KSWA and Blue Dust Bring Wrestling Under The Bridge.

Promotional Poster for Brawl Under The Bridge VI. Submitted by Frank Cunniff.

Professional Wrestling has an uncanny ability to unite people from all backgrounds. That’s no different when the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) makes its annual trip under the Homestead Grays Bridge.

“We always get a huge buzz when Blue Dust announces the event,” said Bob “Bobby-O” Orkwis, the owner of the KSWA. “The buzz still surprises me after all this time.”

KSWA Brawl Under The Bridge VI returns under the Homestead Grays Bridge on Saturday, July 17th. The first bell is at 7 PM, and general admission tickets are $5.

“The Gavel” David Lawless (left) takes a shot from a briefcase by T-Rantula (right) during Brawl Under The Bridge IV on July 21, 2018

The event has been known as a celebration of wrestling history. In the past, wrestling legends like the Rock and Roll Express, Bill “Demolition Ax” Eadie, and J.J. Dillion have made appearances at the event. They served as a bridge to wrestling history for fans, both young and old.

The KSWA’s old school feel has granted the owner and other members of KSWA the chance to meet and work with some of the favorite wrestlers and managers of the NWA, WWF, and studio wrestling days.

“I got to introduce the Rock and Roll Express while 1000 people chant their name,” said “Trapper” Tom Leturgey, KSWA Ring Announcer and writer for KSWA Digest. “It brought me back to the 1980s when myself and Bob were watching them on television in college”, said

They are excited to be back doing shows with KSWA. The promotion was halted for 14 months until this May. In that time, their fans, the KSWA Krazies, would tell them how much they can’t wait for them to come back.

“It was like we didn’t miss a beat with the first few shows we’ve done,” said Orkwis. They have been very well attended.

It’s been thanks to sponsors like Blue Dust, the key organizers of the event, and their support for keeping them going.

Frank Cunniff, the events manager at Blue Dust, wanted to give a different feel for the events they held under the Homestead Grays Bridge. A new event alongside their Pumpkinfest and Oysterfest events that feature live music, beer, and food.

The idea for Brawl Under The Bridge was based on a pro wrestling comic book he was working on and his interest in pro wrestling.

“The Face of Pittsburgh” Lou Martin laying on the concrete after being thrown out from the ring during a match against The Rock and Roll Express at Brawl Under The Bridge IV on July 18, 2021. Photo by Ty Polk.

“I had gone to some of their events at the Spirit Hall in Lawrenceville and was very entertained,” said Cunniff. “I wanted to draw on some authentic experience, and the first event was great.”

It’s now a part of Homestead and has made some of his favorite memories as a wrestling fan. During the 2016 event, ABC News reporter Michael Koenigs biked across the country for the “Election Cycle” between the political conventions.

“It was election coverage, and they got good shots of the crowd [and atmosphere],” said Cunniff. ” It was really good to get a television package.

He also says Mayor Esper and T-Rantula taking on Mayor Mystery in the Mayor vs. Mayor match in 2017 and watching and commentating a game with Bill Eadie as other great moments.

J.J Dillon (left) legendary manager for the Four Horsemen pokes Justin Sane (right) in the eyes at Brawl Under The Bridge V on July 20, 2019 Photo by Ty Polk.

“Their style of professional wrestling is Pittsburgh’s cultural heritage,” said Cunniff. “It’s a great day to see it in this community, and you could bring the whole family.

Anthony Alexander is defending the proclaimed “most prestigious title in the Commonwealth,” the KSWA Championship, in an open challenge match.

The Brawl Under The Bridge Champion, “The Face of Pittsburgh” Lou Martin, will defend against King Del Douglas in a dog collar match. Martin’s former tag partner Shawn Blanchard will be in Douglas’s corner.

Former KSWA Tag Team champions Mitch Napier and The BROhemoth will square off in a kendo stick on a pole match.

“We honor wrestling in Pittsburgh our way,” said Leturgey. This event rivals Fan Fest, our year-end show in December, and it’s great to be involved with.