gave the Sioux Falls Slam to Kaida from the middle corner post. The most left the capacity crowd gasping. Napier, who lost his only KSWA Heavyweight Title run to Martin mere moments after winning the belt in 2011, has a chance for World Title gold in his back pocket. At this juncture, he may not be interested.

4. Lord Zoltan. The craftiest Megastar of all time has never held single’s gold in the KSWA. He has historically held the tag team championship with Justin Sane for an astonishing 75 weeks; however, a belt he can call his own has eluded him. Zoltan has had several opportunities, including a memorable feud with Martin when he was KSWA Champion, but nothing has ever panned out. In November, his highness was recognized for a 40-year career that saw him start grappling as an underage teen in West Virginia. He has been on television and held various territorial titles over that span, but Pittsburgh’s primary belt, like the KSWA top gold, has just been out of his reach.

5. Shawn Blanchard. The former 6-time KSWA Champion could shock the entire wrestling world and willingly challenge his friend for the belt. In more than 15 years as a KSWA original, Blanchard has never once held the KSWA Golden Triangle Championship. But don’t be silly. This scenario won’t play out. Additionally, Blanchard is focused on The Latin Assassin, who made a splash at Battle Bowl.

6. Justin Sane. The five-time former Golden Triangle Champion has his hands full with Harley T. Morris, David Marbell and Curt Wootton. The crazies Megastar won’t even grab that third rail.

7. Curt Wootton. The actor best known for his work in “Bigfoot: the Movie,” “The Mercury Men,” various area stage plays, as well as “Pittsburgh Dad” has gone toe-to-toe with Martin on social media leading up to Battle Bowl VIII. And while Wootton fared fairly well in the battle royal, going hold-for-hold against one of the best in the Commonwealth would spell doom for the rookie of the year candidate. Watch for Wootton to stay in Morris and Marbell’s corner for a while.

8. Mike Malachi. Since losing the tag team belts he held with Jack Massacre, Malachi has focused on single’s competition, and missed Battle Bowl altogether. He nearly upset Blanchard last year in a World Title matchup, and he has been a Golden Triangle Champion before. He may take a shot.

9. Jack Massacre. It’s no secret that Jack Massacre yearns for single’s gold in the KSWA. Since his debut, Massacre has had his sites on the company’s top prize. He has had some epic battles with Martin in the past, but the 7-footer always fell short when the KSWA championship was at reach. Depending on how hungry the 380-pounder is, Massacre may dip his head under the entranceway and challenge Dr. Devastation.

10. Kaida. Another two-time former champion, it wasn’t that long ago…FanFest 2014 to be exact, in which he shocked the KSWA Krazies by upending the previously unbeatable Bulldozer for the Golden Triangle Champion. Even though he looked strong against Napier on January 16, Kaida has been out of action for most of the past year. The former KSWA Champion and tag team title holder is always in the hunt for gold; conversely, he may be a long way from replacing the #FaceOfPittsburgh.

Whatever faces the Face of Pittsburgh Lou Martin will come next at the Teamster Temple, February 20, 2016, 4701 Butler Street in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh.

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