Posts Tagged ‘hero’

Yesterday, the long-awaited feature film story about me, Spandex Sapiens, came out in Finnkino movie theaters across the country of Finland.  To celebrate and promote this monumental occasion, FCF Wrestling held a 6-hour wrestle-thon, outdoors in downtown Helsinki, smack-dab in front of the city’s main movie theater, Tennispalatsi.

In the main event, to tie in to the Spandex Sapiens movie release, I fought against transsexual Jessica Love in a battle of both values and polar opposites, as Jessica is the main, free-thinking, liberal antagonist vs. my traditional, conservative, masculine prototype in the movie.

As I wrote in one of my latest blogs, I really believe that the people at large on a societal level will find themselves choosing a side in this movie and the themes and values systems presented therein.  This was proven in blazing, vivid colors last night on the premises of Kampin Keskus, where the wrestling ring was set up in front of Tennispalatsi theater, when I got into the ring to take on Jessica Love.

SB vs Jessica Kamppi03 by Aki Mäki

Telling the truth, and having a whole audiences mindset turn against me. (photo: Aki Mäki)

I gave a heated and hearty promo prior to our match, where I chagrined over the lack of moral absolutes and black-and-white principles in our modern society.  I challenged the crowd on hand to look into their souls and ask themselves if they really exemplified real masculinity as men, and real femininity as women, seeing how messed up our modern culture is in all its ambiguity.  The people started to turn against me, almost as if they were programmed to do so.  Brainwashed by the mass media and public sentiment of the day, the crowd became an angry mob.  Someone told me afterwards, that they were afraid that someone from the audience would rush the ring amidst my match with Jessica Love.

SB vs Jessica Kamppi02 by Aki Mäki

Taking control of the match! (photo: Aki Mäki)

Jessica Love and I had a damn war of attrition (hell, I even penned the lyrics to a song by the same name by my thrash metal band Angel of Sodom!), in which we tore into each other with the kind of malicious intent that only two polar opposites could create!  The ring was slippery as hell, as the sky began to sprinkle rain just as our match began.  The canvas might as well have been an ice skating rink, making it damn hard to maneuver and get one’s timing down.  It was risky all around, but the sheer personal nature of our battle overrode all else.  The people present could certainly feel the tension in the air.  It was as real as it gets, folks!

SB vs Jessica Kamppi01 by Xeniya Balsara

Balsara.net captures the raw emotion of the finish of our match!

In the end, I had such trouble getting my footing because of the rain, that Jessica was able to crack me with a nasty enzugiri, which put me down on the mat.  Jessica climbed the ropes to come off the top onto me with a senton splash, which I was able to roll out of the way from.  I then immediately hit my trademark spike piledriver for the inevitable pinfall and win.

The audience erupted in boos and jeers.  The people had spoken.  A virgin wrestling audience, peoples of all different nationalities, chose a side.  They went with the liberal, free-thinking brainwashing that they have been programmed to believe.  Somehow, I am not surprised.  As the referee in our match, Teemu, stated a few weeks ago on social media in regards to my person, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

Spandex FB

This is only the beginning.  Just as the theater run for Spandex Sapiens has just begun this weekend, so the issue between myself and Jessica Love goes on.  The next time we meet in the ring, it will be in front of Jessica Love’s own LGBT demographic.  On July 1 in Helsinki, an event called Eurogames will take place in the city center. It’s a huge sporting event, in conjunction with the annual Gay Pride parade in Helsinki.

There could be no greater heel than StarBuck when it comes to this event.  There could be no more sympathetic a babyface than Jessica Love when it comes to this event.  When the gates open to the public at 12:00 on July 1, right out of the blocks, this war of attrition gets a second chapter.  Jessica Love vs. StarBuck takes center stage at Eurogames, and it’s going to be a cold day in Hell-sinki for my transgender opponent when he/she goes down again, only this time, in front of his/her own people.

Spandex Sapiens Eurogames 2016

StarBuck vs. Jessica Love – chapter 2 – Eurogames, Helsinki – July 1

For anyone who missed the mass media exposure for Spandex Sapiens in Finland this week, here are a plethora of links to check out!

http://www.iltasanomat.fi/viihde/art-2000001202020.html

http://www.hs.fi/urheilu/a1466055697006

http://areena.yle.fi/1-3518002

http://www.aamulehti.fi/kulttuuri/dokumentti-loysi-showpainikehasta-kivikautisen-miehen-ja-sateenkaarilipun-liehuttajan/

http://www.radiorock.fi/#!/post/5763d6960089b403009a2303

http://www.episodi.fi/elokuvat/spandex-sapiens/

http://www.katsomo.fi/#!/jakso/626288

 

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Having wrestled on 20 trips already in the ”Promised Land” of pro wrestling, Japan, I thought to scribe a piece regarding the cultural impact and significance of Puroresu (pro wrestling in Japanese) on the social and pop culture landscape of not just Japan, but the world in general. After all, were it not for New Japan wrestlers Akira Maeda and Satoru Sayama breaking off in the mid-’80s and forming their UWF promotion in Japan, there certainly would have been no RINGS or Pancrase to jumpstart the MMA craze that has been blazing worldwide for many years now. Truth be told, the entire MMA scene, UFC included, can thank Japanese pro wrestling for their scimilating impact on the fighting business in general.

