Posts Tagged ‘RebelStarBuck’

 

The news was just released officially this week that I would be facing my former protégé Mikko Maestro at the annual flagship supershow in Finnish professional wrestling, Talvisota XI – which translates to Winter War 11 – this coming February 18 at the Nosturi club in Helsinki, as promoted by FCF Wrestling.

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I was there at the inaugural Winter War on December 2, 2006 – an event that I coined and created back in the day to be the Finnish wrestling equivalent of Wrestlemania – and here I am over a decade later, turning another page.

This match-up against Maestro is significant on a few levels.  Firstly, it’s arguably the biggest match to date in the six-year career of young Maestro.  Secondly, I took the kid under my wing back in early 2013 to groom him for the years ahead, seeing that his charisma was catching on with the Finnish wrestling audience.  This made him my protégé, a pet project that I invested considerable time and coaching into, and Maestro finally was able to up the ante and make a breakthrough in 2016 against top competition like Ivan Markov of Russia, Mark Kodiak of Holland, Swedish champion Harley Rage and Heimo the Wildman here in Finland.  Thirdly, Maestro has shown himself to be ambitious in the fact that he has gone on to countries like Denmark, Germany and the USA to gain more experience.  This last bit is something I’d like to elaborate on.

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Maestro was able to defeat Heimo the Wildman in a Last Man Standing match at Talvisota X in March 2016, which gave him major momentum.

Every talent out there with any inkling of ambition will take the chance to spread their wings and test their mettle in the shark-infested waters of global pro wrestling.  Many young wrestlers will end up having to pay their own way just to get exposure, build a resume and get noticed, as they build up their personal value in order for a booker or promoter out there to invest in them.  If they are lucky, and to any degree own a moderate modicum of talent, they will be able to make headway in a very convoluted age in their aspirations to become stars in the world of pro wrestling.

Maestro has shown ambition.  He has gone out there and found a way to get noticed and get booked where other contemporaries, even those with greater in-ring talent, have fallen short.  Maestro has shown heart, even over-ambition at times, if you ask me.  Nonetheless, he’s been able to consistently climb the ladder rung by rung.  That brings us to Talvisota XI / Winter War 11 on February 18.

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Mikko Maestro wrestling a marquee bout in California during 2015.

As with any young talent, everyone has role models that they aspire to pattern themselves after and learn from.  At the start of my pro wrestling career in 1994, my biggest influence was Ric Flair.  I believe that for many of my generation, growing up a teen in the 1980s, Ric Flair was the consummate pro to look up to, if you had any understanding of the complete package that made a pro wrestler.  For the Millenials to a large degree, that role model became Shawn Michaels and a bit later on The Rock and Stone Cold.  In Finland, for many, including one Mikko Maestro, that role model was StarBuck, the founding father of Finnish pro wrestling.

I recall a young Mikko Maestro back around 2009, when I was cycling near Munkkiniemi Beach in Helsinki.  It was there that I ran into the kid for the first time.  As I was riding by, getting in my cardio, Maestro recognized me as he walked down the street and yelled out “StarBuck!”.  I simply smiled, recognizing his fanship, and kept on cycling. One year later, he showed up for wrestling schooling.

As a mentor, I took Mikko Maestro as high as I could.  The rest, of course, was all up to him.  At the Winter War event in 2013, I took Maestro as my tag partner for a heated, key match-up against Stark Adder and his protégé, Ricky Vendetta.  The vet and the pup against the vet and the pup, as it was, back then.  It was the starting point for my on-hands mentorship of one Mikko Maestro.

Time passed, Maestro gained experience and confidence, and alas, in September of last year, he made a bold challenge.  Mikko Maestro wanted to publicly challenge the man that taught him, the role model that he aspired to pattern his career after, and see if he was up to the task.  I figured this day would eventually come, but I don’t think Mikko Maestro is anywhere near ready to take on the old war dog yet.  He still has some miles to go before he can realistically hang at my level, and believe me when I tell you: he’s going to need all the help he can get, ‘cos the fans and their cheers won’t make a bit of difference when he finds himself overwhelmed by 23 years of ring experience on the other end of the spectrum.

Well, when he last needed my help, I was there.  But… he didn’t listen.  At the crucial, key point in Maestro’s match against Ivan Markov of Russia in December of last year, the kid chose to disrespect the deal that we had set forth going into the match.  In short, he went into business for himself, disregarding his coach, and pulled out his ridiculous, asinine “stinkface” maneuver, which he found funny enough to rip off of WWE Hall of Famer, Rikishi.  In a serious match-setting, where a killer like the Russian Markov was present, I expressly told Maestro to leave the gimmicks, bells and whistles at home.  But no.  He had to take the forbidden fruit.  He had to dally out onto thin ice.  He had to do things his own way.  And it was at that point, that I disowned Mikko Maestro as a protégé.

