2020 was a rough year. One of the biggest tragedies of that year was the loss of Hana Kimura. She was one of the brightest stars of the Joshi scene and an all-around positive influence on the people around her. Now, on the first anniversary of her death, her mother and friends have organised this giant MATANE celebration. What’s the best way to celebrate a wrestler? With more wrestling, of course. We have an absolutely amazing card to dive into with wrestlers breaking retirement for this special occasion. Without further ado, let’s get into the action.

Eisa8, HUB & Shisaou defeated FUMA, Mil Mongoose & Shota via Chaos Break on Mongoose

Up first was some six-man tag action spanning a multitude of companies and freelancers. We’d seen interviews, tributes, and an opening speech from Jungle Kyona. There was an opening musical performance from Ilk Park and the wrestlers made their way to the ring after a ten-bell salute. We’d see Eisa8, HUB (Hana’s favourite wrestler) and Shisaou vs Shota, Mil Mongoose, and FUMA. We got an opening show of sportsmanship and HUB started against Mongoose. They opened with a rapid technical exchange and Mongoose got the better of HUB with a series of arm drags into a head-scissor. They tagged and FUMA locked up with Eisa8. We got a nice traditional wrestling display and the pair tried to strike it out. The final pair came out as Shota locked horns with the massive Shisaou. Shota did some push-ups and flexed before getting instantly crushed in a lock-up with Shisaou. Shota reversed the pressure and tried for a shoulder tackle but hit a brick wall. Shisaou refused to fall for Shota’s tricks and crushed him under his boot. An elbow drop followed and Shota took double shoulders when Shisaou tagged to Eisa8. The quick tags continued as everyone worked Shota’s back and HUB flattened him with a senton. Shota kicked out so HUB tortured him with an ankle lock, then let Shisaou kill him with a forearm into a slam and splash. He was whipped into a sleeper and continued to be a punching bag for the enemy team as HUB and Shisaou winded him with a double stack splash. Mongoose saved the match and Shota was able to escape HUB with a backstabber. Shisaou whipped him into the ropes but he turned this into a dive and FUMA blasted Shisaou cannonball dropkick.

He kept on the pressure with a running dropkick to Eisa8 and lit him up with strikes and kicks into a Judo throw and PK. Eisa8 escaped an Exploder and nailed a corner boot into a Kotaro Crusher and the double knee drop for two. The pair continued to trade and Eisa8 dropped FUMA again with a jumping Meteora. He tried for a cutter but FUMA pushed him into Shota’s codebreaker and he wound up in a Sharpshooter/crossface combination. Shisaou sent both packing with a shoulder tackle and powerslam before hitting FUMA with the last ride into Eisa8’s diving double knees. Mongoose saved the match again who took both out with a handspring back elbow. We returned to HUB vs Mongoose and Mongoose sent HUB flying again with a top rope Rana. A Tiger Feint followed and Mongoose trapped HUB in an Octopus. HUB fought him off but Shota and FUMA interjected themselves into the mix. We got a two-count of a double Suplex/Springboard Corkscrew Senton combo and HUB whipped everyone with his mask’s tail. Team HUB stacked all three men up for a diving senton and HUB tried to finish off Mongoose with a Pedigree into a Frog Splash but Mongoose got his knees up. Mongoose nailed a Code Red but Eisa8 made the save. HUB whipped Mongoose out of the air and blasted him with a tail-wrapped lariat, then scored another near-fall with a Jackhammer. He hoisted Mongoose up one last time and got the win with Chaos Break. This was an incredible tag match and offered a nice mix of new and old-school techniques from all the guys involved. Everyone shook hands at the end and everyone went away happy. That was one hell of an opening bout.

Battle Royal: Ram Kaichow defeated Aiger, Gabai Ji-Chan, Andras Miyagi, Banana Senga, Cherry, Chihiro Hashimoto, DASH Chisako, Fuminori Abe, Hagane Shinno, Sakura Hirota, Hanako Nakamori, Jinsei Shinzaki, Jun Kasai, Lingerie Mutoh, Masato Tanaka, CIMA, Menso-re-Oyaji, Mika Iwata, Miyuki Takase, Moeka Haruhi, Onryo, Shotaro Ashino, Super Delfin, Tsutomi Oosugi, Yuki Miyazaki, Yuko Miyamoto & Yusuke Kodama via Outlasting the rest

