This past Saturday night in Randers, Denmark, I stepped into my first cage match in my 21 years in the pro wrestling business.
Truth be told, I have been looking forward to wrestling a cage match all my life, as when I was a teenager, I used to watch tons of these kinds of matches on television. I was enamored by the cage match above all other kinds of “gimmick” matches in pro wrestling.
I recall sitting back and seeing the NWA [National Wrestling Alliance] put on the War Games double cage matches in the summers between 1987-1989 as part of the Great American Bash July-August national tours. I remember Ric Flair falling to Ronnie Garvin in a cage match in Detroit back in the latter half of 1987, only to win it back in a cage re-match at Starrcade that very same year in Chicago. Then there was Hulk Hogan vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndoff inside of a steel cage on WWF’s Saturday Night’s Main Event on NBC, as I would stay up way past my curfew back in those days to watch spellbound as the muscular heroes and villains battled it out inside the steel.
Alas, in 1994, I became an active professional wrestler, a raw rookie at the time with great hunger and a drive to spread my wings in this fantastic wrestling industry. My ambition and travels would take me to places like Egypt, Japan, Poland, Estonia, Spain and many points in between, spanning 19 countries and four continents to date, before I would be able to grapple inside the structure that always caught my imagination as a strapping young lad: the steel cage.
This past Saturday night in Randers, Denmark, the dream of wrestling inside the steel cage came true, thanks to Danish Pro Wrestling [DPW]. What was originally billed and slated to be me vs. multi-time Danish wrestling champion Chaos, was changed just two weeks prior to the event as me vs. The Beast from Sweden, and Chaos vs. Mr. Anderson from TNA (ex-WWE, Ken Kennedy).
As I have extensively documented here on my website and blog, I have been actively training and coaching The Beast since February of this year, as the Swedish phenom has taken the wrestling world in the Nordics by storm. I understood that I was prepping a dangerous man with all the tools to be a mega-star in the industry, at 1.93m tall and 115kg of pure muscle. I never saw the inevitable day coming this quickly, when I would have to step into the ring to face my prized protege, but I took to the change of plans like an old pro would and should. Win, lose or draw, it was just business this past Saturday when The Beast and I stepped into that steel cage to do battle.
I have to say that with 21 years in the game under me, I had the decided veteran’s advantage, which played greatly into my favor against the relative inexperience of The Beast. However, what he lacked for in experience, The Beast more than made up for in aggression and quickness. For a man that stands 1.93m tall, this guy moves like a panther. It was quite challenging to negate his agility and speed, and I had to pull a few old hat tricks to get the duke in the end. And yes, you read and understood that right: StarBuck beat The Beast inside of the steel cage when all was said and done.
This was The Beast’s first pinfall loss since debuting this past February in pro wrestling. However, even as The Beast himself knows, there is no shame in falling to time-tested, world-traveled veteran like myself. With more experience and miles down the line, it very well might be another story. Yet, this past weekend, history was made. The Beast found out that all men are mortal, and for every predator out there, there is another animal that will take them down. This is what we call the law of the jungle.
So summa summarum, all my respect goes to The Beast for putting up the fight of his career so far. This was nothing personal, just business. The Beast was put on the spot by DPW when the promotion changed plans from StarBuck vs. Chaos to StarBuck vs. The Beast. I do not have a personal agenda or beef with The Beast, and this cage match and its result does not pose any issue for me in my dealings with the man.
However, I do have an issue with Chaos. Not only did he prefer to disrespect me by choosing to change the advertised card from StarBuck vs. Chaos in the cage to Mr. Anderson vs. Chaos, but DPW also rubbed that salt of this swerve into my open wound by putting me in the cage with them as special referee after my match against The Beast. I barely had time to even drink before officials shoved a referee’s shirt in my face and told me to gear up and go back out to officiate the main event between Chaos and Anderson. Being the pro that I am, I suited up and went out to do my job.
However, I did not let sleeping dogs lie. When Chaos hit his trademark moonsault on Anderson, I counted one, two … and then nothing. I simply got up and turned around, showing everyone that if I was shafted in my scheduled and advertised match Denmark’s most beloved superstar, then I could play the game also. Chaos took exception to my actions, as I knew he would, and in turn, I superkicked him into oblivion, putting him down for Anderson to claim the winning pinfall.
So the bottom line is this: Chaos still has a date with destiny with his old nemesis StarBuck. He might have engineered the card to stroke his own ego this past weekend, but now, he has a little thorn in his side also. Sooner or later, Chaos is going to have to step into that ring with me, because his hurt pride won’t let this one go. And next time, there will be no change of plans at the last minute.
(Photos by Jytte Kristensen)