Posts Tagged ‘Finland’

Wow!  How did this come about?!  Like the title reads, Finland beat Russia via Estonia, or should I say, an “assist” from Miss Estonia, in yesterday’s monumental and historic Finland vs. Russia encounter in Helsinki at Snacky Slam between myself and Ivan Markov.

Russia’s premiere wrestler and former 3-time Russian champion Ivan “Locomotive” Markov brought his wife Natalia along as his flagbearer and second at ringside, so the Snacky promoter decided to even the odds by putting Miss Estonia, Kristina Karjalainen, in my corner as both a second at ringside and as the Finnish flagbearer.

Miss Estonia Kristina Karjalainen bears the Finnish flag

Miss Estonia Kristina Karjalainen bears the Finnish flag

Natalia Markov interfered and got involved in our match on several occasions, just as I was about to turn the tide against her husband, Ivan.  Again and again, I was thwarted by Natalia’s timely interference in this No-DQ/No-countout match.  It looked like the odds were stacked against me until Miss Estonia decided to do something.  Well, actually, she did something twice.

Natalia and Ivan Markov

Natalia and Ivan Markov

When Natalia raked my face with her nails as I was beating down a hailstorm of fists on the head of her man, Kristina Karjalainen took to the fore and got right up in Mrs. Markov’s grill.  A hellacious catfight broke loose, with both women looking to tear the hair out of each other’s scalps, before the referee finally separated the women.

Kristina Karjalainen and Natalia Markov got into it too!

Kristina Karjalainen and Natalia Markov got into it too!

After Ivan had jump-started the match by attacking me with his Russian flagpole before the bell, I had to fight for my life in the underdog role, as he poured the heat on heavy.  The match was very physical, with big bombs being thrown to and fro, back and forth, before Miss Estonia finally turned the tide of this new Cold War.

Wailing away on the head of Ivan Markov

Wailing away on the head of Ivan Markov

Getting up on the ring apron, Kristina removed the robe she had on and got Ivan’s attention from the ring apron.  Ivan and everyone else stood in shock as Miss Estonia did a flirtatious little thing of her own in front of the former Russian champion, and as he turned back around, I was able to hit him with a superkick to the face.  I was so wasted by this point that Markov didn’t go down and he tried one last rally, which I thwarted, hitting him with another superkick, which set him up directly for my world-famous finisher, the spike piledriver.

Miss Estonia got Markov's attention using her beauty pageant charms

Miss Estonia got Markov’s attention using her beauty pageant charms

The referee counted the academic pinfall as Natalia watched on from the ring apron in disbelief, urging her man to kick out.  He did not, however.  The match was over after 15-minutes of slobberknocking action.  It was one of the greatest victories of my professional life, as I was able to stand with my fellow countrymen and put down the Russian Locomotive in our nation’s capital.

My spike piledriver put away Ivan Markov in this heated COLD WAR match

My spike piledriver put away Ivan Markov in this heated COLD WAR match

Finland’s top newspaper Helsingin Sanomat ran a full front page advert about the Snacky Slam event on the day of the event and I was called by the country’s number one rock radio station, Radio Rock, for a quick pre-match interview one hour before showtime.

Victorious after a truly hard-fought battle

Victorious after a truly hard-fought battle

Finland has a good reason to be proud this weekend, as the jubilation of the live audience on hand was tremendous when Ivan Markov was put down for the 1-2-3. Thanks to Snacky and to everyone that came out to see history in the making yesterday in Helsinki at Snacky Slam!

All photos by Marko Simonen (www.markosimonen.com)

Advertisements

A few days back, I got word that Russia’s number one wrestler, Ivan Markov, set out to openly challenge me on Finnish soil.  I was in the midst of preparations for my southern rock band Crossfyre’s tour of Poland and Germany, which we left for today, when I heard the news.

A lot of folks who don’t live in Finland probably aren’t aware of the political climate between Finland and Russia in the wake of the EU embargos set forth, following the situation with the Ukraine, or the slant that the media in this country constantly feeds to its citizens about the tensions between our countries.  Needless to say, there is a constant picture of an imminent threat to Finland’s independence lingering in the air.  Big Russia vs. little Finland.

