Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

 

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.

Kokkonen

(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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I did an extensive interview with my birth country Canada’s top internet sports media, SLAM! Sports, for their website.  Journalist Blaine Van Der Griend went to extensive lengths, cross-checking and getting the low-down from some influential people that have seen my pro wrestling career sparkle in Japan.  This piece of media is really a treat, folks.  The gloves come off here, so sit back, take 15-minutes and read some good inside stuff: http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Wrestling/2015/07/05/22488981.html

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Thanks again to SLAM! Sports for this feature, and a big shout-out to all my Canadian compatriots out there!  Reach for the stars, eh!!!

There are days that just feel haggard when you get older.  The body starts to show the signs of wear and tear and you realize there ain’t no way in hell you’re getting your former self back.  Today was one of those days for Yours Truly.

Just like everyone else out there, I’ve seen all the bodybuilding and fitness magazines promising “constant development” and shit like that, but let me assure you, that’s a crock.  Unless you’re on the gas (steroids) or other performance-enhancers, the body just begins to turn against you at a certain point after you’ve outlived your youth, and believe me when I tell you, then you are just trying to stem the tide anymore.

After wrestling for on top of two decades, one tends to build up a specific list of nagging injuries and physical setbacks.  The joints hurt, the body becomes increasingly stiff.  Certain ranges of motion induce pain.  Then you must push through the pain barrier (unless it serves to inflammate your current state of being) and clear your personal aging hurdles.  Because, seriously, what other choices do you have?

That’s not to say that it’s game over when the tipping point arrives, no sir, not at all!  Of course, the relevance of a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits become all the more pronounced as the years wear on.  But there’s more.  There comes the pivotal moment, when you have to change your game.  You have to dig deeper and play smarter.  There is no surcease.  There is no cease-fire.  I mean, let’s be honest, if you choose to give up when the pain starts to come and the body starts to rebel against its owner, then all you’ll have left to look forward to is a painful and slow death.  You absolutely MUST stay in the fight.  Quitting is NOT an option.

Choose your hard

Believe me, there have been countless times when I just couldn’t have cared less about hitting the track or banging it out another day in the gym.  It’s a lot like a long marriage, I guess.  There are days that you are sick and tired of it all, and then there are days that make it all worth the while.  And at the days end you still know deep down, that if you chose to give up on this chosen path, there would be more negatives that positives waiting for you.  Therefore, you choose to persist.

I remember watching the Rocky Balboa movie back in 2008 and feeling inspired even back then at the following motivational clip, which I am really starting to relate to after spending two decades plus in the pro wrestling game…

Let me assure you, life doesn’t feel like the movies.  Romance and love do not work in real life like they do in the movies.  Fights do not look or feel anything like they are portrayed in the movies.  No one has a backing soundtrack in this life.  All we have is that little voice deep within our heads and something called heart, or lack thereof.  At the end of the day, it’s just sheer willpower and persistence that makes the difference in anyone’s life.  Forget talk of motivation.  Do not wait for someone or something to motivate you.  YOU have to go out there and make it happen!  Remember, there are no such things as excuses, only reasons why things don’t get done.

out of gas

People are always looking for the quick fix, the fountain of youth, the magic formula.  Allow me to let you in on something: THEY DON’T EXIST.  The commercial powers that be have duped you.  They’ve lied to you for years.  Some of you still believe the sales pitches.  Like a good politician herding the sheep in every four years, some folks still want to believe in what may as well be termed “something for nothing.”

The cold, hard truth is: there are no free rides, no easy money, no shortcuts to the goal.  There is only hard work, sweat, struggle and persistence.

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Tapout is a word that is familiar to most nowadays. In addition to being a top MMA clothing line, it is also an indicator of conceding a match due to the pain becoming too great to withstand. In short, submission.

It is in this light that I would like broach the subject of my upcoming, long-awaited submissions-only match with one Ricky Vendetta at Talvisota IX in Helsinki on February 7. Ricky has had a field day for the better part of last year, boasting and gloating at my personal expense after scoring a few tainted victories over me after I suffered the worst defeats of my career at 2014’s Talvisota VIII.

