Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

I’ve been a performing musician for the past 19 years, and as such I’ve enjoyed a modicum of adventure and success around the world.

My own baby is a band I created back in 2000, which I called Stoner Kings. The name is a takeoff on Josh Homme’s Queens Of The Stone Age band, which I found to have an absurdly contradictory name back in the day. “If there’s a queen, there must also be a king!” I mused to myself. And alas, in my personal bravado and grandeur, I auspiciously called my own heavy rock outfit, complete with chunky, grooving riffs and heavy drums beats, Stoner Kings.

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STONER KINGS 2018

We released our debut album back in 2001, entitled Brimstone Blues. At the time, I felt like I had conquered the world. It was my maiden voyage, with my very own crew, me, the captain of the ship. Sure, I had been in a band prior to this, but it was someone else’s ship. I was just a crew member. With Stoner Kings, it was mine, all mine.

We went through the ups and downs, trudged the roads of trial and tribulation, met adversity from those others might have deemed “brothers” in our chosen genre, were kicked off stage in the middle of a particular set, and traveled Europe together. It was a brilliant time, one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

In 2006, we released our sophomore effort, entitled Fuck The World. I was pissed off, angry at our detractors and tired of smacking our heads against the glass ceiling. In Finland, it was a small circle of inside members, and if you weren’t hip with the big boys, then you weren’t playing ball. I bucked the system with FTW, gave as good as we got and then some. That said, we did pretty good with FTW domestically in Finland, although we failed to make a bigger imprint with it globally.

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Eero Kaukomies and Hannu Leidén

In 2007-2008, Stoner Kings went through some major upheaval. All the guys in the band got overhauled and changed, except for Yours Truly, Captain StarBuck. It was a tumultuous time, one that saw a very disjointed and wavering adaption of Stoner Kings. It wasn’t going to last and it didn’t. At the end of 2008, I called it quits and hung it up with my baby.

I engaged in different bands after Stoner Kings, finding solace in other musical endeavors and efforts. Yet, deep down, I knew Stoner Kings was my brainchild. It was my imprint, for better or worse. You can’t run from who you are and you can’t bullshit yourself. And so it was, that at the end of 2016, I felt the urge become undeniable. I reformed Stoner Kings, complete with my my original drummer Janne Kontoniemi, 2007-2008 bassist Rude Rothstén and a young, hungry guitarist named Joonas Vepsä.

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Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom) lends a hand to one of our new songs with a mean lead & solo!

I had a vision. I had unrealized songs hidden away in my musical drawer, just begging to be released. Songs I had written in part 15 years earlier. They were ready, awaiting to be incarnated on tape. Other tunes had been spawned within the past few years. Yes, I was still churning out the only kind of rock that I knew how to make with my eyes closed. Chunky, heavy, groovy, catchy, riff-laden, attitude-infested raw rock. The kind that cavemen would dig. Primal. Animalistic. Simple.

And so it was that over the past year, from the fall of 2017 to the fall of 2018, we did our due diligence in the studio. We performed and laid down recordings over three separate sessions in order to focus our energies on writing a quartet of songs at a time. We got serious. Driven.

Now, here in the autumn of 2018, on a Monday tagged October 8, we brought our newest Stoner Kings incarnation of an album to a successful close. We mastered the thing at Chartmakers West in Espoo, Finland, under the auspices of Svante Forsbäck. Our producer Hannu Leidén and our sound engineer and mixer Eero Kaukomies stood by with us as we finalized the deal. It was a group effort, and we all shared in the thrill of the kill.

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Svante Forsbäck puts the final mastering touches on our new album today.

So alas, here we are now, with a complete, finished third Stoner Kings album in hand. Even in today’s desperately crappy record label jungle, I’ll still shop this doozy around to see if any possible players are game out there. Knowing the nature of the game and dire numbers of physical album sales, I’m not holding my breath for any miracles. Nonetheless, I’ll do my best on behalf of my baby. I believe staunchly in the product we’ve created and it’s an absolute killer in my ears.

Soon, very soon, you’ll hear it, too.

Remember the name: Stoner Kings.

