Jay Flash in action against Paul Jordane at the Brawl Under the Bridge in Homestead on July 23.
Jay Flash stood in the middle of the wrestling ring on Saturday night, September 10 as onlookers snapped photos from their cell phones. He held the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) Heavyweight title in his right hand.
Flash had just reached the apex of his professional career, and became just the 13th man to hold the KSWA championship in the 16 years of the promotion’s existence. He defeated Kris Kash in an athletic and hard-hitting 13-minute contest at the Teamster Temple in Lawrenceville.
Jay Flash poses with the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) Championship on Saturday, September 10.
It’s been a long and arduous road for the wrestler originally from South Beach, Miami, Florida who now resides near Wheeling, West Virginia.
Flash first entered the KSWA ring while as a student at West Liberty University in West Virginia. He and a number of classmates trained in the KSWA ring and got their first shot on February 20, 2010 as a part of a Gauntlet Match during the promotion’s 10th anniversary event. While Flash didn’t win that night, it was the start of a fast-moving career.
In the early years, Flash was a favorite of fans, called “Krazies” in Pittsburgh. They appreciated his infectious smile, cool demeanor, chiseled physique and incredible athleticism. All of the fans enjoyed his in-ring work and fun-loving attitude away from the squared circle.
Flash’s first win took place over Tony Johnson at the Officer Paul Sciullo Memorial Wrestling Event at the former Lawrenceville Moose on September 4, 2010. In addition to KSWA wrestlers, that night’s card also featured the legendary Dominic DeNucci, Demolition Ax and Shane Douglas.
In those early events, Flash found himself on the losing end of most of the matches, but he was learning and progressing. Whether it be in single’s competition, as part of a tag team, a six-man match, or Fatal Four-ways, Flash was active and learning the craft.
By the middle of 2011, Flash was earning shots at various KSWA titles, including a June 30 opportunity against then-champion Kaida. Flash was on the losing end of that battle, but he was now winning more frequently than losing.
On December 3, 2011, after a feud that lasted several months, Flash defeated Bobby Badfingers for the KSWA’s Golden Triangle Championship in front of a record-breaking crowd. The title has long been considered by observers to be the second-most important wrestling title in Pennsylvania, right behind the KSWA title.
Although the title reign was short, Flash was now considered to be a major player in Pittsburgh wrestling.
In late 2012, Flash and Tony Johnson tagged frequently in an attempt to gain the KSWA tag team titles. On March 23, 2013 the duo was victorious in the annual Joe Abby Memorial tournament. They were the first tag team to win the coveted cup.
Flash and Johnson were never able to capture the KSWA tag team titles. Their last attempt took place on March 29, 2014 during another Joe Abby Memorial Tournament night. They were defeated by Edric Everhart and Tyler Cross. Approximately two weeks later, on April 13, 2014, Flash’s ankle was shattered when he landed badly during a dive from the top rope during a match for another promotion near his home in West Virginia. He was out for seven months and 23 days before returning to KSWA FanFest in 2014.
As part of a four-team match for the tag team championship, Flash super kicked Johnson in the face and caused his team to be eliminated. Flash would later say that Johnson abandoned him following his ankle injury, a claim Johnson vehemently denied.
Since that time, Flash has been on a roll. He won Battle Bowl VII in 2015. On May 2, 2015, Flash and Johnson headlined a card that fans are still talking about to this very day. Both Flash and Johnson performed admirably and incredibly during that match. Some who saw it said the showdown as the match was the best they had seen anywhere all year.
From left: Vinnie Stone, Mayor Mystery, Jay Flash, Bobby Badfingers and Tommy Faime celebrate after winning the Joe Abby Memorial Tournament this past March.
On August 22, 2015, Flash took to the ring and charged that he was the most feared wrestler in the KSWA. He challenged anyone to a match and was met by T-Rantula, a 25-year veteran of the ring. T-Rantula defeated Flash but it didn’t stop what became a year-long battle against the KSWA “giants.” The 6’10”, 360-pound T-Rantula, the 6-5”, 293-pound “Big” Mike Malachi and 7’, 360-pound Jack Massacre all were in Flash’s sites. Flash defeated some by disqualification or count-out, however, it was all enough for the 5’10”, 174-pound Flash to assert victory.
Earlier this year, Flash touted his victories, and switched gears. He now wanted the “Biggest of them All,” the KSWA Champion Kris Kash, all 5’8”, 150-pounds of fight and determination.
The match was set by the KSWA Championship Committee and Flash took on Kash. The match was full of high-risk and high-powered moves. At one pivotal moment, Flash rocked Kash into a corner with a powerful “Buckle Bomb.” Kash was tossed into the corner post and he flipped from the top of the ring to the hard floor below. The two traded ring-rattling chops, overhead slaps and punches. But it was Flash’s kick to Kash’s chin that decided the ultimate outcome. In the center of the ring, Flash covered Kash. Referee David Fedor made the count at the most prestigious title in the Commonwealth changed hands.
The KSWA, which is the longest-running professional wrestling organization in the city’s history, recently hosted its 200th event. On Saturday, the KSWA was recognized by Governor Tom Wolf for its 16 years of success in the city, and it was announced that former wrestler Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat will join wrestling journalist Bill Apter and the team of Demolition—Ax and Smash—at this year’s FanFest on December 3.
Until then, Flash has to look at defending the title. His first defense will take place this coming weekend as the KSWA returns to Millvale on Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17, as part of Millvale Days. The organization also has a fundraiser scheduled on September 24 for St. Raphael’s Church in Morningside, as well as another for the Sam’s Club for Children’s Miracle Network on October 1. The KSWA debuts at Fam Con 2016 in Sewickley on October 2. The organization returns to the Teamster Temple on October 15 and the 4th annual Mario Ferraro Sr. Memorial Tournament and fundraiser for the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department is set for November 12.