Vendetta catches me in a Samoan Drop (photo: Marko Simonen)

Vendetta catches me in a Samoan Drop (photo: Marko Simonen)

I was on an emotional low, a personal downturn. I had lost my wife as my ringside valet due to a contract stipulation set forth by Valentine, who also underhandedly took the since-terminated Nordic Openweight title from me at Talvisota VIII. On the same night, I was set to make another title defense, putting my newly-won WNC championship on the line against Bernard Vandamme of Belgium. I lost that match also, along with the WNC belt. This set off a downward spiral for me, one which I had a hell of a time digging myself out of.

Ricky Vendetta came to prey on the remains of a deflated StarBuck, starting at FCF Wrestling’s Jatkosota 2014 event, when he managed to pin me in a six-man tag team match. At Snacky Slam in July, Vendetta managed to do a repeat in another six-man bout. I have to admit that the belligerent ”Finnish Doberman” was really getting under my skin at this point. Then, in a singles match in September in Helsinki, Vendetta and I met one-on-one and he managed to injure my ribs and claim yet another underhanded victory.

Ricky Vendetta claims to be the "Finnish Doberman" (photo: Marko Simonen)

Ricky Vendetta claims to be the “Finnish Doberman” (photo: Marko Simonen)

But all that said, Ricky Vendetta has come to the end of his ego parade. He’s still a young man, a four-year pro. Sure, he’s got a world of talent, but he also has a misguided sense of self-worth. He sees himself bigger than his britches allow for. So I made a promise already last year, one which was directed to young Vendetta, and one which I have not yet been able to fulfill. That gets rectified at Talvisota IX this February 7 in Helsinki at the Helsinki Sports Hall in the city’s Kallio suburb.

Talvisota IX represents the biggest pro wrestling extravaganza of the year in Finland. It is our Wrestlemania. The night when the spotlight shines brightest of all, when one can stake out and claim their marquee moment. Ricky Vendetta has that great opportunity, to make this old dog of war snap and tap out. To claim his hoped for spot, without any tainted additives, to claim a clean, concise victory over Yours Truly. No more shenanigans, just a one-night war of hostility that can only end in submission.

I've perfected my Rebel Lock crossface submission just for Vendetta! (photo: Mara Backman)

I’ve perfected my Rebel Lock crossface submission just for Vendetta! (photo: Mara Backman)

Ricky, I welcome you at Talvisota IX. I’ve been waiting for this one for over a half-year now. Come and get what’s coming to you!

Talvisota IX -wrestling show

7.2.2015

Helsingin Urheilutalo, Helsinginkatu 25, Helsinki

Doors: 17:00, showtime 17:30
Tickets at the door: 20e

With another year gone in the history books, I’d like to glance back and assess the past 12 months both personally and professionally.

The last two years have really been life-altering times of change for me. In 2013 I got married, starting a new chapter of my life. Professionally speaking, 2014 signalled the end of the WNC (Wrestling New Classic) organization that I grappled for, marking the close of an era there also. The financial crunch in Europe began to sting and affect businesses across the board, spreading to Asia, including professional wrestling. Less shows were in the offering and the money just wasn’t there. I find myself amongst the hard-nosed veterans of the grappling game who find themselves working a limited number of dates due the poorly paying scene in general, not counting a few decent promotions on the grappling map who are still putting out top dollar for top talent still. 2014 was no cake-walk for independent pro wrestling, folks.

Yet, 2014 was musically one of the better years that I recall as of late. With my southern rock act Crossfyre we blazed across Europe and all around Finland over 2014, having one helluva time! We toured Poland, Estonia and Germany at the start of the summer and hit a slew of summer festivals and biker gigs to boot domestically. I got to see Lithuania and Latvia in transition between countries on tour and overall it was great experience. Crossfyre really evolved even further over 2014 as a working man’s hard working band, and for that, I am proud.

2014 started off with a bang, as fast food giant Subway had me play the lead and do the voice-over for their American Steak House Melt sub sandwich. I got to play my redneck self, complete with my Michael Hayes-like finger mannerisms, familiar to wrestling fans far and wide, who’ve seen ”The Rebel” StarBuck in action.

