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"Berlin Iron Horse" Helm Konrad
Wiki profile photo.jpg
JRace
Ring name(s) Hellhammer

Arminius

Wilhelm Konrad

"Berlin Iron Horse" Helm Konrad

Billed height 6 ft. 3 in.
Billed weight 258 lbs
Born July 15, 1981 (age 29)
Sigmaringen, Federal Republic of Germany (pre-unification)
Billed from Berlin, Germany
Trained by Karl Gotch

Inoki Dojo

Antonio Inoki

Debut PGA - March 4, 2009

Reinhard Graustein (born July 15, 1981), better known by his in-ring name of "Berlin Iron Horse" Helm Konrad, is a German professional wrestler, currently signed to the Professional Grappling Association.

Graustein is a former competitor in the NWA Deutschland territory known as Eiserne Ring (Ger., "Ring of Iron"), and during that time participated in a talent exchange with All Asia Professional Wrestling in 2007.

In March 2009, Graustein tried out for and was given a Professional Grappling Association roster spot as a result of B. Armstrong Ruby's World Talent Initiative. He has remained with the company up to the present time. A two-time (and currently reigning) PGA World Heavyweight Champion, Graustein is best known for his incredible physical strength and controversially stiff wrestling style, along with his current persona, "Berlin Iron Horse" Helm Konrad, a high-pressure competitor with a strict sense of honor and fair play, typically stoic in nature but subject to fits of berserker rage.

Early LifeEdit

Born in Sigmaringen, West Germany in 1981, Graustein lived a relatively normal life until the German reunification of 1990. Reunited not only with his East German countrymen, but with a branch of his extended family, the young Graustein learned he was a distant cousin of none other than the legendary professional wrestler, Karl Gotch. The Graustein family relocated to Berlin in 1993, and Reinhard became involved in a Berlin youth shoot boxing team known as Faust und Ehre (Ger., "Fist and Honor"), competing in the now-defunct "Hawk" weight class (weighing roughly 180 lbs. at the time). In 1997, Graustein was named to the Alle-Deutsch Amateur Boxend und Ringen von Ehre Gesellschaft (Ger., "All-German Amateur Boxing and Wrestling Honor Society") for his participation on this team, and traveled to Tokyo, Japan to witness the biennial S-Cup, or Shoot Boxing World Cup, the sport's world championship tournament. While there, he also attended an All Asia Pro event. Graustein graduated from the Gymnasium-level school Oberschule am Elsengrund in 1999. At this time, Graustein's involvement with Faust und Ehre also ended, with a final fight record of 16-3-2 (11 KOs, 1 submission, and one loss by KO). Follwing graduation, Graustein attended Technische Universität Dresden from 1999-2003, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Kinesiology. During his university career, Graustein developed and began in earnest his now well-known regime of strength and fitness training.

Professional Wrestling CareerEdit

Training and Debut (2004-2005)Edit

Inspired by the stories, matches, and career of his famous relation, Graustein traveled to the United States to meet Karl Gotch in the summer of 2004, and spent the summer training with Gotch. Following a referral from Gotch, Graustein traveled to Los Angeles, California early in 2005 and was accepted to train at the Inoki Dojo, the wrestling school founded by Antonio Inoki, Gotch's most famous student and protégé.

Graduating on June 24, 2005 from the Inoki Dojo, Graustein wrestled several matches for Los Angeles-area independent promotions under his Dojo gimmick of "Hellhammer," a stoic, powerhouse black-leather-clad biker heel character fond of heavy metal music, inspired to a large degree by the Terminator film character. Graustein earned enough money to return to his native Germany, where he tried out for and eventually secured a roster spot with the NWA Deutschland territory Eiserne Ring, based out of Munich.

Eiserne Ring and NWA Europe (2005-2006)Edit

Upon debuting in Eiserne Ring in August 2005, Graustein was repackaged as the patriotic face character Arminius, a forest-dwelling tribal warrior who hearkened back to Germany's ancient pre-Roman past. Graustein engaged in a worked shoot angle where he appeared to suffer from fits of berserk rage, which initially appeared to fit within his character's background. However, the angle culminated in a promo in late September where Graustein declared that the Arminius character had been forced on him by Eiserne Ring's management and driven him to a near-psychotic breakdown. He famously stripped off the furs, wig and helmet of Arminius to reveal his now-current black ring gear and trademark blonde buzzcut, declaring that he would wrestle under his own identity, declaring himself to be "Wilhelm Konrad."

Konrad then turned heel again, embarking on an undefeated streak similar to that of Bill Goldberg, powered by the increasingly recurrent fits of rage suffered by the Konrad character. This led to his first major accomplishment, a victory in the annual Die vier Quadrate der Hölle (Ger., "Four Rings of Hell") gauntlet battle royal tournament held at NWA Deutschland's multi-territory October 2005 pay-per-view event, Teufelsnacht am den Brocken (Ger., "Devil's Night at the Brocken"), held live from the top of the Brocken, Germany's most famously haunted mountain. Following his victory at the Brocken, Konrad earned the right to challenge for any title in NWA Europe, choosing to challenge NWA Europe European Heavyweight Champion Marius "The Roman Bombardier" Ragnarsson at the January 7, 2006 "Return to Reykjavik" PPV held in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Unfortunately, a botched spot involving a top-rope German suplex by Konrad caused Ragnarsson serious neck injuries and forced a stop to the match. Videos of the incident, however, became very popular with the Internet wrestling community, and led Eiserne Ring officials to trade Graustein to AAPW as part of a mutual talent exchange.

