Posts Tagged ‘King Kong Karhula’

Man, I don’t know about you, but I’m literally counting down the days to Talvisota XII on December 2 in Helsinki. This date features the biggest wrestling event of the year in Finland, and speaking about Talvisota (translating to Winter War for all you non-Finns out there), I pioneered this event concept back in 2006 and I’ve seen it grow into the flagship spectacle it is for Finnish pro wrestling. This is something I’m honestly proud of, in retrospect. Talvisota has become a staple on the Finnish landscape. It’s our equivalent of WWE’s Wrestlemania.

I’ve seen a lot happen over the years, with a lot of ups and downs, and a lot of knives aimed at my back the moment I turned around (many incidents of which are excellently chronicled in my standout autobiography, Battleground Vahalla, available as a hard copy or Kindle version). I’ve shared the dressing room with people that have literally despised the ground I walked on, as well as those I hold in high regard as the scarcely few I can deem a ”brother” in this dog-eat-dog business. That’s all fine and dandy, because I must have made one hell of an indelible impact for this to have taken place! Had I been another bland face in the faceless crowd, no one would have cared and no feathers would have ever been ruffled. That said, that kind of life was never for me.

Of all of the personal issues that I’ve met head-on in the ring, of all the vendettas and grudges that have been settled inside the squared circle, I really don’t think any single one of them has been as weighty as the one that I will face at this coming Talvisota XII on December 2nd against a guy called Juhana ”King Kong” Karhula, who also happens to be the FCF champion at this point in time.

FCF Wrestling May 27th 2017, Helsinki, Finland.

Juhana Karhula

Karhula has always been ambitious, but he hasn’t always been realistic. That said, at times he has also been lazy and nonchalant, a big dreamer. At other times, I think he believed his own hype, a hype that he himself concocted to bolster his lack of self-esteem, and counted himself more of a star than he actually was. He most definitely saw himself as a bigger star than his britches were made for, and it took him several years to get himself up to speed. But when he got with the program, as it were, Karhula became very good. That I’ll give him. The Karhula that steps into the ring nowadays is as well-rounded a pro wrestler as it gets, but as a man, well … that’s a another story.

I recall hearing the echoes on the breeze tell me in recent years of how Karhula saw himself as a better trainer than me, of how he saw his skill level being over and beyond that of mine. When I heard this, I chuckled to myself. I thought that here is a young man, full of piss and vinegar and a load of pipe dreams, trying to convince himself that he’s better than the big daddy of the fold. I whimsically passed it off as youthful bravado and over-ambition.

When I ran the FCF ship for a number of years, I let Karhula take the lead of training the new talents that came in the door. He was hungry to show his worth and he felt up to the task, and so this lot was given to him. He obviously took this as a sign of weakness from me, and proceded to run mutiny with the younger members of the Finnish wrestling fold, poisoning their minds over the past years against the old captain of the ship. My style of old school man-up leadership didn’t sit well with many of the ”boys” (intonation: not quite men yet), who would gripe behind my back about shit but never had the balls to come and talk to me about it. Karhula became the in-between and sponge, as it were, for the gripers, and he used that energy as firepower to cook up his own little mutiny. A man with integrity would have told those gripers to man-up and go talk to the boss directly, just as they have to do with Vince McMahon in WWE. When I look back, the only ”reasoning” I can find for his behavior and choices can be summed up as petty jealousy. Sure, even then, Karhula led others by example: his example only was one of subversion, spinelessness and again, mutiny.

The fact is Juhana Karhula was never better than the man that taught him, even though he does everything in his power to avoid mentioning my name when it comes to who trained him up and who mentored him. Simply put, he hated – and still hates – what he could never be.

Oh, on the surface it looks very different, I’m sure. I’m certain that when most folks look at the way Karhula carries himself and the way he makes his case, they’ll be deluded into falling for the mirage of the ”good guy,” or the ”honest guy.” The cold, hard truth is that Karhula is most definitely NOT a ”good guy.”

