Tony Halme

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Tony Halme
Tony Halme in 1994
Birth name Tony Christian Halme
Born (1963-01-05)January 5, 1963[1][2]
Helsinki, Finland[2]
Died January 8, 2010(2010-01-08) (aged 47)[1][2]
Helsinki, Finland
Cause of death Self-inflicted gunshot wound
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) The Viking[3][1]
Finland Thor[2]
Finnish Hellraiser Thor[1]
Tony Halme[3][1]
Ludvig Borga[3][1]
Billed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[3][2]
Billed weight 300 lb (140 kg; 21 st)[3]
Billed from Helsinki, Finland
Trained by Verne Gagne,[3] Gene LeBell, Gokor Chivichyan
Debut 1989[1]
Retired 1997[1]
Tony Halme
Member of Finnish Parliament for Helsinki
In office
Personal details
Political party True Finns (independent)

Tony Christian Halme[3][1][2] (January 5, 1963 – January 8, 2010) was a Finnish politician, athlete, author, actor, and singer. Halme was a member of the Finnish Parliament from 2003 to 2007, representing the True Finns party as an independent politician. He was also known by the pseudonym Viikinki 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 World Wrestling Federation under the name Ludvig Borga, an MMA fighter and a professional boxer who held the Finnish Heavyweight Championship. He was also the first fighter from the Nordic countries to ever compete in Ultimate Fighting Championship

Early years (childhood and teens)

Halme was born and lived in Helsinki for almost his whole childhood, and was a troubled child and lived in Lauttasaari neighbourhood. Yelling to other people and being a tough guy had been part of his image for all of his life since an early childhood. He was the guy that his friends asked to bully and beat up other kids. However, Halme had been athletic all since he was a very small. He trained actively athletics, handball, football and ice hockey. Power training and weightlifting came along at his late teens when he enjoyed watching his brothers training, who was in Finnish national team. At his late teens he joined to finnish military and continued his training in Finnish military sports team.

Early years (1989–1990)

His earlier career in show-fighting and boxing have given 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.

Professional wrestling career

Universal Wrestling Federation (1990)

He made his professional wrestling debut for Herb Abrams's Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) on October 29, 1990 as The Viking. In his first match, he defeated The Patriot,[3][4] He then went on to defeat Kevin Benjamin.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1990–1993)

On December 26, 1990, Halme debuted in the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling after defeating Shinya Hashimoto in a boxer versus wrestler match.[2][5] On April 30, 1991, Halme defeated Seiji Aoyagi in a boxer versus karate match.[2][6] In 1992, Halme was teamed in matches with Scott Norton, Bam Bam Bigelow and Barry Windham.[2][7] He also competed in the NJPW Super Grade Tag League II teaming with Masahiro Chono, together scoring 8 points and finishing fourth overall.[2][8] The tournament was won by Shinya Hashimoto and Riki Choshu.[8] On November 22, 1992, Halme and Norton won the IWGP Tag Team Championship from The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott).[2][7][9] 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.[2][7]

On December 14, Halme and Norton lost the IWGP Tag Team Championship to Hell Raisers (Hawk Warrior and Power Warrior).[9] At Fantastic Story in Tokyo Dome (in North America aired on PPV as WCW/New Japan Supershow III), Halme was featured in a match against fellow powerhouse, Ron Simmons which he lost after a spinebuster.[2][10] On February 16, 1993, Halme got a shot for the IWGP Tag Team Championship, where he was teamed up with Matthew Rambo against the Hell Raisers for the title. However, Halme and Rambo lost the match.[2][11] On June 17, Halme wrestled his last match in NJPW, as he teamed up with The Barbarian and lost to John Tenta and Haku.[2][11]

World Wrestling Federation (1993–1994)

On the July 6, 1993 television tapings of Superstars (aired July 10), Halme debuted in the World Wrestling Federation as Ludwig Borge (later Ludvig Borga), beginning a streak of easy victories over enhancement talent.[12] He had the heel gimmick of a Finn who looked down on America because of perceived deficiencies in issues such as its environmental laws and educational system. His entrance music was Maamme, the Finnish national anthem. At SummerSlam, Borga defeated former Intercontinental Champion Marty Jannetty.[2][13] Borga then ascended straight to main event status against the "All-American" Lex Luger. On the September 28, 1993 episode of Superstars (aired October 30), Borga ended Tatanka's undefeated streak of nearly two years, pinning him with one finger after hitting him with a steel chair while the referee was distracted.[12] 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).[14] Borga and Luger were the final two remaining participants and Borga was eliminated by Luger after a running forearm smash.[14] On December 14, Borga pinned Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon at a house show. However, the contest continued because Razor's foot was on the bottom rope. Borga pinned Razor again after Shawn Michaels had hit Razor with a title belt but the decision was reversed and Borga disqualified.[3][15] On January 17, 1994, Borga injured his ankle in a match with Rick Steiner. This injury forced the WWF to cancel plans for Borga, including his scheduled appearance at the Royal Rumble and a proposed WrestleMania match with Earthquake, and he left the WWF soon after.[16]