2014 also marked my 20th anniversary since debuting as an active combatant in the world of pro wrestling. On January 7 this past year, my old wrestling coach Lance Storm sent me a public message on Facebook, congratulating me on my career milestone. It was Lance who was my first opponent, whom I had a very decent 7-minute match with back in Calgary, Canada in my debut bout. Since that time, I’ve gone on to see the world, kick ass and take names far and wide. Thank again, Lance, for setting me off on that fantastic journey!

Speaking of pro wrestling, FCF started off 2014 with a bang on January 11 in Helsinki, as my four-man team of Mikko Maestro, Sly Sebastian, Kristian Kurki and Yours Truly downed the team of Valentine, Conny Mejsel, Steinbolt and Robert Holmström in a hellacious Survivor Series-style elimination match. This tag bout stands out as one of my personal favorites from 2014, as everyone clicked on all cylinders and the action was hot and heavy-handed.

In another huge tag team outing, I teamed with FCF’s King Kong Karhula against the duo of Sweden’s Conny Mejsel and Harley Rage in Gothenburg on February 1, which turned out to be perhaps the hottest tag team match that I have ever wrestled. I am speaking solely about fan reaction to the bout here, but I am in no way undermining the quality of the wrestling in that match. Everyone brought their A-game to the show, and I am glad that my Spandex Sapiens movie producer Oskari Pastila was able to come and film the bout, because this crowd and atmosphere was most definitely worth capturing on film.

The Gothenburg fans went bananas when their hero Conny Mesjel got the upper hand on me.

The Gothenburg fans went bananas when their hero Conny Mesjel got the upper hand on me.

Speaking of Spandex Sapiens, premature expectations had the 100-minute documentary movie about my persona and wrestling career coming out in 2014. Yet, director Pastila decided to wait out the possible financial commitments of various third parties before tending to the actual release, and thus, the movie debut was delayed until 2015. Now, the release has been set for autumn 2015 and all signs are go at this point. I personally can’t wait! In addition, 2015 will mark the return of Mad Max to the silver screen, as Fury Road comes out in the summer. When I was a kid, Mad Max: The Road Warrior was my favorite movie.

2014 also saw Yours Truly doing a guest DJ spot on Finland’s top rock radio station, Radio Rock. This was a personal milestone for me, much like getting featured in an exclusive article in Hustler magazine several years ago (true story!) about my wrestling career (Hustler publisher and boss Larry Flynt has always been an icon to me as an anti-establishment kind of guy who swims against the stream at large). I got the opportunity to play whatever I wanted, chosing obscure songs by lesser-known bands like Living Sacrifice, Bolt Thrower and even my own bands, Overnight Sensation and Crossfyre. Talk about a great PR opportunity!

February 27, 2014 was a huge day for me in my wrestling career. I defeated ”The Japanese Buzzsaw” Tajiri for the WNC championship in Tokyo, capturing my second title in Japan to date (I became the first champion in SMASH history back in October 2011, also defeating Tajiri then in a tournament final). Tajiri is arguably my greatest nemesis of all time, over the entire span of my wrestling career. He and I have waged numerous wars, both in Japan and Finland, and I am honored to have had such a great fighting chemistry with him.

One week after winning the WNC title, I hit an all-time career low, as I lost both the WNC championship and the BWA (British Wrestling Alliance) Catchweight belt in the same night at FCF Wrestling’s biggest annual showcase event, Talvisota VIII, on March 8. With my wife Diana as my wrestling valet, I also put her career on the line against Valentine in what I can now assess was a bad case of overconfidence on my part. Valentine pulled out a tainted win, complete with brass knuckles, as I lost the BWA title to him. Immediately thereafter, Belgian powerhouse Bernard Vandamme demanded that I wrestle him and defend the WNC title. Never one to back down from a fight, I valiantly did my best, losing in grand fashion in two minutes. It was possibly the lowest point of my career, and it haunted me for the rest of the year in all of my Finnish matches. I can see now, that it was psychologically a demon and monkey on my back, losing my wife as my valet, along with two championships, in one night. In 2015, I plan to rid myself of that jinx for good.

