Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Rebel’

I just got home late last night after wrestling one of the most satisfying, and arguably greatest, matches of my life in Stockholm, Sweden this past Saturday night.  Man, oh man… what a match it was!

Valhalla Nordic Wrestling Championship belt

It’s funny to think, that here at age 44, I am still pulling rabbits out of the proverbial hat, proving that age is just a number and wine really does get better with age.  After all, I’ve lived, breathed, bled and sweat this business we call professional wrestling for damn near a quarter-century already.  A tiger cannot change its stripes and experience just makes you wiser and more cunningly dangerous as the years accumulate.

July 8, 2017 will go down in the annals of professional wrestling history as one of the most significant events in Nordic grappling lore.  It was the night that I stepped into the ring as the interim – and first – Valhalla Nordic Wrestling Champion, to face the challenge of a young man nearly half my age, the current STHLM Wrestling Champion, “Kid Fury” Timmy Force.

StarBuck vs Timmy Force VALHALLA Nordic Championship 2

I remember holding a training camp back in 2014 in Langå, Denmark, attended by over 20 wrestling students from four different countries, and young Timmy Force was one of those students at that time.  He had limited experience, being a raw rookie in our industry, and he wanted to get better and up his personal ante.  I was amazed back then at the natural ability of this kid.  He took to everything like a fish to water, and it would have been easy to believe that he had been wrestling already for at least a year, simply gauging by the skill level that he exhibited even early on then.

StarBuck vs Timmy Force VALHALLA Nordic Championship 3

At the end of the training camp in Langå that summer, the DPW (Danish Pro Wrestling) office that hosted the camp, decided to hold a student show on the final day, to give the boys a chance to prove their wares in front of a VIP/invitation-only audience.  Timmy faced another fellow Swede, who has since come to be known as J.O. Hansen on the Swedish wrestling circuit.  They had one hell of a capable and credible wrestling match on that student show, proving to me, as their coach, that both guys were on the track to pro wrestling stardom, if only they could keep their heads level and their bodies healthy.

StarBuck vs Timmy Force VALHALLA Nordic Championship 1

Timmy Force has risen like a phoenix in the Swedish wrestling scene.  He has garnered high-profile victories over the likes of even New Japan Pro Wrestling star Juice Robinson in the past couple of years, and has gone the distance with much more experienced foes like Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne in WWE).  In short, my prediction back in 2014, that Timmy would become a star in this business, became a prophesy come true.

StarBuck vs Timmy Force VALHALLA Nordic Championship 4

Alas, come July 8, 2017, it is only fitting that Timmy Force would have to face the greatest challenge of his young career.  It was the day that he would have to step into the ring with his former coach, “The Rebel” StarBuck, in front of a red-hot, rabid Stockholm homefront crowd, that wanted so desperately to see Timmy take the ultimate prize, the Valhalla Nordic Wrestling Championship.

StarBuck vs Timmy Force VALHALLA Nordic Championship 5

And so it was, that for a good half-hour, Timmy Force fought, kicked, scratched and clawed at the elusive golden ring, in his spirited attempt to wrestle it away from it’s momentary proprietor, me.

Timmy did everything he could, fought valiantly, showed fire, hit his moves with crisp precision… everything in his power… to claim the ultimate prize waiting at the end of it all.

But it was not to be.

StarBuck vs Timmy Force VALHALLA Nordic Championship 6

When all was said and done, Timmy Force was bloody, battered and beaten, in front of a hometown crowd that was on the verge of a frenzy.

StarBuck’s infamous finisher, the jumping spike piledriver, once again took this old boy to the bank.  It was the move that cemented me in wrestling lore for all time as the first UNDISPUTED Valhalla Nordic Wrestling Champion!

Now, let the challengers line up.  Let them come, one by one.  Let them try to wrest this golden grail or Nordic supremacy away from the old lion!  Let them all come, and let them all fall… and bow… to the KING.

StarBuck vs Timmy Force VALHALLA Nordic Championship 7

(Photos: Fredrik Streiffert)

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Big news!  As the newly appointed interim Valhalla Nordic Wrestling Champion, my first title defense has now been set for July 8 in Stockholm, Sweden!

I will be defending the new belt against the challenge of fast-rising young Swedish star, Timmy “Kid Fury” Force.

