Posts Tagged ‘Jatkosota’

I thought to write a breakdown of the things I witnessed from a coaching perspective at FCF Wrestling’s Jatkosota 2015 event in Helsinki this past weekend. Since many people don’t really understand the nature of the beast that is professional wrestling, maybe this will help to shed some light on the game, and folks just might be able to grasp how incredibly demanding the sport is on so many levels.

In the opener tag match which I was a part of, I was really impressed with the physical aggression of King Kong Karhula, who tagged with Pyöveli Petrov. The big man is undoubtedly at the top of his game right now after spending 10 years in the sport to date, as his timing is impeccable, every single move and all of his execution is full-out and in-pocket. He has all the bases covered: the character, the charisma and the ring skills. I would be surprised if WWE didn’t take a serious look at this guy in the very near future. The way Karhula brutalized my tag team partner Sly Sebastian in our tag match made me feel sorry for little Sly. Mean and nasty in the ring, Karhula is one to watch for, and promoters in Europe should seriously consider booking him, regardless of the financial struggles that most of the continent has been facing for quite some time already.

King Kong Karhula

The Beast’s power displays in his match against Jessica Love were impressive, to say the least. Especially catching Jessica’s top rope crossbody and turning it into a jackhammer in one fell swoop for the winning pinfall was a thing to behold. This big man is developing at an alarming pace, and he is another one that WWE should be keeping their eyes on, and dismantling fan favorite Jessica Love gives The Beast major momentum right now.

The Beast

The hunger, spark and fire shown by young newcomers Jami Aalto and Joey Impact was a thing of beauty to behold in their match against Stark Adder and Ricky Vendetta. You can really see that these two rookies ”want it.” They want to grasp the brass ring and make a real impression on the fans, in their quest to become stars in this grappling game. Both Aalto and Impact showed incredible drive, heart and passion as they gutsily fought the experienced duo of Adder and Vendetta, who are the most cohesive unit in FCF Wrestling today and one mean team. I predict a bright future for these kids. Keep it up!

Joey Impact vs. Ricky Vendetta

After suffering a brutal beating at the hands of ”Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä, Mikko Maestro faces a transition akin to that undergone by Kurt Angle somewhere around the year 2000. Angle was a comedy wrestler in WWE at the time, and in his feud with Triple H, he had to step it up and find his serious game face. Maestro simply cannot continue as a light-hearted, fun guy after the way Heimo abused him. He will have to find the reserves deep down to become more that what he is now, if he hopes to stand toe-to-toe with Ukonselkä. Now is the time for Mikko Maestro to change his game.

Mikko Maestro brutalized by Heimo Ukonselkä (Photo: Mats Havia 2015)

Mikko Maestro brutalized by Heimo Ukonselkä (Photo: Mats Havia 2015)

The triple threat tag team match between HC Andersen & Robert Holmström, The Luupää Brothers and Murskaaja Mieto & Tohtori Ioni had one competitor outshine everyone. Vili Luupää showed the kind of timing, fire and fluidity in his hot tag comeback, that I have last seen Daniel Bryan do something similar when he was feuding with The Shield in WWE a couple of years back. I really have to give props to Vili Luupää, who is another one grasping for the elusive brass ring right now.

Vili Luupää vs. Tohtori Ioni

The women’s triple threat match was short and sweet, but the girls really showed some pizzazz and spice while they were in there. For a long time, pro wrestling has been coined ”the grunt and groan game”, and one thing that matches must have is audibles and noise (since no one likes to watch sports or movies with the sound turned off). Julia Kyy (main audibles here and best character presence overall), Sara Elektra and newcomer Regina really put in a spirited effort for the few minutes that they had, before Robert Holmström interjected himself in the match and drew the kind of heat from the audience that borders on being criminal. Holmström has that ”asshole” kind of quality to his ring character that people find easy to hate, and it should be interesting to see how he fares against the girls, because that seems to be his intergender modus operandi now.

Julia Kyy

France’s Jimmy Gavroche and FCF champion Valentine had one of the best pure wrestling matches that I have seen in a long, long time. I felt that Gavroche really pushed Valentine to his fullest potential and visa versa. It’s a thing of beauty to see the marquee done right, and the name on the marquee reads ”wrestling.” Tight ring work, well-paced and holding solid match psychology, this was a worthy main event. Gavroche has great fire and body language and I can understand why it is easy for the audience to get behind him, even if he is a foreign wrestler coming in against one of FCF’s own. There were so many false finishes in this match that it kept everyone on the edge of their seats. It was really something to see live, which is exactly how professional wrestling should be enjoyed. Big props to both men for an incredible effort. I also have to state, that I was really taken aback at how the fans responded to The Beast coming out after the match to stare down Valentine, as the audience erupted into a completely spontaneous ”Beast is gonna kill you!” chant that continued even after The Beast left the ring and went to the back. There’s something very volatile brewing here!

