On 12/31, KIMERA held its inaugural event, “CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO”, before a sold out crowd in the Tokyo Dome. The co-owners of the promotion, Akira Maeda, Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Bob Backlund, introduced the show and spoke about why each style is an important part of modern professional wrestling. All competitors then descended upon the rings wearing sweet red and white KIMERA t-shirts to a big ovation from the fans. In closing, Maeda thanks everyone for their support and told them to enjoy the event.
The opener saw Tatsuo Nakano defeat Willie Peeters in a scrappy “Hybrid Rules” fight. Both guys let their hot tempers get the best of them and there were plenty of hard open hands exchanged, one of which caught Nakano in the nose and busted him open. After dumping Peeters on his head with a German suplex, Nakano locked in the rear naked choke for the submission.
The first “Catch Rules” match-up of the night saw Osamu Nishimura defeat Yuki Ishikawa in a beautiful display of traditional catch-as-catch-can techniques and collar-and-elbow wrestling. At one point, Yuki Ishikawa had Osamu in the sleeper hold but Osamu was able to slip out of the hold and snag the left arm with a short-arm scissors.
In a “Strong Rules” contest, Kensuke Sasaki and Yuji Nagata brought a big, suplex-heavy bout that saw the fans rally behind the underdog, Nagata, as he tried to kick and knee his way to a comeback after Sasaki dominated early on. He got a nearfall after a nasty backdrop suplex but it wasn’t enough to down Sasaki and after a lariat, Kensuke put him away with the Northern Lights Bomb.
In the first round of the KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Stars + Strikes (Dan Severn & Bart Vale) defeated Yoshihiro Takayama and Gene Lydick after Severn submitted Lydick with the Beast Choker. Takayama and Lydick were in control early on, using a combination of knees, kicks, and suplexes to isolate Vale. Vale, however, was able to drop Lydick with a roundhouse for a nine count and when Severn was tagged in, he quickly put him away.
Minoru Suzuki and Grom Zaza wrestled under “Catch Rules” with Suzuki the clear favorite based on the name calling from the crowd. Zaza was able to get a few fireman’s carry takedowns and focused mostly on working Suzuki’s right leg but Suzuki’s speed advantage played a major factor in the outcome of the match. In an nod to his mentor, Suzuki was able to catch Zaza in the wakigatame for the submission victory. After the match, Suzuki thanked the fans and said that his goal is to be the best in all styles of pro-wrestling.
Big Dick Leon-Vrij defeated Kazuo Yamazaki in a “Hybrid Rules” contest after KO’ing him with a brutal high kick. Leon used his size to his advantage and did not let up on Yamazaki, constantly backing him into the corner or against the ropes with hard kicks and body shots. Yamazaki was able to connect with a few kicks of his own, and after a German suplex, he nearly submitted Vrij with a double wristlock before Vrij was able to make the ropes.
Sudden Impact (Chris Jericho & Lance Storm) were victorious over the team of Akira Nogami and Shinjiro Ohtani in a fast-paced junior heavyweight-style match fought under “Strong Rules”. Jericho was very charismatic throughout the match, playing to the fans and mocking his competitors, while Storm took a more…serious approach. At one point, Ohtani tried for the swan-dive spinning heel kick but Storm countered with a thrust kick to the jaw. After Ohtani survived a frankensteiner from the top rope, Jericho finally put him away with the Tiger Driver.
In one of the most competitive matches of the night, Masakatsu Funaki and Kiyoshi Tamura wrestled nearly 15:00 under “Hybird Rules”. While Funaki was mainly a threat on his feet, Tamura was the bigger threat on the mat and Funaki did his best to try and distance himself from Tamura’s takedowns with kicks. Tamura pulled off some beautiful takedowns, including a step-over armbar and a rolling kneebar, but Funaki was able to reach the ropes in both instances. At one point, he came at Funaki with a barrage of palm thrusts, catching him with a hard shot that left a deep cut above Funaki’s left eyebrow. This forced a halt in the action due to the ringside physician checking on Funaki but Funaki was able to continue and in the end, picked up the submission victory with a heel hook. Backstage, Funaki echoed Suzuki’s earlier statement and said that he will not be satisfied until he has mastered the rules.
