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Cook’s ROH TV Review 7.18.20

July 18, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
Hana Kimura
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Cook’s ROH TV Review 7.18.20  

Hey kids! This week, Ring of Honor television pays homage to the life & career of Hana Kimura, wrestler & reality TV star who passed away on May 23rd at the age of 22. Hana was becoming a big star in her home country of Japan, and had made some appearances in the United States for ROH during 2018 & 2019. Big things were in store for the second-generation wrestler, sadly we won’t get to see her achieve them.

Hana’s death was part of an extremely tough week for wrestling fans that also saw the untimely passing of Shad Gaspard & 411’s Larry Csonka. I wrote about it at length the Monday after, and I don’t really have much to add now. I was shocked & appalled by the situation that led to her death, and I still am today.

Hana Kimura did pack a lot into her brief career, and tonight we’ll see some of what she did in Ring of Honor.

Cook’s ROH TV Review 7.18.20

– A video package to some techno kicks us off. Ian Riccaboni talks about Hana’s mother Kyoko, and how Hana’s smile broke language barriers. She’ll be remembered by many as a member of Odeo Tai and leader of Tokyo Cyber Squad. Champion before 20, by 22 she had wrestled in Madison Square Garden & the Tokyo Dome.

– Session Moth Martina talks about teaming with Hana during her first tour of Japan, and how welcoming she was. Hana had the best English of any of the Japanese female wrestlers, which she learned from rap songs & American movies. She always took extra time to talk to the gaijins. Her energy will never be forgotten & Japan will never be the same.

ROH 16th Anniversary Show: Women of Honor Tournament Match: Hana Kimura vs. Sumie Sakai: The great Deonna Purrazzo is on commentary for this match along with Ian & Colt Cabana to lend her expertise. Unfortunately I don’t see Deonna listed in any of Hana’s ROH matches. Somebody let me know if they wrestled in STARDOM. Hana is accompanied by Kagetsu, dance partner & ally from Odeo Tai, STARDOM’s top heel group. Nothing like a pre-match dance! Wrestling could use more of that for sure. Sumie’s quite the veteran in ROH and across the world, she definitely has the experience edge. Hana is not about that Code of Honor life, flipping her hair in Sumie’s face! Hana’s mocking Sumie by leading a “Sumie” chant. Then some fun with ROH Senior Official Todd Sinclair, who even tries a dance step before we hit a commercial. Oh, that crazy Todd! Hana tricks Sumie into an attack, but it’s Sumie with the quick advantage. That darn Kagetsu interferes though, and is choking Sumie on the floor while Hana distracts Todd. Sinclair has lost complete control while Hana & Kagestu pose with their boots on Sumie’s neck. Slam gets 2. Setting up the ol’ surfboard! Nicely done using Sumie as a weight. Half crab. Kagestu keeps Sumie from reaching the rope for a second, but the move is broken. Sumie reverses a suplex attempt into a DDT. Dropkick, swinging fisherman suplex gets a nearfall. Hana responds with a dropkick, and a big boot gets 2. Hana & Sumie exchange reversals, a bridging German suplex by Sakai gets a trademark Todd 2 count that was probably 3. Hana gets Sumie up top, nearly botches the superplex but they end up in a suplex anyway. Delayed vertical suplex by Kimura gets 2! Kagestu tries to hold Sumie, but that backfires as you’d expect, they end up outside and Sumie hits the flying bodypress onto both! Back in the ring, Sumie up top with the missile dropkick! Hana slips out of the reverse DDT, kick, into the corner with a heck of a kick! 2! Hana shows some anger, that brief lapse ends up in a nearfall, and Sumie hits the rolling neckbreaker for the 3 count!

Winner: Sumie Sakai (8:11 via pin)
Larry’s Star Rating: **1/2

– Larry was not a fan of the outside interference, but I liked it. The early-match shenanigans were great too. Hana got to show her personality a little bit and it was entertaining. Definitely a good way to make people care when it’s your first match in a foreign land and you have no idea how they’ll take to you.

– Some fun with Hana & her mother.

– Now we go to Best in the World! Cheeseburger talks about how nervous Hana was before the match, but it went well.

ROH Best in the World 2018: Odeo Tai (Hana Kimura, Hazuki & Kagestu) & Kelly Klein vs. Jenny Rose, Mayu Iwatani, Sumie Sakai & Tenille Dashwood: We’re getting this one in clip form. Some tag work from Odeo Tai. Hana & Kagestu eat a missile dropkick from Sumie. Tenille hits the suplex, Sumie with the splash on Hana leads to a nearfall. All 8 are going at it. Odeo Tai tries to CHEAT 2 WIN, Hana goes for the delayed vertical, Sumie locks in the End Time, but Hana goes back to the suplex! Feel the power! Only two! Mayu dives to the outside and the crowd goes banana. Mayu & Hana back in the ring, bridging dragon suplex by Mayu gets the win!

