We’re coming up on the third-year anniversary of Hana Kimura’s tragic death. I am not going to lie, I miss Hana every single day and I miss that bright smile whenever I watch the Stardom product. Hana was a breath of fresh air, attracting misfits and giving everyone who felt out of place someone to cheer for. She was an incredible athlete with an immense talent for drawing the audience in. There was no way you couldn’t love Hana and if you say that you didn’t or were one of the ones who bullied her into taking her own life then you’d be a liar and a fool.
Today, as a way to honour Hana Kimura once again, I would like to introduce an idea to you all. To some, it may seem kind of strange and very unlikely, but I think that it would be an amazing thing for Stardom to do. What is it, you might ask. Well, I think that Stardom should revive the Tokyo Cyber Squad.
What was the Tokyo Cyber Squad?
The Tokyo Cyber Squad, or the TCS, was a unit in Stardom that formed out of the International Army back in 2019. Hana took control of the IA and renamed it to the TCS on April 21st, soon bringing in the likes of Jungle Kyona, Natsumi, Ruaka, Rina, Death Yama-san and even Leyla Hirsch and Konami. Back then, Stardom had a draft system to shake things up every so often and it was a good thing too, units would become stale, and things just needed to be changed up every now and then.
The beautiful thing about Hana and the TCS was that they accepted everyone for who they were. It didn’t matter your nationality, your orientation or identity, you were accepted for who you were within the ranks of the TCS. As Hana would say “Everyone is different, everyone is Special.” That phrase was the embodiment of the Tokyo Cyber Squad, and it would be until the very end of the unit when Konami turned on Jungle Kyona to join with Oedo Tai, effectively disbanding the TCS once and for all.
I know that’s a really quick summary of the history of the TCS but that’s all that we need for the purposes of this article. If you want to read more about them, I suggest going to check out this article. Bam did an amazing job writing this up and it deserves to be seen.
The meat and potatoes of it all is how Stardom could go about reforming the TCS [Tokyo Cyber Squad] as a way to memorialize Hana Kimura even further. I guess something you all are asking yourselves is why would Stardom do such a thing? Why would they bring back a unit that they dissolved just to honour someone who took their own life?
Think about it.
Hana Kimura was as close to a wrestling prodigy as there ever was. She had charisma, she had the talent and dammit she knew how to draw people in. Hana was a pure soul and an incredible athlete. There was absolutely no reason for people to hate her or bully her to the degree that they did. But before I get off on a tangent about those people, let’s change our pace a bit.
Who should lead the Tokyo Cyber Squad 2.0?
For me, there is only one person who should be the leader of the new incarnation of the Tokyo Cyber Squad. Someone who looked up to Hana and learned a lot under her leadership. That someone is none other than the 16-year-old member of Oedo Tai, Rina.
Yes, I know that Rina is insanely young to be the leader of her own unit and that she still isn’t anywhere near the prime of her career but hear me out on this one. Rina was Hana’s protege, someone that Hana took under her wing and worked her butt off to train up and help improve her skills. There is no question in my mind that Rina wouldn’t be where she is today without Hana’s guidance. Even to this day as a member of Oedo Tai, Rina still is considered to be Mini Hana.
Everyone says that they see a bit of Hana Kimura in Rina, me included. Rina seems to have inherited the spark that Hana once had, she has all the passion in the world and is working on building her charisma in the ring. I included Rina on my list of the most improved wrestlers in Stardom of last year and the reasons why make Rina the best candidate to reincarnate the TCS. Outside of who should be the leader, the biggest question is who could Stardom put in with Rina to revive the TCS? Don’t worry folks, I have those answers as well.
Who should join Rina in the reincarnation of the TCS?
I suppose there could be some obvious names for who could join up with a new incarnation of the TCS. Names like Konami, Ruaka and even Jungle Kyona would come to mind for many people because they were former members. I would rather not see Konami join as she is the reason that the TCS no longer exists today. As for Jungle Kyona, as much as I love her, she has been dealing with several nasty injuries over the years that have made it harder for her to compete on a full-time basis.
Ruaka, however, could be a great option for the TCS. The only caveat to not including her on this list is that I really think that Ruaka hasn’t really improved much in the ring over the years, and she would only be a detriment to the unit. That is, of course, my opinion of her. In fact, I have several names already in mind and I am going to dive right in. No point in prolonging this any longer, right?
Stardom’s Most Improved Wrestler of 2023: Saki Kashima
The 11-year veteran Saki Kashima is my first pick to join Rina in reincarnating the TCS. Saki might be 30 years old, far older than Rina, but she would add a veteran presence to the group and could also be someone that Rina could rely on to help hold the group together. Saki has really come into her own over the last couple of years. She is really funny, just watch her facing off against Syuri and see how she tries everything to get out of the match to see what I am talking about.
