Posts Tagged ‘Tajiri’

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.

Well, today is the last day of the year.  A fitting time to look back on the tumultuous year that has been 2013.

Personally speaking, it’s been the hardest year on many fronts in my life to date.  Sure, I’ve had both good and bad this year, but the dark side casts a major shadow on what has been 2013.  Some economic seers were predicting a shitstorm for this past year at the tail end of 2012, and lo and behold, that shitstorm came with sinister fury.  Financially, 2013 was a horrendous year.  The sooner forgotten, the better.  I really have no idea what is going to stem the tide and turn the course of the economy and job market, but something needs to happen — big time.  Maybe it’s just the foreboding clouds of impending doom that forecast the doing away with of cash money, moving society towards a total digital transaction empire.  Maybe it’s the speedy dissolvement of the middle class, ushering in a greater disparity between the those who have and those who have not.  Maybe it’s the last, great rush of the greedy and self-centered, the liars and the thieves, to capitalize on the few remaining remnants of everyone else’s piece of pie.  Whatever it is, it’s come to not only reach, but exceed the limit.  Stop already!

But yeah, there has been good in this past year, also.  I started 2013 off with a surprise engagement to my sweetheart, Diana, at a wrestling show in Lohja, Finland on January 4.  After my match against Ricky Vendetta, I took the house mic and proposed in center ring to my girl, leading to our marriage on March 13 in Espoo, Finland.  Diana told me that both numbers 3 and 13 have always had a lucky significance for her during her life, and it was her wish that we tie the knot on 13.3.2013.  It took me almost 40 years to reach marriage, but dammit, I finally found my diamond in the rough and took the head-first plunge!

IMG_2080

My parents pose with my brand spanking new wife and I

In March, I had the honor of representing my homeland of Canada in the Four Continents Cup of 2013 in Brugge, Belgium.  The match was a four-man random tag elimination bout, with wrestlers also representing Spain (Europe), Japan (Asia) and Ecuador (South America).  In the end, it boiled down to myself and Makoto Morimitsu of Japan, with my foe escaping my finishing piledriver attempt, capturing me in a rolling side cradle hold for the pinfall and win.  It was a hard-fought match that was eight years in the making, as I had originally faced Makoto in Italy back in 2005, where I left him laying the ring after my spike piledriver.

SB vs Makoto 02

StarBuck piledrives Makoto in the Four Continents Cup

I got to the critical age of 40 this past year, back on April 24.  My wife organized a surprise birthday party for me at my old friend and ex-Stoner Kings drummer Janne Kontoniemi’s Bar Chaplin in downtown Helsinki.  It was nice to see so many people turn up for the occasion.  That said, it really feels like at 40, my life may as well be half over.  I’ve been able to “live the dream”, as the boys call it in pro wrestling when one is able to enjoy a good modicum of success, rock all over the world with several of the bands I’ve fronted in, create characters with SONY music sensation Hevisaurus that have turned into a smash-hit all across Finland with kids far and wide, and a whole hoopla of other stuff.

Yet, somehow at the milestone age of 40, all of this feels somewhat … empty.  It’s strange.  When you think, that in the end, all you have ahead of you is an endless eternity that you cannot cancel out on, even if you’d have hoped, it all just becomes so very strange.  The words from my band Overnight Sensation’s song Fool Like You resound in my head: “If I could, I’d return to the womb … way the hell back to nothing, before I even set to bloom.”  Maybe it’s the hardships over the past year, but it makes one somber and philosophical.

In the Spring of 2013, I had the honor of facing WNC (Wrestling New Classic) champion, Osamu Nishimura, as part of a spectacular tag team main event in Tokyo, where I was paired up with my Synapse teammates AKIRA and Syuri against TAJIRI, Nishimura and WNC women’s champion Lin Byron.  My good friend, heart surgeon Dr. Hiroaki Terasaki, claimed that this was the best match that I had wrestled in Japan in his opinion.  I must say, that working against Nishimura in that match left me hoping I would have gotten a singles title match against the man over the course of this year.  However, the financial hardships that are troubling the west are also now being felt harshly in the east, and I didn’t get the chance to grapple solely against Nishimura, as he dropped the title to TAJIRI this past summer.

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.