Going back to ancient Rome, the gladiators of old would reenact famous battles of lore, by dressing up in gimmicks and thereby producing very visual storytelling through their art of battle for the screaming fans of the coliseum. The most famous and loved gladiators were protected to a great degree by the emperors and promoters of their day. The action-hungry audiences at the coliseums had their distinct favorites, and some of the gladiators could even retire alive from active competition, if they lived to see the end of their fighting careers. If a gladiator managed to retire, he would live the rest of his life in luxury, reaping the rewards of his earned fame.

gladiator

In this way, professional wrestling is the natural extension and lineage of the gladiators of ancient Rome. After all, there is no other game or sport in which the competitor must ”woo” their audience, and specifically engineer and draw a desired reaction from their viewers. Just like in the old days of Rome, the success of the fighter is still, to this day, completely dependent on the relationship and interaction that the wrestler has with their audience. A boxer does not trap his opponent in the ring corner, and then turn to the crowd to ask if they would like to see him hit his opponent, but a wrestler can, and will, do exactly that. In doing so, the professional wrestler draws his audience emotionally much deeper into his matches, as compared to a boxer or mixed martial artist, who simply focuses solely on his opponent during the match.

hulk-hogan

In this way, pro wrestling becomes the ”Sport of Kings”, because it mixes the perfect balance of theatrical flamboyance in regards to the characters themselves and hard-hitting, fighting aptitude. Pro wrestling is simply more entertaining to watch than any single other fighting art: There is more variety in the movements, techniques and flow of the match, than compared to any other combat style. The chess-like element of utilizing ring psychology to build a compelling match that builds towards a passionate and dramatic crescendo is a very demanding artform and very few are masters at it. In this way, professional wrestling is the finest and most intricate, psychological fighting art of them all.

lou_thesz

In mixed martial arts, the combatants are solely interested and focused on ending the match as quickly and effectively as possible. This does not always make for a very interesting or emotionally compelling fight. Even nowadays in the UFC, there are many more pro wrestling-like elements to the matches and fighters themselves, as compared to the past. UFC fighters like Chael Sonnen sound like reincarnations of wrestlers like ”Superstar” Billy Graham when doing promos. Some UFC fighters even play to the crowd, just like pro wrestlers do, during the course of their matches. 10 – 15 years ago this phenomenon would have been unheard of, or perhaps even balked at.

In our modern day and age, mythology is rapidly disappearing from our western culture. In the past, mythology was handed down from generation to generation, as a kind of parable of lessons to be learned in life, plus it always featured the ever-present battle between good and evil in mankind. Nowadays, Hollywood and the movie industry offers little in the way of actual substance, instead opting to try and fill the viewer’s emotional register through special effects, multiple camera angles, quick editing cuts and flimsy but funny dialog. In the process, our culture is losing its grip on true heroism and real life icons. In the movies, everyone is a fictional character, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger is not the same character in The Terminator as he is in Conan the Barbarian. Therefore, the movies do not offer actual heroes or icons, but instead they offer virtual, imaginary heroes and icons. This is where professional wrestling comes in to save the day in our modern age.

mythological-gods

In no other game or sport are there such strong characters, as in the world of professional wrestling. When people witness the charisma and passion of Rikidozan, Antonio Inoki, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, ”Stone Cold” Steve Austin or perhaps even good ol’ StarBuck, what they are seeing is the real thing. The character is real, the passion is real and the charisma is real. Even though the professional wrestler might have an extravagant artist name (such as Hulk Hogan, The Great Muta or StarBuck), it stands to argue that the person behind the character name is as real as real gets.

muta

The Great Muta clamps on a headlock

Sometimes people ask me how much of my wrestling persona behind StarBuck is a made-up, fictional image. I tell them: ”None of it!”. I am not acting or pretending to be something that I am not inside of that ring. I only take my personal strengths and turn up the volume to the maximum level in terms of those traits, to make my wrestling persona even more effective. Yet, the man you see in the ring fighting is the real me.

I know that there are many gimmick wrestlers in our business who do not portray their actual selves. Doink the Clown and Eugene in WWE are good examples of this: one is not a true circus clown and the other is not a mentally handicapped person. The Undertaker is not a living dead man. In the same way, I know of big time rock musicians who drink non-alcoholic beer on stage in front of their fans, only to project the image of them being hard drinkers and party animals, while the truth is very different and they might be family men with children at home. Yet, I am not talking about the gimmick wrestlers in my underlying argument here.

Rikidozan - the pioneer and founding father of Puroresu

Rikidozan – the pioneer and founding father of Puroresu

In Japan, we have seen very many ”real life heroes” throughout the years in the professional wrestling business. Men like Rikidozan, Inoki, Baba, Tenryu, Fujinami, Misawa, Mutoh, Hiroshi Hase and countless others have undoubtedly portrayed their real personas inside of the ring. In the same way, famous gaijin talents like Stan Hansen, Dick Murdoch, Dynamite Kid, Terry Funk and many others have also portrayed their ”real me” personas inside of that ring. In this way, professional wrestlers are the modern day equivalents of iconic heroes of lore. We are modern day gladiators. In this role, as modern day fighting icons with strong, cultural, real life characters, we safeguard and uphold the tradition of the ever-burning battle between good and evil, and this in turn makes us the heirs of traditional mythology in modern times.

There are many lessons to be learned from professional wrestling, and it is no light matter that our game is aptly said to be the ”Sport of Kings”, for we, as professional wrestlers, are the Kings of Sport!

Long live our tradition and mythology – SOU DESU NE!