December 20, 2010
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
At FanFest 2010, Keystone State Wrestling Alliance Owner Bobby O and the promotion's only 5-time World Heavyweight Champion Shawn Blanchard were inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in a touching ceremony.
Nels Cleath, the Founder of the organization, entered the ring to make the presentation before 425 Krazies at the biggest pro wrestling event of the year. Cleath touted Blanchard's phenomenally successful career and presented him with a plaque.
Blanchard, who has held the company's strap for a record five times, has been a KSWA Tag Team champion three times and a Tri-State Champion twice. Blanchard, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a founding member and anchor of the VIP's. Over his storied career, Blanchard has taken on all comers inside the squared circle and has earned his reputation as a legendary carouser outside of the ring.
Bobby O, who entered the KSWA in an entry level position, moved his way up to Ring Announcer and locker room agent. A proficient businessman, Bobby O continued to work hard and save every available dime to gain an ownership role. After a few years, Bobby O was able to buy into the KSWA and then he continued to amass more leverage.
It was announced only a few years ago that Bobby O had progressively moved from “an owner” to “half owner,” and then ultimately sole owner of the organization. Bobby O has invested back into the KSWA with a $5,000 Winner-Take-All Battle Royal a handful of years ago and other amenities. He continues to bring in new talent, maintain good wrestlers and guide them until they become Megastars.
After receiving his plaque from Cleath, Bobby O thanked the KSWA Krazies, the wrestlers “in the back,” and his mother who was seated in the crowd. “Thanks for not making me change the channel when wrestling was on TV,” said Bobby O.
Both men were received with warm regards.
Bobby O extended his hand to fellow-recipient Shawn Blanchard as a gesture of good will, as the two have had an acrimonious relationship over the past decade. Blanchard was not in a forgiving mood and told Bobby O to hit the bricks.
Bobby O and Shawn Blanchard join KSWA Hall of Famers Frank Durso (who, in addition to having a stellar career in Studio Wrestling currently serves as Advisor to the VIPs) and Dominic DeNucci into the Western PA Hall of Fame. Both Durso and DeNucci were inducted during ceremonies at FanFest 2009. Also included in the Hall of Fame is the legendary Lord Zoltan (who has been a mainstay of the Pittsburgh Pro Wrestling scene for more than 30 years) and who makes the KSWA his in-ring home these days, as well as “Nasty” Nick Crane, who has made appearances with the group over the years.
Other notable inductees include Larry Zybsko, who made his KSWA debut in 2010, as well as Mick Foley, Dominic DeNucci's most famous wrestling school student (and international icon), and Studio Wrestling stalwarts “Chilly” Bill Cardille and Bruno Sammartino.
Cleaths was thanked for his contribution and his work with the Western Pennsylvania Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.