Posts Tagged ‘life’

There comes a time in every man’s life, when he looks at what he has accomplished and accumulated to this point and what lies beyond, yet to pursue.  I found that when I hit the pivotal age of forty back in 2013, I took stock of my life at large and contemplated the brevity and breadth of it all.

guitar man 4

When you step back and take a look at your life from the outside, you can assess things at face value for what they are and what they have meant. (Photo: Hannu Eskelinen)

Forty is like a half-way marker.  It’s a brutal, unforgiving assessment of what is, for real.  It’s half-way to eighty, and eighty is an age that spells pretty much the end of one’s life here on Planet Earth.

I look back at the greatest, single influence on my pro wrestling career early on, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the 16-time world heavyweight champion in our grand game of professional wrestling.  I recall the year 1990, when Flair was wrestling against Lex Luger at a WCW (World Championship Wrestling) pay-per-view event called WrestleWar ’90, that it also happened to be on his birthday.  The announcers tried to sell it as if it was Flair’s 40th birthday, when in reality, it was his 41st.  Nonetheless, I remember this detail speaking to me in volume even back then.

Ric Flair

When I started my pro wrestling career, I always asked myself “What would the ‘Naitch do?”

My old friend Chris Jericho currently wrestles for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) as their US Champion, a belt that he will be defending against fellow Canadian grappler Kevin Owens next weekend on April 2nd at Wrestlemania 33.  Jericho is about three years my senior, now age 46.  He’s still doing well, hanging in there at the top of his game, arguably on one of his last runs with the company.  I applaud him.  He’s done very well, staying in shape and being able to connect with a changing audience and parlay his character across various generations of wrestling fans.  Yet, the end is drawing nigh, even for my old pal Y2J, simply based on age.

05

When I started my pro wrestling career in Calgary, Canada in 1994, they used to call me Jericho Jr.  Really, I didn’t mind.  Chris has done incredibly well in the business, and I’m happy for him.

Now, back to my original point: the things left to pursue in one’s chosen career or life path.  Tallinn, Estonia was such a waypoint for me personally this past weekend, the reason being that the event I took part in was a professional boxing card.

For the longest time, since the onset of my personal pro wrestling career, I’ve been fighting to defend the credibility of my fighting art, called professional wrestling.  There have always been detractors and shit-talkers and there always will be.  Still, I have always felt compelled to defend the honor of my business, which many see as a faux sport.  Like one of my early role models, Bret “Hitman” Hart, said in his autobiography some years back, “It seems as though I’ve been defending professional wrestling my entire life.”

Bret Hart vs Ric Flair

Bret Hart and Ric Flair slugging it out back in 1992 in the World Wrestling Federation.

For me, I’ve always prided myself on being legitimate when I step into the ring.  I take my sport seriously.  Regardless of how many people – some contemporaries included – have prostituted and bastardized our trade, for me, I’ve always strived to take the higher road of credibility.  I’ve gone the extra mile and fought tooth and nail to retain integrity in the believability of professional wrestling.  For me, it’s a matter of professional pride.

Being able to parlay my skills and take part in the Warrior Fight Series 1 event this past Saturday night in Tallinn, Estonia on March 25 was a true milestone for me.  It was history in the making.

Photo by Karli Saul 15

Photographer Karli Saul captures my ring entrance in Estonia in dazzling colors.

I was able to step into the ring in front of a virgin audience, engage them and win them over, making believers in the process, as I fought against a true athletic stud in Vladimir Kulakov of Russia.  This was an international match of epic proportions: the time-tested, world-traveled ring veteran against the younger Russian pro wrestling champion and a literal wolverine amongst his peers.  It was action and reaction, just as professional wrestling should be, in front of an audience that was there with an open mind, ready to make their initial assessment of the grappling game that is professional wrestling.  It was an ambitious endeavor to win over a new fan base and build where no one else had built or wandered before.

Photo by Martin Ahven (2)

Photographer Martin Ahven gets a good shot of the intensity of my match with Kulakov.

It is in this – venturing out into new, uncharted territories – that I take personal gratification in at this stage of my pro wrestling career.  I pioneered the business in Finland back in 2003 along with promoter Patrik Pesola, which launched an entire scene in the country.  My hallmark is set in stone as the most successful professional wrestler ever out of the Nordics and the northern sector of Europe.  My track record globally attests to that claim, and my championship reigns worldwide, along with my lengthy list of name opposition all around the world support that argument.  Now, I need a new mountain to climb.  A new challenge to contest.

Tallinn was the beginning of another chapter in my personal pro wrestling career.  I want to thank the promoter of EST Boxing, Mr. Grinkin, for having the faith to present pro wrestling on his card.  I want to also thank the Estonian media at large for covering the match to the degree that it has received media attention, which you can see e.g. from the link below:

http://sport.delfi.ee/news/voitlussport/poks/delfi-video-esmakordselt-eestis-ameerika-wrestlingu-sou-naerutas-tondiraba-publikut?id=77670846

Every one of us has the chance to build our own legacy in whatever our chosen endeavor is.  The true question is, how much heart do you really have to pursue your ambitions and goals, turning your dreams into a reality?

Life is short.  Make yours spectacular.

Today marks my 42nd birthday.  I don’t feel so young anymore, nor do I feel very old.  I’m somewhere in between.

Like most folks out there, I don’t fancy the limitations and slowing down process that age brings with it.  I’ve strived to reach the upper echelon in all things that my heart has burned after, and I have held nothing back.  I’ve been all around the world, reached pinnacles that many only dream of, becoming a star player in my chosen sport far and wide.  I’ve toured many lands with my various rock bands, been here, there and a little bit of everywhere.

StarBuck birthday

So here at 42, on April 24, I look back on what has been and ahead to what lies in wait.  As a lone wolf, not part of any clique out there, I’ve done a hell of a lot in my 42 years.  Everything I’ve achieved, I’ve earned with hard work, honesty and reputation.  Not by kissing ass, playing politics or stabbing other people in the back.  For that, I am proud.

I achieved my dream of superstardom in Japan as a wrestler in 2010-2011, which was my career goal, and everything from here on out is a bonus.  I garnered three European wresting championships during my career so far, and I am happy with that number.  It’s a magical number; three.  Anything above that is also just a bonus.  I’ve wrestled in 19 countries over the past 21 years, and I’d like to add a few more before I hang the boots up one day, so that is something to still strive towards.

My old arch-rival and Finnish wrestling veteran Stark Adder wrote a powerful blog about me to commemorate my birthday.  Take a look: http://starkadderkomorebi.blogspot.fi/2015/04/the-mightiest-adversary.html

I have no idea how long my saga on this Earth will be, but I can honestly say, that I have lived the life of a journeyman, the life of a wayfarer, the life of legend.  If all of this were to end tomorrow, I would have to be happy, content that I went out there and actualized my dreams.  I didn’t just talk the talk, I walked the walk.

So today, for me, 42 is an inverted 24.

Yesterday, Finnish pop rock act Disco Ensemble released their newest single and music video, entitled Eartha Kitt, which is based on the upcoming Spandex Sapiens (early 2014 release) documentary movie about my persona and wrestling career.

Spandex Sapiens was originally penned to be called Babyface, but the movie’s director Oskari Pastila changed the title in a more comicbook-oriented (albeit B-movie) direction.  I swear, I can almost smell the Toxic Avenger’s second coming here (no, really, I’m kidding)!  In truth, this production is looking to be quite stellar, as it was filmed in five countries on three continents over three-and-a-half years.  Both the National Broadcasting Company of Finland (YLE) and the Finnish Film Foundation (Suomen Elokuvasäätiö) are behind this project, and that means major firepower once it comes out.  This is no small budjet movie, folks!

Spandex Sapiens

“Spandex Sapiens is the story of Michael Majalahti aka StarBuck, a lonely son of a Canadian preacher man who becomes the striving pioneer of professional wrestling in faraway Finland, only to find himself contested both physically and ideologically by the young transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, who even follows him to Japan on his big break.”
www.spandexsapiens.com

Below are some photos from the filming process of the Spandex Sapiens documentary movie, taken by photographer Jan Ahlstedt.

My movie rival, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, looks on at the filmed segments between takes with writer ilja Rautsi and director Oskari Pastila.

My movie rival, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, looks on at the filmed segments between takes with writer Ilja Rautsi and director Oskari Pastila.

A fight or flight scene from Suomenlinna, off of the coast of Helsinki, in damp and extremely chilly October weather.

A fight or flight scene from Suomenlinna, off of the coast of Helsinki, in damp and extremely chilly October weather.

StarBuck and Jessica Love duke it out in the middle of nowhere.

StarBuck and Jessica Love duke it out in the middle of nowhere.

Join the new Facebook group for Spandex Sapiens, and get regular updates HERE.

You can also join my personal StarBuck Facebook fanpage HERE.

This past weekend on Saturday, March 9th in Helsinki, my fiancee Diana and I hosted our own engagement party.  From family to friends, folks from far and wide – as far as Jyväskylä and Pori – came out to celebrate our union.

Held at Bar Chaplin in downtown Helsinki – owned by my old Stoner Kings drummer Janne Kontoniemi – the party was attended by about 70 guests.  Check out some of the photos below from the event!

