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!

 

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Big news: I will be wrestling in Pakistan this month on May 17 in Karachi, May 19 in Lahore and May 21 in Islamabad.  These events will be televised and a tournament will be held during the tour to crown the very first Pakistan pro wrestling champion in history.

25 wrestlers have been hand-picked from all over the world to participate in this monumental moment in pro wrestling lore.  Ex-WWE star Chris Masters from the USA, former WWE Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett, Chris Raaber from Austria, Bernard Vandamme from Belgium, Fabio Ferrari from Italy, Tiny Iron from England, Baadshah Pehalwan Khan from Pakistan and many others will be taking place in this grand event.  I will be representing my home country of Canada on this tour of Pakistan.

BP Khan

Pakistan will mark my 21st country in pro wrestling since 1994 worldwide across four continents.  This should be very, very interesting…

StarBuck Pakistan

There comes a time in every man’s life, when he looks at what he has accomplished and accumulated to this point and what lies beyond, yet to pursue.  I found that when I hit the pivotal age of forty back in 2013, I took stock of my life at large and contemplated the brevity and breadth of it all.

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When you step back and take a look at your life from the outside, you can assess things at face value for what they are and what they have meant. (Photo: Hannu Eskelinen)

Forty is like a half-way marker.  It’s a brutal, unforgiving assessment of what is, for real.  It’s half-way to eighty, and eighty is an age that spells pretty much the end of one’s life here on Planet Earth.

I look back at the greatest, single influence on my pro wrestling career early on, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the 16-time world heavyweight champion in our grand game of professional wrestling.  I recall the year 1990, when Flair was wrestling against Lex Luger at a WCW (World Championship Wrestling) pay-per-view event called WrestleWar ’90, that it also happened to be on his birthday.  The announcers tried to sell it as if it was Flair’s 40th birthday, when in reality, it was his 41st.  Nonetheless, I remember this detail speaking to me in volume even back then.

Ric Flair

When I started my pro wrestling career, I always asked myself “What would the ‘Naitch do?”

My old friend Chris Jericho currently wrestles for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) as their US Champion, a belt that he will be defending against fellow Canadian grappler Kevin Owens next weekend on April 2nd at Wrestlemania 33.  Jericho is about three years my senior, now age 46.  He’s still doing well, hanging in there at the top of his game, arguably on one of his last runs with the company.  I applaud him.  He’s done very well, staying in shape and being able to connect with a changing audience and parlay his character across various generations of wrestling fans.  Yet, the end is drawing nigh, even for my old pal Y2J, simply based on age.

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When I started my pro wrestling career in Calgary, Canada in 1994, they used to call me Jericho Jr.  Really, I didn’t mind.  Chris has done incredibly well in the business, and I’m happy for him.

Now, back to my original point: the things left to pursue in one’s chosen career or life path.  Tallinn, Estonia was such a waypoint for me personally this past weekend, the reason being that the event I took part in was a professional boxing card.

For the longest time, since the onset of my personal pro wrestling career, I’ve been fighting to defend the credibility of my fighting art, called professional wrestling.  There have always been detractors and shit-talkers and there always will be.  Still, I have always felt compelled to defend the honor of my business, which many see as a faux sport.  Like one of my early role models, Bret “Hitman” Hart, said in his autobiography some years back, “It seems as though I’ve been defending professional wrestling my entire life.”

Bret Hart vs Ric Flair

Bret Hart and Ric Flair slugging it out back in 1992 in the World Wrestling Federation.

For me, I’ve always prided myself on being legitimate when I step into the ring.  I take my sport seriously.  Regardless of how many people – some contemporaries included – have prostituted and bastardized our trade, for me, I’ve always strived to take the higher road of credibility.  I’ve gone the extra mile and fought tooth and nail to retain integrity in the believability of professional wrestling.  For me, it’s a matter of professional pride.

Being able to parlay my skills and take part in the Warrior Fight Series 1 event this past Saturday night in Tallinn, Estonia on March 25 was a true milestone for me.  It was history in the making.

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Photographer Karli Saul captures my ring entrance in Estonia in dazzling colors.

I was able to step into the ring in front of a virgin audience, engage them and win them over, making believers in the process, as I fought against a true athletic stud in Vladimir Kulakov of Russia.  This was an international match of epic proportions: the time-tested, world-traveled ring veteran against the younger Russian pro wrestling champion and a literal wolverine amongst his peers.  It was action and reaction, just as professional wrestling should be, in front of an audience that was there with an open mind, ready to make their initial assessment of the grappling game that is professional wrestling.  It was an ambitious endeavor to win over a new fan base and build where no one else had built or wandered before.

Photo by Martin Ahven (2)

Photographer Martin Ahven gets a good shot of the intensity of my match with Kulakov.

It is in this – venturing out into new, uncharted territories – that I take personal gratification in at this stage of my pro wrestling career.  I pioneered the business in Finland back in 2003 along with promoter Patrik Pesola, which launched an entire scene in the country.  My hallmark is set in stone as the most successful professional wrestler ever out of the Nordics and the northern sector of Europe.  My track record globally attests to that claim, and my championship reigns worldwide, along with my lengthy list of name opposition all around the world support that argument.  Now, I need a new mountain to climb.  A new challenge to contest.