Up next was an all-star battle royal. Wrestlers from multiple companies, styles, and generations were all about to collide in epic fashion here. There was an incredible amount of talent in this ring and way too much for play-by-play so let’s get into the greatest hits of this amazing car crash. Super Delfin made his entrance as a special guest, startling everyone in the ring. We opened with a meeting of the minds and Gabai Ji-Chan taking a break. Onryo and his clan interrupted the action to make a grand entrance, unleashing another horde of monsters into the match. They eliminated Haruhi and Chairman Ram Kaichow joined them for a pose. They woke Ji-Chan from his nap and got rid of Onryo and Aiger with his stick. He tried to powerbomb Miyagi but his back gave out so he tapped her out with a Crab. Sadly, the horde rolled him up as he did this and Ji-Chan was no more. Hana’s old music hit so the competitors stopped to dance as Sakura Hirota came out dressed like Hana Kimura. She avoided getting beaten down by everyone and Oyaji threw everyone with hip tosses until he was chopped to death and killed off by Super Delfin and a Delfin clutch. Delfin was eliminated seconds later. Hirota wrapped Iwata locked in Hana’s finisher but Lingerie Mutoh took her out with a shining wizard and both got pinned off a Figure Four. Shinno and Takase struck it out and everyone pinned her as Jun Kasai made his grand entrance, threatening everyone with skewers. Mika Iwata was starstruck and asked for an autograph which he obliged.

He finished his signature and Ashino tossed him with a German. Iwata defended Kasai’s honour and we got a hoss fight between Hashimoto and Ashino. They paused their fight for a body slam contest and after hitting each other with suplexes both were pinned as Masato Tanaka came out to fight. He instantly eliminated Kodama and Shinno, then Cherry picked a fight with Yuki Miyazaki. Seconds later, Cherry was gone and Jinsei Shinzaki appeared only to be quickly eliminated trying to rope walk by Banana Senga the killjoy. CIMA was the final special guest and he quickly killed off Fuminori Abe. The eliminations came quickly until DASH Chisako saw enough and attacked CIMA with a chair. The chair made the rounds until it ended up in Kasai’s face. Iwata and Kasai teamed up and Kasai killed off Chisako with the Pearl Harbour Splash and took out Miyamoto with a chair to the head. We then got the anime betrayal of the century as Iwata kicked Kasai in the balls and threw him out of the match. CIMA and Tanaka threw her out and ignored Kaichow to fight each other. She did not take this disrespect well and dropkicked both of them out to win the royal. This was a riot. Fun from start to finish with a nice mix of shocks, stories, and surprises. Kaichow winning was the icing on the cake as I am a massive fan. Plus, seeing the 666 cast in action was a welcome surprise too.

ASUKA, Mio Momono, Natsupoi & Syuri defeated Oedo Tai (Kagetsu & Hazuki) & Tokyo Cyber Squad (Konami & Death Yama-San) via Pinfall Trap on Hazuki

Next up was more tag action as more companies clashed and Kagetsu and Hazuki came out of retirement for one more fight, teaming up with the former Tokyo Cyber Squad Konami and Death Yama-San. Their opponents, ASUKA, the hottest free-agent in Japan, Syuri and Natsupoi of Donna Del Mondo and Mio Momono. We got the Oedo Tai dance from two of its strongest members once again and this stacked clash kicked off. Natsupoi and Yama started the action fast and tagged out to the heavy-hitters as Konami and Syuri took over. They went straight into a technical exchange and brought out the kicks as they tested the other’s mettle. ASUKA and Kagetsu were next and went into a test of strength. Kagetsu got tired of the posturing and raked ASUKA’s eyes and took them down with a shoulder tackle. ASUKA took her straight down and gave themself a round of applause. Hazuki and Momono were last and seemed to read each other’s minds going for quick dropkicks. Kyoko Kimura slowed down Momono as her Oedo Tai siding came out and Hazuki washed Momono’s face in the ropes. Konami and Yama took down Momono and Kyona joined them for a TCS salute. That moment was quickly lost as Konami swiftly threw Kyona back out. Momono got the better of Yama-San and dropkicked her in the ropes before getting the tag to Natsupoi. Donna Del Mondo swarmed the ring and took out Yama with double kicks. Natsupoi continued to hammer on the kicks until Yama caught her with a death metal throat thrust. Konami bullied Natsupoi with more stiff kicks and went to work on the arm. Natsupoi kicked free but got caught into a triangle choke over the ropes before killing her with a dropkick to the head. An Octopus followed and Syuri had to free Natsupoi from doom. Konami scored a near-fall with a Fisherman’s Suplex and tagged in Kagetsu for double PKs. Kagetsu mockingly kicked her so Natsupoi lashed back and teamed up with Momono for double dropkicks into a double snap.

