FanFest Comes Home: The Commonwealth's Most Prestigious Title Is Defended Against Biggest Opponent On Largest Stage
November 27, 2017
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
The Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) returns to 51st Street in Lawrenceville for FanFest for the first time since December 7, 2013. That’s when Shane Starr defeated “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin for the richest prize in Pennsylvania in front of a large KSWA Arena crowd. The KSWA would move FanFest/Toy Drive to the Teamster Temple on Butler Street for the next two years.
Now, the most important Independent Wrestling card of the Holiday Season returns to what is now Spirit Hall. While many fans will be excited to see the Rock n’ Roll Express v. the VIPs, and Tito Santana take on Lord Zoltan, KSWA Krazies will be on the edge of their seats for the rematch between challenger BROhemoth and the KSWA Heavyweight Champion Mitch Napier.
Since winning the KSWA Heavyweight Championship for the second time at a FanFest, Mitch Napier has been arguably its most fighting champion. Napier has defeated Jay Flash, Bob Badfingers (twice), Lou Martin (twice), Dennis Gregory, David Lawless, Shawn Blanchard, BROhemoth, Mike Malachi, Harley T. Morris (twice) and Shane Starr. That’s 13 title defenses in the calendar yet, an unprecedented schedule and success rate.
On July 22 at Brawl Under The Bridge III, and in front of 600 Krazies, Napier hoisted BROhemoth off of the canvas and down for the Sioux Falls Slam. When “The Best Around” lifted the 330-pounder off the mat, an audible gasp shook the steel beams that hold up the Homestead Grays Bridge. When Napier scored the pin, the Krazies were beside themselves.
BROhemoth hasn’t been around the KSWA much since that time, but he has made significant impact whenever he arrives. In fact, BROhemoth was not part of a KSWA card until October 7 when he and a debuting Marcus Knight took on Kris Kash and Shane Starr in tag team competition. BRO and Knight have tagged in regional promotions, so their chemistry was tight; however, not as much as the Lost Boys. Kash and Starr were victorious, but not without a hard-fought battle.
Later in the evening, as Napier and “Big Country” Matt McGraw were taking on the VIPs, BROhemoth returned, unannounced to the squared circle. The big man waited until Shawn Blanchard and Lou Martin isolated McGraw, then he struck. He attacked Napier, causing a first-round of rib injuries. For a while it was unclear whether Napier was going to make the Sharpsburg VFD fundraiser on November 11. He did and took on a game Shane Starr, who cashed in his Battle Bowl contract for the KSWA Heavyweight Championship.
After Napier was taken to the brink by Starr, but retained, BROhemoth raced to the ring and speared both Megastars. Earlier in the evening, BROhemoth had defeated up-and-coming youngster Gino Slice in one-on-one competition. Slice had hoped to get some offense in against the bruising BROhemoth, but his beat down ended in 3:00.
BROhemoth attacked Napier and once again targeted the ribs. Following the assault, Napier raced to see KSWA Owner Bobby O, who was hesitant to let Mitch challenge BRO at the biggest event of the calendar year, FanFest. In fact, Bobby O is uncertain that Napier will heal anytime soon, let alone before a capacity crowd at the pinnacle event of the year.
BROhemoth responded to news of Napier’s request in competitive stride. He said that he took Mitch out, not once, but twice. He also said he’s ready to be the “new champ.”
Napier first one KSWA Heavyweight gold at the KSWA Arena and FanFest in December, 2011 and returned to the mountaintop at last year’s event at the Teamster Temple. He hopes to retain as the most successful champion the KSWA has had in many years.
But standing before him is the biggest challenge to date, and with bruised ribs to boot.
KSWA FanFest is Saturday, December 2 at Spirit Hall in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh.