The Top 10 Notes Of 2018: Numbers 6-1
December 31, 2018
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
The Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) had a little something for everyone in 2018. Some 24 events, record-breaking attendance for Battle Bowl, and blockbuster turnouts for many Spirit Hall and other venues. Brawl Under The Bridge IV conservatively drew 800 and FanFest once again sold out (every year since 2010). Enjoy the top 6 highlights of the year.
6. The KSWA Hall of Fame
The KSWA Hall of Fame is the longest-running, continuous Independent Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in the state of Pennsylvania, and arguably the country. This year during the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament, a group of new inductees were installed. Pittsburgh’s own Cody Michaels, who excelled as a student of Dominic DeNucci’s (Class of 2010), a wrestler and producer, was inducted by DeNucci himself. Michaels was welcomed alongside (posthumously) his long-time friend, manager, wrestler and referee Brian Hildebrand. In addition, DeNucci’s HOF classmate, Donna Christianello’s niece Angie Minnelli was welcomed as only the second woman inducted into the KSWA Hall of Fame. And in what has become an annual surprise, an unexpecting member of Pittsburgh’s professional wrestling family was inducted. This time it was one-time wrestler, long-time friend of Hildebrand, and Western Pennsylvania’s senior official Shawn Patrick.
5. The 5-Star Championship
The KSWA’s most “fluid” belt, Bobby Badfingers entered 2018 as the 5-Star Champion. An unexpected diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease made him vacate the title on March 24. There is was won by The Jester in a match with “Flyin’” Ryan Burke, who had won the opportunity at Battle Bowl. It was the first time that The Jester had held that title since 2014. On July 21 at Brawl Under the Bridge IV, The Jester was pinned for the belt by Bubba the Bulldog. Since that time, Bubba has taken on all comers, whether he liked it or not. One of those defenses came at Millvale Days when Mitch Napier rode a blaring borough fire truck to the ring. Bubba’s title reign sees no end, as his manager Mayor Mystery has even approved an “Open Challenge” match to start 2019 at Battle Bowl Eleven. Confidence runs strong with Bubba.
4. The KSWA Tag Team Championship
At last year’s Battle Bowl on January 6, Bubba the Bulldog and Dennis Gregory defeated long-time champions The Jester and T-Rantula for the tag team straps. They successfully defended and worked in single’s matches until August 11 when Kris Kash and Shane Starr won the belts. Since that time, the Lost Boyz have defended the Commonwealth’s most coveted tag team championships numerous times against teams such as Team 12 Gauge as well as various versions of the VIPs. Kash and Starr have been hard-fighting champions who have not back down from anyone. In fact, Kash has jumped off of moving trucks and school buses in his passion to hold onto those 10-pounds of gold.
3. Golden Triangle Championship
Anthony Alexander one the Golden Triangle Championship on December 2, 2017 and held onto the city’s premier professional wrestling title throughout all of 2018. Even when the KSWA Championship wasn’t being defended, Alexander headlined. In the end, no Megastar defended their championship more often than Double-A in the 2018 calendar year. Whether it be Zak Hunter or Harley T. Morris, Jay Flash or any of the VIPs, Alexander was victorious in the end. His battle with Sam Adonis at FanFest ended in controversial fashion with Adonis not making his way back to the ring following a fight on the outside, but Alexander stood strong and proud in the end. What 2019 brings the former multi-time champion is anyone’s guess. But one thing is for sure, Anthony Alexander will be ready.
2. Brawl Under The Bridge IV
Conservative amounts say that just over 800 fans gathered for Brawl Under the Bridge IV in Homestead. It’s where Sam Adonis debuted with Pittsburgh’s professional wrestling organization and it’s where the Rock n’ Roll Express returned. The promotion, which gets bigger and better with every installment, has become the highlight of the summer for wrestling fans everywhere. In addition to those highpoints, the Main Event for the Brawl Under The Bridge Title was the most exhilarating. The ladder match, which was won by Lucio Deveer, is considered by many fans to be the KSWA “Match of the Year.”
1. The KSWA Heavyweight Championship
Even with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship barnstorming through Pittsburgh at FanFest, no title reign was more titular or appreciable than the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) Heavyweight Championship. There’s no arguing that the NWA Championship traveled throughout the United States and Europe, but not once did it carry the weight of a promotion, a city or a Commonwealth like Pennsylvania’s most recognized brand. Heroically, Mitch Napier began the year as its champion and he fearlessly defended against 13 opponents during 8 matches within seven months in six different towns and two counties. He battled under no one else’s banner, except for the state’s second-largest city. When “The Gavel” David Lawless, Esquire—with the help of the VIPs—pinned Napier for the KSWA Championship, the KSWA’s most successful championship reign was over. Since that time, Lawless defended against eight challengers in seven matches over four months in two counties. At the conclusion of the year at FanFest on December 1, Dennis Gregory unseated Lawless in a Triple Threat Match that also included Napier. The year 2019 will be unprecedented in the KSWA, and Gregory will be the standard bearer moving forward.