Catch Wrestling Association (1995–1997)

He wrestled for Catch Wrestling Association in 1995. On December 20, Borga won the World Heavyweight Championship, his first and only singles championship, by defeating Rambo. After holding the title for over a year, Borga lost it back to Rambo on December 21, 1996.[17]

Mixed martial arts

After retiring from professional wrestling in 1997, Halme went on to fight in the RINGS and Ultimate Fighting Championship, though without appreciable success, losing to Randy Couture.[2]

Political career

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.[18]

Personal life

Halme was divorced from his wife Katja Talus.

In July 2003, a handgun was fired inside Halme's apartment. Nobody was injured, but the gun was unlicensed. Halme had only days before been in a boxing match and was using prescription medication because he was in pain. The dangerous combination of drugs and alcohol was a factor in the incident. His blood contained trace amounts of amphetamine and illegal steroids were also found in his apartment. Halme claimed that somebody had put the illegal substance into his drink without his knowledge. He was unconscious for several days following the incident. The police searched Halme's office at the House of Parliament. In January 2004 his trial was shown live on television by the MTV3 digital television channel. Halme received a four-month suspended sentence and a fine,[19] 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 of his political career.[20]


On January 8, 2010, Halme died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, from an unlicensed handgun.[21] His body was found two days later. He was 47 years old.

Following his 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."[22]

Other media

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.[23]

  • Books
    • 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)[24]
  • Singles
    • "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[25] for Super Famicom (Super Nintendo Entertainment System). The game was developed and published by Varie and was never localized outside of Japan. The game is a licensed product of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

In wrestling

  • Nicknames
    • "The Hellraiser from Helsinki"

Championships and accomplishments

Professional boxing record

13 Wins (10 knockouts, 3 decisions), 6 Losses (5 knockouts, 1 disqualification), 0 Draws [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Win 13-6 Kenya Chris Sirengo Unanimous decision 6   November 29, 2002   Helsinki, Finland
Loss 12-6 United States Garing Lane TKO 5 (6) October 13, 2001 Copenhagen, Denmark
Win 12-5 Russia Almaz Gismejev TKO 3 (8) February 20, 2001 Helsinki, Finland
Loss 11-5 France Yacine Kingbo KO 2 (12) October 3, 2000 Helsinki, Finland For the vacant NBA Heavyweight title.
Win 11-4 Finland Mika Kihlström KO 4 (10) April 17, 2000 Helsinki, Finland Won Finnish Heavyweight title.
Win 10-4 Hungary Ferenc Deák KO 1 November 22, 1999 Helsinki, Finland
Loss 9-4 Mexico Agustin Corpus KO 3 September 6, 1999 Helsinki, Finland
Win 9-3 United States Iran Barkley Split decision 12 April 19, 1999 Helsinki, Finland Won vacant WBF Americas Heavyweight title.
Win 8-3 United States Ken Woods KO 2 November 16, 1998 Helsinki, Finland
Loss 7-3 Finland Mika Kihlström TKO 5 (10) September 14, 1998 Helsinki, Finland Lost Finnish Heavyweight title.
Win 7-2 United States Terry Armstrong KO 1 March 16, 1998 Helsinki, Finland
Win 6-2 Finland Jukka Järvinen KO 1 (10) September 29, 1997 Helsinki, Finland Won Finnish Heavyweight title.
Win 5-2 United States Paul Genick KO 1 September 6, 1997 Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Loss 4-2 Finland Jukka Järvinen Disqualification 3 (10) September 9, 1996 Helsinki, Finland For the vacant Finnish Heavyweight title.
Win 4-1 United States Robert Swenson KO 1 May 26, 1996 Helsinki, Finland
Loss 3-1 United States Patrick Freeman KO 4 April 27, 1996 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Win 3-0 United States Tony Messenger TKO 1 March 4, 1996 Helsinki, Finland
Win 2-0 United States Archie Perry Points 5 June 26, 1995 Inglewood, California, USA
Win 1-0 United States Bradford Powell KO 1 June 10, 1995 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Mixed martial arts record

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0-4 Randy Couture Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 13: Ultimate Force May 30, 1997 1 0:56 Augusta, Georgia, USA
Loss 0-3 Dick Vrij TKO (doctor stoppage) Rings - Extension Fighting 2 April 22, 1997 1 2:42 Japan
Loss 0-2 Mitsuya Nagai N/A Rings - Budokan Hall 1996 January 24, 1996 0 0:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 0-1 Dick Vrij KO Rings - Budokan Hall 1995 January 25, 1995 0 0:00 Tokyo, Japan


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External links