In the first of three matches to determine the KIMERA Light Heavyweight Champion, Masanobu Fuchi defeated Jushin “Thunder” Liger under “Catch Rules”. Liger was more than able to hold his own against Fuchi, utilizing his speed and quick takedowns to capture Fuchi in some lucha-inspired submission attempts. Throughout the match, Fuchi kept trying to get Liger in an STF but Liger was able to counter out. A frustrated Fuchi earned himself a yellow card when he struck Liger with a body shot after a rope break. Liger teased hitting the shotei on Fuchi but Fuchi was able to hit the drop toehold into a cross-legged STF to submit Liger.
Bob Backlund and Shiro Koshinaka wrestled a semi-serious “Strong Rules” match but also injected their own unique styles of offense into the structure, which elicited some laughs from the crowd with Backlund’s “whoa whoa”-ing around the ring and Koshinaka using his hip attacks to overwhelm a confused Backlund. When Koshinaka tried for a powerbomb, Backlund was able to roll through with the pin attempt for a nearfall. In the end, he was able to score the pin with a backdrop hold. Backstage, Backlund said he wants a shot at the heavyweight title.
Under “Catch Rules” Hiroshi Hase and Yoshiaki Fujiwara wrestled the full ten minutes to a very receptive crowd. Of course, Fujiwara was one to necessarily play by the rules and earned himself a yellow card when he headbutted Hase in the corner. Hase, however, was able to stun Fujiwara with some hard takedowns and tried to quickly submit Hase before the wily Fujiwara could grab a limb. He excecuted a Northern Lights suplex hold and maneuvered into a cross armbreaker but Fujiwara was able to grab the ropes. Fujiwara nearly got Hase with his signature armbar but Hase was able to get to the ropes. With less than a minute remaining, Hase was able to place Fujiwara in an STF and while Fujiwara was able to use a ropebreak to escape, Hase was awarded the victory in the end, having only used one ropebreak.
The main event of the evening was H-O-T, with the crowd-favorite Maeda forced to overcome Big Van Vader under “Hybrid Rules”. Maeda’s strategy was obvious early on – keep Vader away with kicks and hack away at the left leg to try and fell the monster. With each collapse, Maeda was quick to secure the leg with a leglock and try to get the submission but Vader’s size was too much for him at times. When Maeda came at Vader with another series of middle kicks, Vader caught a leg and planted Maeda with his own signature capture suplex to a huge reaction from the crowd! Maeda survived the suplex and a big deadlift German that launched him half-way across the ring. Toward the end of the match, Vader charged him and Maeda leveled him with a big wheel kick that had Vader down for nine. As the crowd chanted “MA-E-DA!”, he tried to finish Vader off with more kicks but Vader swatted them away and began clobbering him with clubbing blows, including a brutal shot to the back of the head that Maeda was barely able to recover from. But it was too late for Maeda at this point in the match, and after a huge lariat, Maeda stayed down for the count and Vader was crowned the first KIMERA Heavyweight Champion to close the show.
KIMERA "CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO", 12/31
65,000 Fans – Super No Vacancy Full House
1. Hybrid Rules: Tatsuo Nakano beat Willie Peeters (6:12) with a rear naked choke.
2. Catch Rules: Osamu Nishimura beat Yuki Ishikawa (7:23) with a short-arm scissors.
3. Strong Rules: Kensuke Sasaki beat Yuji Nagata (9:33) with the Northern Lights Bomb.
4. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Hybrid Rules: Dan Severn & Bart Vale beat Yoshihiro Takayama & Gene Lydick (10:42) when Severn used the Beast Choker on Lydick.
5. Catch Rules: Minoru Suzuki beat Grom Zaza (8:26) with the wakigatame.
6. Hybrid Rules: Dick Leon-Vrij beat Kazuo Yamazaki (10:28) by KO (high kick).
7. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Strong Rules: Chris Jericho & Lance Storm beat Akira Nogami & Shinjiro Ohtani (11:35) when Jericho used a Tiger Driver on Ohtani.
8. Hybrid Rules: Masakatsu Funaki beat Kiyoshi Tamura (14:56) with a heel hook.
9. KIMERA Light Heavyweight Title, 1st Match ~ Catch Rules: Masanobu Fuchi beat Jushin “Thunder” Liger (9:12) with a cross STF.
10. Strong Rules: Bob Backlund beat Shiro Koshinaka (12:34) with a backdrop hold.
11. Catch Rules: Hiroshi Hase beat Yoshiaki Fujiwara (10:00) by decision.
12. KIMERA Heavyweight Title ~ Hybrid Rules: Vader beat Akira Maeda (23:27) by KO (lariat) to become the first KIMERA Heavyweight Champion.