Posts Tagged ‘Ricky Vendetta’

One week from today, it’ll be time to lace up the proverbial boots and step into the pro wrestling ring for the first match of 2016.  Just this past week, on January 7, I passed my 22-year mark since my first live wresting match as an active competitor.  Now, here in 2016, this old dog is still alive and kicking.

Hell, I’m sure there are some that would just wish an old warhorse like me would die out and fade away, but that just ain’t happening.  Not yet.  I will be the one to dictate when and where, barring serious injury or an Act of God.

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There are days that I wonder how long I will want to keep up actively wrestling.  There is a limit to all things, a bump card that keeps filling up, and every year, I just have to find a way to wrestle smarter and navigate better.  It’s a challenge, but one that I embrace.  After all, at heart, I am a fighter.

At 42-years of age, I look at many contemporaries in our business and size myself up against them.  Old friends like Chris Jericho are a mere couple years older than me, and still in good stride, able to compete at the highest level.  My old wrestling coach Lance Storm of Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary, Canada, gets in the ring daily with his wrestling students and has actual matches against them to help them improve, and Lance is three years my senior.  Heck, when I lost the SMASH championship title to Dave “Fit” Finlay in 2011 in Tokyo, the legendary Irishman was just over 50 at that point, and he ran me ragged!

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Dave Finlay was an absolute beast inside of that ring past the age of 50!

Alas, here in 2016, I sit at my desktop computer, writing this blog, and I ponder my own situation.  I’ve been at this grappling game for a good number of years now, putting in the miles, flying here and there, up against the best competition around the globe.  I look at a guy like Keiji Muto in Japan, a man whom I look up to greatly for his legacy and longevity in our business, and see how beat up his knees are past the age of 50 now.  I think of guys like Triple H, in his mid-40s now, wrestling a very limited schedule, with only a few shots a year at most.  And then there is The Undertaker, who continues to hang on, also grappling a mere few times a year, as everyone asks when his last Wrestlemania moment will be.

As a veteran, it’s hard to hang it up, because at the heart of it all, we are all fans of this game.  Look at Terry Funk, the legendary old NWA World champion and hardcore wrestling legend.  He could never exorcise the wrestler out of his system, and the number of his announced “retirements” has been baffling.  That’s because Terry Funk loves pro wrestling.  Just like the other veterans out there, who refuse to die out and fade away.

I recall Bret “Hitman” Hart saying in his autobiography, that he never wanted anyone to see him wrestle as an old fart, past his due date.  I can relate to that, as it becomes a matter of personal pride in your own legacy and accomplishments.  You don’t want to be in a place where you are just a shell of what you used to be at your prime.  As long as you can produce top-notch matches and carry your personal piece of business with your head held high, I say go.  Don’t let anyone stop you.

And so it is in 2016, that 22 years into the pro wrestling game, I look at the date of January 16 at the Pressa Club in Helsinki.  I look at the match I will have that night and the tag team partner that I am paired with that evening: Stark Adder.

Adder is another veteran, a year older than Yours Truly, but equally a warhorse of high fortitude and morale that keeps the flame alive.  We’ve fought each other numerous times over the past decade, and we have nothing but the highest mutual respect for one another.

Now, on January 16, Adder and I will join forces to do battle with Adder’s former tag team partner and ex-protege, Ricky Vendetta, and his partner, FCF champion, Valentine.  This is a huge tag match on paper, a monumental bout that will see Adder and Vendetta lock horns for the first time since Vendetta turned on his former mentor about a half-year ago.

I warmly welcome you all out to Helsinki on January 16 to see what very well may be deemed as “The Veteran’s League”, as we clash with the kind of opposition that will surely translate into a classic match at the Pressa Club in Helsinki, with a showtime start of 18:00 and doors opening at 17:30, tickets 20e/person.

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This coming Saturday, August 29 in Helsinki, FCF Wrestling and the Snacky fast food franchise will hold the last installment of SNACKY SLAM – the finale in a four-show series over this past summer in the capital region of Finland – right next to Kalasatama in the Sörnäinen suburb of Helsinki.  Right next door, during this final SNACKY SLAM event, the Kalasatama premises will host something called the We Love the ’90s festival.  The SNACKY SLAM card takes place at 14:00 this Saturday upcoming, with a huge attendance expected flowing in from the festival.

