Twelve K.S.W.A. Megastar Wrestlers To Watch In 2018
January 22, 2018
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
Reaching the pinnacle of the professional wrestling world in Pittsburgh is tough. Even tougher, some say, is staying in the Major Leagues. For nearly two years, the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) has been the oldest promotion in the city’s history. As of this year, the KSWA becomes the longest-running professional wrestling brand in Western Pennsylvania (only Quakertown’s WWWA is older). In addition, nearly 5,000 fans watched 15 KSWA events in 2017, with only more opportunities ahead in 2018. That all means that each event means more than the last for the KSWA Megastars. In no particular order, here’s a dozen wrestlers in Pittsburgh that you need to keep your eyes on.
“Flyin’” Ryan Burke
Burke is a relative newcomer to the Pittsburgh and the KSWA; however, he has a set of skills that the Krazies will love. Whether it be resilience, persistence or the ability to fly high into the Lawrenceville sky, Burke is one to watch. He was able to parlay his technique and savvy to a Battle Bowl opportunity. The KSWA Championship Committee announced that Burke will have a chance this year at the 5-Star Championship, currently held by Bob Badfingers. The 5-Star belt has been a volatile trophy, as it has changed hands quite often since its creation. Next up for Burke, a showdown with another KSWA Megastar looking forward to big things in the new year: Harley T. Morris.
“The Gavel” David Lawless
Lawless, who debuted in the KSWA in 2017 with a handful of appearances, surprised many a KSWA Krazy when he outlasted 37 other Megastars to win Battle Bowl X. Lawless, who nearly cashed in an impossible opportunity against KSWA Champion Mitch Napier last June, will have another match for the richest prize in the Commonwealth this calendar season. Lawless has really impressed the KSWA Championship Committee in his limited showings in Pittsburgh, and he brings a regional pedigree that could venture “The Gavel” into rarified air. Next up for him: a recess. Lawless won’t be at the February 17 Springdale fundraiser; however, he is smart enough to cash in his Battle Bowl contract whenever he’s good and ready.
The KSWA Championship Committee has really liked what it has seen in the 320-pound BROhemoth. His challenge of Mitch Napier’s title at Brawl Under the Bridge III was deemed the “match of the year” by the KSWA Krazies and most observers. In addition, BROhemoth’s follow up match for Pennsylvania’s most sought-after prize has reached near-legendary status. The big man had a great showing at Battle Bowl, but just missed out on the Final Four. Next up for the next big star: a match with KSWA Hall of Famer T-Rantula. This match between two 300-plus pounders will be hard-hitting and one for the Krazies to watch intently.
“The Enigma” had a successful 2017 and found tag team potential with Jack Massacre. Deveer didn’t win every match he participated in last year; however, his Millvale Days win against MV Young proved to the Krazies that the athlete from “The Other Side of Your Mind” is to be taken seriously. A decent showing at Battle Bowl X has shown the KSWA Championship Committee much. Deveer has had his disagreements with some of the KSWA Megastars, like Tommy Faime; however, he remains a Megastar on the rise. Next up: he teams with Justin Sane and “Big Country” Matt McGraw to take on “King” Del Douglas, Lord Zoltan and Zak Hunter.
T-Rantula and The Jester still have their hands full with “Team Don’t Care.” The long-time KSWA Tag Team Champions (their 400 days with the straps are the 4th longest in KSWA history, behind only Party Gras , Jack Massacre and Mike Malachi , and The International Thugs ), as still reeling from their loss. Along with the legendary veteran, The Jester have helped redefine the KSWA tag team division and lead the way to one of its strongest eras. The team will assuredly cash in their rematch clause and if that doesn’t lead to a reclamation, they will be at the top of the tag team debate for months to come. Next up for The Jester: waiting to take on Dennis Gregory and Bubba the Bulldog.
“The Face of Pittsburgh” has found himself in an unusual situation. The former 2-time KSWA Heavyweight Champion, the two-time Golden Triangle Champion, former 4-time tag team champion, former Battle Bowl Champion, Joe Abby Tournament winner and Mario Ferraro Sr. Memorial Tournament winner has been without gold for quite some time. Always ready for a fight, “Dr. Devastation” did the unthinkable and wrestled at FanFest against the legendary Rock n’ Roll Express while healing from an emergency appendectomy. He was better prepared for Battle Bowl X, but his elimination went without a Final Four slot. Next up for Martin: he and fellow VIP founder Shawn Blanchard take on foes Anthony Alexander and Shane Starr in tag team competition.