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Returning from what had to be one of the best tours I’ve ever had of Japan, I can only be grateful and happy for the experiences I enjoyed in The Land Of The Rising Sun between September 22-30.

First and foremost, I want to thank my friends Dr. Hiroaki Terasaki, Mayumi Miyazawa and Fumi Saito for making this trip truly memorable.  In addition, thanks to promoter Jimmy Suzuki of Tokyo Championship Wrestling, Masa Anchan, ASUKA Project, my old tag partner Akira Nogami, Yoshitake Hatada and his wife for the hospitality afforded to both me and my wife, Diana, on this trip.

In the first match that I had on September 24, I tagged with UTAMARO against Mitoshichi Shinose and Shota Nakagawa, the latter of whom was still reffing for WNC back in 2014 when I was in Japan last.  We beat our opposition after I pinned Shinose following my world-famous spike piledriver to score the win for our team at ASUKA Project’s event in Tokyo.

On September 27, I tagged with UTAMARO once again to face the duo of my age-old rival Yoshihiro Tajiri and my former Synapse teammate Yusuke Kodama.  This was the main event for Tokyo Championship Wrestling’s big event at Shinjuku Face Arena on a show that featured 50 wrestlers in total.  Sabu vs. Masato Tanaka vs. Yuko Miyamoto in a hardcore Triple Threat was also one of the feature matches at the event with Atsushi Onita of FMW fame refereeing.

In our TCW Shinjuku showdown, we fought like spirited dogs of war, ending the battle when Tajiri nailed UTAMARO with his infamous Buzzsaw Kick to the head, claiming the win for his team.  Regardless of our past rivalry, Tajiri extended his hand after the match and raised my arm in a show of respect and mutual admiration as the Tokyo crowd ate it up.

Thanks once again, Japan!  This has been a truly memorable trip and here I share some of the moments with you in photos.

 

Here at the end of 2017 as the New Year is about to turn a new page for all of us, I reflect back on what the past 12 months have meant for me personally and professionally.

I have to say from the bottom of my heart that this past year has been one of the best overall years for me on record, especially in terms of my professional wrestling career and movie actor ambitions.  I once stated that if I could do with my life what I dare dream, it would be to become a world-traveled professional wrestler, a touring rock artist and a movie actor.  Here, at the age of 44, I have achieved all of those things and more.  That is certainly something to be proud of, and I can only look to make the good things in life prosper and grow in the fact of each new challenge as life rolls on.

2017 saw me claim my 21st country in pro wrestling, that being Pakistan, this past May.  Pakistan is about as exotic as a location as it gets, and the treatment we got from the local PWE promoters was top-notch.  Five-star hotels, bodyguards and even a presidential suite were all in the offering, as we were treated like royalty by fans and organizers alike.  I was the only wrestler on the international roster out of the Nordics.

StarBuck with Syed Asim Ali Asmi PWE

With the big boss of PWE in Pakistan!

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Getting the upper hand on Chris “Bambikiller” Raaber in Lahore, Pakistan

My long-awaited autobiography, Battleground Valhalla, also came out in May through Crowbar Press in the USA, a highly-esteemed publisher of wrestling autobiographies, whose earlier releases include Donnie Fargo, Ole Anderson and Stand Hansen to name a few.  My book has sold great to this date, as I’ve even mailed out a ton of signed copies to folks far and wide who’ve asked for personalized copies.  My story also got released through Kindle on Amazon as a digital e-book, which was icing on the cake!

2017 was the year that I was named the inaugural Valhalla Nordic Wrestling Champion by ’80s pop sensation Samantha Fox and STHLM Wrestling out of Sweden.  After being lauded the honor of interim champion in (again) May, I went on to defeat a very capable up-and-coming young star in Timmy Force on July 8 in Stockholm to become the undisputed, first Valhalla Nordic champ.  This match was highly-praised by one of the heads of WWE, who was on hand, front-and-center ringside to witness this 30-minute classic that will go down as quite possibly the greatest match to date on Swedish soil.