Ivan "Locomotive" Markov has initiated the first step in the next Cold War!

Ivan “Locomotive” Markov has initiated the first step in the next Cold War!

Anyone who knows anything about Nordic and Baltic world history knows that Finland used to be under Russian rule by the Czar.  We are, after all, neighboring lands and Russia’s reach used to far exceed what is today, although they are still the biggest, single country in the world.

Things in Russia have been arguably restless over the past year, as their war with the Ukraine has caused a lot of unrest with neighboring countries and even with the rest of the world.  It’s like Reagan vs. Gorbachov all over again, with a new Cold War on the horizon.  Only this time, it’s Vladimir Putin against the rest of the world.

In the midst of these troubled times comes one who calls himself the “Locomotive”, Ivan Markov, who is looking to assert himself in the name of his country and leader, in an effort to claim dominance in the name of Mother Russia.  Not only does Markov call me out personally, he goes on to spite and belittle the country in which I pioneered the sport of professional wrestling.  The same country my parents were born in.  This, simply, will not do.

I’ll be honest: Markov reminds me a lot of another Ivan, that being Ivan Drago from the acclaimed ‘80s movie, Rocky IV.  If you look at the man, he is an impressive physical specimen.  I have no idea what he’s been having for breakfast – if you get my drift – but it sure ain’t what this ol’ boy has been having.  I’ve spent 27 years of my life in the gym as a natural athlete, whether healthy or busted up, and I know the difference between organic and non-organic.  Markov and Drago… these Ivan’s have a lot in common.

So here I find myself on the road, driving down through the Baltics on my way to Poland for a set of shows with Crossfyre, and I know that I’ll have to be in the shape of my life to face Ivan Markov, because believe you me, I am accepting his challenge for a fight on July 23 in Helsinki!  I know I don’t have much time, and the touring schedule and road life doesn’t allow for such luxuries as well-equipped gyms and optimal training hours to give me a platform for preparation.

Training like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV, only this time I am in Poland!

Training like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV, only this time I am in Poland!

Therefore, I left home this morning ready to train on the road, Rocky-style.  I took the few training aides that would fit in our jam-packed Crossmobile tour van: a kettlebell, a set of power bands and two 5kg plates with in-built handles.  That’s it.  Everything else is bodyweight conditioning.  Oh, and I even grabbed a few Muscle&Fitness magazines to help keep my head in the game.

StarBuck training 1

Chin-ups in Germany!

Ivan Markov might be younger than me.  He might be bigger than me.  He might be crazier than me.  But there’s one thing he has to know, going into this Finland vs. Russia showdown in Helsinki on July 23.

Markov needs to know what Belgium’s acclaimed Bernard Vandamme – whom I beat for the prestigious Eurostars European championship twice – said about me: “StarBuck was not the biggest guy around, he wasn’t the most agile, and he wasn’t a high-flier, but he had a bit of everything, and he knew how to combine those qualities into one impressive formula for success.”

Ivan Markov should be taking notes.  He should be brushing up on his pro wrestling history.  He should under no circumstances sell short the caliber of wrestler that he is up against, come July 23.  All Ivan Markov needs to do is read one single page on Wikipedia, or look at my contributions and track record in one of the most contested markets for wrestling on the planet, that being Japan.  Or then, look at the list of notable names in the wrestling industry that have fallen to “The Rebel” StarBuck simply over the past decade, and then, he will have a more clear understanding of the man that he has chosen to call out.

StarBuck training 2

I found an old barn, made do with whatever was hanging around, and got busy!

When Finland’s Snacky fast food restaurant chain owner Jukka Nieminen heard that Markov had issued a challenge to fight me, he stepped forth, offering a platform for this mega-match to take place.  Last year, FCF Wrestling orchestrated an event in Helsinki’s Pukinmäki suburb, along with Snacky and the nation’s leading tabloid magazine, 7 Päivää.  That event was called Snacky Slam and this year, Nieminen expressed that he wanted to do it again.

Therefore, on Thursday, July 23 at Snacky in Pukinmäki, Helsinki – outdoors under the sun and free for all to see – I will battle Russia’s top wrestler, Ivan Markov, with both nations’ national pride at stake.

