Prestigious Joe Abby Memorial Tournament Match Enters 12th Year With Veteran And Other Megastars Looking For Opportunity
March 22, 2019
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
By all accounts, the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance’s Joe Abby Memorial Night is the most prestigious and important of its kind in any year’s early months. The match, sometimes a single’s match, sometimes a tag team tournament, sometimes a one-night, single-elimination tournament, is as versatile as the iconic wrestler that bears its name.
Joe Abby was a Pittsburgh-based professional wrestler who’s 20-year-career featured him taking on anyone and everyone who hit the squared circle during the area’s famed “Studio Wrestling” banner and beyond. Whether he was Abby, “Killer” Joe Abby, or the devious “Red Demon,” the wrestler made his mark to this very day.
KSWA Megastars Shawn Blanchard, Lou Martin, The Latin Assassin, Mitch Napier, “King” Del Douglas and The Jester, “Ice Man” Tony Johnson and Jay Flash, Lord Zoltan, the team of Tommy Faime, Jay Flash, Douglas and Martin, the team of Vinnie Stone, Bobby Badfingers, Faime and Flash, Anthony Alexander and “Big” Mike Malachi hoist the coveted trophy at the end of the night.
Over the years, the matches themselves have featured appearances from such Megastars as La Lucha, Alex Arcadian, Ric Rumsky, Bulldozer and Kaida. In 2014, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto celebrated Lord Zoltan’s win in the ring. In 2017, “Double-A” Anthony Alexander shocked the KSWA landscape when he returned to Pittsburgh wrestling after a lengthy, six-year absence. He toppled Shawn Blanchard on his way to holding the Abby mantle.
This year, the traditional 4-man, single-elimination concept (7 of the 11 events have featured this bracket) is back for the third year in a row. The field is an opportunistic mix of one veteran and new combatants. “The Face of Pittsburgh” Lou Martin will take place in his sixth Joe Abby Memorial Match. He has won individually (2009), and been on the winning team of another (2015).
All of the others are fresh faces—BROhemoth, “The Gavel” David Lawless, and Yinza—to the tourney. Like Martin, Lawless is the only other former KSWA World Champion in the match.
BROhemoth and Yinza each bring an electricity to the contest. At the KSWA’s 19th anniversary event, Lawless and Mitch Napier tore Spirit Hall down with what many are calling the early year’s “best match of year.” “The Gavel” is still hungry for KSWA Championship gold, and the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament has helped catapult wrestlers in that direction.
BROhemoth recently challenged current KSWA Heavyweight Champion Dennis Gregory to a hard-hitting, physical matchup. The “Bronamaly” didn’t quite muster a win; however, he has always had the attention of the KSWA Championship Committee since his debut in the Steel City.
The charismatic Yinza is one of the most improved wrestlers with less-than-five-years-experience on the most exclusive roster in Independent wrestling. Forever powered by the positivity of the Krazies, Yinza has been in a lengthy and yet-unresolved battled with Lou Martin. Could the next chapter of their battle take place at the Spring Sport Showcase?
One can only find out what will take place at the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament by attending this beloved Pittsburgh tradition. The KSWA Joe Abby Memorial Tournament and Hall of Fame Night is Saturday, March 30 at Spirit Hall, 242 51st Street in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh. Veteran grappler Preston Steele has been announced as the first inductee into the KSWA Hall of Fame. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., bell time is 7:00 p.m. Ringside tickets are $12, and general admission for all other tickets are just $10. Got to Kswa.net for more information, or call 412-726-1762 for information on how you can buy tickets before the doors open. Card is subject to change.