Syuri kept on the pressure with a shotgun dropkick and nearly decapitated Kagetsu with a guillotine leg drop. The rest of the team members brawled as a slugfest broke out in-ring. Kagetsu rocked Syuri with a head kick and crashed her into the mat with a chokeslam. Syuri came back with her own head kick and both collapsed. Both tagged and Hazuki and Momono resumed hostilities, Momono clearing the field by kicking away Konami and Yama-san. She took out Hazuki with a head-scissor into a dropkick and kipped up for a pose. The pair slugged it out and Momono tried to cheese it with a foot stomp but got booted in the mouth for it. She booted Momono in the head again in the ropes and blasted her with a springboard dropkick. She transitioned to a crossface but Momono made the ropes. Yama came in for double-team but Momono took both out and Natsupoi joined her for double rope dropkicks. Momono got a near-fall with a crossbody and tagged in ASUKA. They asserted dominance with a deadlift German and went for a ripcord kick but Hazuki ran them into the Oedo Tai sound. We got another frantic brawl and Hazuki took out Natsupoi and Momono with a double codebreaker into a double dive with Kagetsu. Konami dropped ASUKA with a German and Yama winded them with a diving senton. Hazuki went for the kill with a Michinoku Driver but their team made the save. ASUKA also scored a killing blow with a Spinning Wheel Kick on Hazuki but her team also made the save. ASUKA jumped onto everyone with a Moonsault and threw Hazuki in so everyone could blast her with finishers. ASUKA looked to end it with a powerbomb but Hazuki reversed into a pin. That would have been it but ASUKA reversed the reversal into a pin trap and took the win. The non-Oedo Tai team had taken the win over some big names hereafter an absolute barn-burner of a tag match. That could have easily main-evented but as we’d soon learn, there was more to come.

ASUKA defeated Kagetsu via Fisherman Buster

Just when it couldn’t get any better, ASUKA and Kagetsu got on the mic and went for another round of action. They shook off the wounds of the previous war and started trading blows once again. It was going to be a war between one of the retired greats and one of the best around now. They started with a strong lock-up and ASUKA threw Kagetsu down by the hair. They choked Kagetsu out in the ropes and slammed her into the mat for a cocky pin. This dissection continued with a handspring back corner elbow but anything else was cut off by a springboard dropkick from Kagetsu. ASUKA shook this off and instantly drilled Kagetsu with a big boot. They went to the top but Kagetsu followed and sent ASUKA spilling to the floor with another springboard dropkick. Hazuki held them in place outside and Kagetsu landed another deadly dive and rushed the ring to deliver and two in rapid fashion. She threw ASUKA into the ring and launched them into the corner with another springboard dropkick. Kagetsu draped ASUKA’s leg in the ropes, booted it, and nearly booted their head off with a huge running dropkick. ASUKA escaped a fireman’s carry and floored Kagetsu with a vicious elbow. A slugfest broke out and ASUKA punt kicked Kagetsu into the ropes. Kagetsu fired back with a head kick and ASUKA returned the favour. Kagetsu fired up with a combo but ran straight into the spinning wheel kick, putting both of them down for a count. ASUKA went up for the Moonsault but Kagetsu dodged and smashed them in the back with the Oedo Tai sign. She planted ASUKA with the Ebisu Drop and called for the Oedo Coaster, crashing into ASUKA with it. Somehow ASUKA kicked out and Kagetsu locked in the Hydrangea. She dragged ASUKA into range for another Oedo Coaster but ASUKA woke up and smashed Kagetsu in the face with a palm strike. They fought on the top and Kagetsu kicked ASUKA back to the mat. She set up again and ASUKA brought her crashing down with a head-scissor before catching her into a Spinning Sambo Suplex. An Axe kick followed and ASUKA added insult to injury with a Chokeslam. ASUKA dragged Kagetsu up one final time and ended things with a Fisherman’s Buster.

ASUKA had one not one but two matches and we saw what could be considered a passing of the torch between these two. Kagetsu was one of the most dominant wrestlers in Joshi and now ASUKA was proving to be the same as one of the best wrestlers in Japan. They had torn the roof off the building with their main event match and celebrated with Kyoko Kimura, all giving one powerful salute to Hana before ending on a video presentation of Hana’s life. This had been a celebration for her thrown by her friends and her family. It had been an incredible event, a poignant reminder of the impact she had on people and hopefully, an event everyone involved was proud of. So many people had come to work in it and no one slouched, truly showing how everyone is different and everyone is special. For just over £10 on FITE, you should pick it up for yourself. It had excellent wrestling and a nice dose of entertainment. Hana will always be truly missed but here on the anniversary of something so tragic, people joined together for happy memories, tearful remembrances, and a proper celebration of someone who had left such an impact on wrestling.

All images courtesy of FITE TV, TDE Gifs, maachikurin0613,