Jimmy Gavroche vs. Valentine

Be sure to come out for the next FCF Wrestling event in Porvoo, Finland on June 5 at the city’s #URBCULT happening, as there is nothing quite like the live experience that the game provides. Take a look at this fantastic video to see exactly what I’m talking about and we hope to see you next time!

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Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  That’s life.  But then, sometimes you lose again.  And again.  And then you start taking stock of what exactly the problem is, because if you don’t stop the downward spiral, you will end up hitting the proverbial wall.

This past weekend at FCF Wrestling’s Jatkosota 2014 event in Helsinki, I teamed with Sly Sebastian and Kristian Kurki to face the trio of FCF champion Heimo Ukonselkä, Stark Adder and Ricky Vendetta.  Sly and Kurki had upset Adder and Vendetta a month back, translating into the biggest win so far for Sly Sebastian in particular, as he managed to eek out a pin over mat veteran Stark Adder in that tag match.  Now, Adder and Vendetta had upped the ante and challenged Kurki and Sly to another match.  Only this time, it would be a six-man rumble at Jatkosota.

Catching Ricky Vendetta in the Gory Special (photo by Marko Simonen)

Catching Ricky Vendetta in the Gory Special (photo by Marko Simonen)

I ended up eating the pin in that match from this past weekend, after Ricky Vendetta managed to hit me with his finisher, but only following an assist from the outside ring apron from Ukonselkä, who blasted me behind the ear with a forearm smash as I hit the ropes.

Heimo Ukonselkä flails away at me (photo by Marko Simonen)

Heimo Ukonselkä flails away at me (photo by Marko Simonen)

After losing both the WNC title to Belgium’s Bernard Vandamme and the BWA title to Valentine last month, I really hit the wall.  Now, I took another loss, which I have to admit, stings.  I really cannot afford to get sucked into the negative downward spiral, and courtesy of Ukonselkä’s timely assist, Ricky Vendetta scored the biggest win of his young career a couple of nights ago.  That is a wrong that I am going to be forced to rectify.  Were it a straight-up contest, I could say the better man won.  Now, all I can say is, the numbers game caught up with me.  No excuses, only the facts.

Intense action! (photo by Marko Simonen)

Intense action! (photo by Marko Simonen)

Ricky Vendetta tried making his mark against me once already, back at the end of 2012.  He failed in spades, and now, I guess he has found a reason to finally gloat at my expense.  It must feel pretty sweet for him.

Sly Sebastian and Kristian Kurki help me to my feet after the bout (photo by Marko Simonen)

Sly Sebastian and Kristian Kurki help me to my feet after the bout (photo by Marko Simonen)

Savor the taste, son.  It won’t last long, because I am going to kick it out of your mouth, that you can count on.

“I promised that I’d take your title…!” – StarBuck

After wrestling last in England back in 2000, I never thought I’d become a champion there, as my experience at the time in the UK was the absolute worst of my pro wrestling career.  Back then, I wrestled for an infamous promoter nicknamed “Shaky”, and he was one of the worst con men I have ever run across in this business.  In short order, Shaky soured on me, withheld my match pay for days on end (after paying everyone else), treated me like a piece of unwanted trash and made me understand that I was not welcome in his crew any longer.  Needless to say, I cut my losses short and left the tour prematurely, refusing to be treated that way.

I lost a good deal of coin on that trip, and for many years thereafter, the foul taste of that UK jaunt still lingers in my memories.   I know the saying states that you shouldn’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch, but for me, that one bad apple was rotten to the core.  Nonetheless, I have met an abundant number of great people in the wrestling industry out of the UK over the past decade in my wrestling travels.  Good guys and top hands like Robbie Brookside, James Mason, Chris Curtis, Rob Cage, Rampage Brown, Keith Myatt and Dan Collins have all made a very positive impression on me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the comraderie we have shared out on the road in this often-times bizarre business.

All that said, as I mentioned in the beginning of this write-up, I never thought I would become a champion for a UK-based promotion.  However, last night in Espoo, Finland, exactly that happened.  I became the new BWA (British Wrestling Alliance) Catchweight titleholder, defeating a very capable now ex-champion, in the nefarious Valentine.