All Asia Professional Wrestling (2006-2007)Edit

Konrad debuted for All Asia on April 4, 2006 as Wilhelm Konrad (quickly shortened to "Helm Konrad"), defeating MALICE of the heel faction Hex-Killing, whom he feuded with for several weeks before beginning his now famous rivalry with "Mad Upz" TEISHU. TEISHU and his lackeys, El Arashikaze 1 and El Arashikaze 2, began appearing at ringside and heckling Konrad's non-Japanese wrestling style and ethnicity, as well as his stern demeanor, claiming he was unworthy to compete in Japan. When they actually interfered in a contest between Konrad and Kotaru Tokugawa, costing Konrad the match, he challenged TEISHU to a bout, which Konrad lost. The rivalry progressed apace, with Konrad coming closer and closer to defeating TEISHU every time they met in the ring, in a variety of match formats. Inevitably, the capable but underhanded and cowardly TEISHU would make use of the aid of the El Arashikazes, utilizing them as distraction or additional muscle to gain victory. Despite these recurrent setbacks, AAPW officials, enamoured with Konrad's determination, offered him a spot in the prestigious quadrennial Yamato Cup "Gigantic War Dungeon" contest if he could win a qualifying match against TEISHU on the August 29 edition of "AAPW Worldwide." When the El Arashikazes appeared in the crowd and headed to the ring, the then-current Yamato Cup holder Gigas Nakamura, who was delivering guest commentary, quickly ran into the ring and struck Konrad in the face, disqualifying TEISHU and securing Konrad's spot in the Dungeon match.

On August 31, 2006, Konrad became the first non-Japanese to ever win the Yamato Cup, triumphing over fifteen other competitors in the bloody two-hour-long steel cage elimination match, defeating Nakamura with an avalanche variant of his finisher, an electric chair facebuster. Video of this spot also became extremely popular on the Internet and further increased Konrad's reputation for incredible physical power. It was following Gigantic War Dungeon '06 that Konrad acquired the nickname of "Berlin Iron Horse," incorporating it into his official ring name.

Konrad spent the rest of the year involved in an interpromotional feud with "Mr. Hell" Kensuke Irashi of the Sapporo-based Crash Battle Wrestling Federation. The angle, which centered around Irashi calling into question Konrad's claim to be the newest heir to the Gotch wrestling tradition, culminated at the interpromotional "Gods and Heroes" show, which ran January 3, 2007, as the preamble to the annual NJPW January 4 show at the Tokyo Dome. Irashi and his associate, NWA UK Hammerlock representative "Whirling Scots Devil" Angus MacAngus, squared off against Konrad and a mystery partner, who was revealed at the time of the match as Antonio Inoki, who came out of retirement for the show. Konrad debuted his inverted Emerald Fusion finisher, the Donnerschlag (see below), but Inoki scored the win for his team after hitting his enzuigiri on Irashi.

Following Gods and Heroes, Konrad competed in the "Ringu no Hanahatsu" (Jap., "Ring of Fire") tournament, held to find a new champion for the vacated Pacific Heavyweight Championship (the previous champion, Akiyama Kawada, had been injured). He was crowned champion after defeating Big Bullet IV at Roaring Spirit of Fight IX in April 2007, but never actually owned the Pacific title belt, as "Mad Upz" TEISHU arrived on the scene and absconded with the title, seeking revenge for his unsuccessful efforts to deny Konrad the Yamato Cup. TEISHU evaded Konrad until June, when they faced each other at Angry Furious Burning VI, and TEISHU legitimized his claim to the Pacfic Title with a victory over Konrad.

Konrad's tenure with AAPW came to an abrupt end at the end of July, when he shoot knocked out mixed martial artist John Onion of the Fury-9 promotion during an exhibition match. Heavily hyped in the Japanese sporting press due to Konrad's amateur shoot boxing background, All Asia management was banking heavily on the reception of the match, hoping to enter into a permanent working agreement with Fury-9 - a plan primarily organized by AAPW President Alvin Shohei. Konrad was unenthusiastic about the contest, mostly due to the deteriorating health of his inspiration and mentor, Karl Gotch. Gotch died on July 28, a mere two days before the scheduled Konrad/Onion match. Konrad requested a rescheduling or a replacement in order to attend Gotch's funeral, but AAPW refused. Konrad appeared for the match, but refused to participate, ignoring or blocking Onion's offense and engaging in none of his own for two rounds. Frustrated, Onion finally thumbed Konrad in the eye, and Konrad responded with a full-strength discus lariat, knocking Onion out, fracturing his jaw in three places, and severely bruising his larynx. The match immediately came to an end, and Konrad was summarily and personally dismissed on live television by Shohei. He left Japan the next day, arriving in the United States in time for Gotch's funeral.

