After over six years since the initial shooting began for the trek that would become my story on the silver screen, Spandex Sapiens finally had it’s grand world premiere in Helsinki this past Thursday!  And to be honest, what better place to hold the premiere than here in Finland, as the movie was funded with Finnish money and tells a tale about the pioneer of Finnish pro wrestling?  Rather apropos. I would wager to say!

Today, I heard the good news that Spandex Sapiens had won the “Audience Favorite Award” at this year’s Night Visions film festival in Helsinki, which ends today.  People genuinely seemed to be touched, moved or otherwise stirred by the movie, as I was witness to myself this past Thursday night, as I shook hands with movie goers after the premiere.

Having now seen the movie myself on the big screen, I must say that it truly is a powerful piece of cinema.  Several people have told me the same thing, “It was much better than I initially expected”, which, after so long of a time in the making and having so much money put into it, shouldn’t be too much of a shock.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

I was especially proud to stand at the end of the movie, on stage with the producers, my family and a host of FCF wrestlers, for an open Q&A about the film itself.  Viewers presented a plethora of questions, and one that that was directed toward my father, Taimo, specifically had an impact on me.  Or moreso, my father’s answer to the question presented stirred me, as he said: “Michael said at one point that he wanted to become a role model for the young boys and teenagers of today.  Not some ambiguous figure who wants to be half male and half female, but a true embodiment of solid masculinity.”

That statement, in and of itself, also spoke volumes of the movie itself, and the impact of my personality and character in the film.  I was truly humbled to receive such high adulation from my own Dad in front of a host of strangers, acquaintances and friends alike.  It felt like I had done something right in my life, especially the following day afterward. when I ran into an online article about a 100% increase in gender role confusion amongst today’s children.

All that said, I have seen a clear change in the social consciousness of our modern age, where the lines of clear gender roles are being stealthily erased.  It is no longer accepted to call a spade a spade, or to have clear, dauntless black and white principles.  The world has become a melting pot of grays, or perhaps thought otherwise, a mixture of all of the colors of the rainbow, as it were.  Solid absolutes are being done away with, as people look to justify everything about their lives through relativism.  The only problem is that when absolute truth is done away with, the foundation of one’s society ultimately crumbles.  So there you have it, my brief moment of social commentary in the midst of this milestone of celebration.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

On the night of the movie premiere, following the Q&A, we had an afterparty wrestling show at Gloria Cultural Arena in Helsinki, where I faced my counterpart from the Spandex Sapiens film, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love.  It was a damn good match, too, which was building to a classic, when the Musta Aukko (Black Hole) contingent of King Kong Karhula, “Executioner” Petrov, their manager Mr. Tapaturma and female cohort Julia Kyy all interfered.  As the heels beat down Jessica and I, Karhula took the mic directly thereafter and spouted something about being sick and tired of seeing my face in the spotlight, and in addition, having no regard for Jessica Love, who Karhula boasted he had beaten to a pulp on countless occasions.  Karhula blasted that now was his time, and that didn’t seem to sit all too well with his teammates.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

Jessica and I took advantage of the confusion amongst our foes’ ranks and laced into them with a counter assault, sending them out of the ring.  I stepped up to the proverbial plate and challenged Petrov and Karhula to a tag team match right then and there against Jessica and myself, to which they eagerly accepted.  What followed was a donnybrook that saw Jessica Love pin King Kong Karhula with a double-arm DDT after a timely superkick assist from Yours Truly.  We put aside personal, philosophical differences to fight a common enemy and we came out on the winning end, which brings to mind something I have long held to be true: “I don’t have to like you to be able to do business with you.”

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

Spandex Sapiens’ world premiere was just the beginning.  From here, the film is sure to hit various international film festival stages and then get an official theater distribution release in Finland, come the spring of 2016!

All photos by Marko Simonenwww.markosimonen.com

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