This is going to be one for the ages.  The next Cold War!

Today marks my 42nd birthday.  I don’t feel so young anymore, nor do I feel very old.  I’m somewhere in between.

Like most folks out there, I don’t fancy the limitations and slowing down process that age brings with it.  I’ve strived to reach the upper echelon in all things that my heart has burned after, and I have held nothing back.  I’ve been all around the world, reached pinnacles that many only dream of, becoming a star player in my chosen sport far and wide.  I’ve toured many lands with my various rock bands, been here, there and a little bit of everywhere.

StarBuck birthday

So here at 42, on April 24, I look back on what has been and ahead to what lies in wait.  As a lone wolf, not part of any clique out there, I’ve done a hell of a lot in my 42 years.  Everything I’ve achieved, I’ve earned with hard work, honesty and reputation.  Not by kissing ass, playing politics or stabbing other people in the back.  For that, I am proud.

I achieved my dream of superstardom in Japan as a wrestler in 2010-2011, which was my career goal, and everything from here on out is a bonus.  I garnered three European wresting championships during my career so far, and I am happy with that number.  It’s a magical number; three.  Anything above that is also just a bonus.  I’ve wrestled in 19 countries over the past 21 years, and I’d like to add a few more before I hang the boots up one day, so that is something to still strive towards.

My old arch-rival and Finnish wrestling veteran Stark Adder wrote a powerful blog about me to commemorate my birthday.  Take a look: http://starkadderkomorebi.blogspot.fi/2015/04/the-mightiest-adversary.html

I have no idea how long my saga on this Earth will be, but I can honestly say, that I have lived the life of a journeyman, the life of a wayfarer, the life of legend.  If all of this were to end tomorrow, I would have to be happy, content that I went out there and actualized my dreams.  I didn’t just talk the talk, I walked the walk.

So today, for me, 42 is an inverted 24.

We’ve been busy over the past few weeks with Crossfyre, shooting the upcoming Mad Croc Rock music video for the song by the same name off of our latest Iron Horse album.  This video will also serve as a promotional video for Mad Croc Energy Drinks and Mad Croc Racing.  Below are some stills from the video shoot to date, capped off lastly with the actual music video — check it out!

mad croc rock 01 mad croc rock 02 mad croc rock 03 mad croc rock 04 mad croc rock 05

Mad Croc Rock – the new music video:

What a noteworthy event Syyskuun Selkäsauna was for FCF Wrestling this past Saturday in Helsinki!  First and foremost, the MMA barrier in Finland has been breached and busted now with the arrival of Tuomas “Unbeatable” Simola.  For anyone who doesn’t know, this guy has an astounding MMA record of 77-0-1.  Now, he has stormed the gates of FCF Wrestling, issuing an open challenge to anyone in the FCF locker room to take him on.  Take a look at this video from the event to see it all go down:

We had the new Class of 2014 make their debut at the show.  Actually, five out of seven students made their debut, of which only one – Julia Kyy – was able to claim a victory.  Nonetheless, this new group of students showed heart and good fighting spirit, which is a good case to build on, heading into the next FCF event upcoming on November 15 in Helsinki.

Syyskuun Selkäsauna also saw the departures of both Aurora Flame and El Excentrico, who are moving out of Finland to try their luck abroad in the wrestling world.

Yet, amidst all of the hulabaloo (as the people in Finland say), the one thing that left a bitter aftertaste was the underhanded chicanery of Ricky Vendetta, who assaulted me with a monkey wrench during my introduction of the Class of 2014 to the live audience, causing a hairline fracture in my ribs.  I had to get taped up for my match against Vendetta that night, and I am lucky that my physiotherapist friend Tuija Pelkonen from Lihashuoltamo was on hand in the audience.  I had asked her to come, since we were filming some things with my cornerman for the evening, former 7-time Finnish bodybuilding champion, Boogie Mustonen, and I needed Tuija’s expert advice on some of Boogie’s medical operations, since Boogie wants to return to pro wrestling next year.

Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling

Ricky Vendetta really did a damned dirty thing, attacking me in his orchestrated manner.  There was no way that I was backing out of my match against Vendetta.  Not after he has spent all spring and summer this year boasting about pinning me twice in tag team matches, after other opponents have offered him timely assists in making those wins come about over myself.  Syyskuun Selkäsauna was supposed to me the moment of retribution for Ricky Vendetta as far as I was concerned, but he managed to thwart my plans by injuring my ribs before the match ever took place.

In the match, Vendetta assaulted me straight from the opening bell, blindsiding me and laying it on heavy.  I had to literally fight for my life, looking for every opportunity and small opening to make a comeback, and finally, I was able to catch him out at one critical moment of the match, turning the tide for a short spell.  Vendetta however assaulted my ribs with knees and kicks again and again, and soon, I was back down trying to find air.  I managed to trap Vendetta in a crossface submission, which I will now purpose to take as my hold of choice in my quest to make Ricky boy tap out, as I have promised to do.  Heck, I’ll even christen my version of the hold and call it the Canadian Crossface, or the Rebel Lock!  How about that, Ricky Vendetta?  Put that in your pipe and smoke it, as you think of the inevitable hour when StarBuck clamps that Rebel Lock on you and makes you wish you were back in your mother’s arms, nursing like a baby!

Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling

Vendetta’s cornerman and tag partner Stark Adder ran interference at the most crucial moment of the match, just when I had Vendetta tapping out to the crossface!  Luckily, my cornerman, Boogie Mustonen, saw to it that Adder was eliminated from the equasion, but not before Vendetta was able to jab me with a shoulderblock to my damaged ribs and sneak in an illegal leverage pin, which, for the life of me, I cannot understand how the referee did not see.  Even the fans at Hotel Presidentti were howling disparagingly at the official for the crappy call, and rightfully so.  How the ref could have been so ignorant of Vendetta’s feet on the ropes as illegal leverage in making the pinfall is beyond me!

I have to admit that Vendetta is determined, at any cost, to try and make me a stepping stone in his wrestling career.  Yet, after this past weekend, he is going to have hell to pay for choosing this latest route of indiscretion.  I will not stop until I have beaten this young, belligerent bald-headed punk within an inch of his life.  It’s one thing to aspire to greatness.  It’s another thing altogether to miscalculate the cost of getting there.

Ricky Vendetta has now posted a check that his body cannot afford to cash.

As many of you know, I am the vocalist for the premiere southern rock outfit out of Finland today, Crossfyre.  This band’s history goes way back to 1991, birthed in Florida, where drummer Danny Cross and guitarist Jay Jay Asikainen started the ball rolling.  Danny moved to Finland some 15 years back, but Jay Jay remained in Florida.  Everyone else in the Crossfyre line-up nowadays lives in Soutern Finland.

From time to time, about once a year on average, Jay Jay visits Finland and Europe for either recordings or gigs and even tours.  Last year in 2013, Jay Jay couldn’t come over due to work related issues back home in the USA.  This past weekend, however, Jay Jay hooked up with the rest of us in Crossfre to play the annual Moon River city festival in Porvoo, Finland, which currently serves as the band’s headquarters, more or less.

Below you will find some prime pics of Jay Jay playing with Crossfyre in this grand (near-)annual reunion from this past Friday, out on the town square in the middle of Porvoo.  All photos by Mikael Häggblom.

Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom) Crossfyre at Moon River 2014 (photo: Mikael Häggblom)

Just a few days ago, Finland’s leading dairy manufacturer, Valio Ltd., released their latest television ad campaign, featuring the most celebrated NHL hockey player ever out of Finland, the legendary Teemu Selänne.  Teemu lives nowadays in California with his family, and is retired from the sport of ice hockey.  He made a name for himself as a Stanley Cup champion (2006-2007) with the Anaheim Ducks (defeating the Ottawa Senators) and nowadays owns and runs a steakhouse out in California.

I was chosen to play one of the roles in the new Valio advert, which you can view below:

It was a pleasure getting to know Teemu, who was very down-to-earth and a good guy, his success not having gone to his head at all.

NHL legend Teemu Selänne and Yours Truly

NHL legend Teemu Selänne and Yours Truly