Inaugural Event At First Home Featured "Big" Debut, Tag Team Tournament Win, Future Hall Of Famers And More 20 Years Ago

May 20, 2020
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest

The city of Pittsburgh’s longest-running and Western Pennsylvania’s most consistently-continuous professional wrestling promotion had to start somewhere. In February, 2000, the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) officially began its historic run. On Saturday, May 20, 2000 the group hosted its second event in what was to become its first home: The Bloomfield V.F.W.

Event day was a beautiful, 68-day day with only a few scattered rain drops in the forecast (the day prior was flush with rain). A brand-new Dodge Neon cost $10,599, steel beams were being put in place at what would become Heinz Field, and leftfielder Brian Giles was celebrating his freshly-inked, 5-year, $45-million deal with the third-place National League Central Pittsburgh Pirates.

Before nearly 200 fans at “May2 Massacre,” to benefit Lawrenceville Youth Football, “The Enforcer” Shawn Blanchard & “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin defeated The Great Toyota & Justin Sane to win the K.S.W.A. Tag Team Titles as part of a tag team tournament. The win officially began their reign of the most successful tag team in the city’s long and glorious history. (Blanchard and Martin would continue to tag together for many years and hold KSWA tag team gold six times, five times together). The team, which formally formed in 1999 for a KSWA predecessor, disbanded in December, 2019.

"The Lord of the North" Kingdom James pinned veteran "Nasty" Nick Crane. Crane would work early KSWA events before returning years later as part of the tag team championship-winning “Mercenaries.” Crane’s career became one that earned him a spot in Independent Professional Wrestling’s most exclusive and vaunted Hall of Fame, in 2019.

Early-KSWA staple "The Misfit" Jeff Lockhart pinned future World Champion La Lucha. Both wrestlers played key roles in the KSWA’s infancy. Five years later, La Lucha became the organization’s most popular wrestler, found a spot on the Pittsburgh City Paper’s front cover and earned what was soon becoming the Commonwealth’s most prestigious singles title—the KSWA World Championship.

In his inaugural title defense, new KSWA Heavyweight Champion Skippy Hawk defeated "Mr. Tenacity" Tommy Faime, via disqualification to retain title. As years rolled on, Faime would come in and out of the KSWA, but earned the KSWA Heavyweight Championship, tag team gold, partial ownership and frequent membership in the VIPs. Faime was inducted into the KSWA Hall of Fame in 2012.

The KSWA’s original giant, “Big” Mike Malachi defeated Soul Fighter, via disqualification. Soul Fighter wrestled in some of the KSWA’s earliest events, but did not have the same staying power as the “Irish Bear.” Malachi wrestled in the KSWA for many years before retiring as part of a stipulation. In 2014, after a lengthy absence, Malachi returned, won Battle Bowl and re-established himself as a major league player in the major league city. Malachi is to be inducted into the KSWA Hall of Fame in 2020, some 20 years after his first match. As of press-time, the Hall of Fame Ceremony and accompanying Joe Abby Memorial Tournament, is in limbo.

A debuting Devil Bhudakahn defeated Mantis and Super Hentai in a Triple Threat Match (Devil pinned Hentai). All three wrestlers would find success in other, regional promotions over the years. Unfortunately, Bhudakahn would pass away years later. Super Hentai continues to wrestle to this very day, sometimes with former KSWA Heavyweight Champion Dennis Gregory.

In additional duty, KSWA Tag Team Champions the VIPs—Blanchard and Martin--defeated "Mr. Tenacity" Tommy Faime and KSWA Heavyweight Champion Skippy Hawke.

And in a Special Challenge Handicap Tag Team Match Skippy Hawk and "The World's Strongest Cop" Bob "The Iron Bulldog" Thomas defeated Blanchard, Faime and Martin when Hawk pinned The Enforcer for the win.

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