It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than a year since the world of professional wrestling was rocked to its foundations when, last May, the beloved Hana Kimura took her own life. The 22-year-old Kimura had established herself as a star in the Japanese World Wonder Ring, better known as Stardom, and achieved international celebrity through her championship bouts and her prominent role on Netflix’s reality series Terrace House Tokyo. Io Shirai of WWE NXT called her one of the most talented female wrestlers in the world. But like so many young stars who lead their lives in front of the camera, she was subjected to terrible abuse from viewers, who posted scathing messages on internet forums. It was too much for her; cyberbullying cost her everything.
Yet since her death, her legend has only grown. Hundreds of prominent wrestlers and wrestling organizations have testified to her unique screen presence, charisma, and irrepressible energy. Rap artist — and former wrestler – Lalo The Don and Hana were fans of each other and friends. “Til The Break Of Don”, the title track of Lalo The Don’s upcoming album, is one of two videos they filmed together. Lalo shares star billing with Kimura in the colorful sci-fi video for “Til The Break Of Don,” and it’s a balm for everybody who misses her. For three minutes, Hana Kimura is smiling again.
And although Lalo The Don has spent plenty of time in the center-ring spotlight in his multifaceted career, a gesture of magnanimity like this one isn’t unusual for him. He’s a roughneck for sure, but he’s got a big heart. He’s also a deft rapper with a broad worldview — one who has worked with artists as disparate as Nicki Minaj, Ice T, and Salina Samone — and in “Til The Break Of Don,” he demonstrates that by switching effortlessly between English, Spanish, and Japanese. That’s a testament to the universal appeal of his music and the cross-cultural reach of pro wrestling, too.
The clip for “Til The Break Of Don” concludes with an appeal to visit the charity site http://rememberhana.com, and a preview to the second video Lalo did with Hana. The rest of the video demonstrates why we’ll never forget her. She’s at the helm of a spacecraft, and she’s decked out in one of those neon-bright outfits that she made famous —
skin-tight athletic top, fuzzy Gatorade-green leg-warmers, sneakers, glittering pink eye-shadow, and fuzzy boots reminiscent of Lalo’s favorite wrestler growing up Bruiser Brody. There’s plenty of footage of Lalo, too, seated at a wooden business desk behind an antique typewriter, addressing the audience with that same combination of approachability and authority that all his fans will recognize instantly.