StarBuck vs Timmy Force VALHALLA Nordic Championship 6

Timmy Force falls to my world-famous finisher, the jumping spike piledriver in Stockholm (photo: Fredrik Streiffert)

2017 was the year that I ventured into the studio with my reformed Stoner Kings band, recording new material after a decade of absence.  We even filmed the first-ever music video we ever did with the band for a single called Cro-Magnon, which was a very proud moment for me as the founder of Stoner Kings.

2017 was the year that I took three unprecedented vacations, something I had never done in that number per annum, in Morocco, Romania’s mountains, Spain and Thailand.  Thanks to my wife, Diana, for arranging these trips, as she’s quite the tour organizer and could easily be a commercial tour guide if she chose to do so.

2017 was also the year that I captured my fifth Finnish wrestling championship.  On December 2 in Helsinki at Finland’s biggest annual pro wrestling spectacular, Talvisota XII, I unseated Juhana “King Kong” Karhula in a 25+ minute mat classic, becoming a double-champion this year.

StarBuck FCF Champion 2017

StarBuck – FCF champion for the fifth time, December 2017 (photo: Marko Simonen)

2017 also saw me featured in two ground-breaking movie releases: It Came From The Desert and Rendel.  Both films have been sold worldwide now and have been dubbed in multiple, foreign languages like Japanese, German and Spanish.  My roles in both movies were incredibly intriguing and important characters, both of which for I was able to channel my vast pro wrestling experience into.

StarBuck in Rendel

My Russian mercenary character in Rendel has arguably the best fight scene in the whole movie

All in all, I can only be thankful for the awesome year that was 2017.  Even as a personal trainer and voice-over speaker, I accumulated several new clients and commissions.  As a graphic artist, several customers utilized my talents as a traditional illustrator.  With my voice, I was able to parlay my talents as a guest ring announcer at various boxing events, in front of new audiences.

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The cover of a children’s coloring book for Vesileppis Sport & Spa hotel in Finland, featuring Yours Truly as the human lead.

I have said that for some unexplained, divine reason, particularly good things happen to me in seven year installments.  This year was one such waypoint.  My previous seven year boon was in 2010, when I debuted as a professional wrestler in Japan – my career goal – where I became a star on the national stage overnight.  Seven years prior to that in 2003, I started the entire professional wrestling phenomenon in Finland, bringing the fighting art form to this neck of the Nordics and teaching it to the very first class of Finnish students in history.  Seven years before that, in 1996, I moved to Finland from my homeland of Canada to begin rewriting personal life history and create a legacy which even I had no inkling of, nor the its magnitude, as the years would roll on.  That said, here at the very end of 2017, I can say with all humility and honesty, that I am the most accomplished and successful professional wrestler in history to this day out of Northern Europe.

I eagerly await to see what 2018 brings.  While the world at large seems to be headed into a maelstrom of uncertainty, I can honestly say that the Good Lord above has blessed my life and continues to do so.  All respect the Big Man upstairs.  For me, the proof is in the pudding!

Good grief, it has taken a looooonnnnggggg time to get my autobiography finished and finally out, but alas, it is now HERE!

Battleground Valhalla book front cover

This is a project that I started in June of 2010, while on tour with my southern rock band Crossfyre in Europe, as something to pass the time and just finally get underway.  In truth, I had been contemplating writing a book for a long time by that period already.  I figured thousands of miles spent on the road inside a tour van would be a good place to start, if for nothing else, then to kill the boredom and time.  It was a smart move.

The more I reminisced and wrote, the more I quickly began to realize that this would be a lengthy project.  Indeed, I had lived a life of which many only dream.  Heck, I’d lived more up to that point than a dozen other people that I could name off the top of my head!  I had a full wellspring of memories and happenings to draw literary water from.

So I wrote … and wrote … and wrote.  Up until the summer of 2015, when once again, I found myself in the same tour van with the same band, back in central Europe, with a laptop at my disposal and the tail-end of my autobiography left to pen.

