Rivalries: The Crazy, Continuing Clash Between Justin Sane And Shawn Blanchard
July 14, 2019
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
Since February, 2000, the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance has hosted 265 events. Shawn Blanchard has faced Justin Sane in one shape or form 46 times since the KSWA’s second card on May 20, 2000 at the Bloomfield VFW. While that is a strong number, Blanchard’s 71 tussles with Kris Kash since 2005 is a record that cannot be broken. (Outside of his frequent battles with VIPs, Sane’s competition has been far more varied over his career.)
With the exception of 2002, Blanchard and Sane have faced off in one way or another every single calendar installment at least once. From the very first match between the VIPs versus Sane and The Great Toyota in Bloomfield for the KSWA tag team champions to March 30, 2019’s VIPs tag team title defense over Sane and The Jester in Lawrenceville, Blanchard and his second most infamous foe have battled all over.
Sane was one of the first Megastars to challenge Blanchard in his first reign as KSWA Heavyweight Champion in 2001. Sane defeated Blanchard for the Tri-State Title at the KSWA Arena in 2004. In 2006, Blanchard successfully defended the Commonwealth’s most coveted title against Sane three times. They matched up on opposite sides of the ring for the Captain’s Series in 2207 and Blanchard once again defeated Sane for the KSWA title in for the second year in a row at Millvale Days.
Whether it be in singles competition or tag team showdowns, the VIPs often got the duke over Sane and various partners. Blanchard also defended Sane in Lower Burrell for the first time in 2008.
In 2009 Sane got a win over Blanchard by disqualification, but later in that same year Blanchard successfully defended the KSWA Heavyweight Championship over Justin in the group’s only stop in Ross Township for a Diabetes fundraiser.
In 2010, Sane, Kris Kash and Shane Starr defeated the VIPs and then newcomer Lord Zoltan in an Ultimate Survivor match. In 2011, Sane and Blanchard would lock up in one form or another nine times. The most telling of that year was Sane, Kris Kash and Shane Starr winning over the VIPs (Blanchard, Martin, and then-members Drew Belanger and J.P. Goulet) when Lord Zoltan turned on his then-friends. That set up the July 2, 2011 debut of tag team winning champions Party Gras (Sane and Zoltan). That pairing would inject life into Sane’s career like never before, or since. (Zoltan would enjoy a late-career renaissance that lead him to the KSWA Hall of Fame as a result.)
While Blanchard has always boasted an extraordinary singles win/loss record over Sane (17 wins v. six losses), Justin did score a win at the Clash Against Cancer event in September, 2011. A week later, Blanchard returned to his winning ways.
Buoyed by the success of Party Gras, Sane and Zoltan defeated Blanchard and whatever partner he paired himself, whether it be Martin or “Nasty” Nick Crane. Party Gras and Bushwacker Luke defeated Blanchard, The Jester and “King” Del Douglas in Luke’s only appearance for the KSWA in 2012.
In 2013, the VIPs defeated KSWA Owner Bobby O, Kris Kash, Shane Starr and Sane at the KSWA Arena in the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament team-up of that year. Blanchard defeated Sane in one-on-one competition in both Lawrenceville, Millvale and Sharpsburg during the Mario Ferraro Memorial Tournament of that fall, but lost with the VIPs faced Party Gras.
In 2014, the tandem faced off only once, with Blanchard once again besting Sane, this time at Sharpsburg’s Linden Hall.
In 2015, Blanchard successfully defended the KSWA Heavyweight title three times against Sane, twice in Lawrenceville and once in Sharpsburg.
The next year, there were no one-on-one contests between the men as Party Gras beat the VIPs in successive months from September through November.
The year 2017 saw a split between Party Gras and the VIPs in two contests and in 2018, Sane once again teamed up with Anthony Alexander (a one-time semi-frequent tag team partner a decade earlier) for a win at Arsenal Park.
As noted earlier, Sane and The Jester were unsuccessful in unseating Blanchard and Martin for the tag team championships, but that sets up July 20 where Blanchard and Sane face off once again at Brawl Under the Bridge 5. This year’s installment of the summer spectacular has the added bonus of KSWA Hall of Famer James J. Dillon in his protégé’s corner.
Both Megastars are looking forward to the next chapter in this long-running rivalry.