European and American Independent Promotions (2007-2009)Edit

After the funeral of his distant cousin and mentor, Konrad returned to Europe and began wrestling in several different promotions, working somewhat regularly in Eiserne Ring, but also for Italian Championship Wrestling, and the Novgorod-based Rurik's Crown promotion. He would occasionally resurrect his Hellhammer persona, particularly for single appearances. However, Konrad had difficulty finding steady work due to the incident with Marcus Ragnarsson in Reykjavik in 2006, and the Japanese influence on his wrestling style, which had become significantly stiffer, exacerbated the problem. Konrad wrestled his last match on European soil April 14, 2008, in Prague, when he appeared as Hellhammer in the preliminary round of the Lord of the Ring tournament, losing to future fellow PGA competitor Jack Cavendish.

Arriving in the United States in June 2008, Konrad wrestled for a number of independent promotions, sticking mostly to National Wrestling Alliance territories due to his past history with Eiserne Ring - most notably the western Michigan-based Northern Fury promotion, where he became the first to unify the Upper Peninsula Heavyweight Championship and Lower Peninsula Heavyweight Championship into the All-Michigan Heavyweight Championship, following a victory over Shane Justice.

Konrad wrestled several dark matches for POWER Pro in the summer of 2008, but left the promotion after learning that POWER Pro's management, specifically Gregory Michael Funman intended for him to become Thor von Lightningstrike.

During his time in Northern Fury, Konrad attended several pre-unionization PGA house shows in the Cleveland area, hoping to speak with PGA management. However, while trying to speak to Balk Ruby backstage, Konrad was confronted by Sexual Nightmare, who stated PGA did not need "any pissant Nazi wannabes walking around pretending to be Karl Gotch's grandson or whatever the hell you are." (Konrad's distant relation and mentor, Karl Gotch was a Holocaust survivor.) Enraged, Konrad responded with an uppercut that left Nightmare on the floor, followed by a number of threats on Nightmare's life, which led to him being escorted from the arena by police, although neither Sexual Nightmare nor PGA pressed charges following the incident.

Returning to Northern Fury, Konrad continued wrestling wherever he could until late February 2009, when he was contacted by PGA for a tryout. After securing a roster spot, Konrad still held the Northern Fury All-Michigan Heavyweight Championship, but dropped the title to Johnny Alcatraz on March 8, his final match with the promotion.

Professional Grappling Association (2009-present)Edit

Debut and Early MatchesEdit

Helm Konrad debuted for PGA on the March 4, 2009 episode of Prime Time Wednesday, with a victory over Osteoporosis, securing a spot in the 2009 Crowning a Champion's Waist PGA World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship Tournament. However, the following week, his first round tournament match with Salvador Serpiente was interrupted by Lester Balaam Jackson and Brandon O'Brien's tournament match, which ended up occurring simultaneously to the Konrad/Serpiente match. Ultimately, Konrad voluntarily left the ring and lost his match with Serpiente via count-out, citing as his reason that Serpiente deserved a chance to settle a personal rivalry with Jackson free of distraction. The PGA fan community lauded Konrad's sense of honor, but criticized his apparent disregard for championship aspirations.

Konrad's next in-ring appearance would herald the beginning of several notable rivalries, particularly with King Falcon and Rusty Cooledge - a four-way elimination match between Konrad, Slyclops IX, Falcon, and Cooledge on March 29. Konrad eliminated Falcon while Cooledge eliminated Slyclops and eventually tied Konrad to the steel security rail with telecommunication cable for a count-out victory. During the match, Konrad legitimately broke the rail in trying to escape, a spot that began his reputation of being hailed as the physically strongest competitor in PGA. The next week, Konrad defeated Cooledge after powerbombing him into a rail section that had been brought into the ring. This match also marked the first meeting of Konrad and Ben Crane, Konrad's first major rival in PGA.

A Return to JapanEdit

For the next few weeks, Konrad did not appear on PGA programming, despite being booked to challenge former AAPW archrival "Mad Upz" TEISHU for his AAPW Pacific Title at Throwing Hands. Alvin Shohei, the AAPW President, personally made the decision that AAPW would host the match (and this was under protest), but refused to participate in any way in the marketing of the match, including using TEISHU for marketing purposes - mostly in retribution for the John Onion fiasco of 2007. The only lead-up to the match was an interview segment on the April 29 edition of Prime Time Wednesday, wherein Chip Sandles brought up the John Onion and Marcus Ragnarsson incidents, suggesting that Konrad deliberately tried to injure his opponents as a general rule, which led to Sandles being bodily hurled into a truck bay in the backstage area.

The scheduled Pacfic Title match between Konrad and TEISHU did not take place, due to an unwillingness to come to terms between PGA's booking staff (who were looking to push Konrad) and AAPW's (who did not wish to break down TEISHU's current Quad-Pro title and under the influence of Alvin Shohei) - forcing PGA head booker Absalom Melman to improvise a segment several hours before the match began, which saw Konrad gain a measure of revenge on the El Arashikazes, but ended with the escape of TEISHU. Co-incidentally, this incident was the storyline reason for the retirement of Katahisa Shibatsu, El Arashikaze 2, and an AAPW referee, after eighteen years with the company - after taking two Donnerschlags, the character was reported to have a broken neck and retired. This also gave Melman and Konrad the opportunity to begin re-integrating the "berserker rage" aspect of Konrad's previous Arminius persona, which they felt would produce greater storyline potential in the future. In addition, this incident was yet another that further cemented Konrad's reputation for unmatched strength and destructive ability. However, due to pressure from AAPW officials, PGA was prohibited from airing the Konrad/TEISHU incident or using it for marketing purposes.