TIMMY-FORCE

I recall back a few years ago in Denmark, when I was coaching the DPW Fake or Break summer camp in 2014, young Timmy was a part of the student body on hand.  I noted his skill and natural aptitude even back then, believing that one day, he would be a star.

Alas, come 2017, Timmy Force has risen to the upper tier of Swedish pro wrestling, even recently holing a couple of different Swedish championship titles as recently as this year.  The host promotion of the inaugural Nordic Championship title showdown, STHLM Wrestling, gave Swedish fans the chance to vote for which Swedish wrestler they would like to see challenge for my newly assigned Valhalla Nordic title, and Timmy came out on top in the public fan voting.

Now, on July 8, at Arenavägen 75 in Stockholm, Timmy Force faces the toughest opponent of his young life.  He faces Yours Truly, the champion himself, the most successful professional wrestler in history in all of Nordic history, beyond any shadow of a doubt.

July 8 will be history in the making, folks.  Make plans to be there (tickets available HERE), as the best wrestlers from all around Scandinavia and the Nordics will be on hand, representing their home promotions and countries.

Nordic Wrestling Championship

Finally, after nearly a half year of aggravation and hounding, Yours Truly finally shut the big mouth of one “Finnish Doberman” Ricky Vendetta.  At last night’s Talvisota IX pro wrestling extravaganza in Helsinki, I finally made good on my 6-month long promise to make my nemesis tap out.  And tap out he did!

Talvisota-IX-wrestling-show-17

After 18:20 of a hellacious Submissions-only match, I trapped Vendetta in my Canadian Crossface aka Rebel Lock submission hold, similar to what fans will recall fellow-Canadian and former WCW/WWE champion Chris Benoit using, to make my opponent concede the match.  Chalk up another credo for Canada!  I would argue that our country’s stock has proven itself once again.  Being a Canadian-Finn, I feel confident in transposing these kudos across continental lines in light of this latest victory.  Crossface central!  I think I will take this hold and make it part of my regular repertoire from here on out!

Talvisota-IX-wrestling-show-18

Ricky Vendetta gave it all he had.  Let’s give the young man credit.  He believed he could, but in the end, he just couldn’t.  There’s no shame in that, in putting your best foot forward, yet proving it was not enough.  Ricky Vendetta just learned that there is no substitute for experience.  The veteran advantage.  When StarBuck gets focused, the game it essentially over.  Period.

Talvisota-IX-wrestling-show-11

There was enough pain. blues and agony in this match to last a whole year.  I firmly believe that I made up for nearly a year’s worth of setbacks in this single match alone.  That’s saying a lot!

Talvisota-IX-wrestling-show-21

Next up: Bring it on, whoever is waiting in the wings to make a name at the expense of one “The Rebel” StarBuck!

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

On November 1st in Stockholm, Sweden, STHLM Wrestling is holding their biggest card of the year, called There Will Be Blood III.  Where we in Finland have Talvisota (Winter War) as our flagship show of the year and WWE has Wrestlemania, this November 1st showdown in Stockholm is looking to be a sizzler.

I was called up by the promotional end of STHLM Wrestling to tend to some business at their end that has the entire city up in arms.  A national hero and former Olympic champion named Frank Andersson was attacked unceremoniously by a younger wrestler named Ken Malmsteen a couple of months back.

Frank Andersson is back after a 20-year absence from the ring.

Frank Andersson is back after a 20-year absence from the ring.

Frank Andersson used to wrestle for WCW back in 1993 and has even grappled in New Japan Pro Wrestling in the early ’90s.  Ken Malmsteen took the liberty of blindsiding Frank and kicking him in the head, but regardless of his actions, he also lost the STHLM Wrestling championship to Andersson on a different occasion just a short spell ago.  Frank Andersson, who is now 58-years of age, made his comeback in pro wrestling on September 6th this year, where in Stockholm, in his first bout in 20 years, he became the new STHLM Wrestling titleholder.

Now, I’ve been here and there, and just about everywhere, wrestling all kinds of matches under various circumstances in my 20 years in the wrestling business.  On November 1 in Stockholm, this Last Man Standing match be something that I’ll be heartily looking forward to.  Young upstarts like Malmsteen, who have not yet seen the world and the realities of the pro wrestling business, need to be taught serious lessons.  At There Will Be Blood III, I’m looking at beating Malmsteen from pillar to post, battering him into a crimson pulp, for what he did to a legend from his own country.  Kids like this have to be taught the hard way, and I’ll be more than happy to show him the workings of the meat grinder of correction.