The new BWA Catchweight Champion (photo by Susanna Honkasalo)

The new BWA Catchweight Champion (photo by Susanna Honkasalo)

It was a war, to be sure.  Valentine was able to compromise my arm after I hit the ringpost, as we brawled on the outside of the ring, and I had serious troubles utilizing my hurt wing after that incident in the match.  Even though I managed to hit my trademark spike piledriver, which spelled the end of the match for Valentine, I had considerable trouble hoisting and maintaining my foe in position as I executed the move.  Regardless, even without maximum effect, my piledriver was good enough to keep Valentine down for the count.

Valentine tears away at the injured arm

Valentine tears away at the injured arm

An intense struggle between two top rivals

An intense struggle between two top rivals

After 14:29 of a very trying match ... VENI, VIDI, VICI !!!

After 14:29 of a very trying match … VENI, VIDI, VICI !!!

After the underhanded things that Valentine did to my wife Diana (aka Miss D in wrestling circles) over the past two months, I was able to exact at least a certain, somewhat satisfactory measure of revenge on my nemesis.  I took his title, but I did not manage to send him out on a stretcher, as I would have hoped for.  That I will have to save for a later date, because now, Valentine is disputing the way our match ended, claiming that his foot was under the bottom rope when the FCF referee in charge counted the finishing pinfall, following my closing piledriver.  Whether or not that is the case, I do not know, as neither I nor the referee in our match saw it.

I should also mention, that my Eurosport co-host and former FCF General Manager, Robert Holmström, seemingly went off his rocker and lost his mind last night at the event.  I have no idea what kind of idiot bug hit Robert, but he had a spastic fit after siding with Valentine regarding his foot being under the ropes in the pinfall of our match, and then proceeded to challenge my wife – whom I left home for this event – to a “match” at the next FCF Wrestling event in Helsinki, slated for June 8, if I understood correctly.  Robert should remember that I was the person that got him his job with Eurosport back in 2009, commentating WWE wrestling on Monday nights in Finland, alongside myself.  He should also remember that he is not a wrestler, and although my wife Diana is not a wrestler either, I will damn sure teach her in short order how to knock Robert’s head off his shoulders, if he has a stick up his ass concerning my wife.  And regardless of what Holmström states, even Ray Charles could see that there was some form of collusion between Robert and Valentine several weeks back, when Valentine assaulted Diana for the second time, as seen in the video below.

It has pissed off Finns for ages that the Swedes who live here act like they are, as they call themselves, “Bättre folk” (better folks), and being that both Holmström and Valentine are Swedish-Finns, they seem to have found a common agenda of some sort.  Well, Robert, I’ll be more than happy to show Miss D how to kick your head off, and that way you just might join Valentine on that upcoming stretcher ride that’s still coming…

In one week’s time from tonight, I will have fought one of the most important matches of my professional wrestling life: I will have avenged the assaults perpetrated on my wife over the past month and a half.

For anyone who isn’t wary of the incidents that I am referring to, my wife Diana fell prey to the actions of a wrestler in Finland named Valentine.

Wife and I

The first incident happened on March 23 in Helsinki at FCF Wrestling‘s DOMination 8: Gods of the North event.  It was on that eve that I filled in for an injured English wrestling veteran named Robbie Brookside, whose knees were on the fritz, as the challenger for Valentine’s BWA (British Wrestling Alliance) Catchweight Championship title.  For anyone who needs to be refreshed on the altercation at the aforementioned event, read my blog about the whole mess HERE.

starbuck_valentine-007

Very simply put, I have more than a personal agenda riding on the line at FCF Wrestling’s Jatkosota 2013 event on May 11 in Espoo, right next to where I live: I have to defend my spouse’s honor.  There are few ways that prove more effective to incite the literal wrath of Hell than to abuse another person’s family member.  Valentine physically laying his hands on my woman – not once, but twice – warrants the kind of receipt that is rarely dealt out under professional circumstances in any business.

starbuck_valentine-023

The second incident in question took place at the end of last month, when my Eurosport co-host Robert Holmström held a candid, sit-down interview with both Valentine and I.  Well, the initial gameplan was exactly that: Two, separate sit-down interviews with both Valentine, to express the motives behind his actions, and with my wife and I, to retort to the altercation at DOMination 8.  Valentine got his to say his piece, but my interview did not happen.  Instead, to add insult to injury, my wife suffered yet another cowardly attack at the hands of Valentine, and I have good reason to believe that Holmström got his mitts dirty in some fashion regarding this last nail in the coffin:

On May 11, I won’t just be coming to the Leppävaara Sports Hall in Espoo to fight when I face Valentine in a rematch for his BWA Catchweight title.

