Posts Tagged ‘Helsinki’

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.

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(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

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Last night in Helsinki we almost had a tragedy take place.  FCF Wrestling held it’s 10th anniversary of Finland’s equivalent of Wrestlemania, Talvisota X (Winter War 10).  With 500 frantic fans showing up to our mega-show, we had nine matches slated on the card, with the FCF title bout between champion Valentine and challenger King Kong Karhula in the main event.

However, earlier yesterday, we got word that my opponent for the evening, Chaos of Denmark, had been delayed in Copenhagen.  His SAS flight had left for Helsinki and had been turned back after take-off due to a fuel shortage.  SAS rerouted him through Prague later in the day, only to make it to Helsinki airport for 22:30!

Now just me personally, talking not only for myself but for the fans on hand, and in light of the significance of my imprint on the Finnish pro wrestling scene in general, as the pioneer of the sport in our country, for my match to have been left off the card of this 10th anniversary show would have been an all-time low.

Back in 2006, when the first, inaugural Winter War took place in Vantaa, Finland, I was the main event against Bernard Vandamme of Belgium for the Eurostars European championship.  At that event, I won the European title for the first time in my storied career, putting Finnish pro wrestling and FCF as a company on the continental wrestling industry map.

bernard powerslam

The night I took the European title off of Bernard Vandamme in 2006

Now, 10 years later, the boys that were in the opening match of the very first Winter War in 2006 found themselves at the top of the card, in the advertised main event of Winter War / Talvisota X this year, a decade later.  Valentine and King Kong Karhula had one hell of a match last night, which stands to be applauded on all levels, and I was amazed at the public reaction to the newly-turned Karhula as a babyface.  It seems that the Finnish fans really vouched for him and have taken him as a fan favorite fore-runner.  Pitted against one of the greatest heels ever – if not THE greatest heel ever – out of the Nordics, Valentine, both challenger and champion tore the house down with a multi-faceted, highly intricate and masterful match.  Valentine retained his strap, but Karhula won over the entire audience with a moral victory.

About half-way through Valentine’s match with Karhula, Chaos arrived at the Töölö Sports Hall, rushed to the venue via taxi to make it for our advertised match.  He had changed into his wrestling gear during the ride to town, and he was primed and ready to go 15 minutes before our match went on.  Talk about a near-miss!

My Eye of the Tiger theme music began to play and I wondered if Chaos and I could follow the stellar main event match set by Valentine and Karhula.  Still, as a 22-year veteran, I knew I could be certain of what I could produce.  I was also dead-certain of what my opponent could produce.  We had an issue to attend to, a rivalry that crossed national boundaries.  I wasn’t expecting a high-flying match or a technical showcase.  No, what I was expecting was a WAR.  And a war I got!

Chaos lambasted me from behind with a steel chair from the blindside as I made my ring entrance, beating me six shades of senseless before I even knew what was going on!  The man tore into me, literally like a pit bull, unrelenting and vicious in his assault.  I found myself literally fighting for my life in there.  There was no surcease, no slowing down, as Chaos just kept the pressure and heat on me.

Yet, I wasn’t succumbing.  I wasn’t laying down or staying down.  This was Winter War 10, dammit!  Winter War, my personal brainchild and concept, which has since been branded and recognized as the most important pro wrestling event annually in the country of Finland!

StarBuck vs Chaos Winter War 10 (3)

Chaos blasts me with a mean uppercut! (photo: Timo Muilu)

My adrenaline started kicking in.  I struggled hard to clear my head of the cobwebs of Chaos’ vicious assault.  I got in one punch… then another… and another.  I rallied hard, fighting back with the intestinal fortitude of a dozen Finnish war veterans that fought hard to retain Finland’s independence in 1940.  I wasn’t just fighting for my professional wrestling heritage in this country, I was fighting for every person at the Töölö Sports Hall that rallied with me.  Every punch and blow that I could land was delivered with the force and emotional investment of the people that believed in me and my personal contribution to pro wrestling in Finland since 2003.  All of a sudden, my fight became larger than life itself in that moment.

StarBuck vs Chaos Winter War 10 (2)

A brief rally that didn’t last too long, but did the damage intended! (photo: Timo Muilu)

I finished the first Winter War with my head held high back in 2006, and I wasn’t willing to leave the ring last night with anything less than that same feeling and raw emotion.  I finally nailed Chaos in the face with a boot as he charged me in the corner.  With the Dane stung, I blasted him with a second rope clothesline that would have done former WWF world champion Bret “Hitman” Hart proud.

