Posts Tagged ‘Michael Kovac’

Looking back on my extensive wrestling career, I can say I’ve had a lot of great opponents.  Some of those opponents have offered me feuds to remember for a lifetime, matches that I will one day tell my grandchildren about.

Many notable foes come to mind over the years, whom I have had the pleasure of doing battle with: former ECW world champion Steve Corino, ex-GSW champ Michael Kovac, EWA world champion Chris Raaber,  my former FCF teammate Hajime Ohara, multi-time Eurostars European champion Bernard Vandamme, former FCF champion Stark Adder, just to name a few.  Yet, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most notorious feud of my wrestling career has been with one “Japanese Buzzsaw” Yoshihiro Tajiri.

Tajiri is, without question, the most persistent adversary I have ever fought.  We have duked it out over the FCF championship – putting that title on the map globally as one of the top trophies in our industry today – on a couple of memorable occasions; we have fought over the SMASH championship, which I won in a tournament final in Tokyo, defeating Tajiri in 2011; and now, on February 27  in Tokyo once again, I will face Tajiri for the WNC championship, should he retain his title after a defense against Hiro Tonai on February 23, just days before our showdown.

WNC poster Feb 2014

There’s something to be said for Tajiri as a trailblazer and main mover in the wrestling industry.  The man is undoubtedly the most prominent Japanese star in WWE history, being well-featured for nearly six-years and Smackdown and Raw broadcasts, having held the WWE US, WWE Cruiserweight and WWE tag team championships.  Tajiri’s trademark kicks have become the stuff of legend, and his famous Buzzsaw Kick has given me more headaches than I care to remember.  The man has a brilliant mind, and is one of the smartest people that I have come across in our industry.  I have a lot of respect for Yoshihiro Tajiri, and I believe the feeling is mutual.

Now, on February 27 at Shinjuku Face arena in Tokyo, once again, it will be another chapter in the ongoing war between Tajiri and myself.  I still clearly remember a couple of concussions that this man gave to me in the heat of battle, in 2010 and 2013.  Tajiri kicked one of my front teeth out of my mouth in 2012, which is something that is hard to forget.  We have beat each other from pillar to post, from Europe to Asia, and we are still at it, four years after it all began at FCF Wresting’s Talvisota IV event back on February 20, 2010 in Helsinki.

StarBuck vs Tajiri HELSINKI

The night that it all began in Helsinki, Talvisota VI (photo by Kari Helenius)

I personally highly look forward to this next encounter with “The Japanese Buzzaw”.  I sincerely hope he retains his WNC title against Hiro Tonai on February 23, because I need to pay Tajiri back for some of the damage that he did to me previously, as aforementioned.

This feud is one for the ages.

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The other night I just landed back home after my latest tour of the “Land of the Rising Sun” this past week, wrestling in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.  The Wrestling New Classic (WNC) cards that I fought on with my team Synapse (StarBuck, AKIRA, Syuri) also featured some interesting new acquaintances: 62-year old legend Gran Hamada, Zero-1/ECW star Masato Tanaka, MMA star Koichiro Kimura, former NJPW Jr. Heavyweight Champion El Samurai and current WNC Champion Osamu Nishimura.

At 62-years of age, Gran Hamada is a legend in his own time (especially in Mexico)!

At 62-years of age, Gran Hamada is a legend in his own time (especially in Mexico)!

On May 24 in Tokyo, I teamed with AKIRA and Syuri to defeat the trio of WNC Champion Nishimura, TAJIRI and WNC Women’s Champion Lin Byron.  AKIRA pinned TAJIRI after a Musabi Press off the top rope, right after I hit the spike-piledriver on “The Japanese Buzzsaw”.  I have to say that Osamu Nishimura is a heck of a wrestler, and I thoroughly enjoyed wrestling against him, as our styles meshed very well.  Nishimura expressed interest in joining our Synapse contingent after the match, after some miscommunication in the six-man match, after TAJIRI mistakenly thrust-kicked Nishimura late in the bout.  We didn’t commit to his wish as of yet, but Nishimura did say that he is bringing my old arch-nemesis Michael Kovac of Austria to Japan next month.  Kovac beat me for the TopCatch European Championship back in September 2011, and there’s still a good deal of heat between our parties, so I am not too excited about the developments that Nishimura is looking to push with his personal agenda now…

A show of respect between WNC Champ Nishimura and myself after our match.