In the main event of this grand finale SNACKY SLAM card, I will be facing Finnish ring veteran, Stark Adder.  It was Adder to whom I lost the Finnish wrestling championship in May 2006 after my first reign as champion, dating back to my tournament final win over Adder in October 2005.

Just over a week and a half ago at the SNACKY SLAM event in the Niittykumpu suburb of Espoo, I faced Adder again for the first time in a long time.  We had one hell of a dandy match, which was sabotaged by Ricky Vendetta, who had just recently broken up his Constrictors tag team with Adder, turning on his former mentor and going his own way.  In Espoo, Ricky Vendetta attacked Adder in the middle of our match, causing me to get inadvertently disqualified for his blatant actions.  Obviously, this was no way to end a phenomenal battle between two of Finland’s oldest dogs in the game.

Both Adder and I went to FCF General Manager Tuho Torvinen and asked for Vendetta to be banned from this coming weekend’s SNACKY SLAM event, as we will step into the ring one more time to settle the score.  This time, we don’t want anyone with any personal agendas on site.  Adder and I have an issue to lay to rest, and it will be done fair and square, in the center of the ring, with no one sticking their nose into our business.

Photographer Kari Helenius captures the classic battle between Adder and I in May 2006

Photographer Kari Helenius captures the classic battle between Adder and I in May 2006

StarBuck vs Stark Adder 02

It’s damn hard to get two more technically sound, catch-as-catch-can style grapplers that Adder and StarBuck in Finnish pro wresting today.  Experience speaks for itself, and you would be foolhardy to miss out on this coming mat classic this coming Saturday afternoon in Helsinki, as all SNACKY SLAM events are free, outdoor shows open to the general public.

Come on out this Saturday afternoon as FCF Wrestling closes the summer season of 2015 with a bang at the last SNACKY SLAM in Helsinki’s Sörnäinen district at 14:00 in the afternoon!

Sörnäinen Snacky Slam banner

Finally, after nearly a half year of aggravation and hounding, Yours Truly finally shut the big mouth of one “Finnish Doberman” Ricky Vendetta.  At last night’s Talvisota IX pro wrestling extravaganza in Helsinki, I finally made good on my 6-month long promise to make my nemesis tap out.  And tap out he did!

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After 18:20 of a hellacious Submissions-only match, I trapped Vendetta in my Canadian Crossface aka Rebel Lock submission hold, similar to what fans will recall fellow-Canadian and former WCW/WWE champion Chris Benoit using, to make my opponent concede the match.  Chalk up another credo for Canada!  I would argue that our country’s stock has proven itself once again.  Being a Canadian-Finn, I feel confident in transposing these kudos across continental lines in light of this latest victory.  Crossface central!  I think I will take this hold and make it part of my regular repertoire from here on out!

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Ricky Vendetta gave it all he had.  Let’s give the young man credit.  He believed he could, but in the end, he just couldn’t.  There’s no shame in that, in putting your best foot forward, yet proving it was not enough.  Ricky Vendetta just learned that there is no substitute for experience.  The veteran advantage.  When StarBuck gets focused, the game it essentially over.  Period.

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There was enough pain. blues and agony in this match to last a whole year.  I firmly believe that I made up for nearly a year’s worth of setbacks in this single match alone.  That’s saying a lot!

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Next up: Bring it on, whoever is waiting in the wings to make a name at the expense of one “The Rebel” StarBuck!

Tapout is a word that is familiar to most nowadays. In addition to being a top MMA clothing line, it is also an indicator of conceding a match due to the pain becoming too great to withstand. In short, submission.

It is in this light that I would like broach the subject of my upcoming, long-awaited submissions-only match with one Ricky Vendetta at Talvisota IX in Helsinki on February 7. Ricky has had a field day for the better part of last year, boasting and gloating at my personal expense after scoring a few tainted victories over me after I suffered the worst defeats of my career at 2014’s Talvisota VIII.

