The 10th Annual Joe Abby Memorial Tournament & Hall Of Fame Night Features Something For Every Wrestling Fan

March 21, 2017
By Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest

Since its humble beginnings in 2008, the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament and Hall of Fame induction night has become a “tent pole” event in the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) calendar. It has become one of the “must attend” nights of the year.

There’s no good reason to miss this year’s installment. Some observers believe that year-end “Top Moments” might take place this Saturday. It is the 10th Annual Joe Abby Memorial Tournament and KSWA Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (The KSWA Hall of Fame is the longest running, continuous Independent professional wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in existence today.)

Former 6-time KSWA Champion Shawn Blanchard is looking to win the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament singles time like he did on the first night in 2008. In his semi-final match, KSWA Owner Bobby O has promised a surprise challenger. The KSWA Championship Committee and Bobby O have been hush hush about the athlete, although numerous names have been bandied about.

If Blanchard advances (and he says it’s a foregone conclusion), he will take on the winner of the Shane Starr and Jay Flash showdown. This one-on-one contest between two former KSWA champions looks as promising as anything else on the card. Both Megastars are at the top of their game. Flash, who has added about 26 pounds to his already-chiseled exterior, takes on Starr, who continues to impress the Championship Committee with a Battle Bowl win and other victories.

The winner of each bracket will meet in the finals of the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament this Saturday night. No matter who wins, the action will be exemplary.

Meanwhile, the KSWA Heavyweight Championship is on the line when current titleholder Mitch Napier defends against the only other Pittsburgh wrestler who has held the belt twice—Lou Martin. The head-to-head between these two consummate professionals will be the highlight of any night. Napier, who has held off Jay Flash and Bobby Badfingers in impressive contests this year, takes the fight to Martin, who has excelled in both technical wrestling and brawling. “The Face of Pittsburgh” remains one of the most devious and successful wrestlers in the city’s vaunted history. And Napier could be the most resilient technician the KSWA has ever produced.

Golden Triangle Champion “Mr. Tenacity” Tommy Faime has his first singles title defense of any kind since September 21, 2002, when he defended the KSWA Heavyweight Championship against Shawn Blanchard and “Big” Mike Malachi. As of Saturday, that match took place 14 years, six months and five days in the past. George W. Bush was president and When that last defense occurred, Kris Kash was 15 years, 9 months and 13 days old, or more than two years away of making his professional wrestling debut. Since that time, Kris Kash has become a multiple-time champion and Faime became a KSWA Hall of Famer, returned to co-own Pittsburgh’s only pro wrestling promotion, lost it, and became Golden Triangle Champion. Faime has never looked better in the ring and Kash is at the top of his game.

The reigning 5-Star Champion, Harley T. Morris (along with “Star maker” David Marbell”) defends against frequent foe Justin Sane. The feud between Morris and Sane has been long and arduous; however, the Championship Committee has given Sane another chance at singles gold. Morris has held of some top competition, including Ice Machine recently. Might this be the time in which Sane gets off the sidelines and back into championship gold, or is Morris proving that he will lose the 5-Star belt only when he’s ready?

A tough and ready six-man team of “Big” Mike Malachi, Bobby Badfingers and Vinnie Stone (w/Mayor Mystery) takes on the six-man tag team of Jack Massacre and the KSWA tag team champions—The Jester and T-Rantula. Even after months, the rivalry between Malachi and Massacre refuses to die, and Spear Asylum still would like another shot at KSWA tag team gold. If they conjure up a victory here, Spear Asylum could catapult their way up from the bottom of the tag team division. The team lost their rematch and are now fighting up from the bottom rung; however, a win could inch them closer to another shot at tag team immortality.

Lord Zoltan once again faces off against “The King” Del Douglas in one-on-one action. The two in-ring veterans have met numerous times over the years (they battled for the better part of a year after Zoltan walked off with Douglas’ crown after a victory). They both even staved off stipulated retirement in a FanFest collision that cost “Nasty” Nick Crane his KSWA career. This time around, the combatants battle for bragging rights.

And while the action on Saturday Night will offer something for every kind of professional wrestling fan, the night will not be complete without the KSWA Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Already inducted last December at FanFest was international journalism legend Bill Apter. Posthumously inducted will be Studio Wrestling’s Pie Traynor, who will be enshrined by KSWA Hall of Fame, Class of 2016 broadcasting legend Lanny Frattare. And in a touching moment, “The Fighting Cop of Carnegie” Frank Holtz will be on hand to receive a Hall of Fame award. Adding Holtz to the Hall of Fame continues a legacy that has led the KSWA to being called the heir apparent to Studio Wrestling. The KSWA Championship Committee believes Holtz to be one of the most important, local and living “missing pieces” to the Pittsburgh Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. It is an honor to add Frank Holtz to the ranks of the KSWA Hall of Fame.

The 10th Annual Joe Abby Memorial Tournament and Hall of Fame ceremony is this Saturday Night, March 25 at the KSWA Arena at Spirt Hall, 242 51st Street in the Lawrenceville neighborhood within the city of Pittsburgh. Bell time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 and kids. Card is subject to change.

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