Even in one of his last blogs, Karhula tried to paint this picture of FCF Wrestling having been a personal ”playground” for me when I ran the ship like a tyrant, as he put it. What he fails to realize and give me credit for is, that I opened numerous doors for not only him, but also a litany of other Finnish talents, when I was at the helm. It was through my personal sacrifices, connections and labors, that everyone got a piece of the pie. I was the baker, the roster were the beneficiaries, sitting at the round table, waiting to be served. Of course Karhula doesn’t want anyone to see this picture, because it completely destroys his argument and attempt to discredit me. And be it said, that every single business and organization needs a clear-cut leader at the top, someone whose word is iron law, so that everyone underneath has a clear direction and concise marching orders, as to what is expected of them to make the co-operative effort work.

The truth is, that the yuppie, liberal, millennial roster simply didn’t like the way StarBuck ran the game, which was LIKE A WRESTLING PROMOTION. After 25 years spent out in the mat game worldwide, you’d think these kids would have had the faith to understand a time-tested pro was at the helm, running things like they had been run for numerous decades in our industry. But no, they wanted a culture club, a little after-school play park where everyone got their wishes granted and everyone was made to feel like a special snowflake. And who better to choose to lead a juvenile lot like that, than one of their own?

karhula and starbuck standoff

Karhula’s a snake in the grass. He’s a young man full of resentment and jealousy. Where he could have gone the extra mile like I did in making his career on a global level, he simply dreamed and talked. He didn’t put in the sacrifice and effort needed, nor did he show the must-have heart and ballsy daring that blind leaps of faith require to make it in any chosen endeavor.

No. Karhula simply rode the coattails of upper management, expecting to be treated like a special charity case or favored child. He thought that his inherent talent warranted him all the blessings that would be passed his way from those in power. Someone else laid down the pavement that he was then able to stroll on. And like a greedy, self-serving child, he just expected more and more. Chalk it up to a false sense of entitlement for a millenial child.

Then, when he saw his opening in late 2015, Karhula realized that now was his time. The Finnish wrestling roster had changed dramatically since the golden days of the early 2010’s in FCF, when under my auspices, we were the ONLY office out of Europe to have a working relationship with a main Japanese wrestling promotion. A lot of the veteran talents from that era had either moved on to live in other countries or had hung it up, moving on in their lives to other endeavors and vocations.

Now, a new stock of upstarts and mid-card hopefuls were filling up the bulk of the roster. The internal climate was right for an overhaul. Youth beckoned unto youth and like called out to like. The pipe dreams of one became the pipe dreams of many. Karhula had his uprising, captaining his grand bastard mutiny, and so he was chosen by the disoriented, disenfranchised younglings that he helped coach up, as their new spiritual leader.

In came the liberal, soft, democratic values of Juhana Karhula. Out went the cold, hard realities of 25 years spent in the global wrestling industry and the conservative leadership of StarBuck.

Well, guess what? On December 2nd in Helsinki, when Talvisota XII takes place, this isn’t just going to be another wrestling match. It’s not some ”storyline” for the fans to amuse themselves by. No. This is going to be a personal war of attrition and I’m going to take deep-rooted pleasure in breaking one Juhana ”King Kong” Karhula into pieces.

I could give a damn whether anyone sides with me that night. Times have changed, and so be it. I’m going into that ring to annihilate and decimate Juhana Karhula. I’m going to strip him of his title belt, I’m going to forcefully eviscerate his false sense of ”honor” and I’m going to make an example of him in front of the entire, youth-infested FCF locker room.

December 2nd will be known as the day that a false leader, captaining his own, personal mutiny against the father of an entire cultural phenomenon in the country of Finland, meets his own, due demise.

die karhula

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In every man’s life, there comes a time when the wheat is separated from the chaff and a personal agenda is born.  A time when those he has brought up, fathered and mentored turn their backs on him.  A time when he himself sees how he has become the villain in minds of those who abide by the current, liberal undertow of society.

For years upon years, I spearheaded the professional wrestling business in Finland.  As its pioneer, I did everything within my power to take this fine fighting art in this remote nook of the world and make it into something truly remarkable.

I achieved that and much more in my tenure as the heart and soul of Finnish pro wrestling.  Since the inception of FCF Wrestling, Finland’s one and only pro wrestling promotion, in 2006, I worked my ass off to put the company on the European wrestling map.  And I did.

