Posts Tagged ‘Ivan Markov’

To all, there comes a time when the support structures that you’ve long held, which assist you in whatever your chosen endeavor might be, are taken away.  Times when you have to learn to dig deeper than ever before to be able to stand on your own.  After all, your parents are not going to hold your hand forever to keep you from falling down.  Neither will your coach.

This past Saturday night at FCF Wrestling’s Wrestling Show Live: December Rumble in Helsinki, such an example took place in the battle of Finland vs. Russia, where my protégé Mikko Maestro took on Ivan “Locomotive” Markov in one of the marquee match-ups.

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Ivan Markov proved hard to take down for Mikko Maestro.

 

Prior to the match, Maestro had implored me to step into his corner and coach him through this, the biggest match of his five-year professional wrestling career.  Maestro had long been on his own, after I took him on as my personal pet project in early 2013, and he had done pretty well for himself, especially after catching fire this year.  Maestro has been on a roll since defeating “Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä at FCF’s premiere annual supershow, Talvisota X (Winter War 10) this past March.  Maestro stood strong in his battles with the likes of Swedish wrestling champion Harley Rage and even managed to defeat Dutch wrestling champion Mark Kodiak on Finnish soil in September this year.

Yet, as December 10, 2016 inched ever closer, Mikko Maestro understood he was up against something that he wasn’t sure he was ready for.  So he enlisted his former coach, Yours Truly, to help prep him and coach him through the match he would have against Ivan Markov at WSL: December Rumble.  After all, I am the man that defeated Markov in the first-ever pro wrestling match-up between Finland and Russia, which took place last year, so who better to approach for advice than myself?

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Photographer Jarmo Katila captures one of the many nasty predicaments during the match.

I accepted, with one condition and one condition only.  This was that Maestro leave behind his ridiculous stinkface spot, which serves absolutely no purpose other than to get a rise out of the audience when he smothers his backside into an opponents face in the ring corner.  Me personally, I find this spot to be stupid beyond description and totally unnecessary, especially when it comes to winning matches and staying alive in the heat of battle against a verifiable killer like Ivan Markov.

Well, in their ensuing match this past Saturday night in Helsinki, Mikko Maestro went against our set agreement, and at the opportune time, he did his stinkface anyway.  He simply couldn’t be without it, and he let the audience get to his head.  He wanted to play superstar and he went into business for himself.

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This ended up costing Mikko Maestro dearly.  I grabbed his foot to get his attention at ringside, scolding him for the disrespect that he showed me, as his coach, by doing exactly the thing that we had agreed that he would not do.  This was his death knell.  Ivan Markov capitalized and blasted Maestro with a scintillating discus forearm blow that knocked his Finnish opposition for damn near into dreamland.  One powerbomb later, Russia scored the decisive victory.

I stepped into the ring and contemplated what had just happened.  Of course, the people and even Maestro himself would blame me for the downfall.  That is what victims do.  They victimize themselves.  Me personally, I see this as an action and a direct consequence.  Every action bares a consequence, and Mikko Maestro’s disobedience cost him the match.  Simply put, he didn’t deserve to win.  Had he listened and abided by the game plan, we very well might have had a different outcome.  But Mikko Maestro has to look into the mirror this time and see the truth for himself.

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Maestro is on his own.  He errantly challenged me in his over-exuberance to a match earlier this year,  after defeating Holland’s brutish Mark Kodiak.  He can blame it on the heat of the moment or what have you, it doesn’t matter.  The bottom line is, he got my attention.

He wants to see if he can defeat his mentor and coach.  I understand that, it’s part of the development of every young lion.  But this time, Maestro is going to come to understand that he is still not ready to make good against a tried and true veteran like myself, because simply… he is not good enough yet.

Talvisota XI on February 18, 2017 at the Nosturi club in Helsinki will be the day when Mikko Maestro has his date with destiny.

Start counting down the time…

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)

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.

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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.

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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!

I will be returning to Japan this coming weekend to wrestle with my SYNAPSE team (WNC champion AKIRA, WNC women’s champion Syuri, StarBuck) vs.  Holland’s Emil Sitoci, Ivan Markov of Russia and Russian female competitor Bonnie Ekaterina at the Wrestling New Classic event on March 31 at Shinjuku Face arena in Tokyo.

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Emil Sitoci, Ivan Markov, Bonnie Ekaterina

There will be an afternoon and an evening show at Shinjuku Face on the same day.  The six-person tag is in the afternoon, and in the evening I will have a singles encounter against either Akira Shinose or Koji Doi, both of whom are just out of their rookie year in the wrestling business.  Both Shinose and Doi will have a match against each other in the afternoon to see which one of them will get the “honor” of facing Yours Truly on the evening card.

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AKIRA, StarBuck, Syuri

It feels great to be returning to Japan after a half a year away!  Sou desu ne!!!