Battleground Valhalla book back cover

So much had happened in five years between starting the book and finishing the book: I had become a breakout superstar in Japan, I had gotten married, I had added several countries to my list of countries that I had grappled in, I had recorded new albums with my bands, I had created album covers and characters for the most successful children’s heavy metal band in history, etc!

My story was sure to inspire and wow audiences far and wide, I was sure of that.  I went to every length to make a truly memorable saga out of my life story.  Being the perfectionish I am, it truly was worth taking my time and fleshing everything out over five years.  I went back and re-wrote certain segments, adding to memories as they came to mind, and generally, just re-worded parts here and there to make them more interesting.

Michael Majalahti biography mock cover by Jarmo Katila

This was originally supposed to be the cover photo for my book, taken by master lensman, Jarmo Katila.  Over time, I came to choose the current pic of the published book cover, taken by Marko Simonen.

I am super proud of the opus that I now have in my hands, entitled Battleground Valhalla!  It’s my testament to the world.  My showcase of the path of the lone wolf, who ventured out into the world and made something truly remarkable of his life, becoming the most acclaimed and successful pro wrestler in history out of the Nordics and Northern Europe in general.

Many of my top opponents and other key players throughout the years in my wrestling adventures and escapades have written inserts for my book, giving you, the reader, a truly unique perspective into who Michael “StarBuck” Majalahti truly is: “The Japanese Buzzsaw” Tajiri, Steve Corino, Amin Asikainen, Akira Nogami, Michael Kovac and a plethora of other notables have their testimonials in my tome.

Do yourself a service and pick up my fantastic, new book through my publisher, Crowbar Press: http://crowbarpress.com/cbp-books/28-sb.html

You won’t regret it!

 

 

Every once in awhile, I feel the urge to write something prolific and meaningful that I hope someone out there will take to heart and be able to adapt or learn from.  One such topic is that of Neomasculinity, something that is rather close to my heart.

art-of-manliness

Some people might ask “why?”, but those same people will obviously be confused themselves as to their own gender roles and forte(s).  First of all, everyone must understand, that Neomasculinity and MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) are two completely different entities and concepts, which have nothing to do with one another.

Whereas MGTOW urges men to join the “sexodus” crowd (opting to quit pursuing females because of their seemingly unattainable/unfulfillable demands), immerse themselves into gaming culture and just drift in search of something that they’ve been unable to procure or tap into themselves, Neomasculinity urges men to re-establish their standing as the head of the tribe, king of their own home, adopt warrior-like mentality, become responsible and begin acting like Alpha Males.

Yeah, I like the sound and vibe of Neomasculinity, probably because I was raised that way.  At the core, I have always been a classic man.  My parents saw to that, and I have them to thank for the fact that I am not confused about my standing or who I am in today’s ever-convoluted, ambiguous culture and world.

So why all the fuss about Neomasculinity?  Some people get bent out of shape at even the slightest espousal of traditional values.  After all, they seem to be a thing of yesteryear and almost the laughing stock of the media and culture of the day.  Well, Neomasculinity’s argument lies in the fact that no man wants to feel like a chump, a wimp, a whipping boy, a dog on a leash (except for those unfortunate individuals who have tendencies to be “slaves”, which is a certain kind of perversion) or “the weaker half.”

No real man out there would opt for any of the above-mentioned descriptions when speaking about themselves.  Real men want to be respected, feel powerful, in control, leading the dance, hunting the prey, making the kill.  Real men do not play second fiddle to anyone, because they know their self-worth and internal stock value.

clint-eastwood

I find it quite absurd and even tragically comedic, that the vast amount of YouTubers out there talking about Neomasculinity sound like their balls haven’t even dropped yet.  There isn’t much weight behind their words, because they sound like they themselves are just analyzing the phenomenon, and trying it on for size like an over-sized leather jacket at a clothing store: they don’t own it yet, but they are hoping it would be for them.

Only one source on YouTube has a voice, sans imposing physique to match, however, that carries a credible voice for the cause.  Take a listen to Paul Joseph Watson as he espouses the virtues of Neomasculinity and breaks it down for y’all…

So once again, why Neomasculinity?  Well, because men these days need to man the fuck up.  Men have let things slide, they have given the squeaky wheel of feminism, PC thought and “sexual equality” propagandists the proverbial grease, in the hopes of shutting them up and getting their own way.  Men have not safeguarded their standing in society, their position at the helm of the household, nor their position as leaders that answer for their deeds and show responsibility at the end of it all.

