J-Ru Has Best Year Of His Career, Named KSWA Digest “Megastar of the Year”


December 23, 2022

by Trapper Tom, Editor, KSWA Digest

For more than two decades, J-Ru has been a successful professional wrestler in Western Pennsylvania. He was on the initial Keystone State Wrestling Alliance event in February, 2000 when he was pinned by Eric “The Electric” Love in the promotion’s very first match.

He wouldn’t become a mainstay of the KSWA locker room until much later, but he has been impactful, winning many titles and awards, in the singles and tag team divisions. However in 2022, the Megastar many Krazies would call “TeaPot” would have the best year of his career in Pittsburgh.

J-Ru won an important contest in the KSWA’s first match of the year, on March 19 at the Freeport Event Center. There, he defeated a who’s who of participants–Justin Sane, Mitch Napier and “Rev” Ron Hunt–in a Fatal Four Way to determine the #1 contender for the KSWA Heavyweight Championship. That first definitive match of the year is usually Battle Bowl in January (see this coming January 14 at Battle Bowl), but this year things were different.

Immediately, “The Artist” was headed for a showdown with the KSWA Heavyweight Champion, who at the time was “Double-A” Anthony Alexander. And while the Prime Time Player was defeating challengers on an almost-weekly basis, J-Ru was sharpening his competitive skills by defeating Sane and AJ (no relation) Alexander.

Somewhere along the line, J-Ru’s entrance music was “accidently” mixed up with a catchy, soulful rendition of “I’m a Little TeaPot.” The children’s melody haunted J-Ru, who constantly had to remind other wrestlers, staffers and fans alike that he was not, in fact, a “little teapot.”

It was determined that J-Ru had earned his opportunity for the Commonwealth’s richest prize at Brawl Under the Bridge by defeating Tyler Grayson and “The Face of Pittsburgh” Lou Martin on June 25. In a rare feat, the KSWA hosted two different events on the same day, the annual Arsenal Park extravaganza, and debuting outside of Gino Brothers in Sharpsburg for two successful outings.

In that contest, before nearly 900 screaming fans at the biggest wrestling event of the summer, J-Ru shocked the wrestling world by getting away with a low blow and pinning Anthony Alexander and ending his record 952 days at the top of Pennsylvania’s Wrestling World.

A new era had begun, and the veteran J-Ru, who had promoted his own events in Western Pennsylvania, and had a hand in training some of its most-dependable hands, had reached the unrivaled top of the sport.

J-Ru would defeat Shane Starr and Anthony Alexander in a rematch. In July at The River Church in Franklin Park, Class of 2022 KSWA Hall of Famer Mayor Mystery would emerge as J-Ru’s sometimes-Manager and full-time guru. The “Manager of Champions” and “Mayor of Parts Unknown” is well-known at the top of any KSWA card.

Opportunities with “Big Country” Matt McGraw (a former Megastar of the Year) and Yinza (McGraw’s tag team partner and a vote-getter in this year’s Megastar of the Year balloting), would fight hard, but not win against the new champion.

Sane, Grayson and “The Ram” Anthony Drake couldn’t defeat J-Ru in a Fatal Four-Way and one of the most formidable former champions on the KSWA roster–Dennis Gregory–couldn’t get one up on the crafty champion.

J-Ru would get his nose into Lou Martin’s business when the former two-time KSWA champion feuded with former 6-time champion Shawn Blanchard.

By November, that showdown was inevitable. Martin, who had been on a hot streak all year, asked KSWA Owner Bobby O for the most valuable opportunity at the biggest showcase of the year, FanFest. Bobby O agreed and the most important match in KSWA history was signed.

In front of an electric crowd, the main event saw current KSWA Champion J-Ru, along with Mayor Mystery, defend against the former 2-time champion, who last won the all-important gold on December 3, exactly 11 years prior. It was a hard-fought battle, but in the end, Lou Martin would regain the KSWA Heavyweight Championship for a third-time (only Blanchard has held it more often). But that does not deny J-Ru, who went 18-0 in singles or non-tag team matches in 2022, and held the KSWA Championship 140 days and 11 title defenses since July 16.

Congratulations goes to now-former KSWA Heavyweight Champion J-Ru on being named KSWA Digest’s “Megastar of the Year.”

[This year's KSWA Digest "Megastar of the Year" was voted on by an invited group of KSWA executives, staffers and wrestlers alike.]





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