July 25, 2011
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
The kid, who had to be around 8 years old, immediately stopped crying. As soon as he was told that there were professional wrestlers from Pittsburgh a few feet away, the waterworks stopped. He raced over to the table, his father in tow, toward some of the KSWA Megastars. Moments later, the youngster was wearing Bobby Badfinger's Golden Triangle Championship around his waist.
A new KSWA Krazy enters the fold.
One of the best things about representing the business of professional wrestling on the local scene is the accessibility of it all. Sure, many aspire to be with the “major league” federation and that company gets the lion's share of the attention, popularity and scrutiny. But if that group falters or slides (or heaven bid...collapses) the entire industry would be turned on its head. But sometimes unimaginable success can lead to inaccessibility. Luckily, there are professionals without all of the pomp and sophisticated machinery who make themselves available.
And many a kid went home happy.
KSWA Megastars, including Badfingers, his sometime tag team partner The Blood Beast, as well as the VIP's Lou Martin and Shawn Blanchard, joined Ring Announcer Trapper Tom and KSWA Owner Bobby O for an autograph session at Parkway Center Mall in Pittsburgh on Saturday, July 23.
Wrestling fans of all ages, creeds, colors and religions stopped to have their pictures taken with Martin and Blanchard, who despite being the villainous VIP's—occasionally have a soft spot for the young Krazies.
For many kids, wearing the Golden Triangle Champion was the first time they've ever had a championship around their waist. They loved every minute of it.
The thing is, for these events, the KSWA Megastars do not get paid. The KSWA Megastars don't sell autographs and/or pictures. It's about giving back to the fans and piquing their interest to attend an event at the Home of Professional Wrestling in Pittsburgh, the KSWA Arena (or to one of the fundraisers we provide for needy causes). Some wrestlers (particularly “legends”) do receive a stipend of some for autograph signings and there's nothing wrong with that, especially when a guy sustains his livelihood and travels a great distance, but others just to simply give back to the wrestling fans.
Watching a kid “light up” is well worth it.
People raved about how much fun they had, just conversing with professionals on the local level. From the guy who offered to help transport the ring just to be involved to the tweener who wants to be a female wrestler to the grocery store stock clerk who “always wanted to be a wrestler,” we hear all the stories (that's why we always encourage people to work hard...someone wants your “spot” yesterday). People are passionate about it and with good cause.
Not all of the visitors were new Krazies. Some recognized Lord Zoltan on the flyer for the August 13 show, some knew of “The Enforcer” Shawn Blanchard, some saw us at Deaf Wrestlefest or are friends on Facebook. One fan remembered that Ax and Smash—Demolition—came to the KSWA Arena (and won the KSWA tag team championship).
But there's always a new fan, a new Krazy to embrace. And we are there for them!