Pro wrestling, including Verona’s own BROhemoth, return to Cribbs Field
Cribbs Field in Verona will once again be the site of carnage and calamity — all for the sake of charity.
Keystone State Wrestling Alliance superstars return to the park Saturday, Aug. 24 for Battle in the Borough 2.
Professional wrestlers from near and far will wage war outdoors along the 700 block of Second Street.
It is presented by Lower Valley Athletic Foundation and Verona’s parks and recreation department.
Doors open at 1 p.m. Festivities begin at 2 p.m. with a Mario Kart tournament sponsored by the foundation.
Tournament fee is $20 by Aug. 20 or $25 the day of the show. Price includes admission to the main event.
General admission is $10.
There will be live entertainment, raffles and concessions. Wresting starts around 6 p.m.
People are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.
Fire department, ambulance to benefit
Proceeds benefit Lower Valley EMS, Verona Fire Department and the Blue Force Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit designed to help spouses and families of police and military personnel wounded, missing or killed in action.
“We run this event to try and get more community involvement as well as show we care about our local police, firefighters and EMS workers,” LVAF secretary/treasurer Timothy Long said. “We want to bring that festival (style) event back to Verona. We also want to shine a light on indy wrestling, which is very popular.”
Organizers said the inaugural Battle in the Borough was popular. It raised more than $3,000 and about 310 people attended.
Native son ‘BROhemoth’ returns
One of the many highlights was the ambulance match between two-time KSWA heavyweight champion “Dr. Devastation” Lou Martin and Riverview graduate Ian Taylor, known to wrestling fans as BROhemoth.
They fought in and out of the ring with Taylor emerging as the victor after he threw Martin in the back of an ambulance and slammed the door.
Taylor, 28, of Verona went on to form a tag team with former rival Mitch Napier called The Best Bros.
They recently lost the KSWA tag team titles to Martin and Shawn Blanchard, also known as the VIPS.
The Bros will invoke their championship rematch clause at Battle in the Borough.
“Verona was pumped last year,” Taylor said. “Verona is always home, and it’s always great to come home. It would be a dream come true to win gold at home.”
That dream will not come easy. The title will be on the line in yet another ambulance match.
“They’re legends in the Pittsburgh wrestling scene,” Taylor said about the VIPs. “They’re a couple of cunning snakes. Just like last year, we plan on sending them packing in an ambulance.”
Such a match has a heightened sense of danger compared to a regular match.
Fans known to get involved
Combatants will have to make their way through the crowd. KSWA fans have been known to get involved in the action.
“You never know what could happen,” Taylor said. “You’ve got to be on your toes at all times and got to keep your head on a swivel. I’ve been testing my limits and pushing myself harder than I’ve ever pushed myself.
“Me and Mitch have gone to war, but have set things aside to be the best tag team KSWA has ever had. They got the best of us last time, but this time they won’t be so lucky.”
Taylor stands 6-foot-3 and weighs in around 350 pounds. His wrestling style consists of big slams and hard hits with a finisher called the “Monster Magnum Driver.” It’s similar to the F5 used by WWE superstar and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
KSWA heavyweight champ Dennis Gregory and KSWA Golden Triangle champ Bubba the Bulldog will be defending their titles.
More matches will be announced closer to the show.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .