Posts Tagged ‘Kana’

On December 27 in Tokyo, Japan, history will be made as my SYNAPSE teammates AKIRA and Syuri vie for the WNC (Wrestling New Classic) Men’s Championship and WNC Women’s Championship respectively.

triad at gym

First off, I must say I am damn proud of my SYNAPSE partners, who more than deserve the top spots in Japanese professional wrestling, as champions.  AKIRA has wrestled an active career nearing 30-years in the business, and to this day he is one of the best in the country of Japan.  Syuri has worked her ass off to become one of the brightest female combatants in Japanese rings since her debut in 2010, also successfully doubling as an competitive kickboxer.

TRIAD collage

When AKIRA, Syuri and I joined forces to form SYNAPSE this past summer, we had a common agenda and end goal in mind: Total dominance.  It was clear from the onset, that we would go on to rule the wrestling world in Japan as a unit, and our united front has proven to be an awesome force to this day in all of our matches, both in terms of singles matches and tag team bouts.

This past October, I took part in the opening round of the WNC title tournament, losing in very controversial fashion to my former FCF teammate Hajime Ohara in a violent and spiteful encounter.  This marked Ohara’s first-ever win over me, and it also sent him straight into the semi-finals of the tournament.  AKIRA and Syuri also won both of their opening round matches, advancing to the semis last month in Tokyo, where AKIRA downed former ECW Champion Tommy Dreamer and Syuri defeated FCF Wrestling’s gender bender Jessica Love.

AKIRA vs Dreamer by Kengo Takahashi 01

AKIRA applies his Old Boy submission stretch on Tommy Dreamer (photo by Kengo Takahashi)

Now on December 27 at the infamous Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, the final round in the WNC title tournament sees AKIRA up against SYNAPSE arch-nemesis TAJIRI, as Syuri does battle with team DQN’s Nagisa Nozaki.  New champions will be crowned in those matches, and history will be written.

Last year, when SMASH held its championship finals in the men’s and women’s divisions, I faced TAJIRI in the men’s final and defeated him to become the first-ever SMASH Champion in history.  One month earlier, Kana defeated Syuri to become the first-ever SMASH Diva Champion.   I would go on to lose the SMASH Championship to Dave “Fit” Finlay in November 2011, whereas Syuri would get her comeuppance over Kana, winning the SMASH Diva Championship in February of this year, right before SMASH ceased operations.

Syuri (photo by Kazu Yanagi)

Syuri (photo by Kazu Yanagi)

I would have personally loved to have been able to make it to the finals of the WNC title tournament, but as the saying goes, “United we stand, divided we fall.”  In so saying, I can only wish for the best of luck to both AKIRA and to Syuri, both of whom I respect very much as teammates and competitors.  They are worthy of the gold.

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Having just returned back home an hour ago from my last tour of Japan with Wrestling New Classic, I can now sit back and reminisce on a very memorable jaunt … and I say memorable for a few reasons.

In a major surprise, my old MMA buddy Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen from Norway showed up with his girlfriend at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo to watch me fight and to say hello.  It had been the summer of 2009 that I saw Hellboy last in Oslo, and he happened to be training in Japan when I was there, so he made plans to come see my match.  Hansen is a great guy and one hell of a fighter, so check him out on YouTube if you are not familiar with him.  He is known as “The Japanese Killer” in the Land of the Rising Sun, because he has beaten so many of the Nippon best out there over the years.

Firstly, I wrestled the first barbed wire matches of my career in Japan this time around, and I must say that the danger aspect of these kinds of bouts is off the charts.  The main objective of any rational wrestler in one of these matches is to stay away from the barbed wire as much as possible, yet at the same time trying to run your opponents into the same structure.  It can be a very tricky and vulnerable scenario, and over the course of the tour, every single of the combatants in these intense matches got scarred and wounded, the girls included.

My team with AKIRA and Syuri defeated the team of TAJIRI, Mikey Whipwreck and Kana in both Tokyo on August 30th and Osaka on August 31st in said barbed wire warfare, but on September 1st in Toyohashi, our team fell to our adversaries when I was thrown by my opponents into the barbed wire board positioned in the corner of the ring, and my hair got entangled in the wire.

The story of Absalom, son of King Salomon in the Bible came to mind, when he rose up in defiance against his father and God struck him down in the battle of Ephraim Wood when he rode his mule into battle: Absalom, decked in long tresses of hair, rode his steed underneath an oak tree in the melee, and his locks got entwined in the branches, wherewith he was hung to death.

In the Toyohashi match, as I attempted to finish off Whipwreck with my trademark piledriver, TAJIRI hit me with a blindside high kick, after which he nailed me with a side thrust kick to the temple that jarred my neck.  I was a sitting duck after that incident, as our opposing team laced into me with kicks when I was down, and then proceeded to flail me into the barbed wire board in the opposite ring corner.  Not only did the board splinter and break upon my body crashing through it, my hair got wickedly entangled in the steel wire barbs, causing even more strain on my injured neck when my frame slumped down after the impact.  Whipwreck then added the final coup de grâce, hitting me with a stunner for the academic pinfall and consequent first loss for our trio in Japan to date.

I will not have to take a few weeks off to properly heal my neck, but you can rest assured that there will be retribution and a day or reckoning in store for TAJIRI when I return to action in Japan the next time!

In Osaka, AKIRA, Syuri and I held a special afterparty for the WNC fans at Wrestling Bar 2.99, where I performed an acoustic number for those on hand, which was received warmly.

It was also in Osaka that I went out after the event to eat at the famous Cowboy Steak House with AKIRA, where we were treated to some of the finest beef that I have ever sunk my teeth into.  Kudos to the friendly staff at Cowboy for sponsoring our meal!

My good friend Dr. Hiroaki Terasaki also took me out to eat at a fine restaurant, run by one of his long-time friends, seen in the photo below.  Terasaki-san also introduced me to the editor of Tokyo Sports newspaper at lunch yesterday, and I will soon have some big news coming out of that meeting, so stay tuned to my website for more infos shortly!

In just over a week, I will be fighting for the first time in my career in a barbed wire grudge match in Japan for Wrestling New Classic.  My trio with AKIRA and Syuri will face the vengeance-hungry team of TAJIRI, Mikey Whipwreck and Kana, and there it is guaranteed that there will be blood.  It all comes down on August 30th at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.

From there, my team will do battle against TAJIRI’s trio on August 31st in Osaka and on September 1st in Toyohashi, and these encounters will also be barbed wire matches.  You can be sure that none of us will be the same after the dust settles next week across Japan!  My team is undaunted however, and we will show once again how we dominate, just as we did on our last tour of Japan.

First however, I will be gunning for my fifth FCF Championship title reign at DOMination 5 in Helsinki, Finland on August 24&25th, as over a two-day period a tournament will be held to crown a new titleholder.  It was 2010 last that I held the FCF crown, defeating TAJIRI in Tokyo on July 24 that year, before losing it back to TAJIRI on November 22, 2010 in Tokyo also.

In round one on Friday, August 24th, I will fight in the main event in a triple threat match against King Kong Karhula and “Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä.  The winner of that match goes on the next night to advance to the semi-finals, and should they be victorious, the finals on the same night.

Last night I arrived back home in Finland after two weeks out in Japan, during which I was on tour with Wrestling New Classic in five different cities across the country.

AKIRA, StarBuck and Syuri (photo by Kazuhiko Kato)

My new team with AKIRA and Syuri rocked the houses every night, and we were a dominant trio, pulling out wins in every single one of our six-person tag matches.

TAJIRI one-upped me in Hakata, Japan (Photo: WNC)

The only loss my team suffered was my personal singles match loss to TAJIRI at Hakata Starlanes in Fukuoka on August 6th.

training with my team at American Gym in Fukuoka

In our first team encounter on August 2nd in Tokyo against TAJIRI, Hajime Ohara and Kana, Tajiri knocked my front tooth out as we brawled on the outside of the ring.

TAJIRI caught me with a knee right in the chops as I charged for him on the floor, and in the process the blow busted the bridge that I have for a prosthetic tooth up front, which I lost in a stunt-riding BMX accident when I was 9-years old.  In the picture below you can see the damage.

We traveled across Japan, from Tokyo southbound toward the southernmost tip of the country in Kagoshima, where WNC kindly offered to get my tooth fixed, saving me the expense in the process.  The friendly ladies at Calla Orthodontic Clinic in Kagoshima made my mug look like brand new, sparkling smile et al…

I was able to meet some very cool, new people in Japan on this trip, from avid wrestling fans of mine to ring legends like The Great Kabuki at his restaurant Kabuki with Family in Tokyo.  As I usually do with old timers who knew Bruiser Brody – one of my all-time favorites in the game and a legend in Japan too – I grilled Kabuki on his take as to the death of Brody in Puerto Rico in 1988 at the hands of Invader #1, where Brody got stabbed to death in the locker room.  Out of respect, the details of our conversation will remain anonymous, but I got a good understanding of the possible reasons behind the incident.

The Great Kabuki

My next tour with WNC takes place at the end of this month, starting on August 30th at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, where I again team with AKIRA and Syuri in the main event against TAJIRI, Kana and Mikey Whipwreck of ECW fame in a huge barbed-wire board match, which will not be for the faint of heart!

Our team victorious across Japan (Photo by Nobuya Iwatsubo)

For more infos go to the WNC website!

Photos by Wrestling New Classic

I will be leaving this coming Monday, July 30th for a wrestling tour with WNC (Wrestling New Classic) throughout Japan at the beginning of August.

On August 2nd at Shinjuku FACE Arena in Tokyo, I will team with AKIRA and Syuri will face TAJIRI,  Hajime Ohara and Kana in the Wrestling New Classic main event.  From there I move on with my new team to establish wrestling dominance in Osaka on August 3rd, Hiroshima on August 4th, Hakata on August 6th and Kagoshima on August 7th.