I was able to grapple again in Belgium in March 2014, this time laying waste to a promising young rookie named Tyson Heel out of Andorra, along with a return to Germany to wrestle for EPW. Things were going great for me outside of Finland, as the wins kept coming, but my jinx returned when FCF’s Jatkosota 2014 rolled around on April 12 in Helsinki once again. In a six-man tag team match, my team of Sly Sebastian, Kristian Kurki and myself lost to Heimo Ukonselkä, Stark Adder and Ricky Vendetta when Ukonselkä assisted Vendetta in gaining a pinfall over this disgruntled Rebel. Ricky Vendetta would go on to brag and boast about gaining the biggest pin of his career, shooting his mouth off all throughout 2014 at my expense. Vendetta became a real thorn in my hide at this point.

I became embroiled in a bitter rivalry with young Ricky Vendetta this year (photo: Marko Simonen).

I became embroiled in a bitter rivalry with young Ricky Vendetta this year (photo: Marko Simonen).

2014 marked my 19th country in pro wrestling, as I went to Holland to wrestle for a fabuolus company called Dutch Pro Wrestling on June 1 against Bernard Vandamme. I was out looking to avenge myself and beat Vandamme into the ground, but as fate would have it, Vandamme found a way to thwart my end goal, eeking out another victory over Yours Truly. That WNC title loss really stung bad after that repeat defeat, I can assure you!

On June 8, I had the pleasure of playing the 2014 Harley-Davidson Super Rally in Tallinn, Estonia with Crossfyre. We had the main stage, we got to meet Mr. Bill Davidson of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, and we got to treat throngs of bikers from all across Europe to our special southern rocking brand of rock’n’roll from the north. Top of the line hotel, top treatment, top spot on the event line-up = no complaints!

Bill Davidson mugs between me and Crossfyre's session bassist Sami Salminen.

Bill Davidson mugs between me and Crossfyre’s session bassist Sami Salminen.

The summer of 2014 signalled the end of the WNC organization that I wrestled for in Japan. Tajiri, Akira Nogami, Yusuke Kodama, Rionne Fujiwara and a couple of other wrestlers moved on to Keiji Muto’s Wrestle-1 organization, while everyone else from WNC went their own, separate ways. I was saddened to say goodbye to my old Synapse teammates Syuri Kondou and Akira, with whom I enjoyed a tremendous chemistry. We travelled a lot of miles up and down the roads in Japan, kicking asses and taking names for almost two years together. It was a memorable time, and Synapse will always live on in my memories as a unit that I was truly happy to be a part of.

The summer gigs that we played with Crossfyre live strongly in my memories, as I mentioned at the start of this blog. The summer of 2014 was awesome and we really rocked all summer long, as the lyrics to a certain song go. The shows we had in Poland especially warm my heart, as we had Polish audiences dancing on tables and losing their inhibitions (in a good way!) every single night. Poland was one helluva time! I also warmly recall going for a kebab after our gig on the Reperbahn in Hamburg, Germany with a black 74-year-old jazz and blues musician, whose name now escapes me. Talk about experience and the wisdom that only comes with years!

Photographer Igor Uciński captures one of the best shots of me on stage in Poland.

Photographer Igor Uciński captures one of the best shots of me on stage in Poland.

The summer of 2014 also saw FCF Wrestling join forces with fast food restaurant Snacky in Finland for an event called Snacky Slam at the end of July. This show was held outdoors, and we had more media exposure through Snacky for FCF than I recall en masse in recent years. Finland’s top entertainment magazine, 7 Päivää, jumped in as the media sponsor for the event, proving to be the ideal, perfect match in terms of hype. I am proud as punch of the promo work that FCF and myself got to do through 7 Päivää, and the vast, new audiences reached thereby. It was at Snacky Slam that Ricky Vendetta was able to gain yet another tainted win at my expense in a six-man war, featuring myself along with Sly Sebastian and Mikko Maestro against Vendetta, Stark Adder and Pyöveli Petrov in a super-hot match that had the Snacky outdoor audience rocking. Adder was the pivotal man to assist Vendetta this time, leading to the pinfall win for Vendetta over good ol’ StarBuck. Ricky Vendetta was really beginning to piss me off at this point.

In August, I had the pleasure of coaching a week-long training camp for young wrestlers in Denmark. I was able to take my wife along for this trip, and we had our official summer vacation in the process. Danish Pro Wrestling organized the camp, and I had kids from four different countries attend. I saw some real potential amongst the 21 participants that busted their asses that week, and I am sure the world of pro wrestling will be hearing from some of them in the future.

