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Tony Christian Halme (January 6, 1963 – January 8, 2010) was a Finnish politician, athlete, author, actor, and singer. He was a member of the Finnish Parliament from 2003 to 2007, representing the True Finns party as an independent politician. Halme was also known by the pseudonym Viikinki, which he used while appearing in Gladiaattorit, a Finnish version of the TV game show Gladiators, in the 1990s. He was also a professional wrestler best known for his appearances with Catch Wrestling Association (CWA), New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and World Wrestling Federation (WWF) under the ring name Ludvig Borga; a mixed martial artist and the first fighter from the Nordic countries to ever compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC); and a professional boxer who held the Finnish heavyweight title.
Halme in 1994
|Birth name||Tony Christian Halme|
|Born||January 6, 1963|
|Died||January 8, 2010 (aged 47)|
|Cause of death||Self-inflicted gunshot wound|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Billed weight||300 lb (140 kg; 21 st)|
|Billed from||Helsinki, Finland|
|Member of Finnish Parliament for Helsinki|
|Political party||True Finns (independent)|
Halme was born and lived in Helsinki for almost his entire childhood. Halme was very athletic from a young age. He trained actively in athletics, handball, football and ice hockey. Power training and weightlifting came along in his late teens when he enjoyed watching his brothers training, who were on the Finnish national team.
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Early career (1989–1990)Edit
His earlier career in show-fighting and boxing gave Halme a "tough guy" image, enhanced by well-publicized instances when he defended himself in bar brawls. Halme was trained by Verne Gagne as a powerhouse professional wrestler.
Universal Wrestling Federation (1990)Edit
He made his debut for Herb Abrams's Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) on October 29, 1990 as The Viking. In his first match, he defeated The Patriot, He then went on to defeat Kevin Benjamin.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling (1990–1993)Edit
On October 25, 1990, Halme made his debut for the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), defeating The Soul Taker in what was billed as a "boxer vs. wrestler" match. Halme was brought in as an outsider and billed as a professional boxing champion with his matches billed as "mixed martial arts" matches. He was instantly pushed as a "big deal", scoring wins over the likes of Scott Norton, Vader and most notably Shinya Hashimoto on December 26, 1990. Halme was main eventing shows regularly as was pushed as the biggest star of a crew that included the likes of Bobby Eaton, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eddy Guerrero and Fit Finlay. Despite Halme not getting over with NJPW fans, the company was doing strong business during his push.
On April 30, 1991, Halme defeated Masashi Aoyagi in a boxer versus karate match. He remained undefeated in NJPW until September 23, 1991, when he was defeated by Shinya Hashimoto in their third match against each other in front of 18,000 fans at the Yokohama Arena. While Halme's matches with Hashimoto were not considered quality matches, he has been credited with helping Hashimoto take his career to another level as the win made Hashimoto look like a "real fighter" as opposed to a professional wrestler. Halme's "boxer versus wrestler" gimmick was ended on October 18, 1991, when he was defeated by Vader.
In 1992, Halme was teamed in matches with Scott Norton, Bam Bam Bigelow and Barry Windham. He also competed in the NJPW Super Grade Tag League II teaming with Masahiro Chono, together scoring 8 points and finishing fourth overall. The tournament was won by Shinya Hashimoto and Riki Choshu. On November 22, 1992, Halme and Norton won the IWGP Tag Team Championship from The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott). However, the next night, Halme and Norton were forced to face each other with separate tag team partners with Halme and Ron Powers losing to Norton and TNT.
On December 14, Halme and Norton lost the IWGP Tag Team Championship to the Hell Raisers (Hawk Warrior and Power Warrior). At Fantastic Story in Tokyo Dome (in North America aired on PPV as WCW/New Japan Supershow III), Halme was pinned by Ron Simmons. On February 16, 1993, Halme teamed up with Matthew Rambo for the IWGP Tag Team Championship against the Hell Raisers, but lost.
Behind the scenes, Halme started having problems with Hawk Warrior and Scott Norton. It also came out that Halme had knocked out Norton in a legitimate street fight, though some claimed this was the result of a sucker punch by Halme. Fearing that Norton would be looking for retribution on Halme, NJPW officials took a secret vote on what to do with the two. Afterwards, Halme started losing matches more regularly and eventually left the promotion in June 1993. His last match took place on June 17, when he and The Barbarian lost to John Tenta and Haku.
World Wrestling Federation (1993–1994)Edit
On Superstars aired on July 24, Halme debuted in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as Ludvig Borga, a heel Finn who appeared in a series of vignettes castigating Americans for their perceived deficiencies in issues such as environmental laws and their educational system. His singlet was adorned with the Finnish flag, and his entrance music was Maamme, the country's national anthem. After an initial streak of squash victories over enhancement talent, Borga defeated former Intercontinental Champion Marty Jannetty at SummerSlam.