Instead, modern men have become shellshocked, soft, relenting and yes, confused.  They don’t know where they stand anymore, be it in their romantic relationships or in society on a whole.  Men have lost their place, which was etched in stone for thousands of years, and this has not boded well for the modern man, as the spine of society on a whole has crumbled in its wake.  Oh, and men are not well at all.  They are depressed, lost and weak because of their lack of purpose and numbing confusion.

Simply acting like a traditional man is considered offensive and sexist now.  I wonder what icons like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood would say about this.  Well, I know what Eastwood had to say, because he let Esquire magazine have it awhile ago, claiming the generation today is one made up of “pussies.”

man-the-fuck-up

Where does that leave men?  Good question.  Scrambling for answers, I’d say, as they try to appease and win over the opposite sex through adapting to the rules of the new game, much like Mel Gibson in the movie What Women Want.  Really, you ask?  Yes, to a large degree.

Men have become players, even moreso than before, because they cannot seem to find any other way to score with the demanding, domineering modern female.  They opt for the one night stand in lieu of a long-standing, serious relationship, because men do not see the long-term payoff in the big picture.  There’s nothing to bank on, nothing worth the investment.  Sad, really.

Back in the day, both sexes brought something valuable to the table – actual life skills like cooking, housekeeping, gardening, mechanical and fundamental competence in line with their gender – and the complementary dynamic of these combined skills made for a promising marriage of opposites.  Nowadays, the counterparts in the relationship are damn near homogenous, and this cannot be a good thing.  Ever.

traditional-family

At the core of it all, men do not want to be controlled or manipulated to facilitate something that they feel is outside of what they can realistically produce.  And why is this?  Because men are still driven by the innate need for respect, to feel strong and to be powerful through and through.  When a man’s deeds and actions are not met with affirmative respect, he loses interest and caring, and proceeds to piss in the wind and “fuck it all.”  When a man does not feel that he is strong, he shies away and tries to cover up his weakness, making him feel like less of a man.  This is not hard to understand, nor is it rocket science.

The younger generation, I’ve noticed, has little to no clue about what it takes to be a man (or to be a woman, for that matter), and they try to overcompensate with things like social media photos of themselves in little to no garb, which only initiates the most primal mating call of them all, and nothing beyond that.  They think that superficial values will get the job done, without having to put in the hard work and persistence of time.

gamer

I’ve got news for you, folks.  We’re in trouble.  Our society is on the crux of a great, social overhaul.  Gender roles are being done away with, and if you only care to take a look around with unassuming eyes, you will see that we are in for a shit storm.  The polarity of the sexes, the things and idiosyncrasies that have drawn men and women to each other over the centuries, is being erased.  No one is going to want to invest in the long-term with the opposite sex if the perks, goods and life skills are not there to begin with.  Forget the window dressing, we’re going deeper than the surface here.

So, Neomasculinity is the only clear, healthy answer for men today, period.  It seeks to re-establish the throne and take back the proverbial lost balls of those unfortunate fellas, who let them slip away to begin with.  After realizing such a move only made them feel like shit, their only course of action is to backtrack and reclaim what they should have never parted with in the first place.

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I have my parents to thank for a traditional upbringing, with a sense of responsibility, virtue and a strong sense of manliness that has never wavered, even as times have changed.

Make the stand today, gentlemen, or risk losing what is left of your self-respect.

In closing, if anything I’ve said or written here has offended or distraught you… well, to quote my favorite pro wrestling promoter of all time, Bill Watts: “If the shoe fits, wear it.”

If anyone needs further clarification about Neomasculinity, read this.

russel-crowe-gladiator

 

As many of you possibly already know, I am also a personal trainer in addition to being a rock musician, pro wrestler, voice-over speaker and artist.  A jack of many trades, indeed!  The Good Lord blessed me with several talents, and thereby I am able to parlay my knowledge and aptitude across many waters, so to speak.