On May 11 in Espoo, Finland, I captured the BWA (British Wrestling Alliance) Catchweight title from Valentine, gaining a measure of revenge on my adversary for attacking my wife a couple of months earlier at an event in Helsinki.  My victory was bittersweet, as I had promised not only to take the title, but to send Valentine out on a stretcher for good measure.  I didn’t get to collect on the stretcher ride portion of it all, but that receipt is still coming, be assured of that.

2013 was a hard year also in the way of physical injuries, particularly the herniated disc between my C6-C7 vertebrae, which was diagnosed in mid-August.  I had been experiencing numbing pain in my upper left shoulderblade/trapezius/arm, and I am talking 24/7 pain that just wouldn’t relent.  I finally could take no more, and I went to one of Finland’s most highly-regarded sports physicians, Dr. Tuomo Karila, who had been the doctor for the Finnish wrestling team in the last Olympics.  That is when I understood the severity of my condition.  Had I continued to wrestle, especially in a highly-anticipated match against 190kg Cannonball Grizzly at the end of the summer, I would have risked paralysis.  I tried to snake my way out of a match in Gothenburg, Sweden, against local hero Conny Mejsel, but the President of GBG Wrestling, Lady Delores, demanded that I wrestle.  I was given a substitute, as I declined the hard challenge that Mejsel would surely present, and in lieu, I faced masked man Aguila Roja.  I trounced Roja, as I was irate that GBG wouldn’t let me sit the match out, due to my aggrevated injury, but at the end of it all, Mejsel appeared to save the day.  I beat Mejsel bloody with a folding chair, paying him back for conniving against me with the Bättre Folk contingent in FCF Wrestling back in the summer of 2013 in Helsinki at one event.  When I am fully healed, I will be more than glad to face Conny Mejsel, be it in Sweden or in Finland or any place for that matter.  All that said, I have still not fully recovered from my herniated disc, as of December 31 today, as I get pins and needles from time to time in my left index finger from the damage done to my disc.  Deadlifts, chin-ups and back squats are off limits for another three to four months, as this thing has to get properly healed up.

I got some good news from Oskari Pastila, the director of my Spandex Sapiens documentary movie.  Originally, the movie was slated to be out in January 2014, but lo and behold, the flick just kept getting more and more funding, which meant that more and more people were getting involved.  This of course meant that the release date of the film had to be pushed back to either Spring 2014 or Autumn 2014, since the summer vacation months do not warrant putting anything notable out.  So, for all of you who have been asking and wondering, now you know the lowdown on the situation.

Spandex Sapiens promotional artwork by Janne Yliruusi

Spandex Sapiens promotional artwork by Janne Yliruusi

In September, I returned to action in England for the first time in thirteen years at an event in Gloucester, entitled Wrestling Rampage.  I faced local hero Matt Jarrett aka The English Bulldog, dropping him with my trademark spike piledriver to get the duke in under 10-minutes of combat, as Jarrett suffered a neck injury during the course of our bout.  I was even asked to go to BBC studios, promoting our match-up prior to the event, which I thought was very cool, in addition to making local newspaper headlines.

The Citizen newspaper runs a big piece on my match

The Citizen newspaper runs a big piece on my UK match

September also signalled the release of my hard rock band Overnight Sensation‘s Life’s a Bitch album, which was released solely as a digital record in todays Internet market.  It’s sad to say, but by and in large, it seems that the day and age of the CD as a salable item is in its twilight period.  So much of everyone’s business has become virtual, that it’s downright scary.  Still, I am damn proud of the end result with Life’s a Bitch, which is a very catchy and solid rock album.

OS pormestari

I got to play director on my southern rock act Crossfyre‘s Devil’s Daughter music video, which I also did the storyboard and wrote the story for.  My wife even got a sponsorship for the girls in the video through mineral make-up company, Gaya Cosmetics.  The end result was stellar, as you can witness from the official video.

All in all, 2013 doesn’t sound too bad from the highlights mentioned above, but in many other ways, especially financially, this year is not one that I would like to revisit, outside of a few peak moments.  Only God knows what 2014 holds in store, as right now, it’s just a black hole with a huge question mark at the end of it.