This past week, I wrestled in Rome, Italy at Rainbow Magicland, which is a huge theme park outside the city.  Every day about 10 000 people visit Magicland, and on July 24 IWS Wrestling ran a show at the establishment.  I wrestled against huge black wrestler Tiny Iron, who has been a bodyguard for bands like The Black-Eyed Peas, Beyoncé and 50 Cent.  I was disqualified in the match when Michael Kovac of Austria and Leo Cristiani of Spain interfered on my behalf.

“Half man, half amazing” Tiny Iron

This week on Saturday, July 28 I wrestle against Finnish academic standout and brash rookie Mikko Maestro in Kerava, Finland for FCF Wrestling at SummerSmash 3.

SummerSmash 3 in Kerava, Finland at 16:00 on July 28, http://www.wrestling.fi

As I wrote just a few days back, I dissolved Team FCF in Japan, the contingent I had with Hajime Ohara, after Ohara failed to produce in our last tag team match on July 15 in Tokyo.

I am proud to introduce my new teammates: AKIRA and Syuri!

Syuri, AKIRA and StarBuck

On August 2nd at Shinjuku FACE Arena in Tokyo, our trio will face TAJIRI, Ohara and female star Kana in the Wrestling New Classic main event.  From there I move on with my new team to establish wrestling dominance in Osaka on August 3rd, Hiroshima on August 4th, Hakata on August 6th and Kagoshima on August 7th.

More infos at the WNC website!

I just arrived back home from Tokyo a few, scant hours ago.  Yesterday, I took part in the gigantic SMASH.25 event at TDC Hall in Tokyo, teaming with FCF wrestlers Hajime Ohara and Jessica Love to face the ZERO1 trio of Masato Tanaka, Shinjiro Otani and Ikuto Hidaka.  In a fast and furious match, Tanaka scored the pinfall over Jessica Love with his sliding elbow strike in 12:40.  In the main event of the card, hard-nosed ring veteran Dave “Fit” Finlay retained the SMASH Championship (which he won from me on Nov. 24, 2011) defeating “The Japanese Buzzsaw” Tajiri in one of the most credible and awesome professional wrestling matches that I have EVER seen live in my life.  Also, Syuri finally defeated Kana for the SMASH Diva Championship in another absolutely stellar ladies match, that has to be seen to be believed.

Ohara also took Jessica and myself to eat at NOAH & PRIDE wrestler Yoshihiro Takayama‘s yakitori (chicken) Stomach Hold restaurant, which I must say has a brilliant name when you consider the fact that it is owned by a wrestler.  I had the pleasure of meeting the boss himself, who was a very friendly big man, along with his wife Natsuko, who helps run the place.  For anyone traveling to Tokyo, be sure to check out Stomach Hold, you will love the food there!

Hajime Ohara, Yoshihiro Takayama and StarBuck (photo: Satomi Kanau)

I also visited the world-famous Ribera Steak House in Tokyo with my Japanese friend Mr. Terasaki, and was pleasantly surprised to see my photo posted on their wall of fame alongside wrestling greats such as Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, The Funks, Dick Murdoch, Hulk Hogan and a slew of others.  All I can say is that it was a very humbling experience to join such esteemed company, knowing the significance of Ribera in the wrestling world.  The boss of Ribera even gave me a new black Ribera jacket as a present on this visit, and every wrestler worth his weight knows that those jackets are given like medals of honor to those who wear them.

Me with Veneno from Mexico at the SMASH.25 afterparty (photo: Shinobu Tanaka)

At the SMASH.25 afterparty, I was once again presented with gifts from the Japanese fans.  Among the items I received were seven DVD album box set releases, given to me my my superfan Mayumi, and a stunning framed portrait of my SMASH Championship win from October 2011, given by superfan Masa.  I must say that there is absolutely no other place on Earth that I am aware of, where the fans make the wrestlers feel like larger-than-life icons through their actions, such as noted above.  Just one more reason why Japan is indeed the #1 country for pro wrestling in the world, bar none, in my humble opinion.

Pointing to my photo on the wall of Ribera

I was also pleasantly surprised to see Finnish press from STT (www.stt.fi), who were at ringside shooting the FCF vs. ZERO1 match for Finnish media coverage.  This came totally out of the blue, as I received an email upon landing in Japan from the STT people, claiming they had seen the article on me in Finnair‘s Blue Wings magazine, and of course SMASH.25 was plugged in that piece.  They got in contact with the SMASH office, received accreditation, and were part of the official press crew at the event.  In addition, members of the Finnish Embassy in Japan were on hand, rooting for FCF Wrestling, which was very cool indeed.

Next up, Winter War VI (Talvisota VI) on Saturday, Feb. 25 in Helsinki, where I face Finnhammer Halme as part of a huge card.  Talisota VI will be topped off by the first-ever TLC (Tables, Ladders & Chairs match) in Finnish history between gender bending fan favorite Jessica Love and the huge human tank Ibo Ten, and FCF Champion “Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä defends his title against bad boy and media darling Johnny McMetal.  Eight matches altogether at Talvisota VI on Feb. 25, so be a part of the biggest show of the year in Finland this coming Saturday!

Buy your tickets online through http://www.wrestling.fi or get them at the door!