Professional wrestling returns to Verona on Aug. 20 when the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance will be in town for the Battle in the Borough 4.
Taking place at Cribbs Field, 700 Second St., and hosted by the Lower Valley Athletic Foundation and Verona Parks and Recreation Board, the extravaganza will benefit first responders locally.
“This event first came about in 2018 as a way to highlight the police, firefighters and emergency medical services here in the area,” Timothy Long, president of both the LVAF and parks and rec board, said. “We put together three donation baskets, one for the Lower Valley EMS, one for the volunteer firefighters, and one for the 2023 Verona Police Bike Derby for the kids.”
The KSWA is based out of Lawrenceville as one of just a few pro wrestling promotions in the greater Pittsburgh area and the only one actually in the city. The alliance was founded in 2000 and does a wide array of benefit events around the area, putting on over a dozen charity shows each year, including fundraisers for cystic fibrosis research and local food banks, holiday toy drives, and an annual “Brawl Under the Bridge” in Homestead, which raises money for underserved children.
Featuring a full roster of its own wrestlers, the KSWA occasionally has widely known wrestlers as guests, particularly those from the Pittsburgh area.
During Battle in the Borough 4, you can also see some of your favorite first responders taking part in matches, as the highlight of the night is an ambulance match in which Lower Valley Ambulance backs an emergency vehicle down to the ring. In order to win, one of the competitors must be thrown into the ambulance, which is then closed and driven away.
In addition to the matches, the event will feature food and beverages, along with several different raffles and collections, including a 50/50. Inner Groove Brewing of Verona will be pouring beer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will also be live music, as School of Rock will be warming up the crowd before the matches get started.
Tickets for the shows are $10 and will be available at the gate. The gate location at Cribbs Field is closest to South Avenue by the basketball courts. All other park gates are closed. Seating is general admission on the lawn, and attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or a lawn chair.
The gates will open at 3 p.m., and the wrestling action starts at 6. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to take advantage of everything the day has to offer.
“We’re looking forward to community coming out to support all the fun things happening here in Verona. This is one of the biggest summer events that happens here in town,” Long said. “Our whole goal is to bring back that community aspect of people getting involved in all of the things that happen in town, and also to support the police, firefighters, EMS: the people that help us out every day.”
Darren Yuvan is a Trib Total Media contributing writer.