For 12-years now, I have been a personal trainer.  My oldest client has been 85-years of age and my youngest client has been 14-years old.  All across the proverbial board, I have trained folks from all walks of life, from beauty queens competing in Miss-What-Have-You pageants to athletes to ordinary folks both male and female.  Interestingly enough, the majority of my clients have been women, as I guess the ladies feel more at home with a man in charge!  But alas, that is A-OK with me!

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Miss Estonia Kristina Karjalainen is one of the known celebrities that I have trained.

Nonetheless, now, here in 2016, I decided to take my personal training aptitude and expertise to the next level.  I wanted to up the proverbial ante and really immerse myself in the field, in order to offer a more comprehensive whole to my clientele, especially in light of the total deluge of personal training services these days, many of which should not even exist if the truth be told.  There is a definitive difference in understanding physiology and muscular function vs. taking a said course on the matter and just going by what theory has taught you.

I have lived through a 22-year pro wrestling career full of all kinds of injuries and physical setbacks.  I have learned to navigate through the murky waters of limitations and pain, due to the realities suffered in my chosen sport.  In so saying, I understand the body better than most.  It’s an intuitive kind of knowledge that comes through personal experience and application of varied training and reparation principles, when working through and around injuries.  Thereby, I have a more comprehensive understanding of human physiology that I can use to my benefit, and for the benefit of others.

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(Left to right) Yours Truly, Harri Kokkonen, Ivo Gonzalez

This past weekend, I ventured out to Hamina, Finland, along with my personal training comrade Ivo Gonzalez, to get my PhD in personal training with a man that is known all around the Baltics as a guru for strength training, powerlifting, weightlifting and bodybuilding.  This man is named Harri Kokkonen.  He is the owner of SKIP Nutrition Finland (SKIP is the oldest sports supplement manufacturer in all of Europe, a pharmaceutical grade line of the highest market quality available today, which I am proud to be sponsored by), Gorilla Wear Finland (since 1982, straight out of the USA, my personal gym gear of choice and also my sponsor) and Voimapuoti Gym in Helsinki and Hamina, Finland.

Michael Majalahti personal trainer

I am a Gorilla Wear sponsored athlete, baby!  The best training gear on the market. (photo: Jarmo Katila – http://www.jarmokatila.fi)

Ivo and I went to Harri to fine-tune our knowledge of the nitty-gritty details that make all of the difference in the world, when it comes to targeting each specific muscle to the maximum, taking into consideration the nuances and idiosyncrasies that either make or break any given lifting technique.  I am two days removed from that merciless immersion into personal training, and let me tell you, my nervous system has yet to recover from the muscular overload that Harri put us through!  These are 100% guaranteed techniques, when performed stringently and properly, that will absolutely develop the body beyond prior limitations either imagined or real!

The angle of one’s wrists… the line of movement in relation to the targeted muscle… the implications of the supported core muscles in all movements… time under tension… all of these bullet points and more were covered by Harri, as he passed on his vast array of knowledge and expertise to us.

personal trainers

Men’s Physique Competitor (left) and 3-time European pro wrestling champion (right) at your service, ladies and gentlemen!

I feel that this past weekend was a major boon personally to my applied knowledge of physiology and the human body, as they pertain to muscular development and total fitness and conditioning.  I can honestly say, that I am a better personal trainer, having already applied my learned knowledge with a client yesterday, than I was prior to this weekend.

I will be starting my own personal training business this month, which will be launched shortly, where I will apply the lessons learned in my time in pro wrestling, integrated with traditional weight training, bodyweight conditioning and cross-training.  Keep your peepers peeled for that!

Ivo Gonzalez, who has a vast amount of experience in competitive athletics and is a men’s fitness physique competitor, and myself, being a 22-year pro wrestling veteran with coaching experience worldwide, have begun working as the official personal training duo for Voimapuoti Gym in Helsinki, as of this month.  Voimapuoti is a traditional weight training gym, not a health club.  Voimapuoti’s fundamental offering is found in free weights, a variety of different barbells, powerlifting apparatus, and traditional back-to-basics weight training equipment, because let’s face it… a real, strong, powerful body is made by application of fundamental truths that are based on free weights and body control.  We sell results, not pipe dreams.