The summer of 2014 also allowed me to mend the fence with Boogie Mustonen, the seven-time Finnish heavyweight bodybuilding champion. Boogie had trash-talked Finnish pro wrestling and my personal legacy many years ago on a certain Finnish bodybuilding online forum, and I had taken personal offense to his derogatory comments. You see, Boogie had once wrestled in the neighborhood of about 20 matches, after getting his training in Australia around the mid-’90s. Since speaking out less than favorably about Finnish pro wrestling, Boogie had amended his opinions and views. Back then, Boogie had never really understood the pro wrestling business, and his career was cut prematurely short after failing to convince in his match against Tony Halme (Ludvig Borga in WWF) in Joensuu, Finland back in July 1997. I had been the referee for that specific match, and it had been Boogie’s tryout bout to get into Otto Wanz’s CWA promotion (Austria) back then. To make a long story short, the match was flop. Boogie went on to concentrate on his bodybuilding career and Halme went on to become a boxer before getting into politics and then eventually killing himself in early 2010.

It's like the past never happened, Boogie is a great guy!

It’s like the past never happened, Boogie is a great guy!

I had a blast doing another TV commercial shoot during the summer, this time for Vesileppis Sport & Spa Hotel. Hotel manager Kimmo had been the promoter for FCF’s Karjalan Turpakäräjät show in Nurmes, eastern Finland back in October 2012. Kimmo thought StarBuck would be a great fit as a main actor alongside Vesileppis Hotel’s ladybug mascot, to provide a comical contrast. The end production speaks for itself, so take a look…

During the summer, I also got to do a TV commercial shoot for Finland’s biggest dairy manufacturer, Valio Ltd., with NHL ice hockey legend and Stanley Cup winner, Teemu Selänne. The double exposure of both Subway and Valio definitely lay down some serious exposure for me in preparation for my Spandex Sapiens movie next year, as my mug will be familiar to the entire nation pretty much. As the Bible says, the Lord works in mysterious ways!

2014 was a bit of a transitional year for my hard rock band Overnight Sensation, as we have been focusing on writing new material by and in large. We only had a handful of domestic gigs this past year, and granted, we could have done more. Nonetheless, we are planning on releasing a mini-LP of sorts featuring our new songs with our current drummer Jesper in 2015.

On the 13th of September, I finally had the chance to gain a measure of retribution on Ricky Vendetta here in Finland, as we met in a singles match in Helsinki. Yet, Ricky didn’t want to face me square-up. Earlier in the evening at FCF Wrestling’s Syyskuun Selkäsauna, I introduced the new debuting Class of 2014 to the fans present at Hotel Presidentti. Seven new trainees had passed their 2014 schooling to enter the world of professional wrestling, and during this presentation ceremony, Ricky Vendetta chose to attack me with a monkey wrench in his hand. In the ensuing melee, he bruised my ribs, leaving me at less than 100% for our singles match later that night. Regardless of my best efforts, Vendetta thwarted yet another bullet and managed to gain another tainted win over me. I had promised to make Vendetta tap out for his insolence, not content with just pinning him. I promised to make him scream for his life and submit. That is still going to have to wait for another day, and luckily, my opportunity lies in achieving that goal at FCF’s Talvisota IX event in Helsinki on February 9, 2015, when I will face Vendetta in a submission-only match!

I had the pleasure of returning to Japan again on October 10 for my good friend and former Synapse tag team partner Akira Nogami’s 30th anniversary show in Tokyo. Whereas I celebrated 20 years in pro wrestling this year, Akira’s landmark was a decade better. In the main event of Akira’s 30th anniversary card, I wrestled against my old friend Nogami and also against Pancrase founder Masakatsu Funaki in a triple threat match. I got to find out first-hand about Funaki’s legendary kicks, which I felt on numerous occasions during that match. In the end, even I was astounded at the fact that when all was said and done, I had pinned Akira at his own anniversary show! Japan has always been a very special place for me, and my favorite country to wrestle in, and this event once again reminded me just why that is.

lineup Akira 30th anniversary

Akira’s 30th anniversary show line-up

 