A show of respect between WNC Champ Nishimura and myself after our match.

We hit the road for Osaka on May 25, where AKIRA and I lost a heated match-up against The Big Guns (Zeus and The Bodyguard), who are almost like Japan’s version of The Road Warriors.  The Bodyguard pinned AKIRA after the opposition hit a double-chokeslam on my tag team partner and I was unable to break up the pin.

On the WNC tour bus, AKIRA awaits arrival in Osaka, where we have our next match.

On the WNC tour bus, AKIRA awaits arrival in Osaka, where we have our next match.

Former WNC Women's Champion Syuri washes some midnight laundry in Osaka.

Former WNC Women’s Champion Syuri washes some midnight laundry in Osaka.

May 26 saw us land in Nagoya, where I teamed with Syuri in a mixed tag encounter, against rookie Masaya Takahashi and Makoto.  I pinned Takahashi with my spike-piledriver in about nine-minutes to bring our team to victory once again.

Having a good time at Rikidozan's former chef's restaurant in Tokyo.

Having a good time at Rikidozan’s former chef’s restaurant in Tokyo.

I also had the pleasure of dining at the famous Hong Kong restaurant, headed up by the former chef of Rikidozan, Japan’s pro wrestling pioneer from the 1950s.  The photos on the establishment’s wall tell of the famous Antonio Inoki vs. Mohammed Ali match from 1976.  The real catch in that tale was the astronomous amount that New Japan Pro Wrestling, under whose banner the match was held, had to pay to Ali, to the tune of 10 billion Yen.  That equates to about 10 million USD.   New Japan paid off their debt a couple of years back, after over 35-years of carrying that financial monkey on their backs.  Talk about someone leveraging themselves into a huge personal win situation!

I will be returning to Germany this upcoming weekend to fight for the European Wrestling Promotion (EWP) in Hannover on Saturday, April 6 at Hangar No. 5 against new EWP Intercontinental champion, Dutchman Leon Van Gasteren.

Leon 2

Leon Van Gasteren in action

Gasteren was trained back in 1996 by German ring legend, Franz Schuhmann.  I’ve never run into Gasteren in my prior wrestling travels to Germany, so for me this outing on April 6 in Hannover will be quite interesting.  I spoke with TopCatch European wrestling champion, Michael Kovac, about Gasteren, and he spoke of the Dutchman with high praise.

Leon

Leon Van Gasteren

Here is a brief look at Leon Von Gasteren from a tag team match, alongside English ring legend Robbie Brookside, whom I met in Finland over a week ago…

Wochenblatt, a newspaper out of the Hannover region of Germany, did a piece on my upcoming match, which can be accessed in German HERE.

On October 6th in Nurmes, Finland at Pielisareena, I will challenge new FCF Wrestling Champion, King Kong Karhula, for his title in a his first defense to date at an event entitled Karjalan Turpakäräjät. The local event promoter in Nurmes is pushing this event hard and heavy, and things are looking fantastic as we edge closer to the big day!

Needless to say, this is a huge test for Karhula, who has finally achieved the top of the proverbial mountain, winning his first notable championship after seven years in the wrestling business, back on August 25 in Helsinki. It was then that Karhula pinned 4-time FCF Champion, Valentine, in the finals of the FCF title tournament. It goes without saying, but regardless, the hunter has now become the hunted, and good ol’ StarBuck is a 4-time FCF Champion as well.