The Ben Crane IncidentEdit

Two weeks after Throwing Hands, Konrad returned to PGA programming, where he was named #1 contender to the PGA World Heavyweight Championship by B. Armstrong Ruby, who cited Konrad's refusal to be intimidated by AAPW as his motivation. This was met with opposition from Snake Eyes, who believed himself the #1 contender due to his status as the only PGA competitor to hold a pinfall victory over Ben Crane at the time. A confrontation between Konrad and Snake Eyes led to Snake Eyes being brutalized, and Konrad issued his challenge to Crane, citing their mutual desire for real, honest competition. Crane accepted, but newly established Prime Time Wednesday GM Gregory Michael Funman expressed his dislike for the proposal, believing Konrad to be dangerous and bad for business.

The next two weeks saw the establishment of Konrad and Crane as rivals/partners, as Konrad came down to ringside to assist Crane after Snake Eyes interfered with his (Crane's) World Championship match against "Mammoth" Kang JumBo. Crane balked at Konrad's assistance, but the two successfully defeated Snake Eyes and JumBo the following week in a tag team table elimination match, after Konrad secured victory for his team by spinebustering the 345-lb JumBo through a table. Crane attacked Konrad after the bell, leading them to an "unsanctioned confrontation" on the June 17th edition of Prime Time Wednesday, which has become infamous within PGA for its controversial finish, where Konrad legitimately broke Crane's right arm. To this day, a number of rumors circulate around this incident, and it remains unclear if Ruby ordered Konrad to harm Crane, if Crane's taunting of Konrad provoked him, or if the entire incident was planned. The PGA fan community (as well as professional wrestling fans in general) remain sharply divided on the cause(s) of the incident. The kayfabe reason was revealed almost a year later, on April 29th, 2010, on PTW, when Konrad stated that his increasing disappointment with Crane's arrogance, belligerence, and ingratitude caused him to break Crane's arm in a fit of rage. The true reason remains undisclosed.

Rivalry with King FalconEdit

Out of necessity, the PGA World Heavyweight Championship was declared vacant, and Ruby declared the next week that Konrad would compete in the 20-man Mall For It All battle royale match to be held at The Grandest Stage of the Mall PPV event in Minneapolis the next week - the stipulation being that if Konrad won Mall for It All, he would be crowned champion, but any other winner had a guaranteed shot at a PGA title of their choosing, and then the World Heavyweight Championship would be decided at the following Remain Alive PPV. Konrad was the thirteenth entrant in the Mall for It All match, elimnating Crimson Skies, Tiger GAO III, and JumBo (and nearly eliminating Rusty Cooledge, knocking him from the ring twice, including throwing him onto the announcers' table) before being eliminated by the fourteenth entrant, King Falcon (who ultimately won the match and title shot). During his time in the match, Konrad managed to fend off the combined offense of nearly the entirety of the competitors in ring at the time, including the aforementioned wrestlers plus Raijin Narukami, Ajay Rupa, Rusty Cooledge, and Brian Genius.

The following edition of PTW saw King Falcon place the World Heavyweight Title "under (his) protection," directly challenging Konrad for the championship. Falcon's strategy in the lead-up to Remain Alive centered around mind games, focusing on Konrad's inability to defeat the greatest rival of his career, "Mad Upz" TEISHU, including using TEISHU's finisher, the "Mad Upz" (top rope double knee drop) in a match in which Konrad was the special guest enforcer. Falcon eventually arranged the long-awaited confrontation between TEISHU and Konrad for the July 29 edition of PTW, with himself as special guest enforcer (including a specific personal challenge to defeat TEISHU without injuring him). The match with TEISHU is generally regarded to be one of Konrad's best in PGA, which saw him debut his Eisentor finishing hold and ended with him apparently breaking TEISHU's pelvis and legs with the hold (a finish planned by TEISHU himself, an highly skilled contortionist) and gaining a measure of revenge on his long-time nemesis. TEISHU later made an off-the-record statement to the Wrestling Contemplator that he wrestled the match as an apology to Konrad, after the problems with AAPW management at Throwing Hands '09.

King Falcon and Konrad faced each other in the main event at Remain Alive on August 14 in Houston, Texas, which saw Konrad win the PGA World Heavyweight Championship, his most significant title win to date.

World Heavyweight Champion and the Open ChallengeEdit

The following edition of PTW saw Konrad issue an open challenge to the entire PGA roster, declaring that he would take on all comers and that every match until the end of his title reign would be for the World Heavyweight Title. Over the course of September, Konrad defeated Ari Richter, Randy Maldonado, Bunraku, and Church Fire (who challenged Konrad instead of Andrew McPhee). This angle saw Konrad's personality turn darker and more dangerous, as most of the match finishes left his opponents unconscious or injured. In the case of Bunraku, the Puppet disappeared under the ring, apparently changing into a stuffed plush version of himself. When Konrad tore the plush apart, the Puppeteer retreated with the parts to the backstage area, where he apparently was desperately trying to repair the dismembered real Bunraku. The match with Church Fire, which saw the five-hundred pound Church Fire powerbombed directly on his head and carried away in an ambulance, was the final open challenge match and saw a contrite, deeply troubled Konrad repeatedly attempt to refuse Church Fire's challenge, citing his respect for Church Fire and fear that he would hurt Church Fire if they wrestled. When the EMTs were unable to move Church Fire, Konrad personally carried him to the gurney.