Vendetta catches me in a Samoan Drop (photo: Marko Simonen)

Vendetta catches me in a Samoan Drop (photo: Marko Simonen)

I was on an emotional low, a personal downturn. I had lost my wife as my ringside valet due to a contract stipulation set forth by Valentine, who also underhandedly took the since-terminated Nordic Openweight title from me at Talvisota VIII. On the same night, I was set to make another title defense, putting my newly-won WNC championship on the line against Bernard Vandamme of Belgium. I lost that match also, along with the WNC belt. This set off a downward spiral for me, one which I had a hell of a time digging myself out of.

Ricky Vendetta came to prey on the remains of a deflated StarBuck, starting at FCF Wrestling’s Jatkosota 2014 event, when he managed to pin me in a six-man tag team match. At Snacky Slam in July, Vendetta managed to do a repeat in another six-man bout. I have to admit that the belligerent ”Finnish Doberman” was really getting under my skin at this point. Then, in a singles match in September in Helsinki, Vendetta and I met one-on-one and he managed to injure my ribs and claim yet another underhanded victory.

Ricky Vendetta claims to be the "Finnish Doberman" (photo: Marko Simonen)

Ricky Vendetta claims to be the “Finnish Doberman” (photo: Marko Simonen)

But all that said, Ricky Vendetta has come to the end of his ego parade. He’s still a young man, a four-year pro. Sure, he’s got a world of talent, but he also has a misguided sense of self-worth. He sees himself bigger than his britches allow for. So I made a promise already last year, one which was directed to young Vendetta, and one which I have not yet been able to fulfill. That gets rectified at Talvisota IX this February 7 in Helsinki at the Helsinki Sports Hall in the city’s Kallio suburb.

Talvisota IX represents the biggest pro wrestling extravaganza of the year in Finland. It is our Wrestlemania. The night when the spotlight shines brightest of all, when one can stake out and claim their marquee moment. Ricky Vendetta has that great opportunity, to make this old dog of war snap and tap out. To claim his hoped for spot, without any tainted additives, to claim a clean, concise victory over Yours Truly. No more shenanigans, just a one-night war of hostility that can only end in submission.

I've perfected my Rebel Lock crossface submission just for Vendetta! (photo: Mara Backman)

I’ve perfected my Rebel Lock crossface submission just for Vendetta! (photo: Mara Backman)

Ricky, I welcome you at Talvisota IX. I’ve been waiting for this one for over a half-year now. Come and get what’s coming to you!

Talvisota IX -wrestling show

7.2.2015

Helsingin Urheilutalo, Helsinginkatu 25, Helsinki

Doors: 17:00, showtime 17:30
Tickets at the door: 20e

What a noteworthy event Syyskuun Selkäsauna was for FCF Wrestling this past Saturday in Helsinki!  First and foremost, the MMA barrier in Finland has been breached and busted now with the arrival of Tuomas “Unbeatable” Simola.  For anyone who doesn’t know, this guy has an astounding MMA record of 77-0-1.  Now, he has stormed the gates of FCF Wrestling, issuing an open challenge to anyone in the FCF locker room to take him on.  Take a look at this video from the event to see it all go down:

We had the new Class of 2014 make their debut at the show.  Actually, five out of seven students made their debut, of which only one – Julia Kyy – was able to claim a victory.  Nonetheless, this new group of students showed heart and good fighting spirit, which is a good case to build on, heading into the next FCF event upcoming on November 15 in Helsinki.

Syyskuun Selkäsauna also saw the departures of both Aurora Flame and El Excentrico, who are moving out of Finland to try their luck abroad in the wrestling world.

Yet, amidst all of the hulabaloo (as the people in Finland say), the one thing that left a bitter aftertaste was the underhanded chicanery of Ricky Vendetta, who assaulted me with a monkey wrench during my introduction of the Class of 2014 to the live audience, causing a hairline fracture in my ribs.  I had to get taped up for my match against Vendetta that night, and I am lucky that my physiotherapist friend Tuija Pelkonen from Lihashuoltamo was on hand in the audience.  I had asked her to come, since we were filming some things with my cornerman for the evening, former 7-time Finnish bodybuilding champion, Boogie Mustonen, and I needed Tuija’s expert advice on some of Boogie’s medical operations, since Boogie wants to return to pro wrestling next year.

Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling

Ricky Vendetta really did a damned dirty thing, attacking me in his orchestrated manner.  There was no way that I was backing out of my match against Vendetta.  Not after he has spent all spring and summer this year boasting about pinning me twice in tag team matches, after other opponents have offered him timely assists in making those wins come about over myself.  Syyskuun Selkäsauna was supposed to me the moment of retribution for Ricky Vendetta as far as I was concerned, but he managed to thwart my plans by injuring my ribs before the match ever took place.

In the match, Vendetta assaulted me straight from the opening bell, blindsiding me and laying it on heavy.  I had to literally fight for my life, looking for every opportunity and small opening to make a comeback, and finally, I was able to catch him out at one critical moment of the match, turning the tide for a short spell.  Vendetta however assaulted my ribs with knees and kicks again and again, and soon, I was back down trying to find air.  I managed to trap Vendetta in a crossface submission, which I will now purpose to take as my hold of choice in my quest to make Ricky boy tap out, as I have promised to do.  Heck, I’ll even christen my version of the hold and call it the Canadian Crossface, or the Rebel Lock!  How about that, Ricky Vendetta?  Put that in your pipe and smoke it, as you think of the inevitable hour when StarBuck clamps that Rebel Lock on you and makes you wish you were back in your mother’s arms, nursing like a baby!

Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling Ricky Vendetta vs StarBuck FCF Wrestling

Vendetta’s cornerman and tag partner Stark Adder ran interference at the most crucial moment of the match, just when I had Vendetta tapping out to the crossface!  Luckily, my cornerman, Boogie Mustonen, saw to it that Adder was eliminated from the equasion, but not before Vendetta was able to jab me with a shoulderblock to my damaged ribs and sneak in an illegal leverage pin, which, for the life of me, I cannot understand how the referee did not see.  Even the fans at Hotel Presidentti were howling disparagingly at the official for the crappy call, and rightfully so.  How the ref could have been so ignorant of Vendetta’s feet on the ropes as illegal leverage in making the pinfall is beyond me!

I have to admit that Vendetta is determined, at any cost, to try and make me a stepping stone in his wrestling career.  Yet, after this past weekend, he is going to have hell to pay for choosing this latest route of indiscretion.  I will not stop until I have beaten this young, belligerent bald-headed punk within an inch of his life.  It’s one thing to aspire to greatness.  It’s another thing altogether to miscalculate the cost of getting there.

Ricky Vendetta has now posted a check that his body cannot afford to cash.

It’s been brewing for quite awhile now.  Since April of this year, a young, brash (albeit beligerant) wrestler by the name of Ricky Vendetta here in Finland has been boasting high and mighty about how he managed to pin a 3-time European wrestling champion in myself.

Vendetta’s hunger to rise to the top in his chosen field cannot be slighted.  I was once his age, in the same situation as he finds himself now: hungry and determined, willing to take any risk, regardless of its price tag, to achieve greatness.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m actually honored.  Honored to have this young doberman pup come after me, as the oldest dog in the yard, looking to take my mantle.  I welcome his challenge, and I will take great personal pride in ripping him apart, as I re-establish to Ricky boy who exactly he has chosen to meddle with.

The thing about young men is this: they become blinded by their ambition.  Life has not yet taught them the hardest lessons of all.  They are in the learning phase, the educational phase of what it takes to really be called a Man.  During this rite of passage, from youth to full adulthood, a young man takes unwitting risks, the kind that will ultimately cost him dearly.  I should know.  At 41-years of age, I can look back on my own life and see these same lessons scattered about.  In hindsight, I can clearly assess what each and every step cost me, what battle scars they left on my being in their wake.