Tallinn was the beginning of another chapter in my personal pro wrestling career.  I want to thank the promoter of EST Boxing, Mr. Grinkin, for having the faith to present pro wrestling on his card.  I want to also thank the Estonian media at large for covering the match to the degree that it has received media attention, which you can see e.g. from the link below:

http://sport.delfi.ee/news/voitlussport/poks/delfi-video-esmakordselt-eestis-ameerika-wrestlingu-sou-naerutas-tondiraba-publikut?id=77670846

Every one of us has the chance to build our own legacy in whatever our chosen endeavor is.  The true question is, how much heart do you really have to pursue your ambitions and goals, turning your dreams into a reality?

Life is short.  Make yours spectacular.

 

The news was just released officially this week that I would be facing my former protégé Mikko Maestro at the annual flagship supershow in Finnish professional wrestling, Talvisota XI – which translates to Winter War 11 – this coming February 18 at the Nosturi club in Helsinki, as promoted by FCF Wrestling.

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I was there at the inaugural Winter War on December 2, 2006 – an event that I coined and created back in the day to be the Finnish wrestling equivalent of Wrestlemania – and here I am over a decade later, turning another page.

This match-up against Maestro is significant on a few levels.  Firstly, it’s arguably the biggest match to date in the six-year career of young Maestro.  Secondly, I took the kid under my wing back in early 2013 to groom him for the years ahead, seeing that his charisma was catching on with the Finnish wrestling audience.  This made him my protégé, a pet project that I invested considerable time and coaching into, and Maestro finally was able to up the ante and make a breakthrough in 2016 against top competition like Ivan Markov of Russia, Mark Kodiak of Holland, Swedish champion Harley Rage and Heimo the Wildman here in Finland.  Thirdly, Maestro has shown himself to be ambitious in the fact that he has gone on to countries like Denmark, Germany and the USA to gain more experience.  This last bit is something I’d like to elaborate on.

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Maestro was able to defeat Heimo the Wildman in a Last Man Standing match at Talvisota X in March 2016, which gave him major momentum.

Every talent out there with any inkling of ambition will take the chance to spread their wings and test their mettle in the shark-infested waters of global pro wrestling.  Many young wrestlers will end up having to pay their own way just to get exposure, build a resume and get noticed, as they build up their personal value in order for a booker or promoter out there to invest in them.  If they are lucky, and to any degree own a moderate modicum of talent, they will be able to make headway in a very convoluted age in their aspirations to become stars in the world of pro wrestling.

Maestro has shown ambition.  He has gone out there and found a way to get noticed and get booked where other contemporaries, even those with greater in-ring talent, have fallen short.  Maestro has shown heart, even over-ambition at times, if you ask me.  Nonetheless, he’s been able to consistently climb the ladder rung by rung.  That brings us to Talvisota XI / Winter War 11 on February 18.

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Mikko Maestro wrestling a marquee bout in California during 2015.

As with any young talent, everyone has role models that they aspire to pattern themselves after and learn from.  At the start of my pro wrestling career in 1994, my biggest influence was Ric Flair.  I believe that for many of my generation, growing up a teen in the 1980s, Ric Flair was the consummate pro to look up to, if you had any understanding of the complete package that made a pro wrestler.  For the Millenials to a large degree, that role model became Shawn Michaels and a bit later on The Rock and Stone Cold.  In Finland, for many, including one Mikko Maestro, that role model was StarBuck, the founding father of Finnish pro wrestling.

I recall a young Mikko Maestro back around 2009, when I was cycling near Munkkiniemi Beach in Helsinki.  It was there that I ran into the kid for the first time.  As I was riding by, getting in my cardio, Maestro recognized me as he walked down the street and yelled out “StarBuck!”.  I simply smiled, recognizing his fanship, and kept on cycling. One year later, he showed up for wrestling schooling.

As a mentor, I took Mikko Maestro as high as I could.  The rest, of course, was all up to him.  At the Winter War event in 2013, I took Maestro as my tag partner for a heated, key match-up against Stark Adder and his protégé, Ricky Vendetta.  The vet and the pup against the vet and the pup, as it was, back then.  It was the starting point for my on-hands mentorship of one Mikko Maestro.

Time passed, Maestro gained experience and confidence, and alas, in September of last year, he made a bold challenge.  Mikko Maestro wanted to publicly challenge the man that taught him, the role model that he aspired to pattern his career after, and see if he was up to the task.  I figured this day would eventually come, but I don’t think Mikko Maestro is anywhere near ready to take on the old war dog yet.  He still has some miles to go before he can realistically hang at my level, and believe me when I tell you: he’s going to need all the help he can get, ‘cos the fans and their cheers won’t make a bit of difference when he finds himself overwhelmed by 23 years of ring experience on the other end of the spectrum.