Through my arduous efforts, FCF Wrestling became a hallmark name on the European Wrestling scene in the Y2K era.  I was able to negotiate and work as flourishing deal with both the SMASH and WNC wrestling promotions of Japan at the turn of the 2010s.  We, as FCF Wrestling, were the only foreign promotion in the Land of the Rising Sun to have a working deal with a Japanese office outside of ROH and TNA out of the USA.  We were the only ones out of Europe to enjoy such a lavish standing.  And guess who was the workhorse behind all of that?

WTF

The horse that pulled the cart for everyone for over a decade (photo: Marko Simonen)

With one StarBuck at the helm of FCF, our organization spawned a litany of export talents that would go on to enjoy massive success across Europe, in Asia and in North America.  Talents such as Heimo Ukonselkä, Pasi Suominen, Kristian Kurki, Valentine, Kageman Guro, Stark Adder, Aurora, El Excentrico, Jessica Love, Mikko Maestro, Petrov, plus a certain wrestler named Juhana Karhula, all got their chance to shine abroad under Captain StarBuck’s gutsy and ambitious leadership.

Alas, this brings me to 2017 and the aforementioned individual, Juhana Karhula.  Nowadays, Karhula finds himself at the helm of the FCF ship, as its champion and its head coach.  He’s gotten the locker room to rally behind him and aspire to his vision.  In short, he’s become quite the influence.  An influence that has turned a whole horde of children against their own father, as it were.

Back in 2008, an infamous couple ran FCF Wrestling for a spell as the promoters of the organization on paper.  They hated me.  Absolutely despised me.  They were, for lack of a better term, a cancer in the bones of Finnish pro wrestling.  They were about to smoke me out of FCF altogether in the fall of 2008 and put an 18-year-old Juhana Karhula, who had been wrestling for three years up to that point only in Finland, as head coach and matchmaker.  This plan didn’t pan out at the time, as the locker room got smart to what was happening and this antagonistic couple ended up leaving the organization and passing it on to a new leadership back then, which was outlined in detail in my official autobiography, Battleground Valhalla, out now in print and as a Kindle download through Crowbar Press from the USA.

Kick

Karhula surely has as much attrition for my person as I do for him (photo: Marko Simonen)

Juhana Karhula, then wrestling under a mask as Ibo Ten, was all game for the coup back in 2008 when it was presented to him.  He literally salivated at the prospect of filling some mighty big shoes, replacing the author and founding father of Finnish pro wrestling in a key position.  When things didn’t pan out, the young man fell into a depression as his world fell apart.  For years, he became a shadow of himself, struggling to establish his identity in the annals of pro wrestling and trying to come to grips with the fact that he’d have to learn to live with the fact that old StarBuck wasn’t leaving the helm any time soon.

Time passed and new faces came into the FCF organization, just as the tides of society were changing also.  The societal norms, as it were, were changing.  No longer could you call a spade a spade, and no longer was black black or white white.  It became an age of overt and exaggerated, twisted and insistent political correctness.  It became liberalism up the ass and all manner of inane “tolerance” talk.  It became the day and age of the blind willing to be lead by the blind.  An age when everybody wanted to walk to the beat of the weakest common denominator, so as not to make anybody feel excluded and left out.  In short, it became what we now hold to be modern, social justice warrior infested, virtue-signaling society.

Drilling punches

I’ll break anyone who steps between me and my quest for vengeance (pic: Marko Simonen)

The world and old school, clear-cut approach of StarBuck was no longer relevant.  The new, younger crop of FCF wrestlers wanted a leader that resounded with their values system and liberal views.  They wanted the soft, lily-livered approach.  The one that treated everyone with kid gloves and gave out prizes to everybody, just for showing up, instead of for achievements.

And so the old faithful rock, Captain StarBuck, was rolled aside to let in the new “messiah” of FCF, Juhana Karhula.  What started as a seed sown in 2008 finally came to fruition in 2017, almost a decade later.

Now, it’s war.  It’s damn personal.  Not only have this little rat pack of current Finnish wrestlers chosen their leader, they have also spawned a lethal agenda.  They have let the tempest in.  With a vengeance.