After a spirited last-ditch, desperation comeback, I got caught out on the outside of the ring by Chaos, as he ran my kidneys hard into the ring apron.  Rolling me back into the ring, Chaos hit his trademark moonsault and damn near crushed my legs on the landing.  It would be hard to kick out, with my thighs knotted up, but kick out I did!

TSX Chaos moonsault

Chaos hits a mean moonsault on my fallen corpus (photo: Xeniya Balsara)

 

Chaos picked me up for a side back breaker and then ascended the ropes for another huge moonsault, which he hit perfectly across my chest cavity, knocking the wind out of me.  He went for the cover, but just barely, I managed to kick out once again.

At this point, Chaos seemed to be scrambling for ideas, so he went after the steel chair that he used before the start of the match to beat me senseless.  Bringing the chair to the ring, he prepared to blast me with it, but I hit a superkick into the chair, sending the steel into Chaos’ face and knocking him senseless for a change.

Now was my time.  It was now or never.  I hoisted Chaos for my trademark spike piledriver and dropped him with the very maneuver that has put away competition all over the world during my wrestling travels in 20 countries worldwide.  But… he kicked out!!!

TSX piledriver

My piledriver has a match-ending odds on favorite rate of about 98% (photo: Xeniya Balsara)

I was stunned.  Hardly ever had anyone… anyone at all… kicked out of my spike piledriver.  In Japan, “The Japanese Buzzsaw” Tajiri managed to kick out of my piledriver once, and once only.  On that night, Tajiri became the FCF champion back in 2010.  But such are so scarce occasions, that they only happen once in a blue moon, or perhaps, as with most, only once in a lifetime.

I blasted Chaos with yet another spike piledriver and that was finally enough to put away the tough bastard at Winter War 10, as the audience counted with every slap of the referee’s hand against the mat, as Chaos’ shoulders were pinned for the 1-2-3.  And my goodness, the sound of the pop that the live audience emitted at that point could have been registered on the Richter Scale!

What could have been a disastrous night on many levels turned into one of the most satisfying and memorable matches of my 22+ year pro wrestling career.  Thanks to everyone who was on hand, and for those who weren’t, there is a DVD of this event in the works, which will be out in the coming months for sale!

Winter War veterans

The FCF Wrestling veteran crew that has taken part in every single Talvisota / Winter War to 2006 -2016: (left to right) King Kong Karhula, StarBuck, Valentine, Stark Adder (photo: Satu Tapaturma)

 

A heated rivalry has been brewing for over a half a year now between myself and former Danish wrestling champion Chaos.  This issue stems back to last summer, back on August 22 in Randers, Denmark, where I was scheduled and booked to face Chaos in the first-ever cage match of my 20+ year pro wrestling career.  This was a landmark for me personally, something that I was highly looking forward to, until the rug got pulled out from underneath me.

In a baffling turn of events, Chaos lobbied with his DPW (Danish Pro Wrestling) organization to get his scheduled match on August 22 with me changed to him vs. Ken Anderson of TNA Wrestling.  It seemed that Chaos opted to let his ego do the talking when the situation presented itself, and thus, as a “consolation prize”, DPW sent me into the Anderson-Chaos match as a special guest referee.  This was a true slap in the face to me both personally and professionally.

So in a case like this, what do you think I opted to do?  You guessed it: I took matters into my own hands and righted a small iota of personal wrongs with some vigilante justice.  I refused to count the pinfall when Chaos had Anderson down and out after a moonsault and then I proceeded to superkick Chaos’ teeth down his throat, enabling an easy win for the former Mr. Kennedy of WWE.

Ken Anderson wins

This didn’t sit well with Chaos, and I certainly can understand that.  But then again, he drew first blood in all of this by pulling out of our scheduled match.  He should have been well-prepared for what happened, after his organization put me in there as a referee for his match.  He could have lobbied to have me out of the picture completely, and just hope that I didn’t take offence and attempt to do something about it.  But no.  Chaos walked willingly right into the lion’s den and got what was coming to him.

So now, it’s become personal.  Chaos has a stick up his ass about the way that I handled my business, and I am less than happy about how he handled his business initially with me.  So what does he do?  Chaos sets up a couple of crowbars to take me out and make a hit, performing his dirty work for him.  Norwegian tag team champions Bjorn Sem and Hannibal dished out a very painful beatdown on my person back in January following a wrestling show at Helsinki’s Pressa Nightclub, as you can see in the footage below.

