Posts Tagged ‘AJPW’

European professional wrestling legend and 37-year ring veteran Dave “Fit” Finlay defeated me this past Thursday night, November 24th, at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo at SMASH.23 to become the new SMASH Champion.

photo by SMASH (from SportsNavi Japan online)

Finlay fought like a ravenous beast, putting me on the defensive for the whole match, which lasted 15:58 before the Irishman was able to put me away and pin me following his jumping tombstone piledriver.  The Japanese crowd responded in shock as Dave Finlay was announced as the new champion.

There are very few men in the wrestling business who are as brutal and remorseless in that ring as Finlay.  The man is a legend in this sport, and I brought my A-game, but it just wasn’t enough on the night of November 24, 2011 in Tokyo.

photo by SMASH (from SportsNavi Japan online)

Many are already calling my match with Finlay as the match of the year in SMASH, which is saying a lot, as there have been numerous great matches throughout the year.  For a fantastic look at the action from the SMASH.23 title match, check out the ringside photos here.

photo by SMASH (from SportsNavi Japan online)

I was also given the opportunity to face one of my all-time favorite wrestlers in Keiji Mutoh (aka The Great Muta) in Tokyo the night before SMASH.23 at All-Japan Pro Wrestling‘s event, as I teamed with SMASH compatriots Akira Nogami and Yoshihiro Tajiri to face the trio of Mutoh, Kondo and Bushi from AJPW.  I pinned Bushi in 13:48 of a hot match following my trademark spike piledriver.  Check out the photos from that match here.

photo by AJPW (from SportsNavi Japan online)

On a separate note, I heard the sad news about the passing of American superstar Bison Smith (found dead on Nov. 22 in Puerto Rico) while I was in the dressing room at the AJPW event.  Bison was a big star in Japan, and his death at 38 – the same age as I am – is indeed an early passing.  The cause was deemed to be heart failure.

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Dave "Fit" Finlay

This coming week on Thursday, November 24th in Tokyo, I will face European ring general and legend Dave “Fit” Finlay at SMASH.23.  Finlay will surely be one of the toughest, sternest challenges I have met to date in my entire active ring career, as I’m set to defend the SMASH Championship against the Irishman at Korakuen Hall in the main event of the aforementioned card.

Finlay is perhaps best known from his latest tenure in WWE, where he was the United States Champion in 2006, defeating Bobby Lashley for the honors.  Finlay was a road agent and trainer for WWE, particularly coaching the WWE Divas over the years, improving their game considerably.  Prior to his stint in WWE, Finlay was the TV Champion in WCW, defeating Booker T in 1998 for the strap, in addition to a multi-time champion around Europe.

Finlay is largely considered one of the toughest SOB’s out of Europe to ever lace up a pair of boots, and he has hurt of a lot of people in the wrestling business inside of that ring.  Believe me when I say that I have the highest respect for Finlay as a professional wrestler, and I am taking my SMASH Championship defense against him at SMASH.23 very seriously.  Anything less would be foolhardy, and StarBuck is nobody’s fool.

In addition, I will be facing one of my favorite wrestlers of all-time in Keiji Mutoh at the All-Japan Pro Wrestling event at Korakuen Hall on Wednesday, November 23, as I team with SMASH superstars “The Japanese Buzzsaw” Tajiri and Akira Nogami to face the All-Japan trio of Mutoh, Shuji Kondo and Bushi.  Many fans will recall Mutoh as The Great Muta from the NWA in 1989-1990 and WCW periodically throughout the 1990’s.