This past weekend, on Saturday night, September 2nd in Helsinki, FCF Wrestling held it’s Wrestling Show Live event at Pressa nightclub.  For the second time since the whole of FCF turned their backs on me, I made a personal statement to the reigning champion and face of FCF, Juhana Karhula.  The first time was back in May of this year, when I cost him his match with Germany’s monsterous Demolition Davies.  This time, I cost him his match against the Beast from Sweden, in only 15-seconds of ill-fated fame.  Afterwards, Karhula lost it and attacked me in the dressing room, which was caught on camera and can be seen on the FCF Wrestling page on Facebook.

Knee strike

A world of hurt is about to rain down on Juhana Karhula and no one can stop what is going to take place (photo: Marko Simonen)

I won’t rest until I’ve done in and done away with Juhana “King Kong” Karhula.  I will haunt him to the ends of the Earth, until I have my vengeance and my personal vendetta is fulfilled.  Watch me.

Last night in Helsinki we almost had a tragedy take place.  FCF Wrestling held it’s 10th anniversary of Finland’s equivalent of Wrestlemania, Talvisota X (Winter War 10).  With 500 frantic fans showing up to our mega-show, we had nine matches slated on the card, with the FCF title bout between champion Valentine and challenger King Kong Karhula in the main event.

However, earlier yesterday, we got word that my opponent for the evening, Chaos of Denmark, had been delayed in Copenhagen.  His SAS flight had left for Helsinki and had been turned back after take-off due to a fuel shortage.  SAS rerouted him through Prague later in the day, only to make it to Helsinki airport for 22:30!

Now just me personally, talking not only for myself but for the fans on hand, and in light of the significance of my imprint on the Finnish pro wrestling scene in general, as the pioneer of the sport in our country, for my match to have been left off the card of this 10th anniversary show would have been an all-time low.

Back in 2006, when the first, inaugural Winter War took place in Vantaa, Finland, I was the main event against Bernard Vandamme of Belgium for the Eurostars European championship.  At that event, I won the European title for the first time in my storied career, putting Finnish pro wrestling and FCF as a company on the continental wrestling industry map.

bernard powerslam

The night I took the European title off of Bernard Vandamme in 2006

Now, 10 years later, the boys that were in the opening match of the very first Winter War in 2006 found themselves at the top of the card, in the advertised main event of Winter War / Talvisota X this year, a decade later.  Valentine and King Kong Karhula had one hell of a match last night, which stands to be applauded on all levels, and I was amazed at the public reaction to the newly-turned Karhula as a babyface.  It seems that the Finnish fans really vouched for him and have taken him as a fan favorite fore-runner.  Pitted against one of the greatest heels ever – if not THE greatest heel ever – out of the Nordics, Valentine, both challenger and champion tore the house down with a multi-faceted, highly intricate and masterful match.  Valentine retained his strap, but Karhula won over the entire audience with a moral victory.

About half-way through Valentine’s match with Karhula, Chaos arrived at the Töölö Sports Hall, rushed to the venue via taxi to make it for our advertised match.  He had changed into his wrestling gear during the ride to town, and he was primed and ready to go 15 minutes before our match went on.  Talk about a near-miss!

My Eye of the Tiger theme music began to play and I wondered if Chaos and I could follow the stellar main event match set by Valentine and Karhula.  Still, as a 22-year veteran, I knew I could be certain of what I could produce.  I was also dead-certain of what my opponent could produce.  We had an issue to attend to, a rivalry that crossed national boundaries.  I wasn’t expecting a high-flying match or a technical showcase.  No, what I was expecting was a WAR.  And a war I got!

Chaos lambasted me from behind with a steel chair from the blindside as I made my ring entrance, beating me six shades of senseless before I even knew what was going on!  The man tore into me, literally like a pit bull, unrelenting and vicious in his assault.  I found myself literally fighting for my life in there.  There was no surcease, no slowing down, as Chaos just kept the pressure and heat on me.

Yet, I wasn’t succumbing.  I wasn’t laying down or staying down.  This was Winter War 10, dammit!  Winter War, my personal brainchild and concept, which has since been branded and recognized as the most important pro wrestling event annually in the country of Finland!