One VIP founder can’t be mentioned without the other. Shawn Blanchard is arguably the most decorated Independent wrestling champion currently competing in the United States. A former six-time KSWA World Heavyweight Champion, Blanchard has not held that championship since December 5, 2015 at the first and so-far only Championship Cavalcade. He won the Brawl Under the Bridge championship before losing it to Demolition Ax at the Hall of Famer’s last single’s match last summer. Always in the thick of the battle, Blanchard has reunited the formidable trifecta of VIP: himself, Martin and now-former Golden Triangle Champion, “Mr. Tenacity” Tommy Faime. That gaggle of champions are ready—more now than ever—for title collection. Blanchard has even talked openly about “Stairway to Seven,” a less-than-veiled reference to winning the KSWA’s top prize. Next up for Blanchard: more domination.
Now with well over 40 years of experience at every level, Lord Zoltan quietly waits for his next opportunity. The KSWA Hall of Famer’s split with former tag team championship partner Justin Sane has left the former friends fighting. The two each held with 5-Star Championship last year, and battled over the prize alongside “King” Del Douglas for much of the last half of 2017. When Zoltan turned on Sane after repeated bouts of miscommunication between the two, the “Party Gras” was over. Zoltan reignited a feud with Sane and also battled Tito Santana at FanFest. Zoltan’s exit at Battle Bowl X was really a stumble down the stairs into elimination. It was a smart move for the always-plotting veteran. Next up: he continues to try and sink Justin Sane’s wrestling career, and hopes to find himself in championship contention. A match against Golden Triangle Champion Anthony Alexander has reportedly been in the works, according to a Championship Committee leak reported by Mayor Mystery.
Yinza, the Pittsburgh Luchadore, has done a terrific job to insert himself into the 5-Star Championship discussion. That belt, currently in the possession of Bob Badfingers, is squared in the masked eyes of the industry’s tallest luchadore. The upstart has really gotten under Badfingers’ skin and the KSWA Championship Committee has reacted. In addition to that, the Krazies have really taken to the Megastar who’s filled with Pittsburgh Pride. The two have been scheduled for a series of contests, with Badfingers winning the first. Next up: the two face-off again February 17.
Another rookie that made waves in 2017 was “Big Country” Matt McGraw. The big man from Imperial, PA immediately drew the ire and fire from the VIPs upon his debut. Highlights of the first year included impressions at the MJ’s Saloon event and a near-upset of Shawn Blanchard at the Mario Ferraro Sr. Memorial Tournament last November. He was involved in the Wild Card Scramble for the 5-Star championship and later caught the attention of T-Rantula in Battle Bowl. The time for Matt McGraw’s ascension could be now. The next few months are going to determine how far the former boxer fares at the top of the Pittsburgh professional wrestling crowd. Next up: tag team action with Justin Sane and Lucio Deveer against Douglas, Zoltan and Hunter.
When an athlete enters the premier Battle Royal in the Commonwealth at #4, almost no one could have expected that Jack Massacre would be among the final four competitors. In fact, the recently fine-tuned 7-foot-tall giant nearly ran the table. When he dispatched Ryan Burke, Massacre was dispatched almost immediately thereafter by David Lawless. It was clearly the best match in the vaunted KSWA history of the former Wall Street Journal cover boy and tag team champion. Massacre has earned an opportunity for the Golden Triangle Championship, currently held by Anthony Alexander. There isn’t a Krazy who wouldn’t want to see that matchup for the city’s only singles title in any sport. Next up: Massacre intends to straight out some rumples with T-Rantula that have appeared in recent months.
The KSWA World Heavyweight Champion’s first 400-days on top of the mountain have been arguable the hardest-fought in the promotion’s now 18-year history. There isn’t a competitor that Napier hasn’t taken on with both fists. New and veteran alike, the competitors have come fast and often against Napier. The Sioux Falls, Iowa native’s reign is starting to reach epic proportions if it is to continue. Next up, Napier takes on Bubba the Bulldog for the very first time. Along with Mayor Mystery, Bubba and Dennis Gregory have already made their impact as the brand-new KSWA tag team champions. Bubba would be elated to add the KSWA Championship around his waist. He has to get by “The Best Around” to first.