Posts Tagged ‘showpaini’

This past Saturday, November 24, in the city of Kotka, I entered a new phase of life.  One which saw me embark on a the beginning of a new chapter with my SLAM! Wrestling Finland company.  Because yesterday, we pulled off our maiden voyage with SLAM!

I recall my father saying to me back when I was a younger man, that one day he believed I’d be a leader, a boss.  He saw that stock in my persona and character.  I kept his words in mind as I traveled down the roads of life, feeling in my heart that one day, indeed, I would become what he believed back then.

I look at my life at the age of 45 and I draw parallels to my old friend Chris Jericho and the lessons to be learned from his life over the past couple of years.  Chris left WWE on the top of the mountain, as a favorably featured main star on RAW.  He dropped the Intercontinental Championship to Kevin Owens at Wrestlemania 33 and then left the company riding the high wave.  Chris hooked up with his old buddies Jado and Gedo, the bookers of New Japan Pro Wrestling, and orchestrated a deal for him to come in to NJPW and become a lead star for the second biggest wrestling company on the planet.  To this day, he holds their IWGP Intercontinental title and just sold out his own Jericho Cruise, which was highly touted in the media.

Now Chris could have chosen to stay with WWE after Wrestlemania 33 but he chose not to.  In retrospect, I think I can assess his situation: he had done everything he could for that company.  He’d been a multi-time WWE Champion, holding a plethora of titles, and at the age of 46 back then, he surely understood that his days as a regularly featured talent were coming to a close.  The younger stars of today were coming up fast, being pushed hard, and the older stars would need to take supporting roles before long.  So the question really seemed to be: do I spin my wheels and remain here, collecting a nice payday, or do I want to grow as a human being and see how else I could spread my wings beyond what I’ve already achieved?

As I’ve gotten older, I understand this train of thought perfectly.  Like life coach Tony Robbins often says, out of the seven basic human needs, the last two are the needs of the spirit: the need to contribute and the need to grow.  I can underline this with clarity.

Here in 2018, it was time for me to take an honest look at my life and ask myself the pivotal question: what do I want to do with my life from hereon forward?  How do I see myself facilitating a living for my family and myself in the future?  Where do my talents lie, and should I venture off into a new field and trade, or should I attempt to make a living utilizing and doing what I already know over the course of accrued life experience?  I chose the latter.

And so it was, that last night in the city of Kotka at Power Tech Group‘s annual pre-Christmas party, SLAM! Wrestling Finland was launched upon the world.  It was done under the most optimal, high-class circumstances possible: professional lighting and sound, customized entrance way, a fresh and new audience that was excited to be there, and a card of pro wrestling action featuring the best, carefully-selected talents for each match that would facilitate a fun and dynamic night of action for everyone on hand.

Thank you, Power Tech Group, for not only sponsoring and making our SLAM! Wrestling Finland ring, but also for giving us the stage and spotlight to set forth on the waters of live entertainment service providers in the Nordic sector!

This is only the beginning.

Facebook cover photo SLAM KOTKA V2

(All photos by Jary Högnabba, www.kuvanuotta.fi)

Advertisements

 

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.

maestro_buck_banner

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.

maestro-vs-heimo

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.

maestro-in-the-usa-wrestling

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.

mikko-maestro-vs-starbuck-talvisota-xi

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