Borga was immediately pushed to main event status as he entered a feud with the federation's top babyface, "Made in the USA" Lex Luger. On the October 30, 1993 edition of Superstars (filmed September 28), Borga ended Tatanka's undefeated streak of nearly two years, dominating him throughout their match and ultimately knocking him out with a steel chair while the referee was distracted by Mr. Fuji at ringside. In a mockery of Luger's past "Narcissist" gimmick, Borga pinned Tatanka with one finger. At Survivor Series, Borga participated in the main event, teaming up with Yokozuna, Quebecer Jacques and Crush as the "Foreign Fanatics" against "All-Americans" Lex Luger, The Undertaker and The Steiner Brothers. Borga and Luger were the final two remaining participants and Borga was eliminated by Luger after a running forearm smash. On December 14, Borga pinned Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon at a house show, but the win was overturned and the match resumed because Razor's foot was on the bottom rope. Borga pinned Razor again after Shawn Michaels hit Razor with a title belt, but the decision was reversed and Borga disqualified.
On January 17, 1994, Halme injured his ankle in a match with Rick Steiner, forcing the WWF to cancel future plans for the Borga character that included a scheduled appearance at the 1994 Royal Rumble and a proposed WrestleMania match against Earthquake. Halme left the company soon after.
Catch Wrestling Association (1995–1997)Edit
Halme wrestled as Ludvig Borga for Catch Wrestling Association (CWA) in 1995. On December 20, Borga won the World Heavyweight Championship, his first and only singles championship, by defeating Rambo at the 1995 Euro Catch Festival. Borga held the title for over a year, including a major title defense against August Smisl at the Euro Catch Festival in July. He then lost the title back to Rambo at Euro Catch Festival on December 21.
Mixed martial artsEdit
After retiring from professional wrestling in 1997, Halme went on to fight in the RINGS and Ultimate Fighting Championship, though without appreciable success, notably a 56-second submission loss to Randy Couture at UFC XIII.
During his parliamentary career, Halme raised controversies. The day after the elections, Halme referred to President Tarja Halonen as a lesbian in a radio interview. Halme stated that if a lesbian can be president of Finland and he can be a member of Parliament, anything seems possible. A huge uproar ensued as much of the Finnish media treated the statement as a personal attack on Halonen; Halonen herself made no comment. Halme later apologized, stating that he was sorry that the statement had been interpreted as an insult and that he had been under the genuine impression that Halonen was a lesbian.
On July 4, 2003, a handgun was fired inside Halme's apartment. No one was injured, but the gun was unlicensed. Halme was subsequently hospitalized, as he had only days before been in a boxing match and was using prescription painkillers, but his blood had additionally contained trace amounts of amphetamines, while a police search of his House of Parliament office turned up illegal steroids. Halme claimed that somebody had put the amphetamines into his drink without his knowledge. In January 2004, his trial was broadcast live on television by the MTV3 digital television channel. Halme received a four-month suspended sentence and a fine, but continued to serve as Member of Parliament. In 2006, he was convicted for driving while impaired.
In early March 2006, Halme was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, reportedly due to delirium caused by excessive alcohol use. Earlier in 2006 he had been diagnosed with alcohol-related cirrhosis and acute pancreatitis. After spending almost the entire year of 2006 on sick leave, he went on disability pension at end of the Parliamentary term.
In December 2009, Halme told a newspaper that he was suffering from impairment of his short-term memory and had trouble remembering anything, but was still trying to write a book on his political career.
Following Halme's death, Jim Ross stated: "I won't speak at length about those that have passed away but Tony obviously had issues and was not a great guy to be around. Perhaps others have a different view of this man but I personally found him to be somewhat obnoxious and he could be a bully if allowed to be such. Guys like Halme don't mix well in any locker room and need to be removed from the 'team' sooner rather than later. I still feel badly about the last years of Tony's life as things really unraveled for him seemingly due to alcohol and drug issues."
- Lionheart (1990) - Security guard
- The Master Demon (1991) - Viktor
- Death Match (1994) - Han's #1 Bodyguard
- Zhong Guo long (1995)
- Fist of the North Star (1995) - Kemp
- Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) - Roman
- American Tigers (1996) - Dettman
- Whatever It Takes (1998) - Opponent
- Ponterosa (2001) - Mauri
- Kohtalon kirja (2003) - Komentaja (final film role)
Halme authored five books and recorded one album called Mestarit salilla. Halme had a modest film career starring in Finnish movies Ponterosa and Kohtalon kirja, and in 1995 had small roles overseas in Die Hard with a Vengeance and Fist of the North Star. Halme was also cast in a minor role in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic but had to withdraw due to a filming delay.