As the challengers progressed, Konrad grew increasingly dissatisfied and angry with the competition he was receiving. Finally, on the last PTW before the Mexico City Cargado Completamente PPV, Konrad challenged the absent King Falcon (who had disappeared after Remain Alive) to a World Heavyweight Title rematch, which Falcon refused, stating that Konrad would have to grow emotionally and spiritually on his own, and become worthy of his championship. It appeared that Konrad would have no title defense in Mexico, until he was challenged by Crimson Skies in the closing moments of the show. When an unimpressed Konrad accepted Skies' challenge, the junior heavyweight insulted Konrad - comparing his German ethnicity and desire to be the best and have the best competition to Nazism. Konrad snapped and decimated Skies, repeatedly assaulting him with full-strength punches and backbreakers. When Skies' Cool Kids stablemates attempted to intervene, Konrad either incapacitated or drove them from the ring. When Konrad hit the helpless Skies with a Donnerschlag, King Falcon finally emerged from the backstage area. To protect Skies, Falcon finally accepted Konrad's challenge, agreeing to face him at Cargado Completamente.

Cargado Completamente - Konrad Faces His DemonsEdit

The battle between Konrad and King Falcon began with the Berlin Iron Horse achieving the upper hand in the early goings-on, with Falcon appearing almost reluctant to return Konrad's high-powered offense. Finally, after committing to the match in earnest, King Falcon - in an astonishing departure from his moral orientation - began breaking the rules and disrespecting Konrad, slapping and choking him, and gouging his eyes. Angered, Konrad began to fight back harder, until finally Falcon stripped the padding from one of the turnbuckles and delivered a drop toe-hold to a running Konrad that cracked the champion's skull against the metal buckle and drew blood.

Upon arising, Konrad entered a berserk fugue state, similar to the fury he had displayed in earlier matches, but significantly more intense - all rooted in his apparent belief that King Falcon had betrayed the moral trust of his fans, and some say Konrad himself. The Iron Horse's assault was vicious, and soon Falcon was barely conscious, along with the referee, who had been unintentionally struck in the course of the attack. After a Donnerschlag that put to rest all questions of whether Falcon was capable of further resistance, a bloodied and teary-eyed Konrad prepared to deliver a finishing strike, famously screaming "Du hast alle verbrannt!" (Ger., "You burned it all down!") When King Falcon simply nodded, Konrad could not continue with his assault, and knelt in the center ring, howling, unable to do further harm to Falcon. Finally, he dragged Falcon to his feet, and in one of the more famous match finishes in PGA history, he screamed repeatedly for Falcon to "help" him. After three Falcon Specials, King Falcon pinned Konrad and won the title. While Falcon celebrated in the ring, Konrad shakily went to the back, eyes still tearing, and disappeared from PGA for two months. This match is usually cited by the PGA fan community as one of its finest moments and as an example of both Konrad and Falcon's best in-ring work.

A Trust BetrayedEdit

Konrad returned to PGA at Final Four, where he was announced as the first participant in the returning Ladder War match at the Crossfire PPV. Konrad returned to active PGA competiton on the December 12 2009 edition of Prime Time Wednesday, victorious over Mario Nyet, a match in which he debuted a new finisher, the Blitzhammer. After being assaulted by the Puppets during an interview on the 16th, Konrad faced both Nyet and Bunraku de Los Muertos in a handicap match that eventually was declared a no contest after the rest of the Puppets and the Puppeteer entered the ring and attacked Konrad, which was eventually broken up by Yoshihiro Jin, the former Bunraku, who came to Konrad's aid.

A partnership began that would last until Crossfire and the Ladder War, when Jin turned against Konrad, revealing that he was still under the control of the Puppeteer. Jin, who was unable to speak because of his (storyline) Puppet modifications, was 'choked' with Puppet wire shortly after joining Konrad, which explained his inability to speak. It was revealed that the entire feud with the Puppets and Jin's unmasking and initial offer of help were all part of an elaborate ruse/scheme of psychological warfare to put Konrad at a disadvantage - the ultimate goal of which was to turn Konrad himself into a Puppet, in revenge for his destroying the original Bunraku/Jin. The reveal took place in the midst of the Ladder War match itself, when Konrad attempted to assist Jin in reaching the Ladder War belt. Despite the Puppeteer himself being booked in the match, Konrad largely ignored him, as did most of the other participants, until the involvement of the Bastards Club caused Ruby to turn the Ladder War into a steel cage match. This may have been the salvation of Konrad, as the Puppeteer unleashed around twenty Puppet clones from beneath the ring in an effort to secure victory. Delayed by the cage, they were unable to prevent Jin from being nearly destroyed by Konrad, who, in one of the spot-heavy contest's more infamous incidents, tore a stepladder in half barehanded and swatted Jin with it as he hung from the chain suspended above the ring. Ultimately, the Ladder War was won by Buster Abbott, but Konrad recieved some measure of revenge, as Jin had to be stretchered from the arena following the Ladder War.