Nonetheless, thanks to all my fans and supporters for keeping the faith alive and flame burning over the past year!  Let’s keep our thumbs up for 2014…

I have really been blessed in my wrestling career over the past few years, after making it big in Japan, becoming a name and draw there in 2010.  I have had a load of fantastic matches during my time in the “Land of the Rising Sun”, bringing back the old school approach in my wrestling style to the Japanese fans, perhaps bringing to mind the golden days of acclaimed names in our business such as Harley Race, Ted DiBiase and Dick Murdoch between the 1970s – 1980s.

StarBuck vs Nishimura

In January 2011, I was voted by the readership of Weekly Pro Wrestling magazine as having the Match of the Year for 2010 in the SMASH organization against “The Japanese Buzzsaw” TAJIRI (from Nov. 22, 2010), and the runner-up ballot went to my match vs. AKIRA (from Sept. 24, 2010).  In 2012, the readership of Weekly Pro Wrestling magazine voted me as MVP of the Year in SMASH, plus I won the accolade for Match of the Year for 2011 in SMASH once again, this time against Dave “Fit” Finlay (from Nov. 24, 2011).

Here I offer up promos and videos of my personal favorite matches from Japan, which I have contested over the past three years.  Enjoy!

linestar

StarBuck vs. AKIRA:

StarBuck vs. TAJIRI:

StarBuck vs. Genechiro Tenryu

StarBuck, TAJIRI, AKIRA vs. Keiji Mutoh, Shuji Kondo, BUSHI

StarBuck, AKIRA, Syuri (Team Synapse) vs. TAJIRI, Hajime Ohara, Kana

I will be leaving tomorrow for a WNC (Wrestling New Classic) tour of Japan.  I will be wrestling once again alongside AKIRA and Syuri in our SYNAPSE team, and at least one of the matches on the tour features our trio against that of “The Japanese Buzzsaw” TAJIRI, WNC women’s champion Lin Bairon and WNC champion Osamu Nishimura at Shinjuku Face arena in Tokyo.

The schedule reads May 24 in Tokyo, May 25 in Osaka and May 26 in Nagoya.  For all the fine folks and great wrestling fans in Japan, you can see the locations and venues on the poster below.

WNC summer tour poster 2013

My SYNAPSE teammates were crowned champions in Japan today in Tokyo at Korkuen Hall.  AKIRA defeated “The Japanese Buzzsaw” TAJIRI to become the very first WNC (Wrestling New Classic) Champion in history in the tournament finals.  AKIRA defeated Adam Angel in the first round, former ECW World Champion Tommy Dreamer in the second round, and TAJIRI in the finals.

02 photo by Yuichi Kojima 03 photo by Yuichi Kojima 04 photo by Yuichi Kojima

Consecutively, Syuri became the first WNC Women’s Champion, defeating team DQN’s Nagisa Nozaki in the finals.  In the opening round, Syuri defeated Lin Bairon to advance to the second round, where she defeated FCF Wrestling’s gender bender Jessica Love, and then Nozaki in the finals.

05 photo by Yuichi Kojima 06 photo by Yuichi Kojima 01 photo by Yuichi Kojima

Big props and a huge salute to my SYNAPSE teammates on their dual victories in Tokyo today!

(Photos by Yuichi Kojima)

Syuri AKIRA StarBuck

On December 27 in Tokyo, Japan, history will be made as my SYNAPSE teammates AKIRA and Syuri vie for the WNC (Wrestling New Classic) Men’s Championship and WNC Women’s Championship respectively.

triad at gym

First off, I must say I am damn proud of my SYNAPSE partners, who more than deserve the top spots in Japanese professional wrestling, as champions.  AKIRA has wrestled an active career nearing 30-years in the business, and to this day he is one of the best in the country of Japan.  Syuri has worked her ass off to become one of the brightest female combatants in Japanese rings since her debut in 2010, also successfully doubling as an competitive kickboxer.

TRIAD collage

When AKIRA, Syuri and I joined forces to form SYNAPSE this past summer, we had a common agenda and end goal in mind: Total dominance.  It was clear from the onset, that we would go on to rule the wrestling world in Japan as a unit, and our united front has proven to be an awesome force to this day in all of our matches, both in terms of singles matches and tag team bouts.