- Jumala armahtaa, minä en (1998) (Title translation: God Has Mercy, I Don't)
- Tuomiopäivä (2001) (Title translation: The Judgment Day)
- Viikingin voimaopas (2003) (Title translation: The Viking's strength guide)
- Kovan päivän ilta (2003) (Title translation: A Hard Day's Night)
- Testamentti (2010, posthumously) (Title translation: The Testament)
- Mestarit salilla (Title translation: The champions at the gym) (2001)
- "I Am Ironman" (1998)
- "Viikinki" (Title translation: "The Viking") (1999)
- "Mä oon tällainen" (Title translation: "I am like this") (2000)
- "Painu pelle hiiteen" (Title translation: "Sod off, clown") (2001)
- "Isätön poika" (Title translation: "The fatherless son") (2002)
- Video games
In 1993 Halme's professional wrestling persona was part of the Japanese wrestling video game Shin Nippon Pro Wrestling: Chou Senshi in Tokyo Dome for Super Famicom (Super Nintendo Entertainment System).
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
Professional boxing recordEdit
|Professional record summary|
|19 fights||13 wins||6 losses|
|19||Win||13–6||Chris Sirengo||UD||6||29 Nov 2002||Töölö Sports Hall, Helsinki, Finland|
|18||Loss||12–6||Garing Lane||RTD||4 (6), 3:00||13 Oct 2001||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark|
|17||Win||12–5||Almaz Gismejev||RTD||3 (8), 2:00||20 Feb 2001||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland|
|16||Loss||11–5||Yacine Kingbo||KO||2 (12), 3:00||3 Oct 2000||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland|
|15||Win||11–4||Mika Kihlström||KO||4 (10), 1:18||17 Apr 2000||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland||Won Finnish heavyweight title|
|14||Win||10–4||Ferenc Deák||KO||1, 2:59||22 Nov 1999||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland|
|13||Loss||9–4||Agustin Corpus||KO||3, 1:38||6 Sep 1999||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland|
|12||Win||9–3||Iran Barkley||SD||12||19 Apr 1999||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland||Won vacant WBF (Federation) Americas heavyweight title|
|11||Win||8–3||Ken Woods||KO||2, 1:07||16 Nov 1998||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland|
|10||Loss||7–3||Mika Kihlström||TKO||5 (10), 1:57||14 Sep 1998||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland||Lost Finnish heavyweight title|
|9||Win||7–2||Terry Armstrong||KO||1, 1:37||16 Mar 1998||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland|
|8||Win||6–2||Jukka Järvinen||KO||1 (10), 2:22||29 Sep 1997||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland||Won Finnish heavyweight title|
|7||Win||5–2||Paul Genick||KO||1, 0:17||6 Sep 1997||Tropworld Casino and Entertainment Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|6||Loss||4–2||Jukka Järvinen||DQ||3 (10), 2:54||9 Sep 1996||Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland||For vacant Finnish heavyweight title;|
Halme disqualified for repeated headbutts
|5||Win||4–1||Robert Swenson||KO||1, 2:28||26 May 1996||Urheilutalo, Helsinki, Finland|
|4||Loss||3–1||Patrick Freeman||KO||4 (4), 2:55||27 Apr 1996||The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, US|
|3||Win||3–0||Tony Messenger||TKO||1, 1:27||4 Mar 1996||Helsinki, Finland|
|2||Win||2–0||Archie Perry||PTS||5||26 Jun 1995||Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, US|
|1||Win||1–0||Bradford Powell||KO||1 (4), 0:55||10 Jun 1995||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, US||Professional debut|
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|5 matches||1 win||4 losses|
|Loss||1-4||Randy Couture||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 13: Ultimate Force||May 30, 1997||1||0:56||Augusta, Georgia, USA|
|Loss||1-3||Dick Vrij||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Rings - Extension Fighting 2||April 22, 1997||1||2:42||Japan|
|Loss||1-2||Mitsuya Nagai||Submission||Rings - Budokan Hall 1996||January 24, 1996||1||8:58||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||1-1||Dick Vrij||KO||Rings - Budokan Hall 1995||January 25, 1995||1||2:55||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||1-0||Tariel Bitsadze||KO||Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1994||October 23, 1994||1||Tokyo, Japan|
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- "Tony Halme epäiltynä ampumatapauksessa". mtv.fi (in Finnish). July 4, 2003. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
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- "Tony Halmeen kuolema: Halme oli kirjoittamassa kirjaa -". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). January 10, 2010.
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