Monday, March 25, 2013

KSWA: Wrestling in Lawrenceville?

Any Yinzer knows that Lawrenceville has become a haven for the working class, hipsters, and young adults alike over the past few years.  Whether it is window shopping dahn Butler St. on a sunny afternoon, enjoying the variety of unique bars, or taking part in karaoke bowling at Arsenal Lanes there is always something to do.  Most people only stay within a few blocks of Butler and Main Streets and rarely venture past the Allegheny Cemetery.  Past the cemetery Lawrenceville is not as developed and still shows signs of the former industrial neighborhood.  Nestled about a block past Butler Street towards the Allegheny River at 120 51st Street sits the Loyal Order of the Moose Lawrenceville Lodge Number 581.  This is where the night life of Lawrenceville may not be as well known. 

A few of us were tipped off that on Saturday, March 23 there would be some WWE style wrestling taking place at the Lawrenceville Moose.  The cost of entry was $10 and $2 PBR pounders were on special.  Being fans of the WWE throughout our youth, RKorn and I decided what better way to spend the night than watching some old-fashioned studio wrastlin'.  We were not sure what to expect so we decided to head over to the Moose Lodge and check it out.  The lodge looked like a nondescript run down warehouse.  Upon entering and paying our $10, the Star Spangled Banner was blasting through a cheap PA system in a giant smoke-filled fire hall with 70's era wood paneling and a bar off in the corner.  There were a few rows of seats surrounding the ring and we were quickly introduced to the world of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA).

KSWA was not ECW wrestling, which I was hoping for, but rather a cheesier version of WWE.  There were about 6 matches featuring a wide array of megastars of the KSWA which in many cases were low brow imitations of studio wrestlers and managers from yesteryear.  It was the cheese factor, however, that made this night unforgettable.  Each of the wrestlers stayed in character throughout, clear plot lines were acted out, and interviews featuring the megastars were conducted between matches.  The wrestlers seemed to be from the western PA area as it was woven into the characters' profiles as it was announced that "The King" Del Douglas lived in a mansion overlooking Millvale.  KSWA t-shirts and memorabilia were available to purchase for the most ardent supporters.  Overall, the matches could have used some work, but the heels, baby faces, referees, and announcers made the most of their talent.  I thoroughly enjoyed this throwback to my past. 

Who attended this event you ask?  It was a great mix of Moose Lodge members and their families, the Lawrenceville hipsters, yinzers galore of all ages, curious onlookers, and friends and families of the wrestlers.  It was a sight to see. 

After the matches ended all ticket holders were invited downstairs to the Moose lounge to grab some drinks, a bite to eat, and socialize with the wrestlers.  They were all very accessible and engaged curious fans if approached.

Apparently, the Moose is a popular stop for these wrestlers as everyone in the crowd knew the wrestlers, created signs, and wore t-shirts from past events.  If you want to check out the KSWA it is definitely worth the $10.  They'll be at the Moose next on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 7:30 PM.