On November 1, traveled to Stockholm to fight Ken Malmsteen in a Last Man Standing match. I took it upon myself to teach Malmsteen a stern lesson about respect for the way that he disregarded and cheapshotted former Swedish Olympic hero, Frank Andersson. Frank had wrestled in WCW and New Japan way back in the day circa. 1993-1995 or thereabouts. He had made his comeback to pro wrestling this past year in Sweden, challenging Malmsteen to a match for the Swedish wrestling championship after Malmsteen first cheapshotted him when Frank was a special referee in a prior bout. Frank went on to make good and capture the title, but after the match he was diagnosed with a concussion after a loaded uppercut from Malmsteen in their match. On November 1, I beat Malmsteen from pillar to post and was well on my way to busting him open good and proper. Malmsteen got hold of the STHLM Wrestling title belt and blasted me in the face with it during our no-DQ outing, which sliced my head open, instead. After yet another shot with the title belt to my wounded head, I was unable to get to my feet by the referee’s 10-count, and the match was awarded to Malmsteen. At least I did manage to soften up Mr. Malmsteen for Frank Andersson the next time they meet…

I was thinking I had Ken Malmsteen beat (photo: Johannes Tegner).

I was thinking I had Ken Malmsteen beat (photo: Johannes Tegner).

On November 7, I travelled to France for the first time in five and a half years, which was a welcome return to fight for Wrestling Stars. I had become accustomed to wrestling mixed tag matches with Synapse in Japan over the past couple of years, and this time I teamed with the feisty Miss Agathe against French fan favorite Jimmy Gavroche and Sara Elektra from Finland. I don’t think Sara had ever been rag-tagged so badly in her life as in that match, and it was a valuable lesson for her about the relentless world of pro wrestling. I have always had the same philosophy with training and wrestling, regardless of whether it’s been a man or woman. Pro wrestling is an incredibly hard and remorseless grind physically, and if there ever was a thing called Sexual Equality, the world of pro wrestling is such a place. Hell, I recall facing multi-time Japanese women’s wrestling champion Kana on several occasions a couple of years back, and her kicks were on par with those thrown by Masakatsu Funaki!

On November 15, I celebrated my 20th year in pro wrestling with The Roast of StarBuck at Hotel Presidentti in Helsinki. Although January 7 was officially my anniversary career landmark, FCF Wrestling wanted to toast and roast my contributions to the grappling game at year’s end. Many names from my past dropped by to grill me, including media personality Wilma Schlizewski, Renne Korppila of Radio NRJ, my uncle Lasse, former amateur champion Jouni Mörsky and FCF’s Valentine and Robert Holmström. The best verbal jabs were dealt by Holmström, Valentine and Korppila, who had no mercy on my poor person. Regardless, I was a good sport and hung in there for the duration, until once again, Ricky Vendetta tried to ruin even this occasion as my wife Diana gave me a closing blindfolded lap dance. Vendetta tried to assault me with the trophy FCF handed to me as a commemorative token, which I was able to avoid and then procede to lay a beating on Vendetta, sending him scurrying out of the ring to await his final judgement at Talvisota IX this upcoming February 7, 2015 in Helsinki.

To cap off my eventful 2014, I was asked by Europe’s biggest MMA organization M-1 to ring announce their M-1 Challenge 54 / ACB 12 event in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 17. I did the ring announcing for the M-1 Semi-Finals in 2010 in Helsinki, and M-1 president Vadim Finkelchtein recalled that I did a great job for his organization then. One of the things that I have always prided myself on is having a strong voice and dynamic delivery. This has proven to be an asset for me over 2014, as I have had a slew of voice-over jobs through Finland’s oldest voice-over agency, Dictum.fi. I was once again able to parlay my talents and offer my voice to ring announcing for the M-1 Global live stream of their event from St. Petersburg. I was told the organization was more than happy with my work this time also, and hopefully we’ll be able to work together in 2015.

Yours Truly in a snazzy suit ring announcing M-1 in St. Petersburg.

Yours Truly in a snazzy suit ring announcing M-1 in St. Petersburg.

Thanks to all my fans for the support over 2014. 2015 should be even bigger and better, as the Spandex Sapiens documentary movie about me hits the silver screen this autumn. Stay tuned to http://www.starbuck.fi for developments and all the latest!