This past October, I took part in the opening round of the WNC title tournament, losing in very controversial fashion to my former FCF teammate Hajime Ohara in a violent and spiteful encounter.  This marked Ohara’s first-ever win over me, and it also sent him straight into the semi-finals of the tournament.  AKIRA and Syuri also won both of their opening round matches, advancing to the semis last month in Tokyo, where AKIRA downed former ECW Champion Tommy Dreamer and Syuri defeated FCF Wrestling’s gender bender Jessica Love.

AKIRA vs Dreamer by Kengo Takahashi 01

AKIRA applies his Old Boy submission stretch on Tommy Dreamer (photo by Kengo Takahashi)

Now on December 27 at the infamous Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, the final round in the WNC title tournament sees AKIRA up against SYNAPSE arch-nemesis TAJIRI, as Syuri does battle with team DQN’s Nagisa Nozaki.  New champions will be crowned in those matches, and history will be written.

Last year, when SMASH held its championship finals in the men’s and women’s divisions, I faced TAJIRI in the men’s final and defeated him to become the first-ever SMASH Champion in history.  One month earlier, Kana defeated Syuri to become the first-ever SMASH Diva Champion.   I would go on to lose the SMASH Championship to Dave “Fit” Finlay in November 2011, whereas Syuri would get her comeuppance over Kana, winning the SMASH Diva Championship in February of this year, right before SMASH ceased operations.

Syuri (photo by Kazu Yanagi)

Syuri (photo by Kazu Yanagi)

I would have personally loved to have been able to make it to the finals of the WNC title tournament, but as the saying goes, “United we stand, divided we fall.”  In so saying, I can only wish for the best of luck to both AKIRA and to Syuri, both of whom I respect very much as teammates and competitors.  They are worthy of the gold.

I will be traveling to Tokyo, Japan once again next week, to take part in the Wrestling New Classic championship title tournament, to be held on Friday, October 26 at Korakuen Hall.

In the first round, I meet my former FCF teammate Hajime Ohara, whom I severed ties with this past July.  I have defeated Ohara on several occasions, dropping him with my world-famous jumping spike-piledriver every time, and I expect this outing will be no different, as I vie for the beautiful new WNC title belt.

A look at the tournament brackets for the WNC title tourament

Last year on October 28, 2011 in Tokyo, I defeated “The Japanese Buzzsaw” TAJIRI in the SMASH title tournament finals to become the very first SMASH Champion in history.  One year later, I am looking to make good and become the very first WNC Champion in history also.

Here is a look at the new men’s and women’s WNC title belts

For more infos, go the WNC website!

StarBuck defeats Ohara in Osaka, Japan in a match from July 2012

 

 

Last night, October 6th in Nurmes, Finland, I faced the brand new FCF Wrestling Champion, King Kong Karhula, in his first title defense to date.

Karhula locks a vicious chinlock on me

Karhula won the strap on August 25th in Helsinki, defeating 4-time former FCF Champion, Valentine, in the finals of a two-day title tournament.  After seven years in the wrestling game, Karhula finally won the big one, cementing his legacy among the elite in the European professional wrestling field.

My skull literally ricochets off of the ringpost during the ringside brawl

Last night, Karhula brought the most vicious A-game that he had within him, knowing that I was in the hunt for my 5th FCF Championship to date also.  The last time I held the coveted title was in 2010, when I both won and lost the belt to and from “The Japanese Buzzsaw” TAJIRI in Tokyo, on both occasions.

The ringpost shot put a goose egg on my cranium and the blood pours out

I had been struck with a debilitating influenza virus infection for over six weeks, and going into this match, I still was not at 100% physically.  That is no excuse as to how things played out in the end, but it stands to take into consideration when looking back on this match.  I had not been able to perform cardiovascular workouts during my sick spell, and this detail taxed me severely in last night’s encounter.

I rally back at Karhula with huge blows that rock the FCF Champion

Karhula and I fought tooth and nail – from technical, mat-based wrestling to full-out brawling with both fists blazing – throughout the contest, going 23:26 total match time … and I must say, this was one of my toughest matches in Finland over the past nine years that pro wrestling has been domestically promoted here.

THIS … is the proverbial face of rage unleashed

Karhula survived my superkick – a feat which very few have EVER accomplished, anywhere I have wrestled in the world – and came back with a series of World’s Strongest Slams to finally finish me off for the coup de grâce.

