On This Day In History: Justin Sane Wins, Loses First Golden Triangle Championship, Blanchard Defends, VIP’s Dethroned

August 26, 2020
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest

Earlier in August, 2000, Shawn Blanchard began his ascent to the top of the Independent professional wrestling scene in Pennsylvania when he became the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) Heavyweight Champion. For the very first time in the burgeoning promotion’s history, the title that would become the most coveted in the Commonwealth, was defended in the same calendar month.

At the Candle Light Lounge in the city of Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, Blanchard bested “The Misfit” Jeff Lockhart, to retain the championship. Lockhart would be an anchor of the earliest KSWA shows (and one of the first Golden Triangle Champions), wrestling his last KSWA match in July, 2003. This was the KSWA's 4th event.

In other action, Jameson T. Sampson II, in his first of two KSWA matches, pinned Justin Idol in one-on-one action.

What came next was an 8 Megastar-studded tournament to determine the inaugural Golden Triangle Champion. The Golden Triangle Championship was designed to represent Pittsburgh and its downtown area, which is a scant few miles from the Lawrenceville location. Later, a "Pittsburgh" Championship would be instituted, but then merged with the Golden Triangle pretty much just as soon as it was initiated.

This first massive KSWA tournament would end up featuring recognizable names, stalwarts of the organization, and at least one future Hall of Famer.

The first match saw The Latin Assassin (in his second KSWA contest) defeat The Great Toyota in the first round. Eric Xtasy would then be thrown over the top rope and disqualified. “Big” Mike Malachi was next and also met the same fate, thrown over the top rope by The Latin Assassin. Latin would prove to be a tough customer in the next round as he battled, and ultimately pinned, La Lucha. The Assassin’s night would then be over once “The Walking Revolution” J.T. Rogers pinned him. Rogers was then tossed over the top rope by Justin Sane. And then Sane became the KSWA’s first Golden Triangle Champion when he pinned Soul Fighter in the final round of competition.

Eric Xtasy defeated J.T. Rogers in singles competition.

In a wild turn of events, Sane was forced to defend the Golden Triangle Championship mere moments after capturing the trophy. In this match, “Big” Mike Malachi returned from the tournament and defeated Justin Sane to the point that he was unable to continue. Then-Commissioner Tommy Faime threw in the towel to assist the injured Sane. Under terms of the day, Malachi was awarded the Golden Triangle Championship via technical knock-out.

And that wasn’t even the Main Event! Former KSWA Heavyweight Champion Skippy Hawke and the “Iron Bulldog” Bob Thomas defeated the original KSWA tag team champions, Heavyweight Champion Shawn Blanchard and Lou Martin, for the titles.

The KSWA would return to action only a few weeks later, also at the Candle Light Lounge. Those would be the only two events at that establishment. After that, the organization continued its unpredicted climb to the top of the Keystone State and beyond.

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