March 22, 2011
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
Just a few days ago, Mitch Napier received doctor's clearance to challenge for the prestigious Joe Abby Memorial Tournament title. At the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance's “Revenge” on February 21, Napier was attacked by Ali Kaida and nearly blinded with a fire ball. The dastardly attack occurred moments after Napier and the KSWA Heavyweight Champion The Latin Assassin defeated The Blood Beast and The Jester.
After being blinded, Napier was tended to by emergency technicians. In the weeks that followed, KSWA Owner Bobby O and the Championship Committee wondered if Napier could wrestle. Just before press-time, Napier, who is still suffering from some mild fuzzy vision, was given official clearance by KSWA doctors.
Napier will face “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin in the first round of action in the tournament. Meanwhile, Martin's VIP co-hort “The Enforcer” Shawn Blanchard will take on KSWA veteran Justin Sane in the other first-round action. The winners of each match will then face off in the finals of the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament.
Martin, who won the tournament honors in 2009, has to be considered the favorite in the tourney, after securing a KSWA title shot sometime in 2011 following January's Battle Bowl. Martin's KSWA Tag Team Champion partner, Blanchard, could also lay claim to the favorite role. Blanchard, the KSWA's only 5-time Champion, won the inaugural Abby Tournament in 2008.
Both Martin and Blanchard will be accompanied to the ring by their Advisor, KSWA Hall of Famer Frank Durso, a long-time friend and associate of “Killer” Joe Abby.
Justin Sane, who is seemingly at the top of his game, could be a dark horse in the tourney, as he is more unpredictable than ever. And that leaves Napier, the youngest combatant in the tournament and now damaged by Kaida's attack. Napier is also the most technically sound of the bunch, but his lack of “big time” experience—his hard-fought challenge to Latin Assassin notwithstanding—Napier (arguably the best KSWA Megastar to never win a championship) might be best served waiting until next year.
In other action, The Latin Assassin will take on arch-nemesis Ali Kaida in a non-title Lawrenceville Street Fight. Latin is fuming at Kaida, knowing full-well that the fireball that hit Napier was intended for him. Ali Kaida has been unhinged since losing his shot at the KSWA championship. KSWA Owner Bobby O approved of the Street Fight, but would not allow the KSWA title to be on the line during such a time-honored event like the Joe Abby Tournament. Latin Assassin, who demanded that he put the belt on the line, acquiesced.
The Golden Triangle Championship is on the line the current champion, Double-A Anthony Alexander, defends against Bobby Badfingers (who put up a valiant effort in February), as well as Alex Arcadian and “Vicious” Vinnie Stone. What makes this match unique is that Arcadian and Stone might very well target each other instead of the belt. That would bode well for Double-A, but he has protested Badfingers getting a re-match. The Champion from Hollywood, California, seems concerned with the Windy City Clubber Bobby Badfingers. Arcadian or Stone might sweep in under normal situations, but Stone has vowed to rid the KSWA of Arcadian so that rivalry won't conclude in a Fatal Four-way.
New Jr. Heavyweight Champion “The Ice Man” Tony Johnson will not have to face “The King” Del Douglas during the Joe Abby festivities. A big 8-man tag team bout had already been scheduled months in advance. Johnson and his friend and frequent tag team partner Jay Flash will suit up alongside Kris Kash and Shane Starr to take on Douglas, The Jester, and Canadian Perfection (J.P. Goulet and Drew Bellanger). All four teams have worked together extensively and his should be a showcase of high-flying, technical precision.
In handicapped action, The Blood Beast will take on The Great Toyota and Biker Al. Biker Al succumbed to the might of Ali Kaida in February and appears to be looking for a new challenge. Here he will team with the unorthodox Great Toyota. Under normal circumstances, the team would be interesting to watch, but they will have their hands full with The Blood Beast. Recently, video was taken of Blood Beast taking out Great Toyota during a workout session. Beast warned that he'd be taking Toyota's soul. That can't be good for the Japanese export. Will Biker Al be able to help Toyota or will he too step in front of the juggernaut that is the Blood Beast?
In addition to all of the action, the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament is the night in which legends are celebrated. Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt and Ron Romano, mainstays of the Studio Wrestling days of Pittsburgh professional wrestling, will be honored with induction into the KSWA Hall of Fame. Members of Romano's family will be in attendance, as will Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt himself.
Because this is such a momentous and anticipated event, the KSWA has cut prices for this event. All tickets for the Joe Abby tournament are $5 each. The KSWA Joe Abby Memorial Tournament will be held this Saturday, March 26 at the Home of Professional Wrestling in Pittsburgh, the KSWA Arena, 51st Street in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh. Bell time is 7:30 p.m. Card is subject to change.