Her in-ring skills have improved by leaps and bounds lately. She’s developing her own style and not trying to follow the leader so to speak, making her rather difficult to plan for. Her unique personality and unpredictable style in the ring make her a prime candidate for a TCS revival. Saki is a misfit in Oedo Tai so why not join up with a true band of misfits and bring her skills to the Cyber Squad?
The Queen who needs a New Quest: Hina
I hate to say it folks, but Queen’s Quest is in shambles right now. The only person holding a belt in the entire unit is AZM, Lady C is improving but not where she needs to be, Miyu Amasaki is so new to the unit that it’s really hard to gauge what impact she is having for them and both Saya Kamitani and Utami Hayashishita seem to be at each other’s throats. This makes Hina stand out as someone who is lost in the shuffle of the Queen’s Quest struggles.
While not as good as her twin sister, Rina or even their older sister Hanan, Hina would benefit from a change of scenery. Her time in Queen’s Quest has run its course and she is stagnating in this floundering unit. Having her leave the Queen’s for the TCS would provide a boom to her career and would also let her team up with her twin. Rina and Hina could be one hell of a tag team together and I would love to see them in a unit together.
The Wild Heart stepping out of the Stars Shadow: Hazuki
Hazuki is someone that has been in several units during her career. She also seemingly retired for good a few years ago, but thanks to Kyoko Kimura and the Hana Matane show, HZK has returned to the ring and looks like she hasn’t lost a step at all. She’s an incredible trainer and an even better talent, she’s worked with all sorts of newcomers to Stardom and has even helped train up Momo Kohgo in Stars.
The only real issue that I see with her remaining in Stars is that she will forever be in the shadow of Mayu Iwatani. For someone as good as Hazuki is, she needs to be somewhere that she won’t be in someone else’s shadow and can help to bolster a group of younger, fresher talent. So having Hazuki join up with a reforming TCS would not only benefit Rina and Hina but would give Hazuki a place to really shine. She could do so much for a brand-new faction, and I would love to see HZK join up with Rina in the new TCS.
The Biggest Misfit in all of the Joshi World: Maki Itoh
I never said that I would only include wrestlers currently signed to Stardom, now did I. Of course not! Maki Itoh is one of the pillars of Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling and has held a few titles there. She’s even become so popular that people overseas wear Neo Itoh Army shirts and flock to venues wherever she is going to perform. Her international star power is perhaps the highest of anyone in the Joshi Queendom and that’s as good a reason as any to bring her into Stardom and help reform the TCS.
Yes, I know that the odds of this happening are slim to none, about the same as someone finding a legit corpse of Bigfoot, but you cannot deny that seeing Maki Itoh in a Stardom Ring would be a lot of fun. The likes of Tam Nakano, Kairi, Mayu Iwatani and even Natsupoi are there and would be incredible matches for someone like Itoh-chan.
The Wunderkind of World Pro Wrestling Diana: Miran
When you have a strong leadership core and have people who can help train younger talent, you want to bring in the ones that have the brightest futures ahead of them. There is no one in the Joshi Queendom who represents that demographic better than Diana’s own 13-year-old Wunderkind, Miran. My first experience with Miran came at Stardom’s New Blood 6 show where she faced off against Miyu Amasaki. For only 13 years old, she looked incredible during that match.
She sold for Miyu like crazy and even had several bright spots of offence for herself. This young lady has a very bright future in wrestling in front of her so where would it be better to hone her skills than in a newly reformed TCS alongside the likes of Hazuki? There really isn’t a better way for her to break into Stardom in my opinion. She would work under someone near her own age and have a strong veteran presence to grow under. Miran would be a phenomenal pick-up for Rina if she reformed the TCS.
Since most units in Stardom have 6 members, some as few as 3 and as many as 7, I had to think long and hard about who I could add to the TCS as their 6th member. Well, believe it or not, I found someone who I think would benefit immensely by being allowed to travel to Japan and work in Stardom, especially under the likes of Hazuki, Saki Kashima and Maki Itoh. That person is a relative newcomer to the US Independent scene and likely someone who most of you will have never heard of.
The Young Hero that Stardom could shape: Airica Demia
Fresh out of the Palmetto Wrestling Academy, the 18-year-old Airica Demia has quickly found her footing on the US independent circuit. Wrestling and travelling with her father, Airica has turned her love of anime and gaming into a personality that is absolutely perfect for the world of Professional Wrestling. I had the pleasure of meeting Airica before she even had her first match, and I could tell by talking to her that she was excited to get out of wrestling school and show the world what she is capable of.
I could think of no better person to round out a newly formed Tokyo Cyber Squad than this young lady. She has the ambition and drive to have a massively successful wrestling career. I also believe that she would be overjoyed to get to travel to Japan and work with the women of Stardom. If Rossi Ogawa gave Airica a chance, she would thrive in that environment, and I believe that she would quickly find a home amongst the Stardom Roster.