StarBuck vs Ricky Vendetta StarBuck vs Ricky Vendetta StarBuck vs Ricky Vendetta StarBuck vs Ricky Vendetta StarBuck vs Ricky Vendetta

Ricky Vendetta has a world of talent.  He has the kind of burning heart for the pro wrestling business that I have seen few exhibit here in Finland, where I am the founding father and pioneer of our grappling game.  Over the past 11 years, all the way back to 2003, I can count on one hand the other Finnish contemporaries that have tunnelvisioned and set themselves to succeed and achieve like young Mr. Vendetta.  That’s saying alot.

I believe it becomes a literal obligation for mature men to pass down the life lessons that they have learned along this path of mortality to those who are following behind them.  It’s called mentorship, and the lack of such in today’s self-serving society is all too obvious.  All too many young men, and even grown men, don’t have a damn clue.  They wander about aimlessly, not sure of their masculinity, their power, their calling or their talents.  It’s sad, really.  In this light, those who “have it” are morally obligated to pass it on and educate those who are still searching for their personal pot of gold, potential, or what have you.

Ricky Vendetta is going to learn the hard way what it is like to earn your stripes in this game of life.  That lesson will be afforded to him inside of our sacred squared circle, the testing ground of guts and intenstinal fortitude.  It’s a place where men are broken, where boys find themselves missing their mothers.  It’s a ruthless stage, where the wheat is mercilessly separated from the chaff.

StarBuck vs Vendetta SYYSKUUN SELKÄSAUNA

On September 13 in Helsinki at FCF Wrestling’s Syyskuun Selkäsauna event, Ricky Vendetta’s shallow boasts about going over not once, but twice, on the patriarch of Finnish professional wrestling, “The Rebel” StarBuck, will come to an abrupt end.  I will not only punish young Ricky, as a father would his son, I will make him submit and scream for his life.  This is a personal vendetta.

Me personally, I’m really waiting for this coming September 13th in Helsinki, when I finally get my hands on one Ricky Vendetta, mano y mano.

Since April of this year, young, brash Vendetta has been boasting about gaining a couple of tainted victories over Yours Truly.  Victories that were afforded him by third parties.  Firstly, his initial pinfall team win over me came at the assist of Heimo Ukonselkä back in April in a six-man main event at FCF Wrestling’s Jatkosota 2014.  Then, at Snacky Slam! this past July in another six-man encounter, Vendetta scored another pin on my via the timely interference of his partner, Stark Adder.

Now, were I Ricky Vendetta, I would probably be pretty stoked after gaining the biggest pinfall wins of my three-year career so far.  I’d also be an excited young pup, reveling in the feeling of getting the upper hand on a time-tested veteran and multi-time pro wrestling champion around the world.  Yeah, it would be a big ego boost.

But were I Ricky Vendetta, I would also consider the truth that I never actually defeated my esteemed opponent by my own merits.  No, I’d consider that I had a huge helping hand, one that saved my hide at the most critical moment of the match, just as I was about to go down.  Someone else afforded me a break.  I’d be thankful, were I Ricky Vendetta.  I’d also be very concerned.

Ricky Vendetta vs. StarBuck

Ricky Vendetta would like to believe he’s going to have the upper hand again come September 13.

At FCF Wrestling’s Syyskuun Selkäsauna on September 13th at Hotel Presidentti in downtown Helsinki, Ricky Vendetta is going be in for a reality check.  He is going to hurt.  Oh yes, Ricky Vendetta will be facing the grim face of reality, the cold hand of truth.  This will be his reckoning day, when the bells will toll.  Plus, this time, to ensure that Ricky Vendetta doesn’t have any of his pals like Stark Adder messing with our match, I will have former Finnish and European bodybuilding champion and legend, Boogie Mustonen, in my corner.  Oh yes, Ricky Vendetta, prepare to pay the piper on September 13th!

Boogie Mustonen and StarBuck

Bodybuilding legend Boogie Mustonen will be my cornerman at Syyskuun Selkäsauna

 

Tickets 15e at the door, 12e in advance through: http://www.fightclubfinland.fi/kauppa.php

Syyskuun Selkäsauna start time 18:00 on Saturday, September 13 at Hotel Presidentti in Helsinki — DON’T MISS IT!

StarBuck vs Vendetta SYYSKUUN SELKÄSAUNA