Top 10 Moments of 2017: #8--Pittsburgh Wrestling Returns Home To 51st Street, Celebrates 100th Event At Historic Arena
December 31, 2017
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
Not long after FanFest 2016, the Owner of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance, Bobby O, announced in a video, that the KSWA was returning "home" to 51st Street in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh. After 20 events in 2014-2016 (not counting an occasional event before that), the KSWA and staff of the Teamster Temple decided to go in a different direction.
After a search that included various Lawrenceville-area spots, it was decided that the KSWA would return to the former Moose Lodge near the corner of 51st and Butler Street. Now an entrepreneur-led company, Spirit gladly and enthusiastically re-opened its doors (where the KSWA had initially returned for a May, 2016 appearance).
A slate of eight events were inked for 2017, including Battle Bowl IX. The relationship ended up being an unprecedented success for both the KSWA, as well as the Spirit Hall proprietors. As had been the case for a decade at "the Arena," Krazies once again gathered deep in the back of the venue to grab a PBR (as once noted in Pittsburgh Magazine) and enjoy professional wrestling "The Way You Like It."
Long-time fans had returned, and newer Krazies appeared in staggering numbers. From about 2009 to 2014, Krazies packed the KSWA Arena in ever-impressive numbers. The move to the Teamster Temple changed some fan behavior, but a return to 51st Street energized the fan base.
On September 9, 2017, the KSWA recognized the 100th event held at the wrestling hall on 51st Street (there have been 231 total in 17 years). The first KSWA event at what was then the Lawrenceville Moose was on August 14, 2004.
The KSWA Arena has been Pittsburgh's most commemorated and important professional wrestling venue since WIIC's Studio Wrestling. It welcomed Demolition Ax in 2008, George "The Animal" Steele in 2011, Bruno Sammartino's last independent wrestling appearance in 2012 and where Nick Busick returned to a wrestling ring after beating esophageal cancer in 2016. It's been where dozens of KSWA titles have changed hands and countless memories made.
In 2018, the KSWA continues its legacy as it becomes not only Pittsburgh's most tenured professional wrestling organization, it becomes Western Pennsylvania's longest-running organization.