Sunday, November 27, 2022

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Remembering Hana Kimura

The first time I saw Hana Kimura, was in 2019, in a dark match on April 6th at the G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden. Hana opened the show in a dark match teaming up with Sumie Sakai and Stella Grey. They went against Kagetsu and Hazuki of Odeo Tai and Jenny Rose. While the match was less than 10 minutes, I was entertained, and it started my search of trying to see Hana perform in her matches. 

Hana Kimura was born 1997 on September 3rd. She is the daughter of professional wrestler Kyoko Kimura. Having a mother in the business, Hana was in the business from an early age. However, Hana really wasn’t a fan of wrestling that much, Hana liked to dance, sing and model. Doing it throughout high school.

“Pro wrestling was a realistic option for me. Most people who become wrestlers, their parents are usually against it, or some of a prejudice against it, so it’s kind of a strange profession to choose. But for me, it was like carrying on the family business. It was a stable job! Pro wrestling was the safe choice.”- Hana Kimura

Being a second-generation could have its perks and struggles, but that didn’t stop Hana from being one who captivated the audience. Hana wrestled in Mexico, EVE, Ring of Honor, Wrestle-1, and of course Stardom from 2016 to 2020. Hana’s first win was in 2005 when she won the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship. She was 8 years old. She would lose the title to her mother, but that was the start of something great. 

During her mother’s matches as Stardom, Hana would sell her merchandise. Hana would witness Io Shirai compete during this period, and her interest in wrestling would be piqued once again. She would go on to train at Wrestle-1s Professional Wrestling University participating in many competitions. In her last show there she would go on to defeat her mother. 

By 2016, Hana was in World Wonder Ring Stardom (Stardom) where she started to make a name for herself. She was talented, with her bright hair and eye-catching gear. She was on the rise of stardom (no pun intended.)

Her achievements and notoriety peaked during her tenure as a World Wonder Ring Star between 2016 and 2020. Her skill in the sport was recognized and developed here, and fans, other wrestlers, and corporations alike anticipated how much potential she had yet to properly tap into for her brief career.

In 2019, Hana will become the leader of a faction called Tokyo Cyber Squad. She would also participate in the first women’s match in the Tokyo Dome in 2002. During this time, Hana would also go on to participate in the 5th installment of Terrace House. On the show, Hana would go on a few dates with Kai Kobayashi which would also lead to the infamous episode “Case of the Costume Incident”. In this episode, Hana’s gear would shrink after being left in the dryer after Kai put his clothes in the same dryer. They got into a dispute and ultimately this led Hana to receive lots of backlashes, threats and cyberbullying. The online bullying was so severe that it led Hana to take her life on May 23, 2020.

Hana was a gifted young woman and she sadly didn’t get a chance to take off in her career as we all show she was going to. I wish she was here to see that she was most certainly loved, but for the short time she was here, she entertained and showed the world just how talented she could be.

Rest well, Hana!

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