The next week, Konrad and Jin were to face each other one last time on the February 10th 2010 PTW, which saw Konrad dominate for most of the match until the appearance of the rest of the Puppets and the Puppeteer, who after subduing Konrad, proclaimed his intention to break the Berlin Iron Horse down for parts. However, Lucharesu.com, long-time foes of the Puppets, arrived on the scene to free Konrad. Their victory was short-lived, however, as the Mime and Miss Christina arrived soon after, and sided with the Puppets in beating down both Konrad and Lucharesu, forming the stable known as the Carnival Diabolique.

Alliance with Lucharesu - War With Carnival DiaboliqueEdit

On the Prime Time Wednesday One-Year Anniversary Special (Feb. 18), Konrad joined forces with Lucharesu, first speaking with GANJU and Internetico prior to their match against Jin and The Mime, and then intervening in said match, assaulting both Jin and the Mime, along with the Puppeteer, earning Lucharesu a DQ victory after the Carnival Diabolique contingent retreated from the ring and was counted out. The Carnival's response was to assault Lucharesu backstage and hang them in an arena locker room as part of a "living puppet show," and to assault Konrad upon his discovery of them. This served mostly to unify Konrad and Lucharesu, who defeated a Carnival tag team in a no-DQ match the following week, and intervened in an attempted beatdown on Slyclops IX following a DQ victory over Jack Daniels on March 17, the final PTW before Crowning a Champion's Waist 2010. This incident saw Konrad debut his signature facepaint design used when teaming with Lucharesu, along with another strength spot where Konrad held up the Puppet Rack against the attempts of the Puppeteer to use it to crush Slyclops, despite the assaults of the entirety of the Puppets.

At CACW '10, Konrad and Lucharesu faced the Puppets (Bunraku De Los Muertos, Mario Nyet, and Yoshihiro Jin) in a no-disqualification match, dubbed a "Six-Man Tag-Team War," later known as simply "The Puppet War." The second-to-last match of the night, it followed the much-anticipated rematch of Brutal Chambers and Brian Genius and preceded King Falcon's WHC title defense against Lester Balaam Jackson.
KonradwarpaintMjolnir

Konrad's warpaint design when teaming as a part of Lucharesu.de.

The team of Konrad and Lucharesu (later dubbed by the PGA fan community as "Lucharesu.de") entered first, followed by a puppet of the Puppeteer himself, who then personally appeared and locked himself in a shark cage suspended above the arena floor, the better to protect himself from Lucharesu.de, who concentrated on filling the ring with typical wrestling match weaponry. The match, called as a standout on one of the highest-regarded shows in PGA history, was filled with high-impact spots from all concerned, including the Mime and Miss Christina, who participated in the entire match due to its no-DQ stipulation. Konrad's signature spots of the match were the revival of his "Geistbrecher Faust" heart punch (from his Hellhammer persona), the "Incredible Hulk" sequence where he burst from an all-Carnival dogpile, Death Valley Driver-ing Yoshihiro Jin through the fallen Puppet Rack, and the "Hellfire German Suplex" that finished the match by German suplexing Bunraku De Los Muertos through a flaming table.

Lucharesu.de's victory in this match saw an end to the Puppet feud, the departure of the Puppets from PGA (though not the Mime or Miss Christina), and the permanent establishment of Lucharesu.de as a team/stable. The angle garnered attention particularly for the large number of PGA wrestlers who participated, the blowout final match, and the quality of promo work in building the angle, particularly from the Puppeteer, Lucharesu, and Konrad. It also seeded the future on-screen friendship between Konrad and Slyclops IX, though the two had become off-camera travelling and training partners some time before.

The Hybrid ReturnsEdit

Konrad's next rivalry began directly after the Puppet War, as Ben Crane returned to PGA in the moments immediately following the match at CACW, where he assaulted everyone at ringside, including his former friends GANJU and Internetico. The run-in culminated with a Crane/Konrad battle in the ring, which ended with Crane hitting his Hybrid Moments finisher on Konrad and then spinebustering him onto an opened steel chair, breaking it. King Falcon appeared on the scene, trying to reason with Crane, even to the point of offering him the World Heavyweight Title belt (as Falcon claimed Crane had never lost it), but Crane swatted the belt to the arena floor and left. The following (April 8) edition of PTW saw Crane face GANJU in the opening match, which consisted mostly of Crane cutting an in-ring promo re-introducing himself, and listing the injustices he felt had been done to him, with the arm-snapping incident ten months before at the top of the list, which Crane called "unprofessional bullshit." Crane then went on to criticize Konrad's troubles as champion, redemption, and partnership with Lucharesu as mere attempts to emulate Crane himself and replace him in PGA. After vowing to destroy Konrad's career ("but I’m gonna get the job done"), Crane was attacked from behind by GANJU and Internetico, earning a DQ win. After clearing the ring of his former friends, Crane was confronted by Konrad, who then cut a response promo challenging Crane and admitting he had been wrong to break the champion's arm. However, Konrad did not apologize, in light of Crane's actions, and the two fought briefly in the ring before Crane ended the confrontation with a low blow. As the Hybrid left, Konrad warned him of the dangers of such anger-driven behavior, citing his own previous experiences.

