On May 23, 2020, the wrestling world was shocked to learn the news of Hana Kimura’s death at age 22. Ring of Honor paid tribute to Kimura by dedicating episode 461 of ROH Wrestling to her. ROH did a great job of capturing her effervescent personality and showcasing her talent inside the ring.
The episode featured kind words from Cheeseburger, Mandy Leon, Sumie Sakai, and Session Moth Martina, behind the scenes footage of Kimura singing the pineapple song and in New York City for a bout at Madison Square Garden, and four matches.
- Hana Kimura vs Sumie Sakai on March 9, 2018 at ROH 16th Anniversary in Las Vegas, NV
- Highlights of Hana Kimura, Hazuki, Kagetsu, Kelly Klein vs Jenny Rose, Mayu Iwatani, Sumie Sakai, Tenille Dashwood on June 29, 2018 at Best in the World in Baltimore, MD
- Hana Kimura & Kagetsu vs Jenny Rose & Mayu Iwatani on June 30, 2018 at Fairfax Excellence in Fairfax, VA
- Hana Kimura, Stella Grey, Sumie Sakai vs Hazuki, Jenny Rose, Kagetsu on April 6, 2019 at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, NYC
This tribute by ROH is recommended viewing for fans of Kimura and also wrestling fans in general with a casual curiosity of her name. I had never heard of Kimura until her death, and this show was an eye-opener in regard to her skills. I was very impressed. Kimura had tremendous charisma and was excellent at working the crowd. I have no doubt that she could have become a worldwide star in WWE or AEW. Kimura also had high potential in the ring. She was very smooth and fluid in movement. Kimura demonstrated a variety of submissions and popped the crowd with a signature stalling vertical suplex.
Which moment stood out most for you in the ROH tribute to Kimura? What do you think her ceiling could have been in the wrestling industry?