Ken Malmsteen should be looking into his personal insurance policy beforehand, because on November 1st, he will be subjected to a world of hurt in the main event of the evening!  Frank Andersson should be smiling when all is said and done after this.

STHLM Wrestling There Will Be Blood III

I just received an email from Finland’s #1 newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, yesterday, regarding my announced involvement in pro wrestling legend Antonio Inoki‘s groundbreaking IGF fight cards in North Korea at the end of this month on August 30 & 31.  This information is, however, untrue.

It is true that I was in negotiations with IGF about appearing and participating at these events, but we never reached a suitable deal and contractual settlement.  I am not aware of how the news of my negotiations with IGF bled through and became public, as a top western consultant out of North Korea and China had also posted infos about my involvement at these events, along with my photo and a short biography about me, which has since been removed from his website.

Japanese wrestling legend and IGF boss, Antonio Inoki (middle)

Japanese wrestling legend and IGF boss, Antonio Inoki (middle)

Regardless, I must inform everyone, that any and all information about my involvement and participation at the IGF events in North Korea on August 30 & 31 are false.  I will not be appearing and I will not be there.  

Several people have already asked me about this, and I felt a need to publicly clarify before this story spreads further.

One link to the errant story and news can be seen here: http://0411.gbt-dlcjp.com/?eid=37

I have an inspirational story, one which will both enamor and enthrall a lot of readers.  As everyone knows by now, I am the pioneer of professional wrestling in Finland, dating back to 2003, when I became the first person ever in Finland to take the grappling game to a learning level.  I’ve coached pretty everyone and anyone who has ever come onto the scene out of Finland.  Back before we started domestic Finnish pro wrestling, it bears to be mentioned that there were a few strongmen and bodybuilders, who, being daring showmen as well, dallied in what very well may be considered as backyard wrestling to a large degree in the late 1990s.

There was a circle of four guys: strongman and former amateur champion Jouni Morsky (who wrestled as Normann the Viking), Tony Halme (who wrestled to international fame as WWF’s Ludvig Borga from 1994), bodybuilder Jyrki Savolainen (nicknamed “Indian” RIP; was trained for pro wrestling in Australia in the mid-’90s) and a guy called Boogie “Commando” Mustonen (who was a Finnish and European bodybuilding champion).  Out of the four, I got to know every one of them at some stage during 1997 through their “promoter”, a shyster-kind of fellow who had a few dealings with the Russian mafia.  His name was Jussi, and he was actually put down by the Russians after a deal of some sort went bad.  But it was Jussi who introduced me to Mörsky and to Boogie during the spring of 1997.

Boogie Commando from around 1996-1997

Boogie Commando from around 1996-1997

When I first met him, I thought Boogie “Commando” Mustonen was a big-headed bastard, who thought he knew everything there was to know about the wrestling business.  He had been trained by a bald-headed Andy-something-or-other in Australia in 1993.  I have no idea what this Andy fellow taught Boogie, because he didn’t know anything about the business, period.  The “matches” that the four various Finnish guys were having amongst themselves were far from professional wrestling.  They pretty much consisted of three moves, done to overkill: a bodyslam, a clothesline and an elbow smash.  Everything else was ramshackle brawling.  I was going to the referee between Mustonen and Mörsky in a 2/3 falls match that they’d have in Äänekoski, Finland that summer.  Boogie came across as proud, a real peacock, someone who just let you understand that you were beneath them.  That was 17-years ago, and now, after I met the man again this past week, I am glad to say that he has changed for the better.  Really, there has been a complete turn-around in the person of one Boogie Mustonen.

This past Thursday, I played a leading role in a television commercial shoot for a Sport & Spa hotel named Vesileppis, in Leppävirta, Finland.  It’s really an amazing complex, complete with a 1.4 km ski-track deep underground that you can use even in the summertime, a year-round ice hockey rink, full-blown pool and spa area and tons of outside sports activities and possibilities.  It’s like a nexus, a center for sports in the eastern Finnish province and area in which it is located.  In the commercial, I play myself, complete in wrestling gear, alongside the Vesileppis mascot, which is a ladybug.

