Aldis To Defend "Ten Pounds Of Gold" At KSWA FanFest In Pittsburgh Against One Of Indy Wrestling's Most Decorated Champions
November 12, 2018
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
For the very first time, the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship will be defended at the premier year-end Holiday spectacular on the East Coast. On Saturday, December 1, reigning and defending, two-time NWA Champion Nick Aldis defends against Independent Professional Wrestling’s most decorated veteran, Shawn Blanchard.
The NWA title, known respectfully as the “10 Pounds of Gold,” is the oldest professional wrestling heavyweight title in the sport. First recognized in 1948, the first champion to hold the belt was Orville Brown. Lou Thesz was the NWA’s second world champion in 1949, awarded the title after Brown was involved in an automobile accident. (Thesz first defended the NWA Championship in Pittsburgh on April 10, 1950 by defeating Enrique Torres.) From Dory Funk Jr. to Dusty Rhodes to Harley Race, Ric Flair and others, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship would become the most valued belt in the industry.
In recent years, the NWA belt would change hands frequently, but school teacher-turned-champion Tim Storm was instrumental in bringing the title back to prominence. Plus, the NWA would be purchased by William Patrick Corgan in 2017, and its time in the spotlight returned. Nick Aldis defeated Storm for the title on December 9, 2017 and took the championship on the “Aldis Crusade.”
Beginning in January, Aldis took on all comers, from onetime Western Pennsylvania independent hand James Ellsworth in California to the “Crusade” throughout England. He successfully defended the title 20 times in 60 days. Aldis turned to the United States and took on multiple challengers throughout 2018. He successfully defended against former NWA Champion Colt Cabana, Hardcore legend Tommy Dreamer and others.
On May 5, Aldis successfully defended against Pittsburgh’s own Sam Adonis in Chicago. In July, the “Aldis Crusade” made its way to Australia, where Aldis was successful in defending the title four times. All over the world Aldis has faced a number of top challengers, including Flip Gordon in Nashville.
But along the way, Aldis and Cody faced off and challenged one another for an NWA Heavyweight Championship Match at “All In,” the historic wrestling showcase in Chicago. On September 1, Cody defeated Aldis and became the NWA Heavyweight Champion. With it, Cody joined his father Dusty Rhodes as the only father/son duo to hold that prestigious title. Dusty won the title three times, the first back in 1979.
The rematch took place at the NWA’s 70th Anniversary event in Nashville. There Aldis proudly recaptured the “Ten Pounds of Gold.”
Now, Aldis is set to defend the title against Independent Professional Wrestling’s most decorated veteran, Shawn Blanchard.
Blanchard is a six-time former KSWA Heavyweight Champion, a former three-time tag team champion (with Lou Martin), and a former Brawl Under the Bridge Champion. He has also held regional championships in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. A 20-year veteran, Blanchard has gone to war with Demolition Ax and the Demolition tag team, Billy Gunn, The Rock n’ Roll Express, Larry Zbyszko, Bushwacker Luke, Jock Sampson, T-Rantula and Lord Zoltan (among others). In 2012, Blanchard and Lord Zoltan were defeated by Shane Douglas and Dominic DeNucci (with Bruno Sammartino in their corner) at Wrestle Reunion 8 in Toronto, Canada.
There’s even more to this contest than a battle over the prized NWA “Ten Pounds of Gold.” Blanchard was influenced at an early age by former NWA Heavyweight Champion Harley Race. In contrast, Aldis received his professional wrestling training at Harley Race’s Wrestling Academy.
While Blanchard treasures his time as the most successful KSWA Heavyweight Champion, he also sees this opportunity to add to his already-cemented legacy. A match against Aldis, over the most prized Internationally-recognized world championship, would be a highlight of an already-stacked FanFest.
Blanchard’s ambitions have encouraged him to reach out and gain the support of his personal manager at major events, James J. Dillon. Dillon, a 2015 KSWA Hall of Famer, was in Blanchard’s corner when Shawn won the KSWA Heavyweight Championship for a record-extending sixth time on March 28, 2015.
KSWA FanFest/Toy Drive has been in existence since 2005. Thousands of toys have been donated by fans for needy children in Allegheny County through the Holiday Project. KSWA FanFest will once again sell-out as the event has become the largest spectacular of its kind on the East Coast. Fans are urged to buy tickets in advance. KSWA FanFest/Toy Drive is Saturday, December 1 at Spirit Hall, 242 51st Street in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh. For more information, go to kswa.net or call 412-726-1762. Bell time is 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for ringside, $10 for adults, $8 for kids. Card is subject to change.