A Comparison: The Keystone State's Most Coveted Title And The 10-Pounds Of Gold
September 28, 2019
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
As professional wrestling enters the fall season of 2019, it’s an interesting time to compare and contrast two of the industry’s most coveted singles titles.
Dennis Gregory has been the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) Heavyweight Championship since FanFest, 2018. That’s the same day that Nick Aldis defended the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship in the Steel City against Shawn Blanchard.
Since that time, both champions have defended their championships successfully. As of this writing, September 27, 2019 Gregory has defended his ultimate Keystone championship 13 times, and Aldis has held onto the oldest (1948) wrestling championship in the United States at 12.
In his first defense of 2019 at Battle Bowl XI, on January 5 at Spirit Hall in the Lawrenceville section of the city of Pittsburgh, KSWA Heavyweight Champion Dennis Gregory defeated the most-recent titleholder, "The Gavel" David Lawless. Gregory got the win at FanFest without pinning Lawless one month prior, so the men were eager for this matchup.
On February 16, at Spirit Hall, Gregory defeated the “BROnomaly,” BROhemoth during the KSWA’s 19th Anniversary event. Conversely, BROhemoth was a constant challenger to Mitch Napier during his long reign.
At the 12th Annual Joe Abby Memorial Tournament on March 30, Gregory defeated another former KSWA Heavyweight Champion Mitch Napier on one of the biggest nights of the year in Pittsburgh professional wrestling. The match was featured one of the KSWA’s most successful champions in the promotion’s history and one of the most decorated champions in Independent wrestling within the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
April 6, at Langley American Legion Post #496, Mayor Mystery’s man successfully won in a rematch against the formidable and KSWA Championship Committee favorite, BROhemoth.
Later that month on April 26 at the McGhee Fieldhouse in Springdale, PA, the KSWA Champion bested the returning and former multi-time champion J-Ru at a Jr.-Sr. High School band fundraiser.
In another match against another former KSWA Champion, Gregory defeated the popular Kris Kash on May 4, at Spirit Hall.
On June 22 at Spirit Hall, KSWA Champion Dennis Gregory defended against the 400-pound “Stone Age Savage” that is The Beastman.
In a rematch from the month prior, on July 20, at Brawl Under the Bridge 5 in Homestead, PA, Gregory once again defeated the Beast Man. The match was held in front of the largest crowd, so far, of the KSWA year at around 600. [Editor’s note: Just like FanFest, 2018, James J. Dillon was on the card.]
At Langley American Legion Post #496 in the Sheraden neighborhood of the city of Pittsburgh, Gregory defeated Shane Starr in the main event. On the August 10opening contest, Starr had won the opportunity by winning the inaugural Tim Moore Memorial Battle Royal.
In a powerhouse matchup, Gregory faced off and defeated one of the Megastars closest to his own size in The Prime-Time Player and former KSWA Champion Anthony Alexander at Cribbs Field in Battle of the Borough II in Verona, PA.
On August 31, the KSWA returned to Spirit Hall with Gregory defending against Pittsburgh’s neighborhood masked luchadore, Yinza. The successful defense was his 11th in eight months.
The first night of the 15th annual Millvale Days Celebration showcased Gregory against former KSWA Champion Shane Starr on September 13. The match was a barn-burner in front of the largest Friday night event in the history of Millvale Days.
Gregory defended against long-time veteran Justin Sane on the second day of Millvale Days, September 14. The match was interesting because Sane had been surging to success in recent months; however, he ran into the buzz saw that is the KSWA Champion.
In the first defense of 2019 at Battle Bowl XI, on January 5 at Spirit Hall, KSWA Heavyweight Champion Dennis Gregory defeated the most-recent titleholder, "The Gavel" David Lawless.
Aldis, who is now preparing to defend the 10-pounds of gold against former champion Tim Storm when NWA television returns (at the time of this writing, rumored to be on a streaming online service), had a busier first half of 2019 (some records are sketchy, so only the matches that we can verify on wrestling-titles.com, wrestlingdata.com, and various other deep online searches to be explained below). Contrast that to his last month of 2018, where Aldis defended the NWA title six times in December, after KSWA’s final event of the season on December 1.
The first challenge on the new year saw Aldis take on “Cowboy” James Storm (no relation to Tim) on January 5 in Clarksville, Tennessee. Aldis was victorious in this showdown.
A week later on January 12, Aldis defeated P.J. Black in Atlanta, Georgia. That match, like Aldis’ defense in Pittsburgh, was the first in that city since the early 90’s (Atlanta, 1993, Pittsburgh, 1990). The match was featured on Ring of Honor television, where Aldis had corporate backing.
In February, Aldis defended against Shane Strickland in Ironton, Ohio, a town nearly five hours away from Pittsburgh and also along the Ohio River. Aldis won by submission in front of a crowd of 468 according to FTC Wrestling, which promoted the match.
On March 2, Aldis successfully defended against Pittsburgh native Façade (along with manager Dani) in Julian, WV. The match doesn’t show up on any database; however, Façade promoted the match with a video. When messaged about the match, neither Façade nor Aldis responded with any information. [Editor’s note: it is possible that like this match, Aldis might have defended in other matches with no recorded results whatsoever.]
A week later, on March 9 in Moscow Mills, Missouri, Aldis defended against Leland Race, the son of former legendary NWA champion Harley Race for World League Wrestling. This outing was important to Aldis, who was trained in-part by the legendary former eight-time NWA Champion.
On March 31 in Concord, New Hampshire, Aldis defended against “Master of Mayhem” Tommy Mack with a card featuring Tony Atlas and Billy Gunn. [Editor’s note: Many of the bigger cards featured Aldis as well as other familiar, corporate-backed “names” on cards.]
In Columbus, Ohio on April 14, the title defense against former NWA Champion Colt Cabana, featured on Ring of Honor, was a loss by disqualification. That match had a Pittsburgh flare as the ring announcer was up and coming talent Nick Lendl.
A highly-publicized Ring of Honor contest had Aldis defend against and defeat Marty Scurll on April 27 as part of the reborn Ring of Honor/NWA Crockett Cup.
In June, Aldis returned to his native England for a defense against Brad Slayer. The June 2 contest was similar to others last year when Aldis took the 10-pounds of gold abroad.
On July 13, Aldis returned to the states and defended a wrestler named Dirty Money in Joppa, Maryland. It was also the first time since April that Aldis defended twice in a month, when he defeated The Monster “Crater,” Europe’s largest wrestler billed at 36 stones (504 pounds), in Salford, England.
On July 24, it was announced that Ring of Honor television and the NWA had “abruptly” ended their partnership. The TV outlet had showcased the NWA title and Aldis often over its own brand and champion throughout 2019. Meanwhile, the popular “Ten Pounds of Gold” series continue to run from time-to-time online.
On September 14, Aldis traveled to Mesa, Arizona to defend and defeat Peter Avalon, who had previously feuded with former NWA Champion Tim Storm. That match was featured on Championship Wrestling from Arizona, a division of the West Coast popular Championship Wrestling from Hollywood banner that was instrumental in helping to bringing the NWA Championship to prominence.
Next up for both wrestlers: Aldis defends the NWA title against Tim Storm, while Dennis Gregory defends against Harley T. Morris on Saturday, September 28.