June 13, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan
Choco Pro is a new effort from Gatoh Move’s Emi Sakura to bring live wrestling from Ichigaya to fans all over the world.
The shows are streamed live from Ichigaya Chocolate Square with no crowd. As I like to mention to start my Gatoh Move reviews, the Ichigaya events are held in a small room with no ring. The edge of the mat and the wall are essentially the “rope break” point for submissions, but do not interrupt pinfall attempts.
With no crowd the two large sliding windows on one wall which are left in, but opened as needed for some unique high risk maneuvers performed from the windowsill.
As usual Akki is helping with translation, as well as sharing camera duties (with Sayuri this time). Mei and Sakura split referee duties.
Sakura has granted Yuna Mizumori’s request for a singles match, but it’s to be at the end of June and Yuna will not be booked until then. Combined with DDT’s show happening at the same time, it means this show was down a few regulars. But there’s some additions…
1) Emi Sakura vs Sayuri
Really excited to see Sayuri back and this is her ChocoPro debut.
This was quite different, and really awesome. Sayuri’s developing her style and showed a new intensity. Her approach to normal spots is a bit different with unique counters, etc and it’s coming together REALLY well. It’s going to be great to see her continue to expand and refine things as she continues to learn and progress.
Little things like her Naruto run, repeatedly calling for the bodyslam (which she has yet to successfully hit), and a fantastic small package where she fought for every inch so much it was practically in slow motion all really added to the match in immeasurable ways.
She was well outmatched here but fought tooth and nail and Sakura, who took the rookie a bit lightly and toyed with her at times, was continually surprised and had to get more and more serious as things went on. Sayuri even had her in serious trouble at one point when she laid Sakura out and dropped the punching bag on the sideline on Sakura’s bad back.
Emi finishes with Yuna’s handstand splash and her Tropical Splash to really rub things in as the Pineapple Girl freaks out in the show comments.
2) Best Bros (Mei Suruga & Baliyan Akki) vs Lulu Pencil & Tokiko Kirihara
Tokiko (recently nicknamed Otoki) has been on fire lately and has been become a really strong part of the ChocPro regular roster. Here she teamed with a returning Lulu Pencil, a huge fan favorite. They faced the cornerstones of ChocoPro, who are coming off a rebound win over Sakura & Yuna.
Fun, lengthy tag match. As always Lulu lucking/stumbling out of danger is awesome, and the work from all four was great.
Rather amazing finish in which Tokiko helps Lulu trap BOTH opponents in a simultaneous deathlock… but it’s Lulu so they are able to last longer than her and she gets herself stuck and taps out while on offense to give Best Bros an extremely lucky win. There was cheerful chaos in the comments as new viewers momentarily thought one of the Best Bros gave up giving Lulu her first win, but alas not quite yet.
3) Mitsuru Konno vs Kaori Yoneyama
Yone is one half of the reigning Asia Dream Tag Team champions (with Emi Sakura), and this is her ChocoPro debut.
Mitsuru’s coming off her amazing main event against Chris Brookes last show (which is a rematch of one of my favorite matches of 2019)
This was an all over the venue, frantic brawl, with lots of screaming to the point where Yone momentarily blew out the mic at more than one instance. She also stole the camera for a wrestler’s point of view sequence, the kind of awesome stuff only seen in ChocoPro.
This culminated in a series of incredibly close nearfalls for Mitsuru as she pushed the vet to her limit, but Yone in turn pushes Mitsuru into the camera and then gets a tight rollup for the win.
Mitsuru is already making an incredibly strong case for MVP of season 2, and the more main event singles matches we get from her the better.
Post-show as usual sees the AEW Dark Chocolate Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament! Lulu won the only other tournament she was in, so anticipation whether she would remain undefeated ran high.
Unfortunately she would go out early, and while the debuting Sayuri did enjoy one victory she and Mitsuru would fall in the semis and the final would see the tag team champions facing off. The oni failed to gain her fifth tournament victory, meaning Yone is the new undefeated one-to-beat in ChocoPro janken!
One of the most enjoyable top-to-bottom shows so far. The level they keep meeting and exceeding is incredible.
As I like to reiterate I’m beyond grateful to Sakura and the rest of Gatoh Move/ChocoPro for doing so much to provide good natured content aimed at connecting people in this time of isolation and bringing smiles to everyones faces. It’s much needed and appreciated. Visit Gatoh Move’s YouTube channel to check it all out, including the replay of this show.
Visit Gatoh Move’s YouTube channel to check out all of ChocoPro’s content, including the replay of this show. Everything they are doing goes up for free under Sakura’s “No Pay Wall” initiative, so if you do enjoy and are able / would like to support please see their patreon, join as a member of their YouTube channel, and/or donate directly via their PayPal.