StarBuck vs Chaos Winter War 10 (3)

Chaos blasts me with a mean uppercut! (photo: Timo Muilu)

My adrenaline started kicking in.  I struggled hard to clear my head of the cobwebs of Chaos’ vicious assault.  I got in one punch… then another… and another.  I rallied hard, fighting back with the intestinal fortitude of a dozen Finnish war veterans that fought hard to retain Finland’s independence in 1940.  I wasn’t just fighting for my professional wrestling heritage in this country, I was fighting for every person at the Töölö Sports Hall that rallied with me.  Every punch and blow that I could land was delivered with the force and emotional investment of the people that believed in me and my personal contribution to pro wrestling in Finland since 2003.  All of a sudden, my fight became larger than life itself in that moment.

StarBuck vs Chaos Winter War 10 (2)

A brief rally that didn’t last too long, but did the damage intended! (photo: Timo Muilu)

I finished the first Winter War with my head held high back in 2006, and I wasn’t willing to leave the ring last night with anything less than that same feeling and raw emotion.  I finally nailed Chaos in the face with a boot as he charged me in the corner.  With the Dane stung, I blasted him with a second rope clothesline that would have done former WWF world champion Bret “Hitman” Hart proud.

After a spirited last-ditch, desperation comeback, I got caught out on the outside of the ring by Chaos, as he ran my kidneys hard into the ring apron.  Rolling me back into the ring, Chaos hit his trademark moonsault and damn near crushed my legs on the landing.  It would be hard to kick out, with my thighs knotted up, but kick out I did!

TSX Chaos moonsault

Chaos hits a mean moonsault on my fallen corpus (photo: Xeniya Balsara)

 

Chaos picked me up for a side back breaker and then ascended the ropes for another huge moonsault, which he hit perfectly across my chest cavity, knocking the wind out of me.  He went for the cover, but just barely, I managed to kick out once again.

At this point, Chaos seemed to be scrambling for ideas, so he went after the steel chair that he used before the start of the match to beat me senseless.  Bringing the chair to the ring, he prepared to blast me with it, but I hit a superkick into the chair, sending the steel into Chaos’ face and knocking him senseless for a change.

Now was my time.  It was now or never.  I hoisted Chaos for my trademark spike piledriver and dropped him with the very maneuver that has put away competition all over the world during my wrestling travels in 20 countries worldwide.  But… he kicked out!!!

TSX piledriver

My piledriver has a match-ending odds on favorite rate of about 98% (photo: Xeniya Balsara)

I was stunned.  Hardly ever had anyone… anyone at all… kicked out of my spike piledriver.  In Japan, “The Japanese Buzzsaw” Tajiri managed to kick out of my piledriver once, and once only.  On that night, Tajiri became the FCF champion back in 2010.  But such are so scarce occasions, that they only happen once in a blue moon, or perhaps, as with most, only once in a lifetime.

I blasted Chaos with yet another spike piledriver and that was finally enough to put away the tough bastard at Winter War 10, as the audience counted with every slap of the referee’s hand against the mat, as Chaos’ shoulders were pinned for the 1-2-3.  And my goodness, the sound of the pop that the live audience emitted at that point could have been registered on the Richter Scale!

What could have been a disastrous night on many levels turned into one of the most satisfying and memorable matches of my 22+ year pro wrestling career.  Thanks to everyone who was on hand, and for those who weren’t, there is a DVD of this event in the works, which will be out in the coming months for sale!

Winter War veterans

The FCF Wrestling veteran crew that has taken part in every single Talvisota / Winter War to 2006 -2016: (left to right) King Kong Karhula, StarBuck, Valentine, Stark Adder (photo: Satu Tapaturma)

 

After over six years since the initial shooting began for the trek that would become my story on the silver screen, Spandex Sapiens finally had it’s grand world premiere in Helsinki this past Thursday!  And to be honest, what better place to hold the premiere than here in Finland, as the movie was funded with Finnish money and tells a tale about the pioneer of Finnish pro wrestling?  Rather apropos. I would wager to say!

Today, I heard the good news that Spandex Sapiens had won the “Audience Favorite Award” at this year’s Night Visions film festival in Helsinki, which ends today.  People genuinely seemed to be touched, moved or otherwise stirred by the movie, as I was witness to myself this past Thursday night, as I shook hands with movie goers after the premiere.

