A Heartwarming Mitch Napier Thanksgiving
November 28, 2020
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest
Mitch Napier has been one of the most popular Megastars in Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) history. A multi-time champion, his second stint as KSWA Heavyweight Champion was the most successful single-run in the promotion’s history. Currently one-half of the “Best Bros Around” (with BROhemoth) and KSWA tag team champions, Napier has been sidelined from in-ring action since February. Last week, “The Best Around” spent Thanksgiving with friends and family. The day started inauspiciously enough for the Sioux Falls, Iowa native as instead of watching the truncated Macy’s Day Parade, he took in the more traditional and entertaining 1996 edition. The 70th annual parade featured NBC personalities Katie Couric and Willard Scott and a robust Al Roker hob nob with “Bob Hope and other luminaries,” he said. Thanksgiving 1996’s parade featured 18 giant helium balloons and 23 smaller, novelty balloons – (including Peter Rabbit as well as Rocky and Bullwinkle) guided by some 1,200 handlers -- and over two dozen floats. Western Pennsylvania native Shirley Jones sang a song while riding a float.
Napier was disappointed when the advertised “Damn Yankees” was not the supergroup consisting of Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Ted Nugent of The Amboy Dukes. Instead it was the 1996 World Series Champions and not the Arena Rock group that would be formed three years later. And just as he did 24 years ago, Napier enjoyed the televised visit from a waving St. Nick. Still feeling the warmth and hum-inspiring live Captain and Tennille performance of “Love Will Keep Us Together,” Napier was ready for the rest of his adventure. “I walked down the road to my family's farm where my mum cooked a small dinner for myself, my parents, and my other brother and his fiancé,” said Napier. Yes, always down to Earth, Napier walked the mile from his home to his parents’ homestead. “After we ate, Dad and I napped hard in front of the fireplace. It was very chill,” he continued about the Norman Rockwell-inspired early afternoon. A few hours later, the Champion who once gave the Sioux Falls Slam to Kaida from the top rope during their historic “Best of Five” series, took about a mile hike to visit his aunt and uncle’s subtle family gathering. Cousins and others exchanged pleasantries, discussed current events and football. Some even enjoyed libations. A highlight of the visit was Mitch’s interaction with a family member’s enthusiastic mutt. Napier, famously a cat owner, also makes quick friends with the canine set. He and fellow partiers talked about the joy and challenge of pet ownership. The group drew Secret Santa names for next month’s holiday gathering. Someone dusted off an old-fashioned “Electronic Football game” that revelers played “well into the night.” Napier noted that the family scratched their collective heads over FOX TV’s “Masked Singer” and the celebrity it produced. Spoiler Alert: 79-year-old crooner Paul Anka was in the Broccoli costume. “Technically, I had a third Thanksgiving the day after,” he mused. “My boss [at a neighborhood hardware store] was nice enough to fix me a plate and bring it in while we work short-handed on Black Friday.” Not a bad Thanksgiving for a Champion.