I’ll be looking to maim.

This past Friday night at FCF Wrestling’s Jatkosota 2012 event in Helsinki I challenged “Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä for his FCF Championship title.  Had I procured the finishing pinfall, which by all accounts SHOULD have gone down following my spike piledriver to Ukonselkä, I would now be a five-time FCF Champion.  The fact that I am not the new champ right now boils down to FCF General Manager Robert Holmström, my Eurosport co-commentator, who really should have known better than messing with my match, and to Robert’s “surprise”, King Kong Karhula.

Heimo and I fought a rough-and-tumble, knock-down, drag-out bout, which really deserved a clear-cut winner.  Alas, Robert Holmström, with his Machiavellian imagination, spoiled the fun for everybody.  Right after my well-timed piledriver, the lights of the Old Student House venue went out and everyone was left in the dark.  Then, out of the corner of the room, from a side entrance, out comes the former Ibo Ten, who is now apparently calling himself King Kong Karhula, if the page that he opened on Facebook yesterday is any indication.  Karhula proceeded to destroy both Heimo and I, leaving us with bruised ribs after it was all said and done.

I have to hand it to Ukonselkä though.  He is often viewed as a very one-dimensional wrestler, being the burly brawler type.  My plan of attack was to actually wrestle the man down to the mat and control him there, but Heimo showed surprising counter-wrestling aptitude and managed to stem the tide.  It ended up being pretty much back and forth all the way through, with neither of us getting a clear upper hand throughout the match.

With the non-finish and sabotage of our title match, Robert Holmström upheld the FCF Championship, aided in part by the fact that he provoked Heimo into blasting him with a forearm with his egocentric verbal assault following Karhula’s attack on Ukonselkä and myself.  Holmström is obviously over-stepping his authority and misusing his power, and I am sure that he has something up his sleeve that nobody can anticipate.

Nonetheless, props to Heimo Ukonselkä for a war well fought, and Robert … I’ll see you at Eurosport next on May 14, and then you will have some explaining to do!

(Photos by Jarmo Katila / www.jarmokatila.fi)

I blogged a couple weeks back about the amazing experience I had wrestling in front of the Swedish fans in Malmö,  Sweden at SWS Wrestling‘s Wrestlingpalatset show.  Well, here is a video piece with clips of that match, plus an interview with Yours Truly (in English)…

Also a brief reminder, that this Friday night, April 20 in Helsinki, Finland, I will be challenging “Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä for the prestigious FCF Championship at Jatkosota 2012.  There is a slight possibility that a few tickets might be available at the door on the night of the event (start time 20:00), if you have not scored your tickets in advance through http://www.wrestling.fi as of yet.

You DO NOT want to miss this one!

See you at the matches!

It’s official:  I will finally get my shot at FCF Champion “Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä at Fight Club Finland’s Jatkosota 2012 event on Friday, April 20th in Helsinki.

To say that this match has been a long time coming would be arguably the understatement of the year.  Ukonselkä has been a strong champion, thwarting all challenges to date, coming out on top like the king of the kill.  However, on April 20th at the Old Student House, smack-dab in the heart of the nation’s capital of Helsinki, Heimo Ukonselkä is up against one of the top professional wrestlers on the continent of Europe today.

Get your tickets early, this event WILL sell out.

To quote the legendary Four Horsemen member Arn Anderson, “I hate to toot my own horn, but TOOT, TOOT!!”.  Heimo Ukonselkä, along with everybody else knows, that StarBuck is not only a 4-time FCF Champion, I am also a 3-time European Champion, a 2-time Italian Champion, the first SMASH Champion in Japanese history, along with being a German tag team champion.  I have faced the best of the best worldwide in 17 countries over 17 years in the game.  From legends like Japan’s Genichiro Tenryu to multi-time European Champion Bernard Vandamme of Belgium to greats like former ECW World Champion Steve Corino, they have all fallen to Yours Truly inside of that squared circle.  Heimo Ukonselkä, the “Wildman” and current FCF Champion, is next on that long, elusive list.

Heimo, start counting your remaining days as champion, because they are coming to an end on April 20th.Tickets 12 Euros in advance through http://www.fightclubfinland.fi/kauppa.php