Tony Christian Halme (January 6, 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
Professional wrestling career
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.
Universal Wrestling Federation (1990)
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. On April 30, 1991, Halme defeated Seiji Aoyagi in a boxer versus karate match. 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 Chōshū. 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 featured in a match against fellow powerhouse, Ron Simmons which he lost after a spinebuster. 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. On June 17, Halme wrestled his last match in NJPW, as he teamed up with The Barbarian and lost to John Tenta and Haku.
World Wrestling Federation (1993–1994)
On the July 6, 1993 television tapings of Superstars (aired July 2), Halme debuted in the World Wrestling Federation as Ludvig Borga, beginning a streak of easy victories over enhancement talent. He had the heel gimmick of a foreign environmentalist who disliked America because of its pollution. His entrance music was Maamme, the Finnish national anthem. At SummerSlam, Borga defeated former Intercontinental Champion Marty Jannetty. 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. 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 defeated Razor Ramon at a house show to win the Intercontinental Championship. However, the contest continued because Razor's foot was on the bottom rope. Shawn Michaels interfered and hit Razor with a fake Intercontinental Title belt and Borga pinned Razor again to win the title. However, the decision was reversed, making Razor the winner. 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.
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.
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 future UFC champion and Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
Halme did not hide his nativist views and tended to speak in a rash, direct manner, which tended to catch the public ear. He also suggested that Finland should send drug dealers to Russian prisons as this would result in considerable cost savings, and a prison term in Russia would be a more effective deterrent. The populist party of True Finns took him as an independent candidate in the parliamentary elections of 2003. His share of about 17,000 votes was the 7th highest in the Helsinki parliamentary district. Most of his voters were from the poorest suburbs where unemployment is high. Some political analysts believed the Halme phenomenon to be a form of protest, but some feared this would mark the rise of a political racist right-wing movement.
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.
In July 2003, a handgun was fired inside Halme's apartment, probably after a domestic quarrel. Nobody was hurt, 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, 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.
On January 8, 2010, Halme died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, from an unlicensed handgun. 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 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."
He has also written four books and recorded one album called Mestarit salilla. He has also starred in the Finnish movies Ponterosa and Kohtalon kirja and in 1995 had a small role overseas in Die Hard: With a Vengeance.
- 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 (unfinished) (Title translation: Will)
- 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)
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- "The Hellraiser from Helsinki"
Championships and accomplishments
- CWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)