Engagement party graphic

28

29

30
Photo by Marianne Saari 01

01

03

05

06

07

13

14

16

18

24

25

I was recently interviewed for GSP TV, Romania’s top sports television channel, regarding many subjects.

The interview is about 30 minutes long, so sit back and enjoy this phoner chat, where I talk everything from my own career to WWE to TNA to Japan, plus marriage and romance to boot!

Part one:

Part two:

Part three:

For a long time now, I have not bothered taking on any new protege’s in pro wrestling, as I just have not had the spark to do so.  In 2007, I took on Pasi “Salama” Suominen, whose career ended prematurely, less than two years into his pro wrestling life, after he lost heart following an elbow injury that required surgery in late 2008.  In 2010, I took on Japan’s Hajime Ohara, and our collaboration disintegrated over the summer of last year.  After that, I just haven’t had the interest to pick up the next “project”.  I have not seen the needed heart, drive and attitude in anyone … until now.

Academic standout and funny guy Mikko Maestro might fool a lot of people with his comical shtick, but underneath that exterior image is a kid whose heart burns for this business.  He might not be the most talented kid out there, he might be a bit rough around the edges, and he might be a jackass for real, but this kid has the one thing that a lot of people in this business are missing: Heart.

TS7 tag match

I faced Maestro this past summer in Kerava, Finland, and tested the kid good and proper.  He lost rather decisively, but he didn’t lose heart.  Instead, he’d continue to ask me for advice on how to improve his personal game time and time again.  When I proposed to my fiancee Diana this past January 4th in Lohja, Finland, I even decided to ask Maestro to bring the engagement ring to the wrestling ring, so I could take care of business and ditch the bachelor life.  It was a big moment for Maestro, who understood that out of everyone in the FCF Wrestling locker room, I chose him to the courier in that memorable moment.

SB proposes

You can teach someone to wrestle, you can teach someone the psychology of mat warfare, you can teach someone proper etiquette … but the one thing that you cannot teach is the intangible element of heart.  You either have it or you don’t.  When push comes to shove, when injuries arise and when the business and those inside of it treat you like shit, your real passion and drive come to light.  Some just wither and fade away in the heat of those negative barbs, whereas others rise to the occasion and work through the disparaging elements.

When I started out in the wrestling business as an active competitor in January 1994, I was not the most talented guy out there.  In my second or third match, I recall my coach Lance Storm and my friend Chris “Y2J” Jericho sitting in the audience of an indie wrestling card in North Bay, Ontario.  I took a leap off the second turnbuckle out of the corner at my opponent, attempting to hit him with a clothesline.  My well-meant attempt was met with Jericho’s disparaging remark after the match, when he asked “Did you slip off the ropes?”.  Yeah, that was not the message I was trying to get across.  It took a long time for me to become a world-class athlete and one of the best out of Europe today.  It demanded years of immersion, a humble attitude, incessant tunnel vision and TONS of heart … but I “got there”.  I became a 3-time European wrestling champion, and a titleholder in many other countries.  I faced the best of the best, and ultimately I was pushed to become the best at my chosen game and profession.

TVII_maestro_info_card

Now, at Talvisota VII on February 2nd in Helsinki at Sokos Hotel Presidentti, I will take on a new protege in Mikko Maestro.  We are up against my old nemesis and Finnish wrestling veteran Stark Adder and his new protege, Ricky Vendetta.  After all, it was Adder to whom I lost the Finnish title back on May 26, 2006 in Helsinki.  Now, it’s the old dogs and the new pups on both sides of the fence.  It’s a matter of mentorship, and moreso, a matter of personal pride.  As Vendetta is to Adder, so Maestro is to me: They are our personal investments, and we are their impresarios.

To many, Maestro might still be a joke.  It is my personal agenda to make the wrestling public take note of Mikko Maestro as a serious competitor, to push him to become more, to show the world that under the right guidance, he can become a force to be reckoned with.  It might be a rocky road ahead, but dammit, I have walked the straight and narrow all my life.  I am used to the hard road.  Now, Mikko Maestro has the opportunity to learn through integration, and he is willing to sweat, bleed and pay the price, as 16-time world champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair so aptly coined.

Prepare.  February 2, 2o13.  Talvisota VII.  Helsinki.

Talvisota VII

02.02.2013 @ 18:00

Sokos Hotel Presidentti

Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 4, Helsinki

Tickets in advance: 12e, at the door: 15e (+ door charge)

Pre-order tickets here: www.fightclubfinland.fi/kauppa

Pre-orders close on 27.01.13