Sunday, March 28, 2010
KSWA Part I
So, I've been meaning to do a post on how lucky I've been as a Pittsburgh sports fan in the past 18 months. I got to watch the Super Bowl in Pittsburgh with friends and family; I went to the Packers/Steelers game this past December (one of the best Steelers games I've ever been to), I went to games 6 and 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals (best sporting experience ever), I went to the Pitt/Cinci game at Heinz (the best football game I've ever been to), and I watched Andrew McCutchen blossom right before my eyes (well, it was on TV in South Carolina) when he hit a walk-off Home Run against the Phillies last fall. I think there's been more, but really, I've been blessed.
And though I wouldn't put my evening last night up against any of those events, it was pretty awesome anyway.
I heard about the Keystone State Wrestling Association through one of my Sister's friends. Last night's event was the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament and like all other KSWA events, was held at the Lawrenceville Moose Lodge on 51st street right off of Butler.
To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. My initial thought was it would be a bunch of amateurs running a really poor man's WWE event, which it was... and so much more. When we walked in (I went with my buddy Cam), they were having a moment of silence in honer of Joe Abby, and the place was packed. While I thought it would be a mixture of hipsters and dudes, there was also a large proponent of Yinzer families. It was some of Pittsburgh's finest; I would put it up against the Rivers Casino in terms of people watching.
The setting was exactly what one would expect a local moose lodge to look like, as if it were tailor made for BINGO and PTA meetings. The ring was right in the middle of the room with about two rows of chairs on all four sides and there was a bar in the back ($2 Iron City/Yeungling bottles were quite the price performers); I'm not going to mention the bathrooms but there was a red tarp set up in the corner where the wrestlers would emerge from (accompanied with intro music).
There were KSWA logos everywhere (you can see them in the background), which is the lettering on top of the state of Pennsylvania with barb wire wrapped around it all; quite classy. The first match wasn't even memorable, with some guy in green pants and face-paint squaring off against some other guy in a (real) wrestling onesie. The actual entertainment was not all that great (it's fake wrestling by amateurs), but the crowd was electric with all sorts of kids jacked up on sweets and soda pop screaming at the designated bad guy in each match.
The second match was much more entertaining as it was a tag-team match, with four guys on each side.
The bald guy with the mustache was the manager of the bad guys in this match, which included the guy in the hat and white tie, and the guy standing below them, who was quite scary not just due to his Gothic face-paint, but the fake blood that engulfed his mouth. But this guy was my favorite on this team:
A lot of these guys were fat, but it worked for them since they were so large; this guy on the other hand was just fat and out of shape. He looked like a child molester, although he did have a sweet cutoff tee shirt with a burning motorcycle on it (plus those camo cargo pants were a nice addition).
The good guys consisted of some guy named Cuervo, a dude with a Blagojevichesque haircut, a large Irishman with an ethnically decorated onesie, and the only black guy in the event (who for some reason, took the brunt of the beating for his team). I forget who won this match (generally, the good guys would win, but occasionally the bad guys won), but it was chalk full of your typical fake wrestling mumbo jumbo; distracting the ref, illegally double/triple teaming against a guy while the ref is not looking, body slams, really bad fake punching, and of course rolling off of the ring and fighting on the floor. The next match was the first in the elimination tournament, and it was between Dr. Devastation and Kris Kash (who weighed 150 lbs.). Here is a picture of Dr. Devastation :
Who "hails from the North Side of Pittsburgh." Obviously, he was my favorite. He was also the reigning champ as you can see. He had on a pair of pants that looked like they were made out of garbage bags, which caused the fans to chant "garbage pants" at him. He had the best shtick; he would snarl at little kids who heckled him and just sneer "Shut Up!" But he would say it in this tone that made him sound like a child, and it also had a tinge of Yinzer in it which made it come out like "Sheet Up!" He was awesome. Dr. Devastation was accompanied by a fellow member of the VIPs (the group that all the bad guys belonged to) who was acting as his manager, Frank Durso:
This guy was probably even better than Dr. D. He must have been 70 years old and him in black Lycra underwear was not a sight for the feint of heart. His signature move was to lick his pinky finger and then wet his eyebrow. Classic.
I'll have Part II up tomorrow.
(Title picture is of me and the Latin Assassin, who will be featured in Part II)