The feud took a backseat to other programming choices for a week, though Crane found partners in the Guns for Hire, who agreed to team with him in his April 29 six-man tag match against Lucharesu.de. Before the match, Crane and Konrad both cut promos involving Slyclops IX, who was told by Crane that he was not champion material. The conversation with Konrad, which followed, involved the revelation that Konrad did indeed feel shame and contrition for breaking Crane's arm, but did not respect the man himself due to his arrogance and unsportsmanlike conduct. Of more consequence was the on-screen beginning of Konrad and Slyclops' friendship and their training together, a deal struck between the two on the April 29 edition of PTW. Konrad lost the main-event match against Crane and the Guns, competing alone against them for several minutes before Lucharesu arrived late to the ring. Konrad and Crane traded offense for most of the match, but Konrad succumbed to Crane's debuting new finishing move, the Darkness Bomb.

Konrad and Slyclops Face the DungeonEdit

On the now-landmark 50th episode of PTW, on May 5, 2010, Konrad did not compete, but cut a promo about his loss to Crane the week before, and in a move that would come to herald his future in the PGA, stormed to ringside to attempt to protect King Falcon from Enhanced/the Zen Dungeon. He did so for the next two weeks, foiling an attempted beatdown of Slyclops IX by Ben Crane and Stevens N. Stevens on May 12, ending in Konrad landing the Blitzhammer on Crane, and the show ending with Konrad and Slyclops back to back in the ring, facing more than twenty members of Enhanced. On May 19, Konrad and Slyclops ran in to rescue Randy Maldonado from Stevens and Crane, which dovetailed into the main event between Lucharesu and the Guns for Hire. Essentially, a second non-sanctioned tag-team match took place during the main Lucharesu/Guns contest between Konrad/Slyclops and Crane/Stevens, which ended in a Lucharesu victory but ultimately a beatdown for the pro-PGA faction. In the course of the battle, Konrad bent Tom Breakers' signature metal tonfa over his knee. Konrad and Slyclops won a measure of victory over Stevens and Crane at Throwing Hands, which saw them triumphant after Slyclops carried most of the match, though Konrad secured victory, bringing his original Donnerschlag inverted Emerald Fusion finisher out of retirement to defeat Crane. The match also saw the pair establish their long-running training partnership on-screen in a video package showing Konrad making improvements to his amateur/mat wrestling while Slyclops focused on striking and power, also working with Lucharesu and the Cavendish Estate. The pairing became known to a degree among the IWC as "Pankration", after a cue from the video, but the name did not catch on.

Feud with JumBo and AAPWEdit

Konrad did not appear on the June 9 edition of PTW, but was named as the second entrant into that year's Grand Royale match at Grandest Stage of the Mall 2, as well as being announced as a competitor in the 2010 Trios tournament, along with his Lucharesu.de partners, GANJU and Internetico. GANJU and Konrad faced "Mammoth" Kang JumBo and Segata Tsubaba the following week on June 16, establishing a mini-rivalry between Konrad and JumBo, based on Konrad's real-life problems with AAPW. The match was DQ victory for Konrad and GANJU when Raijin Narukami, whom Konrad disparaged as Alvin Shohei's "dog", invaded the ring and attacked Konrad with a crutch. Konrad and JumBo were later involved in an altercation near the AAPW contingent's locker room, which JumBo repeatedly tried to end without violence. On the July 7 PTW, Raijin, after unsuccessfully attempting to convince GANJU and JumBo that Konrad was an anti-Asian bigot, entered Konrad's locker room and confronted him. The altercation led to Konrad knocking Narukami out with one punch and a Konrad/JumBo brawl that destroyed a good part of the locker room and took the entire ring security team to break up. Konrad appeared only briefly on the July 14 show, arriving to help JumBo take a measure of revenge on Snake Eyes after the gambler cost JumBo a Broadcast Title shot by cheating.

JumBo was eliminated before Konrad appeared in the Mall for It All match at the PPV, arriving as entrant #27. Immediately attacked by the entire remaining AAPW contingent (Narukami, MAKOTO, and Tsubaba), Konrad spent most of his time in the match fending off their combined assault, ultimately eliminating Tsubaba and Narukami after repeated chair shots to the head from the latter - by first Blitzhammering Narukami on to the chair and then using the throw to hurl him from the ring to the announcers' table. Shortly after, Konrad was eliminated by Ben Crane, due to the interference of APG's Manuel Obando and Tiger Slayer, who distracted him with an attempted Panamanian flag-shot and opened him up for Crane's trademark pump kick. While there was fighting between the APG contingent and Konrad outside the ring, the issue between them remains unresolved.

(Backstage, Konrad refused to leave the arena, despite the excessive bleeding from the back of his head, until the end of the main event World Heavyweight Title match between Slyclops IX and Lester Balaam Jackson. He mentioned to the Wrestling Contemplator in an off-the-record comment that he "wanted to be the first to congratulate [his] friend Slei.")

The JumBo/Konrad feud came to an end on the August 4 edition of PTW, when Konrad and JumBo declared their mutual respect for one another, and a truce. Konrad did not wrestle during the show, though he did congratulate Slyclops IX early in the broadcast (and get a promised WHC title shot at a time of his choosing) and attacked (along with King Falcon) the Zen Dungeon contingent after they attempted a post-match beatdown following a loss to the Good Dudes in the show's main event.

