Ferraro Memorial Tournament Has Become An Important Stop On The Road To FanFest

November 5, 2016
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist

The Mario Ferraro Sr. Memorial Tournament has turned an-already important Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser into one of the most significant stops on the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA)’s “Road To FanFest.”

In actuality, the KSWA has been providing fundraisers for the Sharpsburg VFD since 2010. That first event included some unique matches, including the very first one: "The Drunken Luchadore" Joey Quervo and The Great Toyota defeated "The King" Del Douglas & The Jester in tag team competition. The very first Sharpsburg Battle Royal included a win by the now-fired “Iceman” Tony Johnson. The event topped off with The Latin Assassin pushing back a challenge for the KSWA Heavyweight Title by “Vicious” Vinnie Stone.

The matches were always entertaining and the community continued to support the fundraiser with more impressive attendance numbers, but in 2013 the event became more imperative for fans and Megastars alike. A tournament was christened for Mario Ferraro Sr., who suddenly passed away on July 9, 2013. A huge supporter and fan of the KSWA, Mr. Ferraro, 74, was a retired employee of Giant Eagle Corp., with over 25 years of service. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve and was a life member of the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department.

Since that time, winning the tournament has been a vital trophy in any Megastar’s resume. The grueling first tournament was won by Kris Kash, who defeated Del Douglas and The Jester to make it to the final against Shawn Blanchard. Blanchard’s avenue to the final was made significantly easier. He defeated Justin Sane in the first match of the tournament, but gained a bye when Blood Beast and Kaida eliminated themselves in a first-round match. Nevertheless, Kash was able to defeat Blanchard.

The next year, reaching the finals skipped a second-round match. Lou Martin defeated The Blood Beast to get to the final, while Kris Kash defeated Del Douglas in a preliminary rematch. In the final, Martin bested Kash in one of the wildest endings in recent KSWA history. With referee David Fedor and Lou Martin both down by accidental contact, Shawn Blanchard and a referee-shirt-wearing Tommy Faime take advantage of the situation. Blanchard bounces Kash’s head off the mat with an impressive pile driver. Faime makes the count as a still-groggy Martin is placed on top of Kash. This would become the infamous “Sharpsburg Screw Job.”

The legendary Lord Zoltan won the prize last year, beating Del Douglas (who hasn’t been able to get past the first round of any year) and then defending champion Lou Martin in the final. The night was made more substantial for the veteran Zoltan, who received a proclamation from the State of Pennsylvania and Representative Paul Costa to recognize 40 years inside the squared circle.

This year, the Tournament is back in the spotlight. On Saturday, November 12, the KSWA Megastars return to the Sharpburg Volunteer Fire Department at 611 Main Street. Bell time is 7:00 p.m.

In the first round of competition, “The King” Del Douglas gets yet another chance to advance past the first round. This year’s challenge might be the hardest yet for Millvale’s Regal Ruler, as Douglas is set to take on the revitalized, “Best Around” Mitch Napier. Douglas is scheduled to take on pound-for-pound the strongest KSWA Megastar of all time. Napier, who has returned to his “All American” roots after a year of inner turbulence, has announced his intention to challenge Jay Flash for the KSWA Heavyweight title at FanFest/Toy Drive. This is an important step for Napier to be taken seriously by the KSWA Krazies, the Championship Committee and Champion Jay Flash.

In the other tournament first-round showdown, hometown favorite Shane Starr will take on Harley T. Morris in a “Champion v. Champion” non-title contest. The Golden Triangle Champion Starr will wrangle with the 5-Star title holder Morris (with “Mad Genius” David Marbell at his side).

The winners of the Napier/Douglas and Starr/Morris first-round matchups will meet in the finals of the 4th Annual Mario Ferraro Sr. Memorial Tournament.

KSWA Heavyweight Champion Jay Flash is set to team up with KSWA Owner Tommy Faime in tag team action. They will face off against Kris Kash and the masked and sensational Ice Machine. Flash has had his problems with Kash since winning the most prestigious title in the Commonwealth and Faime continues to lay claim that Ice Machine is, in fact, fired Megastar “Ice Man” Tony Johnson. Flash is at the top of his game, as is Kash. Meanwhile, Faime has been revitalized this year and he remains steadfast that Machine is actually Man.

In other action, a classic battle of the Giants will take place. T-Rantula will face off against “Big” Mike Malachi. This promises to be a classic battle between the two Megastars, who are both closer to 7 feet tall than the average athlete. Malachi isn’t happy that T-Rantula shot him into Jack Massacre’s arms for a bodyslam at last month’s KSWA Saturday Night at the Teamster Temple. Malachi, who remains a formidable veteran, vows revenge.

The KSWA Tag Team Championships are on the line in an unusual way. Current champions, the Spear Asylum, managed by Mayor Mystery, will face off against The Mercenaries, managed by Mayor Mystery. None of the participants are enamored with this match. Champions Bobby Badfingers and Vinnie Stone consider Nick Crane and Sniper to be compadres, and not just stable mates. The competition is ramped up by the KSWA Championship Committee, which likes to see one-time tag champions The Mercenaries get an opportunity, even if it could cause distress in Mayor Mystery’s roster.

And no Sharpsburg VFD fundraiser would be complete without the VIPs and Party Gras. Fortunately for the Krazies, the KSWA Championship Committee has ordered a rematch between these teams. Between the four Megastars, there is nearly 100 years of combined experience between them. Of course, almost half of that is made up with Lord Zoltan’s stellar career, but his partner Justin Sane is no slouch. Sane is a KSWA original, as are Blanchard and Martin. With each of those three nearing 20 years in the ring, the total really climbs. And while none are high-flying aerial experts, they all have a wealth of knowledge of techniques, leverage and grappling mastery. And just like their showdown at the Teamster Temple recently, all four wrestlers will show that they “nose” a lot about one another.

The 4th Annual Mario Ferraro Sr. Memorial Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, November 12, 2016 at the VFD, 611 Main Street in Sharpsburg. All tickets are $10 and bell time is 7:00 p.m. For more event & ticket information please call 412-726-1762 or 412-760-0522. Card is subject to change.

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