Bombs away — dropping the big elbow off of the top rope

I really must say that all things considered, under the circumstances, I gave it my best shot and did my all, but the better man won last night.  Still, I say “the better man” only concerning “last night”.  If Karhula is willing to take me on when I am at 100%, without any sicknesses or physical limitations, I challenge him to another match for his title.

After knocking the big ape to his knees, I feed him a wicked superkick

Still, the fact remains: King Kong Karhula is a force to be reckoned with on the European pro wrestling circuit.  Very few wrestlers have gotten the one-up on Yours Truly in Europe over the past few years, and to claim a win over StarBuck definitely carries weight and makes a statement in our business.

The World’s Strongest Slam spells the end of the match … for me

King Kong Karhula goes from here to DOMination 6 in Helsinki on October 27th for his next title defense, whereas I head to Japan for the Wrestling New Classic title tournament on October 26 in Tokyo, facing my former teammate, Hajime Ohara, in the first round.

King Kong Karhula retains the FCF Championship after the dust settles

For more infos, go to www.wrestling.fi and www.wrestling-newclassic.com

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

Having just returned back home an hour ago from my last tour of Japan with Wrestling New Classic, I can now sit back and reminisce on a very memorable jaunt … and I say memorable for a few reasons.

In a major surprise, my old MMA buddy Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen from Norway showed up with his girlfriend at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo to watch me fight and to say hello.  It had been the summer of 2009 that I saw Hellboy last in Oslo, and he happened to be training in Japan when I was there, so he made plans to come see my match.  Hansen is a great guy and one hell of a fighter, so check him out on YouTube if you are not familiar with him.  He is known as “The Japanese Killer” in the Land of the Rising Sun, because he has beaten so many of the Nippon best out there over the years.

Firstly, I wrestled the first barbed wire matches of my career in Japan this time around, and I must say that the danger aspect of these kinds of bouts is off the charts.  The main objective of any rational wrestler in one of these matches is to stay away from the barbed wire as much as possible, yet at the same time trying to run your opponents into the same structure.  It can be a very tricky and vulnerable scenario, and over the course of the tour, every single of the combatants in these intense matches got scarred and wounded, the girls included.

My team with AKIRA and Syuri defeated the team of TAJIRI, Mikey Whipwreck and Kana in both Tokyo on August 30th and Osaka on August 31st in said barbed wire warfare, but on September 1st in Toyohashi, our team fell to our adversaries when I was thrown by my opponents into the barbed wire board positioned in the corner of the ring, and my hair got entangled in the wire.

The story of Absalom, son of King Salomon in the Bible came to mind, when he rose up in defiance against his father and God struck him down in the battle of Ephraim Wood when he rode his mule into battle: Absalom, decked in long tresses of hair, rode his steed underneath an oak tree in the melee, and his locks got entwined in the branches, wherewith he was hung to death.

In the Toyohashi match, as I attempted to finish off Whipwreck with my trademark piledriver, TAJIRI hit me with a blindside high kick, after which he nailed me with a side thrust kick to the temple that jarred my neck.  I was a sitting duck after that incident, as our opposing team laced into me with kicks when I was down, and then proceeded to flail me into the barbed wire board in the opposite ring corner.  Not only did the board splinter and break upon my body crashing through it, my hair got wickedly entangled in the steel wire barbs, causing even more strain on my injured neck when my frame slumped down after the impact.  Whipwreck then added the final coup de grâce, hitting me with a stunner for the academic pinfall and consequent first loss for our trio in Japan to date.

I will not have to take a few weeks off to properly heal my neck, but you can rest assured that there will be retribution and a day or reckoning in store for TAJIRI when I return to action in Japan the next time!

In Osaka, AKIRA, Syuri and I held a special afterparty for the WNC fans at Wrestling Bar 2.99, where I performed an acoustic number for those on hand, which was received warmly.

It was also in Osaka that I went out after the event to eat at the famous Cowboy Steak House with AKIRA, where we were treated to some of the finest beef that I have ever sunk my teeth into.  Kudos to the friendly staff at Cowboy for sponsoring our meal!

My good friend Dr. Hiroaki Terasaki also took me out to eat at a fine restaurant, run by one of his long-time friends, seen in the photo below.  Terasaki-san also introduced me to the editor of Tokyo Sports newspaper at lunch yesterday, and I will soon have some big news coming out of that meeting, so stay tuned to my website for more infos shortly!