Having now seen the movie myself on the big screen, I must say that it truly is a powerful piece of cinema.  Several people have told me the same thing, “It was much better than I initially expected”, which, after so long of a time in the making and having so much money put into it, shouldn’t be too much of a shock.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

I was especially proud to stand at the end of the movie, on stage with the producers, my family and a host of FCF wrestlers, for an open Q&A about the film itself.  Viewers presented a plethora of questions, and one that that was directed toward my father, Taimo, specifically had an impact on me.  Or moreso, my father’s answer to the question presented stirred me, as he said: “Michael said at one point that he wanted to become a role model for the young boys and teenagers of today.  Not some ambiguous figure who wants to be half male and half female, but a true embodiment of solid masculinity.”

That statement, in and of itself, also spoke volumes of the movie itself, and the impact of my personality and character in the film.  I was truly humbled to receive such high adulation from my own Dad in front of a host of strangers, acquaintances and friends alike.  It felt like I had done something right in my life, especially the following day afterward. when I ran into an online article about a 100% increase in gender role confusion amongst today’s children.

All that said, I have seen a clear change in the social consciousness of our modern age, where the lines of clear gender roles are being stealthily erased.  It is no longer accepted to call a spade a spade, or to have clear, dauntless black and white principles.  The world has become a melting pot of grays, or perhaps thought otherwise, a mixture of all of the colors of the rainbow, as it were.  Solid absolutes are being done away with, as people look to justify everything about their lives through relativism.  The only problem is that when absolute truth is done away with, the foundation of one’s society ultimately crumbles.  So there you have it, my brief moment of social commentary in the midst of this milestone of celebration.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

On the night of the movie premiere, following the Q&A, we had an afterparty wrestling show at Gloria Cultural Arena in Helsinki, where I faced my counterpart from the Spandex Sapiens film, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love.  It was a damn good match, too, which was building to a classic, when the Musta Aukko (Black Hole) contingent of King Kong Karhula, “Executioner” Petrov, their manager Mr. Tapaturma and female cohort Julia Kyy all interfered.  As the heels beat down Jessica and I, Karhula took the mic directly thereafter and spouted something about being sick and tired of seeing my face in the spotlight, and in addition, having no regard for Jessica Love, who Karhula boasted he had beaten to a pulp on countless occasions.  Karhula blasted that now was his time, and that didn’t seem to sit all too well with his teammates.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

Jessica and I took advantage of the confusion amongst our foes’ ranks and laced into them with a counter assault, sending them out of the ring.  I stepped up to the proverbial plate and challenged Petrov and Karhula to a tag team match right then and there against Jessica and myself, to which they eagerly accepted.  What followed was a donnybrook that saw Jessica Love pin King Kong Karhula with a double-arm DDT after a timely superkick assist from Yours Truly.  We put aside personal, philosophical differences to fight a common enemy and we came out on the winning end, which brings to mind something I have long held to be true: “I don’t have to like you to be able to do business with you.”

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

Spandex Sapiens’ world premiere was just the beginning.  From here, the film is sure to hit various international film festival stages and then get an official theater distribution release in Finland, come the spring of 2016!

All photos by Marko Simonenwww.markosimonen.com

This coming weekend, there will be a couple of back-to-back wrestling cards in Espoo and Vantaa, here in the capital region of Helsinki. These are part of FCF Wrestling’s cooperation with fast food restaurant Snacky, as the first installment of what has come to be known as Snacky Slam, was held on July 23 in Helsinki a few weeks back.

Snacky Slam events FB

Now, on August 14 & 15 in Espoo’s Niittykumpu suburb and Vantaa’s Korso suburb respectively, the next Snacky Slam events will take place. For folks in the Espoo area, the Niittykumpu Snacky show will start at 20:00 in the evening this coming Friday, and for fans in the Vantaa area, the Korso Snacky show will take place at 18:30 this coming Saturday.

snacky korso

I’m personally very excited about these Snacky Slam events, as at the first one this past July 23 in Helsinki, I had a classic battle against Russia’s #1 wrestler, Ivan Markov. My victory in that match sets me up on the right foot to enter this weekend’s Snacky Slam shows, as in Espoo on Friday, I will step into the ring for the first time since 2011 against Finnish wrestling veteran and former Finnish champion, Stark Adder. It was back in May 2006, that I lost the Finnish wrestling championship to Adder in Helsinki in one of the all-time greatest matches ever contested in the annals of pro wrestling in the Nordics. It was a 30-minute Iron Man match back then, in which Adder finally made good after failing to defeat me three times previously for the title. I still fondly remember the quality of that outing, and the amazing chemistry that we had in the ring. I expect this coming Friday’s Snacky Slam encounter to be another mat classic, and fans should definitely show up to see us lock horns, because rarely has our country seen such pure wrestling – in the very essence of the term – as Adder and I produce when we grapple.