There comes a time in life when every person is going to have to stand on their own, no supports and no crutches to be had.  This is that time for Mikko Maestro.  At Talvisota XI, my former protégé is going to find out that legends don’t die, they just get better with age.

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Tickets 28€/22,50€ (all ages) to Talvisota XI on Feb. 18 at Nosturi in Helsinki available online now: http://www.ticketmaster.fi/event/197193

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To all, there comes a time when the support structures that you’ve long held, which assist you in whatever your chosen endeavor might be, are taken away.  Times when you have to learn to dig deeper than ever before to be able to stand on your own.  After all, your parents are not going to hold your hand forever to keep you from falling down.  Neither will your coach.

This past Saturday night at FCF Wrestling’s Wrestling Show Live: December Rumble in Helsinki, such an example took place in the battle of Finland vs. Russia, where my protégé Mikko Maestro took on Ivan “Locomotive” Markov in one of the marquee match-ups.

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Ivan Markov proved hard to take down for Mikko Maestro.

 

Prior to the match, Maestro had implored me to step into his corner and coach him through this, the biggest match of his five-year professional wrestling career.  Maestro had long been on his own, after I took him on as my personal pet project in early 2013, and he had done pretty well for himself, especially after catching fire this year.  Maestro has been on a roll since defeating “Wildman” Heimo Ukonselkä at FCF’s premiere annual supershow, Talvisota X (Winter War 10) this past March.  Maestro stood strong in his battles with the likes of Swedish wrestling champion Harley Rage and even managed to defeat Dutch wrestling champion Mark Kodiak on Finnish soil in September this year.

Yet, as December 10, 2016 inched ever closer, Mikko Maestro understood he was up against something that he wasn’t sure he was ready for.  So he enlisted his former coach, Yours Truly, to help prep him and coach him through the match he would have against Ivan Markov at WSL: December Rumble.  After all, I am the man that defeated Markov in the first-ever pro wrestling match-up between Finland and Russia, which took place last year, so who better to approach for advice than myself?

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Photographer Jarmo Katila captures one of the many nasty predicaments during the match.

I accepted, with one condition and one condition only.  This was that Maestro leave behind his ridiculous stinkface spot, which serves absolutely no purpose other than to get a rise out of the audience when he smothers his backside into an opponents face in the ring corner.  Me personally, I find this spot to be stupid beyond description and totally unnecessary, especially when it comes to winning matches and staying alive in the heat of battle against a verifiable killer like Ivan Markov.

Well, in their ensuing match this past Saturday night in Helsinki, Mikko Maestro went against our set agreement, and at the opportune time, he did his stinkface anyway.  He simply couldn’t be without it, and he let the audience get to his head.  He wanted to play superstar and he went into business for himself.

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This ended up costing Mikko Maestro dearly.  I grabbed his foot to get his attention at ringside, scolding him for the disrespect that he showed me, as his coach, by doing exactly the thing that we had agreed that he would not do.  This was his death knell.  Ivan Markov capitalized and blasted Maestro with a scintillating discus forearm blow that knocked his Finnish opposition for damn near into dreamland.  One powerbomb later, Russia scored the decisive victory.

I stepped into the ring and contemplated what had just happened.  Of course, the people and even Maestro himself would blame me for the downfall.  That is what victims do.  They victimize themselves.  Me personally, I see this as an action and a direct consequence.  Every action bares a consequence, and Mikko Maestro’s disobedience cost him the match.  Simply put, he didn’t deserve to win.  Had he listened and abided by the game plan, we very well might have had a different outcome.  But Mikko Maestro has to look into the mirror this time and see the truth for himself.

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Maestro is on his own.  He errantly challenged me in his over-exuberance to a match earlier this year,  after defeating Holland’s brutish Mark Kodiak.  He can blame it on the heat of the moment or what have you, it doesn’t matter.  The bottom line is, he got my attention.

He wants to see if he can defeat his mentor and coach.  I understand that, it’s part of the development of every young lion.  But this time, Maestro is going to come to understand that he is still not ready to make good against a tried and true veteran like myself, because simply… he is not good enough yet.

Talvisota XI on February 18, 2017 at the Nosturi club in Helsinki will be the day when Mikko Maestro has his date with destiny.

Start counting down the time…