The KSWA Spirit Evolves: Battle Bowl, Mayor Mystery And Lord Zoltan Debut As Arena History Continues
May 20, 2016
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
(KSWA Wrestling returns to the Lawrenceville Moose--now called "Spirit" Lounge--on Saturday, May 28. This is the third is a series of features detailing the most vaunted home for professional wrestling in Pittsburgh since Television Hill and Studio Wrestling.)
In 2009 the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) was firmly anchored as Pittsburgh’s professional wrestling organization, with nine events scheduled at the Arena. There was an unprecedented nine shows away from 51st Street as well.
In January, Battle Bowl debuted. An over the top rope extravaganza, the Megastars positioned themselves not only for the bragging rights of a win, they also received opportunities for title shots throughout the year. Shawn Blanchard won the Battle Bowl and an opportunity at the KSWA World Title. Ali Kaida came in third and Lou Martin second. As per chances at titles, Martin had a tag team opportunity with a partner of his choice. Ali Kaida went after the Golden Triangle Championship.
On February 21, 2009, Ali Kaida defeated La Lucha for the Golden Triangle title, on July 11, Blanchard beat Anthony Alexander for the KSWA title, and on August 29, Martin and Shane Starr bested the Latin Assassin and Blood Beast for the tag titles. The completed the very first sweep of title opportunities stemming from Battle Bowl and all three title changes occurred at the KSWA Arena.
The Joe Abby Memorial Tournament in 2009 featured the first Hall of Fame induction of an active wrestler. Demolition Ax, born Bill Eadie in Brownsville, PA, became only the third member of the de facto Pittsburgh Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. His lone induction in 2009 remains the only “one person” induction class in KSWA history. On that March 28 event, Demolition Ax lost to Shawn Blanchard.
It was in October that Demolition Ax brought Smash with him to face Blanchard and Martin. More than 350 fans packed the Arena to witness Demolition defeated the VIPs and win the KSWA Tag Team Titles. The duo received a standing ovation from the Krazies when they came to the ring, as well as when they left as champions.
Also on August 29, 2009 the legendary Lord Zoltan made his first-ever KSWA Arena appearance. The long-time pro wrestling standby first joined Pittsburgh’s wrestling organization on July 3 at an Arsenal Park event. But it was two months later when he debuted at the former Moose. It’s interesting to note that his first match was against Justin Sane, who later became the other half of “Party Gras,” the record-shattering tag team champions.
Lord Zoltan soon made the KSWA, and the Arena, his in-ring home. Certainly the popular wrestler continued to travel around Pennsylvania, the east coast and beyond, but it soon became common knowledge that the KSWA was base of operation.
It was around this time that the shift manager Mayor Mystery, the “Mayor of Parts Unknown” would materialize out of the ether and found himself at Lord Zoltan’s devious side. The two wreaked havoc together for a little while.
In his own right, Mayor Mystery was a force to be reckoned with. Known as a trouble-maker, Mayor Mystery confounded observers by being one of the most successful managers of professional wrestlers the Commonwealth had ever seen. He continued to make friends, and enemies, along the way. He would repeatedly dupe KSWA Kommissioner Joe Perri and oftentimes got around KSWA Bobby O by finding a sympathetic ear within the KSWA Championship Committee. Within a few short years, Mayor Mystery made himself the most successful manager of Megastars of all time.
FanFest 2009 featured a match between Frank Durso and Dominic DeNucci. It was later discovered that the match featured the two oldest wrestlers to face off against one another in the recorded history of professional wrestling, and it occurred at the KSWA Arena. Durso was 72 years, 10 months and five days old, while DeNucci was 77 years, 10 months and 12 days old, for a combined 149 years of age. Durso was victorious, albeit by trickery.
The next year, 2010 was a historic marker for the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance, as it celebrated its 10th anniversary and fifth at the Arena.