Back on May 26, 2006, I lost the Finnish wrestling championship to Stark Adder in one of the greatest matches ever in the Nordics (photo: Kari Helenius)

Back on May 26, 2006, I lost the Finnish wrestling championship to Stark Adder in one of the greatest matches ever in the Nordics (photo: Kari Helenius)

In Vantaa on Saturday, I will team up with my former protégé Mikko Maestro to take on the Musta Aukko (Black Hole) contingent of King Kong Karhula and Pyöveli Petrov. It was Maestro who I asked to be the ring bearer back on January 4, 2013 in Lohja, Finland, when I proposed after a wrestling match in center ring to my now-wife, Diana. Maestro is someone that I have taken a personal, vested interest in coaching and helping along in his pro wrestling career. He has shown the same spark for the wrestling business that I had back in 1992-1993 when I got into the wrestling business, and that is why I believe he is going to make it. My coach-to-be Lance Storm and I were weight training at a gym in Calgary, Canada, when one day Lance told me “I see the passion that you have for this business, and if you want, I will train you.” In many ways, Maestro is my old shoes in this respect now, whereas I am in Lance Storm’s shoes. On August 15 in Vantaa’s Korso at Snacky Slam, Maestro and I are going to show Karhula and Petrov that the “Burning Heart” that rock band Survivor sang about is going to be hard to beat once “Eye of the Tiger” starts blaring in the PA and we make our way to the ring to kick some ass!

Back on January 4, 2013, Mikko Maestro was the sentinel of the engagement ring that I had asked him to bring to the ring when I proposed to my wife-to-be, Diana, sitting in the audience that night.

Back on January 4, 2013, Mikko Maestro was the sentinel of the engagement ring that I had asked him to bring to the ring when I proposed to my wife-to-be, Diana, sitting in the audience that night.

Be sure to come out and enjoy these coming Snacky Slam events this coming weekend, as they are free to the public, held outdoors in the parking lots of the respective Niittykumpu and Korso Snacky restaurants. This is a rare treat to all of the fans in Finland and to the general public this summer, and you’d have to be crazy to miss out on this special treat! And hey, you can’t go wrong with the best hamburgers in town, either!

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!

This coming weekend in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, one of the most important matches in Scandinavian wrestling today will be waged between four men. The Swedish contingent of their most popular wrestler, Conny Mejsel, and his hulking partner, the young but very talented Harley Rage (what a name!), will take on Finland’s veteran duo of myself and the lightning-fast 125kg King Kong Karhula.

Now, let’s make no mistake about it: I am no friend of Karhula, nor do I want to mislead anyone into believing so. Yet, for the sake of making a heartfelt statement on Swedish soil this coming Saturday night, February 1, I wanted to bring the former FCF champion, because I can vouche for this man’s talent. I don’t have to like Karhula to do business with him, and serious business it will be in Gothenburg in just a matter of days, when he and I lay waste to the hometown favorite and his big buddy.

Conny Mesjel is someone that I have an outstanding issue with, since he first challenged me for my BWA Catchweight title back in June of last year in Helsinki. I’ve heard that he’s wanted to take me on specifically due to the fact that I am considered to be the ”Lord of Northern European Wrestling”, as they say in Japan.

I can accept that. As a matter of fact, I find that flattering to a large degree. That said, I will not refrain from beating a mudhole into Conny Mejsel and anyone else that he decides to bring with him to the dance, because he is literally asking for it!

Laying out Mesjel with a chair shot in Gothenburg, September 2013

Laying out Mesjel with a chair shot in Gothenburg, September 2013

Conny Mejsel wants to be an old school tribute, but he should realize that I am the real thing.

Conny Mejsel is going back to school this coming Saturday in Gothenburg, and his younger friend Harley Rage is going to serve hard time alongside him. Mark my words.

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