Abby Tournament Features Huge Showdown Between Big & Bigger, And Hall Of Fame Legends
March 14, 2018
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
The Joe Abby Memorial Tournament returns to the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) March 24 and the matches will be the biggest in the event’s 11-year history.
In the first semi-final contest, “Big” Mike Malachi will face off against former tag team partner, champion and friend in Jack Massacre. For 490 days, the “Wall Street Cover Boys” and “Big and Bigger” were on the top of the KSWA tag team mountain. Their reign was the second-longest in KSWA history, behind that of Lord Zoltan and Justin Sane, aka Party Gras. Since losing the straps, Malachi has turned on Massacre and the two have feuded with each other and others. This match is the first of its kind in the Abby Tournament. While they have both competed in various incarnations of the exhibition, they have never faced off one-on-one.
In the other first-round match, two KSWA Hall of Famers face off in one-on-one action inside a KSWA ring. In fact, the two Western PA legends have not faced off in singles competition for many years. The history between these two (Lord Zoltan, Class of 2012 Hall of Fame and T-Rantula, Class of 2016) is remarkable. This match, for appreciation of the sport alone, is worth the price of admission and significance of the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament.
Regardless of who moves onto the finals that night, the showdown will be remarkable. Malachi, at 293 pounds, is the smaller of the two big men. Massacre, who has gotten into thinner shape in recent months, still registers at more than 350 pounds.
In the other semi-final, the always robust Zoltan forever registers in at 222 pounds, while the giant T-Rantula tips the scales at 360 or so, depending on the biker boots.
Besides the Zoltan and T-Rantula drama, Massacre has had his problems with the Monster from Munhall. T-Rantula and Massacre have not seen eye-to-eye and Jack has found himself on the highway to Nacho City. All the while, Malachi has sat back and reminded his one-time friend of every giant misstep.
This is also a pivotal opportunity for Lord Zoltan. Ever since he and Justin Sane lost the KSWA tag team belts, Zoltan has attempted to recapture the gold. For a brief moment last summer, Zoltan held the KSWA 5-Star Championship. Zoltan has won the Joe Abby Tournament before and he knows that he’ll need all of his cunning, expertise, experience, savvy and skill with a wrench to recapture it again. Competition in the KSWA has been tougher at each and every intersection. This Abby Tournament, with its old-school, powerful punch-in-the-face appeal, is no exception.
No matter which Megastar comes out on top in this all-important showing, it will be hard-fought.
The previous Joe Abby Memorial Tournament history follows…
Through many incarnations, the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament is much like the late Studio Wrestling staple himself: diverse and adaptable.
Eleven years ago, the tournament started as a single-elimination, singles contest at the KSWA Arena on 51st Street in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh. Shawn Blanchard defeated Ali Kaida and Kris Kash defeated La Lucha in the first round; Blanchard won the tournament by besting Kash in the finals.
In 2009, Lou Martin defeated Justin Sane and Alex Arcadian beat The Blood Beast in the semis. Martin pinned Arcadian in the finals to hoist the trophy.
In 2010, Martin defeated Kash and The Latin Assassin defeated Justin Sane. The Latin Assassin then beat Martin, who was trying to repeated for the prized possession.
In 2011, Mitch Napier defeated Martin and Blanchard defeated Sane before Napier defeated Blanchard in his chance to regain Abby gold.
The next year the tournament became a tag team destination. That year, The Jester and “King” Del Douglas bested “Ice Man” Tony Johnson and Ric Rumskey and Jack Massacre and Kris Kash defeated Johnny Ax and Bobby Badfingers. The Jester and Douglas were victorious that first year.
In 2013, Ax and Badfingers returned to the Abby tag team stage and defeated The Mercenaries—“Nasty” Nick Crane and Sniper. Flash and Johnson defeated the team on Napier and Rumskey. In the finals, Flash and Johnson defeated Ax and Badfingers.
In 2014, the tournament returned to its singles roots. Lord Zoltan defeated The Bulldozer and Lou Martin defeated The Jester in the first round and with Mayor Bill Peduto in attendance, Zoltan defeated Martin in the finals. This would also signify the temporary end to the KSWA Arena.
In 2015 the tournament moved to the Teamster Temple, also in Lawrenceville. There, a “Team” concept was initiated and “Team Faime” defeated a Bobby O-less “Team O.” Tommy Faime, Douglas, Martin and Flash defeated “Iceman” Tony Johnson, Kris Kash & Kaida.
In 2016, Team Faime was once again victorious by defeating Team Starr. Faime, Badfingers, Vinnie Stone and Flash bested Shane Starr, Mike Malachi, Jack Massacre and Johnson.
When the KSWA returned to the KSWA Arena 2017, now known as Spirit on days in which wrestling isn’t on the marquee, Shawn Blanchard issued an open challenge during the Abby tournament. He was shocked to see “Double-A” Anthony Alexander return to action after 6 years away from the squared circle. Alexander defeated Blanchard and Flash defeated Starr. In the finals, Alexander defeated Flash to win the Abby tournament for the very first time.
The 11th Annual Joe Abby Memorial Tournament is Saturday, March 24 at the Spirit Hall, 242 51st Street in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh. Bell time is 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for kids. Card is subject to change.