Well, when he last needed my help, I was there.  But… he didn’t listen.  At the crucial, key point in Maestro’s match against Ivan Markov of Russia in December of last year, the kid chose to disrespect the deal that we had set forth going into the match.  In short, he went into business for himself, disregarding his coach, and pulled out his ridiculous, asinine “stinkface” maneuver, which he found funny enough to rip off of WWE Hall of Famer, Rikishi.  In a serious match-setting, where a killer like the Russian Markov was present, I expressly told Maestro to leave the gimmicks, bells and whistles at home.  But no.  He had to take the forbidden fruit.  He had to dally out onto thin ice.  He had to do things his own way.  And it was at that point, that I disowned Mikko Maestro as a protégé.

There comes a time in life when every person is going to have to stand on their own, no supports and no crutches to be had.  This is that time for Mikko Maestro.  At Talvisota XI, my former protégé is going to find out that legends don’t die, they just get better with age.

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Tickets 28€/22,50€ (all ages) to Talvisota XI on Feb. 18 at Nosturi in Helsinki available online now: http://www.ticketmaster.fi/event/197193

 

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

 

To all, there comes a time when the support structures that you’ve long held, which assist you in whatever your chosen endeavor might be, are taken away.  Times when you have to learn to dig deeper than ever before to be able to stand on your own.  After all, your parents are not going to hold your hand forever to keep you from falling down.  Neither will your coach.

This past Saturday night at FCF Wrestling’s Wrestling Show Live: December Rumble in Helsinki, such an example took place in the battle of Finland vs. Russia, where my protégé Mikko Maestro took on Ivan “Locomotive” Markov in one of the marquee match-ups.

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Ivan Markov proved hard to take down for Mikko Maestro.

 

Prior to the match, Maestro had implored me to step into his corner and coach him through this, the biggest match of his five-year professional wrestling career.  Maestro had long been on his own, after I took him on as my personal pet project in early 2013, and he had done pretty well for himself, especially after catching fire this year.  Maestro has been on a roll since defeating “Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä at FCF’s premiere annual supershow, Talvisota X (Winter War 10) this past March.  Maestro stood strong in his battles with the likes of Swedish wrestling champion Harley Rage and even managed to defeat Dutch wrestling champion Mark Kodiak on Finnish soil in September this year.

Yet, as December 10, 2016 inched ever closer, Mikko Maestro understood he was up against something that he wasn’t sure he was ready for.  So he enlisted his former coach, Yours Truly, to help prep him and coach him through the match he would have against Ivan Markov at WSL: December Rumble.  After all, I am the man that defeated Markov in the first-ever pro wrestling match-up between Finland and Russia, which took place last year, so who better to approach for advice than myself?

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Photographer Jarmo Katila captures one of the many nasty predicaments during the match.

I accepted, with one condition and one condition only.  This was that Maestro leave behind his ridiculous stinkface spot, which serves absolutely no purpose other than to get a rise out of the audience when he smothers his backside into an opponents face in the ring corner.  Me personally, I find this spot to be stupid beyond description and totally unnecessary, especially when it comes to winning matches and staying alive in the heat of battle against a verifiable killer like Ivan Markov.

Well, in their ensuing match this past Saturday night in Helsinki, Mikko Maestro went against our set agreement, and at the opportune time, he did his stinkface anyway.  He simply couldn’t be without it, and he let the audience get to his head.  He wanted to play superstar and he went into business for himself.

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This ended up costing Mikko Maestro dearly.  I grabbed his foot to get his attention at ringside, scolding him for the disrespect that he showed me, as his coach, by doing exactly the thing that we had agreed that he would not do.  This was his death knell.  Ivan Markov capitalized and blasted Maestro with a scintillating discus forearm blow that knocked his Finnish opposition for damn near into dreamland.  One powerbomb later, Russia scored the decisive victory.

I stepped into the ring and contemplated what had just happened.  Of course, the people and even Maestro himself would blame me for the downfall.  That is what victims do.  They victimize themselves.  Me personally, I see this as an action and a direct consequence.  Every action bares a consequence, and Mikko Maestro’s disobedience cost him the match.  Simply put, he didn’t deserve to win.  Had he listened and abided by the game plan, we very well might have had a different outcome.  But Mikko Maestro has to look into the mirror this time and see the truth for himself.

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Maestro is on his own.  He errantly challenged me in his over-exuberance to a match earlier this year,  after defeating Holland’s brutish Mark Kodiak.  He can blame it on the heat of the moment or what have you, it doesn’t matter.  The bottom line is, he got my attention.

He wants to see if he can defeat his mentor and coach.  I understand that, it’s part of the development of every young lion.  But this time, Maestro is going to come to understand that he is still not ready to make good against a tried and true veteran like myself, because simply… he is not good enough yet.

Talvisota XI on February 18, 2017 at the Nosturi club in Helsinki will be the day when Mikko Maestro has his date with destiny.

Start counting down the time…

It’s been a good two-and-a-half years plus since I last wrestled in Germany, but that gets rectified tomorrow night in Wittorf, Deutschland!

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It’s DWA (Deutsche Wrestling Allianz) Harley Night XVI – Double or Nothing!  Let’s see who ends up facing “The Rebel” tomorrow night…