Winners: Rose, Iwatani, Sakai & Dashwood (10:30 via pin)
Larry’s Star Rating: ***1/2

– Way too clipped for me to form an opinion, but it looked like they were doing a good job of engaging the audience.

– Mandy Leon talks about her experiences with Hana. She lived in Japan for 3 months with STARDOM, & spent a lot of time with Hana, who was always smiley & full of energy.

ROH Fairfax Excellence: Hana Kimura & Kagestu vs. Jenny Rose & Mayu Iwatani: Mandy is on commentary for this one. Rose & Kagestu start, Mayu comes in and it’s frequent tags for the technicos here, isolating Kagestu. Hana trips Rose to break that up, and a dive to the floor by Kagestu as we go to commercial. Rose is isolated in the corner with multiple splashes by Hana & Kagestu. Rose eventually takes them both out with a clothesline and makes the tag. Dropkicks! Into the corner, Hana avoids the shining wizard, Mayu still on that offensive though. Sliding dropkick to Hana seated against the ropes gets 2. Mayu misses the frogsplash, Hana locks in a modified octopus but Rose breaks it up. Hana teases the delayed vertical, Mayu fights out at first, but Hana hits the regular suplex eventually. Jenny & Kagestu tag in, Kagestu goes to the eyes! Big sidewalk slam by Rose, fisherman’s suplex gets 2. Up top, clothesline gets 2.5. Hana breaks it up, gets knocked outside by Mayu. Forearms by Jenny, Kagestu rolls Jenny into a cross armbreaker! Hana holding Mayu! Feet on the ropes. Both women back up, exchanging forearms, Mayu with a kick, another Sinclair near-fall! Todd gets held by Kagestu while Hana hits Jenny with a sign! Jenny kicks out! Double big boot to a seated Jenny gets 2. Kagestu finishes Jenny with the fireman’s carry into a falcon arrow!

Winners: Hana Kimura & Kagestu (7 minutes or so via pin)
Star Rating: ***

– Don’t know how much was clipped, but what I saw was pretty good stuff. Hana & Kagestu made quite the evil tag team.

– Clips of Hana in New York City. Mandy talks about how appearing in MSG was one of Hana’s biggest dreams come true.

ROH/NJPW G1 SuperCard: Jenny Rose, Kagestu & Hazuki vs. Hana Kimura, Stella Grey & Sumie Sakai: Hana had a falling out with Odeo Tai between ROH appearances, and now she’s looking a lot more colorful. Rainbow furry boots are always something I approve of. Sumie is representing for Hiromu Takahashi, who was out due to injury and missed out on appearing at MSG. Stella gets isolated by the three heels here at the start. Hit the pose! Hana comes in, she gets knocked out of the ring, Sumie’s in, I don’t think anybody’s tagging but what the hey. Jenny going after Sumie, hits the sidewalk slam for 2. Facewash by Hazuki as we go to commercial. Sakai fights back, hits the neckbreaker on Hazuki. Hana comes in, big boot to Hazuki gets 2. Front dropkick by Hana, Stella dropkicks, Hazuki locks in a choke on Hana, but Hana powers out into a vertical suplex for two. Octopus by Hana, eventually gets broken, and Hana runs right into a big boot. Tags to Sumie & Jenny, big spear by Jenny gets 2. Sumie gets double teamed now. but she ends up DDTing out of that, brainbuster to Hazuki gets 2. Missile dropkick by Hana, Sumie hits a move for a nearfall and we’re setting up for a Sumie dive to the outside…onto her own team? Well that wasn’t very wise. Dives by the Odeo Tai ladies! Kagestu hits the fireman’s falcon arrow for two. Hazuki breaks up the reverse DDT attempt, Kagestu with a 450 gets the win!

Winners: Jenny Rose, Kagestu & Hazuki (6:48 via pin)
Star Rating: **1/2

– Was a bit spotty in parts, but all six women brought it on the big stage to get the crowd going while they were filing in.

– Martina, Cheeseburger, Mandy & Hana’s mother share their thoughts about how Hana will be missed and hope that people will be more kind.

The final score: review Virtually Perfect
The 411
Hana Kimura was on the verge of big things in the wrestling business. It sucks that this is pretty much all we got to see of her in America. I know it's tough these days, but I'd like to think we can all be a little nicer to each other & maybe prevent a percentage of tragedies like this one. Rest in Power, Hana.

article topics :

Hana Kimura, ROH TV, Steve Cook