So once Chaos had sent me his receipt for what happened last summer in Denmark via the Norwegians, I thought to organize a little receipt of my own to the SOB a few weeks back when he worked a card in Sweden.  Take a look…

So here we are, and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  I issued a challenge for Chaos to meet me, man to man, at FCF Wrestling’s Talvisota X (Winter War 10) event in Helsinki, Finland on March 19 at the Töölö Sports Hall to settle this thing between us.  No more messengers, no more “telescope” receipts.  This time, it’ll be just he and I, inside of the squared circle, and the fists will do the talking that night.  I’ll even be a good sport and let Chaos present any stipulation he wants for our match, should he have the brains for it.  All I know is that on March 19, it’s going to be two time-tested, ornery veterans against one another, with a collective amount of over 40 years of experience between us, tearing apart the ring that night.

May the best man walk out of Winter War with his hand held high.

StarBuck vs Chaos Talvisota X Winter War 10 FCF Wrestling

All ages
19:00 doors
20:00 showtime

TICKETS IN ADVANCE / AT THE DOOR
Regular ticket
16,50 € / 20 €

Students, retired folks, army personnel, unemployed persons
11,50 € / 15 €

Kid’s ticket (7-15v.)
11,50 € / 15 €

Ringside tickets
27 € / only sold online prior to event!

Kids under 7-years of age come in free!

Online ticket sales come to an end on 18.3.2016 at 12:00 noon.

Online ticket sales through: TIKETTI

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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.

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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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This coming Saturday, August 29 in Helsinki, FCF Wrestling and the Snacky fast food franchise will hold the last installment of SNACKY SLAM – the finale in a four-show series over this past summer in the capital region of Finland – right next to Kalasatama in the Sörnäinen suburb of Helsinki.  Right next door, during this final SNACKY SLAM event, the Kalasatama premises will host something called the We Love the ’90s festival.  The SNACKY SLAM card takes place at 14:00 this Saturday upcoming, with a huge attendance expected flowing in from the festival.

In the main event of this grand finale SNACKY SLAM card, I will be facing Finnish ring veteran, Stark Adder.  It was Adder to whom I lost the Finnish wrestling championship in May 2006 after my first reign as champion, dating back to my tournament final win over Adder in October 2005.

Just over a week and a half ago at the SNACKY SLAM event in the Niittykumpu suburb of Espoo, I faced Adder again for the first time in a long time.  We had one hell of a dandy match, which was sabotaged by Ricky Vendetta, who had just recently broken up his Constrictors tag team with Adder, turning on his former mentor and going his own way.  In Espoo, Ricky Vendetta attacked Adder in the middle of our match, causing me to get inadvertently disqualified for his blatant actions.  Obviously, this was no way to end a phenomenal battle between two of Finland’s oldest dogs in the game.

Both Adder and I went to FCF General Manager Tuho Torvinen and asked for Vendetta to be banned from this coming weekend’s SNACKY SLAM event, as we will step into the ring one more time to settle the score.  This time, we don’t want anyone with any personal agendas on site.  Adder and I have an issue to lay to rest, and it will be done fair and square, in the center of the ring, with no one sticking their nose into our business.

Photographer Kari Helenius captures the classic battle between Adder and I in May 2006

Photographer Kari Helenius captures the classic battle between Adder and I in May 2006

StarBuck vs Stark Adder 02

It’s damn hard to get two more technically sound, catch-as-catch-can style grapplers that Adder and StarBuck in Finnish pro wresting today.  Experience speaks for itself, and you would be foolhardy to miss out on this coming mat classic this coming Saturday afternoon in Helsinki, as all SNACKY SLAM events are free, outdoor shows open to the general public.

Come on out this Saturday afternoon as FCF Wrestling closes the summer season of 2015 with a bang at the last SNACKY SLAM in Helsinki’s Sörnäinen district at 14:00 in the afternoon!

Sörnäinen Snacky Slam banner

This autumn, the 28th installment of the annual Love & Anarchy film festival will be held in Helsinki, Finland between September 17-27. Love & Anarchy film poster I was asked to be one of the actors in the superhero spoof film trailer/mini-movie for the festival, which you can see in the video below.  My character is like a cross between He-Man and Mad Max, named Muscleman!

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)