The Vesileppis mascot named Spa and me, as I play Sport

The Vesileppis mascot named Spa and me, as I play Sport

Well, Boogie Mustonen literally lives across the road from Vesileppis Hotel, where the wife and I were stationed during my commercial shoot.  The owner of Vesileppis Hotel, a nice guy named Kimmo, wanted to organize a meeting between me and Boogie.  Kimmo told me that Boogie had changed a lot, that he had an entirely new lease on life, after going through some horrendously hard times in his personal life in recent years.  Mustonen has endured bowel cancer, he has had a kidney replaced, and he has gone through a blood poisoning episode, which led in turn to partial paralysis from the waist down for a period of six weeks.  In addition, he has a faithful, old English Bulldog named Möykky, who is on his last legs now.

Boogie's old, faithful buddy Möykky is on his last legs

Boogie’s old, faithful buddy Möykky is on his last legs

Now at age 50, the shit hit the proverbial fan for Boogie this past year, when after going through kidney replacement surgery, he still wanted to compete in bodybuilding one more time at the upcoming annual Fitness Expo in Lahti, Finland.  That is when his wife, Marjo-Nina, served him with an ultimatum, that she would file for divorce if he decided to risk his new, replacement kidney through bodybuilding competition anymore.  The bottom line is, that the worst thing you can do to a kidney is to deplete it of hydration, which is exactly what happens when competitive bodybuilders diet down to the bone, draining their bodies dry to be as cut and lean as possible.  Boogie saw the writing on the wall: game over.

Boogie poses with multi-time Mr. Olympia, Dorian Yates of the UK

Boogie poses with multi-time Mr. Olympia, Dorian Yates of the UK

Yesterday, as I was visiting Boogie at his home gym, he told me that he tried getting excited about discus throwing after his last bodybuilding aspirations went down the drain.  Discus didn’t do it for him, Mustonen knew it wasn’t his game.  Deep down, Boogie Mustonen knew who and what he was: a showman.  He was an entertainer, who loved being in the spotlight.  And something still ate at him, like acid on the soul.  It was his last match, a July 1997 bout against Tony Halme in Joensuu, Finland.  I was referee for their match, which can be seen in the three links below.  It’s not a good match by any stretch of the imagination.  It’s really quite terrible, a complete mess.  It also happened to be, unbeknowst to Mustonen, his try-out match for Otto Wanz’s gigantic CWA (Catch Wrestling Association, in operation 1973-1999) promotion out of Austria.  Had Boogie made good in the match against Halme, he very well might have gotten signed with Wanz, and he could have ended up making money in our business, but it was not to be.

Halme cursed underneath his breath to me after the outing, “Have you ever seen such a shit match?!”

He was right.  It was downright drivel.  Not the way a man wants his career in any field to be remembered.  No, everyone out their wants their last standout memory from whatever etaph along the road of life to be a proud one.  A tale that you tell excitedly about to your grandchildren one day.  That is the marker that you want to leave behind.

Boogie Mustonen never got to clear the table, nor to give his soul rest in this matter.  He never got to wrestle another match, a better match.  A good, final memory.

Tony Halme vs. Boogie Mustonen in Joensuu 1997, with me officiating

Tony Halme vs. Boogie Mustonen in Joensuu 1997, with me officiating

So here we are, in the year 2014, 17-years after the fact, and Boogie tells me that he wants it now.  He wants to come back and clear his name and wash clean his memory of the flop against Halme.  I am astounded as I listen to him.  He has passion in his voice, a determination.  He really wants this.  At 50, he’s not going to be denied.

So I tell him, “I will train you.”  I have the track record to make him take me seriously.  Boogie understands, that StarBuck IS professional wrestling here in Finland.  If you want to go to the top, you have to learn from the best.  And today, even at age 41, I can still say that with the knowledge that I have, I am the best here in this game.  So we did a trade: being a former bodybuilding champion, Boogie coaches me in fine-tuning my body, my chassis, with which I ply my trade.  In turn, I coach him in making a comeback match in Finnish professional wrestling.

Fine-tuning muscle-building techique with bent-over rows

Fine-tuning muscle-building techique with bent-over rows

I hope that Boogie Mustonen has the heart and drive to pull this one through.  Bygones are bygones.  The big-headed bastard from yesteryear has disappeared.  In his place stands a humble, ambitious, grown man, who wants to do his soul and pride right.  I want to support him every step of the way.

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

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