Voimapuoti Gym personal training Helsinki

One week from today, it’ll be time to lace up the proverbial boots and step into the pro wrestling ring for the first match of 2016.  Just this past week, on January 7, I passed my 22-year mark since my first live wresting match as an active competitor.  Now, here in 2016, this old dog is still alive and kicking.

Hell, I’m sure there are some that would just wish an old warhorse like me would die out and fade away, but that just ain’t happening.  Not yet.  I will be the one to dictate when and where, barring serious injury or an Act of God.

side buck

There are days that I wonder how long I will want to keep up actively wrestling.  There is a limit to all things, a bump card that keeps filling up, and every year, I just have to find a way to wrestle smarter and navigate better.  It’s a challenge, but one that I embrace.  After all, at heart, I am a fighter.

At 42-years of age, I look at many contemporaries in our business and size myself up against them.  Old friends like Chris Jericho are a mere couple years older than me, and still in good stride, able to compete at the highest level.  My old wrestling coach Lance Storm of Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary, Canada, gets in the ring daily with his wrestling students and has actual matches against them to help them improve, and Lance is three years my senior.  Heck, when I lost the SMASH championship title to Dave “Fit” Finlay in 2011 in Tokyo, the legendary Irishman was just over 50 at that point, and he ran me ragged!

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Dave Finlay was an absolute beast inside of that ring past the age of 50!

Alas, here in 2016, I sit at my desktop computer, writing this blog, and I ponder my own situation.  I’ve been at this grappling game for a good number of years now, putting in the miles, flying here and there, up against the best competition around the globe.  I look at a guy like Keiji Muto in Japan, a man whom I look up to greatly for his legacy and longevity in our business, and see how beat up his knees are past the age of 50 now.  I think of guys like Triple H, in his mid-40s now, wrestling a very limited schedule, with only a few shots a year at most.  And then there is The Undertaker, who continues to hang on, also grappling a mere few times a year, as everyone asks when his last Wrestlemania moment will be.

As a veteran, it’s hard to hang it up, because at the heart of it all, we are all fans of this game.  Look at Terry Funk, the legendary old NWA World champion and hardcore wrestling legend.  He could never exorcise the wrestler out of his system, and the number of his announced “retirements” has been baffling.  That’s because Terry Funk loves pro wrestling.  Just like the other veterans out there, who refuse to die out and fade away.

I recall Bret “Hitman” Hart saying in his autobiography, that he never wanted anyone to see him wrestle as an old fart, past his due date.  I can relate to that, as it becomes a matter of personal pride in your own legacy and accomplishments.  You don’t want to be in a place where you are just a shell of what you used to be at your prime.  As long as you can produce top-notch matches and carry your personal piece of business with your head held high, I say go.  Don’t let anyone stop you.

And so it is in 2016, that 22 years into the pro wrestling game, I look at the date of January 16 at the Pressa Club in Helsinki.  I look at the match I will have that night and the tag team partner that I am paired with that evening: Stark Adder.

Adder is another veteran, a year older than Yours Truly, but equally a warhorse of high fortitude and morale that keeps the flame alive.  We’ve fought each other numerous times over the past decade, and we have nothing but the highest mutual respect for one another.

Now, on January 16, Adder and I will join forces to do battle with Adder’s former tag team partner and ex-protege, Ricky Vendetta, and his partner, FCF champion, Valentine.  This is a huge tag match on paper, a monumental bout that will see Adder and Vendetta lock horns for the first time since Vendetta turned on his former mentor about a half-year ago.

I warmly welcome you all out to Helsinki on January 16 to see what very well may be deemed as “The Veteran’s League”, as we clash with the kind of opposition that will surely translate into a classic match at the Pressa Club in Helsinki, with a showtime start of 18:00 and doors opening at 17:30, tickets 20e/person.

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