Author, Writer, Professional Wrestling Legend Bill Apter Honored By PA Governor For Contributions In And Out Of The Ring
November 14, 2016
by Trapper Tom, Ring Announcer/Wrestling Journalist
One of the featured guests scheduled to appear at the annual Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) FanFest/Toy Drive 2016 has just received a nod from the State Capital.
It was recently announced that Bill Apter has been recognized for his career in professional wrestling, as well as his public service by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
Apter, a native of New York who has since called Montgomery County’s Dresher, Pennsylvania home for many years, is the most important journalist to ever cover the world of Professional Wrestling. Since the end of 1969, Apter has captured historic moments as well as Main Event matches. On January 18, 1971, he was among the recording breaking crowd of 21,666 when “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino lost the WWWF title to “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff in Madison Square Garden. Apter still proudly uses the Minolta Rangefinder camera he snapped photos with that day.
Wrestling magazines have defined Apter’s career. His name remains synonymous with publications like Pro Wrestling Illustrated, even years after their collaboration ended. During his tenure, the publications were simply referred to as “Apter mags.”
Back In 1991 Apter, was on the editorial staff of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated “Top 500.” During his time, the ranking was considered the most legitimate grading system in the industry. The list still exists, but has none of the legitimacy or credibility Apter provided. In fact, annually he has to explain to readers that he hasn’t had anything to do with the list for years.
During the heyday of NWA television, Apter was featured on WTBS, and has worked for every mainstream wrestling organization. In 2013, he interviewed wrestling legends—including Larry Zbyszko talking about Sammartino—for the WWE.
Today, in addition to freelance work, Apter is the Editor and face of 1wrestling.com, one of the preeminent wrestling websites in the industry. He routinely posts stories on Pittsburgh’s only professional wrestling organization, the KSWA. Through the organization was able to have a lengthy “Apter Chat” video discussion with KSWA Hall of Famer “Big Bully” Nick Busick in 2015. The two talked about Busick’s career, life and fight against and recovery from Esophageal cancer.
[Editor's Note: Apter's work has inspired wrestling news sources like KSWA Digest. KSWA Digest had a hand in informing the Governor's office of his contributions, and KSWA Digest is a sponsor of Apter's visit to FanFest.]
Many of Apter’s memories can be found in his new book, “Is Wrestling Fixed? I Didn’t Know It Was Broken!” The tome will be on sale at FanFest on December 3.
In addition to a nearly 50-year career in professional wrestling, Apter works as a job coach and employment specialist for AHEDD, a specialized Human Resource Organization for people with disabilities, in Jenkintown, PA. AHEDD has several offices throughout the state, including one on Pittsburgh’s South Side.
Due to his fabulous contributions to the sporting world, as well as assisting disabled Pennsylvanians, Governor Wolf provided the following letter:
“To Bill Apter:
It is my pleasure to join the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) in recognizing your accomplishments.
For nearly five decades, you have been dedicated to the promotion of professional wrestling and have brought joy to millions of fans by fostering comradery, competition, and fun. Through your publications and media appearances, you have left an indelible impact on the Commonwealth and the sport of professional wrestling. I applaud that you remain dedicated to philanthropic endeavors, and have committed your career to helping others. Your work as an Employment Specialist for AHEDD inspires all and demonstrates your outstanding work ethic and the positive influence you have made on your community. The Commonwealth is privileged to have you as a representative of our traditions and values. I am certain your legacy will inspire others for years to come.
As Governor, and on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I am honored to recognize your dedication to the community and years of service. Please accept my best wishes for continued success.
December 3, 2016”
Since 2005, KSWA FanFest has been one of the most popular events of its kind anywhere. Bill Apter will join Demolition—Ax and Smash—as well as Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, and all of the Megastars of the KSWA on Saturday, December 3, 2016. KSWA Champion Jay Flash defends the Commonwealth’s most coveted title against #1 Contender and Battle Bowl opportunist Mitch Napier, as well as former Champion Kris Kash in a Triple Threat match. The Golden Triangle Championship is on the line as Shane Starr defends against KSWA Owner Tommy Faime. The VIPs—Shawn Blanchard and Lou Martin—take on Demolition in tag team action. Many other matches are available on kswa.net. Fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to donate to the Allegheny County Holiday Project.