The End of the Berlin Iron HorseEdit

Konrad next appeared on the August 18 PTW, first expressing his concern at his long-time friends Lucharesu joining the Zen Dungeon after being recruited by Stevens N. Stevens. Despite his extreme reservations, Konrad agreed to support his friends' decision in the face of their career difficulties, but warned that "...I will make war on him like he has never seen. I will shake down the pillars of heaven upon him if I have to, to free you from his grip." However, Lucharesu.de's unity held as they triumphed in a hard-fought match against Team AAPW (Raijin Narukami, JumBo, and Segata Tsubaba) in Round 1 of the Trios Tournament. Konrad was on the defensive for much of the match, but picked up the win for his team with his Auge des Sturms discus lariat on Segata, and created a particularly memorable spot with JumBo where Konrad blocked an attempted suicida through the ropes to the outside by JumBo with a running leaping headbutt (followed by an in-ring spinebuster).

Konrad appeared briefly on the August 25 PTW, in a short segment with Slyclops IX, where he expressed his dislike of Sly's choice to face Raijin Narukami in the show's main event WHC title defense - in light of Narukami's Zen Dungeon membership and penchant for underhanded tactics when other competitors (himself included) had waited a long time for a title shot. However, the two parted on good terms. The segment is noteworthy only in that it seeded the indecisive portion of Slyclops' character, which would be instrumental in both his and Konrad's upcoming storylines.

At Remain Alive 2010, Lucharesu.de faced the the Cavendish Estate in a Round Two Trios Tournament match. The inclusion of Penny Cavendish as her team's third member had generated a lot of buzz in the weeks before, which resulted in a rather memorable pre-match encounter between Penny and Konrad, where the Berlin Iron Horse actually appeared uncomfortable and awkward. Konrad praised Penny's fighting spirit and offered to remove himself from the ring should she tag in, but Penny refused and insisted he "bring everything you have, because you're going to bloody need it". Konrad agreed, and the two ultimately faced each other in their match, which was praised by the IWC because of Konrad's willingness to sell Penny's offense in a way that made sense (i.e., directly connecting it to her previously mentioned "fighting spirit.") The match ultimately concluded with Penny falling to a Gimme Danger from Lucharesu, who nonchalantly abandoned the ring while Konrad attended to Penny. Lucharesu confronted Konrad about this in the locker room shortly before the Round Three match against the Zen Dungeon, which seeded what was to come next.

Konrad and Ben Crane initially faced one another in the match, but both Internetico and Stevens demanded a tag, and when they faced each other in the ring, Stevens called for Internetico to lie down and throw the match. It appeared that Internetico had refused and attempted some offense, but when Stevens secured victory with an O'Connor roll less than three minutes into the match, Lucharesu's decision became clear. Konrad attacked Stevens and dispatched Crane, but eventually was beaten down by the combined Dungeon (despite Lucharesu's attempts to first hold him back and then restrain the Dungeon members). The Good Dudes attempted to intervene, but were blocked by Team AAPW, who then drove the Dungeon from the ring. However, the Zen Dungeon would go on defeat the Good Dudes in the final match of the tournament, winning three wishes. Their victory would herald the next phase of Helm Konrad's character and career.

The Birth of the Black Cross CrusadeEdit

Unfinished

In wrestlingEdit

Pro Graps Association

  • Nicknames
    • "Berlin Iron Horse"
    • "The Teutonic Wrecking Ball"
    • "The Hessian Nightmare"
    • "The Prussian Powerhouse"


NWA Northern Fury Wrestling

  • Finishing Moves
    • Das Auge des Sturms
    • Stahlschreck (Ger., "Steel Terror"; roaring elbow)

All Asia Pro Wrestling

  • Signature Moves
    • Das Auge des Sturms
    • Stahlschreck
    • Polish Hammer to side of opponent's ribcage
    • Heart punch
    • Hook punch to body
    • Bolo punch
    • Fujiwara armbar
    • Powerbomb
    • Roundhouse kick to head
    • Running kneelift
    • Running lariat/lariat takedown
    • Multiple suplex variations
      • German/release German
      • Hammerlock
      • Back-to-belly double underhook]
      • Butterfly

NWA Eiserne Ring/Independent Promotions

Championships and AccomplishmentsEdit

  • NWA Northern Fury Wrestling
    • Upper Peninsula Heavyweight Championship (1 time, 2008)
    • Lower Peninsula Heavyweight Championship (1 time, 2008)
    • All-Michigan Heavyweight Championship (1 time, 2009, caused by unification of Upper and Lower Peninsula titles)
  • All Asia Pro Wrestling
    • Yamato Cup (1 time {2006}, current - the next Yamato Cup event will be held in 2010)
    • Pacific Heavyweight Championship (2007, 1 time, never physically owned belt)

Other MediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

Konrad, shortly after his heel turn in Eiserne Ring in 2005, participated in a commercial for the Munich-based Spaten beer brand. The commercial featured a stone-faced Konrad firing bottles and cans of Spaten from a bazooka-like gun at a beach party on the Bodensee. The ad was well recieved, and the German magazine Der Spiegel commented: "The German public responded quite well to Konrad's stern, serious promotion of delicious beer."

Young Helm commercial

Konrad, 2005, during his now semi-famous commercial with Spaten.

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