As I have a few weeks now to recouperate from the damaged neck that I suffered in Japan at the hands (read: feet) of TAJIRI on September 1st in Toyohashi, and during this time I will be focusing all my energies returning to 100% physical condition, so that when October 6th rolls around, I will have a very real chance of scoring my fifth FCF title to date.

Last month in August, Finnish professional wrestling hit its nine-year anniversary, and I could think of nothing better than reeling in my fifth FCF Championship reign to benchmark this milestone landmark in Nurmes, Finland at Karjalan Turpakäräjät next month!

King Kong Karhula, I hope that you are ready, because this old dog is hungry and feeling downright ornery!!!

The entire Karjalan Turpakäräjät card reads:

FCF Championship match: King Kong Karhula (champion) vs. StarBuck (challenger)

Hardcore match: Bjørn Sem (Norway) vs. Vladimir Petrov (Russia)

Triple Threat match: Stark Adder vs. Valentine vs. Jessica Love

Intergender tag team match: Sara Elektra & Vili Luupää vs. Aurora Flame & Ricky Vendetta

Battle of masked men: Angel de Tormentá vs. Perkules

Opening match: Johnny McMetal vs. Murskaaja Mieto

 

Karjalan Turpakäräjät
6.10.2012 start time 18:00 (doors open 17:00)
Tickets 14€ (age 12-17 tickets 10€).
Must be at least 12-years of age to attend.

In cooperation with Sokos Hotel Bomba and Hyvärilä Holiday and Youth Center.
Accommodation & hotel booking for event: myynti.bomba@sokoshotels.fi and hyvarila@nurmes.fi

www.hyvarila.com

www.wrestling.fi

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

This past weekend in Hollabrunn, Austria on Saturday, Sept. 10, I fought a game fight against the challenger for my TopCatch European Championship, Michael Kovac.  Kovac is the man that I originally defeated for the vacant title on May 14 of this year in Wismar, Germany, and this past Saturday was his chosen date for the championship rematch in his own country.

I have fought Kovac many times over the years, and I dare say that we both represent the best that Europe has to offer these days, both being Top 10 continental talents in our genre.  Over the years, I have fought Kovac in countries like Japan, Finland, Germany and Poland in addition to this latest encounter in Austria.  Our matches have always been classics, and we most definitely match up well as a dueling pair.

This weekend in Hollabrunn, Kovac took it to me like never before, with a refined assault that caused much headache for me as the defending European Champion for the oldest office in Europe today, VDB Catch.  The physical war came to a crucial turning point when  somewhere around the 15-minute mark of the contest, Kovac attempted to hit me with his high-cross faceplant, which he calls the Kovacrusher.  I fought my way out of his grip, sliding down his back awkwardly due to the excessive sweat that we both were raining out at that point in the bout.  Due to the poor and disadvantageous positioning of the way that I came down, I twisted and sprained my right ankle upon landing.  I attempted a desperation superkick soon after, which just did not have the impact to do away Kovac, and after a brief albeit unsuccessful last rally, Kovac caught me with a top rope powerslam and then a top rope splash for the finishing pinfall to become the new European Champion after over 20 minutes of heavy action.

However, just two days earlier in Tokyo, I defeated Mexico’s Veneno in the semi-finals of the SMASH Title tournament to advance to the finals next month, where I will face Tajiri at SMASH.22 on Oct. 28.  This past Thursday night at SMASH.21 in Tokyo, Tajiri defeated Akira Nogami to advance in the tournament to the finals next month also.

I defeated Veneno after kicking out of his top rope back splash senton, which damn near crushed my ribcage as he landed full-tilt on my chest cavity, which for a moment had me thinking I had busted ribs.  I capitalized moments later and superkicked Veneno as he attempted a chop to the head off the second rope, and then I piledrove him mercilessly through the mat for the win after about 12 minutes of intense action.

As it stands, we have come full-circle from SMASH.10 last November to SMASH.22 and the SMASH Title tournament finals next month, with Tajiri vs. StarBuck once again taking center stage.