Today is a special day. Despite the issues with COVID and venues, there was no stopping this celebration as Masahiro Takanashi was back from injury and properly returning to wrestling. ChocoPro had gained the honour of hosting this and was putting on a special three-match card bringing multiple companies together within the Chocolate Square. In this show we’d see, Minoru Fujita and Baliyan Akki would team up against the villainous Chris Brookes and Eruption’s Yukio Sakaguchi, NEO Biishiki Gun, Sakisama and Mei Saint-Michel were gracing the Chocolate Square to face off against Beauty As Is and in the main event, Masahiro Takanashi returns to action against one hell of an opponent, Fuminori Abe. Let’s get into this special day of action as a 16-month wait finally comes to an end.

Yukio Sakaguchi & Chris Brookes defeated Minoru Fujita & Baliyan Akki via Triangle Kimura Lock on Akki

Up first was a tag team spectacular as Minoru Fujita and Baliyan Akki tried to work together against a team of Takanashi’s brothers in Chris Brookes and the terrifying Yukio Sakaguchi. Akki has made it no secret how much he respects Masa san and now he was battling two of the people Takanashi respects the most. Plus, he could put the hurting on the Season MVP, Chris Brookes, who of course was being very humble about that title. Fujita started by defending Pencil Army against Brookes but Brookes just trod on his hat and kicked it away. Fujita came at everyone with a stun-gun so Brookes promptly disarmed him and began chain wrestling. The pair battled over a test of strength and Fujita stabbed Brookes in the throat with a Pencil attack. Both tagged and Akki faced off with Sakaguchi. Akki was grappled to the mat and forced to play defensively as Sakaguchi tried to trap him. Brookes came in and crushed Akki with a senton and double knee drop, then quickly tagged again so Sakaguchi got continue killing Akki with knees. Brookes returned, landed a Dragon Screw, and began a striking battle with Akki. Fujita picked up the slack and rushed Brookes with a shoulder tackle. Sakaguchi saved Brookes from the Tombstone and trapped Akki and Fujita in a double choke. Brookes tried to tap out Fujita with a head-scissor and Sakaguchi suffocated him with his hand. Brookes took out a knee with a wall dropkick and trapped Fujita in a rolling Deathlock. Brookes tagged and the pair trapped Fujita in a double submission, Brookes taking the legs, Sakaguchi the arms and neck. Sakaguchi levelled Fujita with a chest kick and tried for a choke, then kept up the quick tags so Brookes could snap pencils in Fujita’s face to fire him up. They slugged it out and Fujita got his escape with an Exploder.

Both tagged and Akki rushed Sakaguchi with his head kick combo. Both guys were rocked with knees and Akki caught Sakaguchi out of a charge, into a backbreaker. Sakaguchi kneed Akki out of a follow-up charge and mangled his spine with a PK. Brookes made his presence felt with a Shotgun dropkick and trapped Akki in the grounded Octopus. The pair struck it out again and Akki took Brookes’ head off with a dropkick. Brookes tried to chop back but Akki landed another kick off Fujita’s back and Fujita smashed his skull against the wall. Sakaguchi saved the match and got into it with Fujita only for Akki to kick him in the face. Akki tried to hit the head kick combo on Brookes but Brookes dodged the kick and Sakaguchi lit him up with punches, then ducked so Brookes could hit the Shoop Cutter. Fujita was tortured against the wall with kicks and chops a window-hung running knee. Sakaguchi murdered Akki with forearms and tried to fire him up with taunts. It became a battle of chop vs kick as Akki tried to bring the fire back. He eventually won the exchange with a thrust kick and tried for the Spider. Brookes tried to cut him off but got knocked loopy with a wall-run head kick and ate a shoulder block from Fujita. Akki landed the Namaste Splash on Sakaguchi and Fujita threw Brookes outside. Akki lit up Sakaguchi again but his head kick missed and Sakaguchi locked on a Sleeper. He transitioned to a Rear-Naked choke and nearly got the win but Fujita broke the hold. Brookes took out Fujita with another Shotgun Dropkick and a DDT, then ordered Sakaguchi to end Akki but he got caught in the Labyrinth. Sakaguchi kicked out and countered Akki’s Rear-Naked Choke into a Triangle Kimura Lock. Akki tapped and Team Brookes took the win. This had been an excellent technical and striking war with Sakaguchi continuing his trend of being a scary as hell fighter whilst Brookes got to smugly revel in another win. What an opener. ChocoPro always nails these high-stakes tag matches.

NEO Biishiki Gun (Sakisama & Mei Saint-Michel) defeated Beauty As Is (Emi Sakura & Yuna Mizumori) via Posing Arm-Drag Pin on Sakura

Chris Brookes took over the camera and commentary as he ousted Lulu Pencil from her post. Taking to the Chocolate Square were two highly classy teams. Beauty As Is were back together and were welcoming NEO Biishiki Gun to the Chocolate Square. Sakisama and Mei Saint-Michel walked the carpet of roses to show some class and their TJPW Princess Tag Team Championships to an acapella version of their entrance music. Sakura started by sizing up Saint-Michel and trying to charge her, finding the maid too quick for her tactics. Sakura grew tired of the shenanigans and stomped Saint-Michel into a headlock. The mind games continued and Sakura started throwing Saint-Michel by her hair. Mizumori came in and tried to do the Tropical Dance but Saint-Michel desecrated that with her maid twirl. Saint-Michel started pulling at Mizumori’s ponytail and took Mizumori for the ride. Mizumori tried to whip Saint-Michel into Sakisama but Sakisama just danced with Saint-Michel and threw her into a crossbody. Mizumori tried to whip Sakisama into the wall but Sakisama just checked herself out in the mirror. She booted Mizumori down and trapped her in the Paradise Lock after a cocky cover. She did the same to Sakura and both were used as seats. Saint-Michel tried to bring her tray into the fight but Mizumori stepped on it and Sakura attacked from behind. Beauty As Is dodged Saint-Michel’s attack for a pose and double-teamed Saint-Michel with shoulder tackles. Saint-Michel was put in a trance by their singing and Sakisama desperately tried to keep her maid from harm. Sakisama went to deal with the riffraff but fainted at the sight of the Beauty As Is Megazord. The pair sang Saint-Michel into a trance again and tried to pin her but Saint-Michel woke up. Sakura and Mizumori bullied the maid with more throws and holds, then Mizumori nearly scored the win with a Tropical Splash. Saint-Michel ate the wall off a catapult and narrowly avoided a repeat trip by pushing Mizumori. She took out Mizumori with a dropkick and double knees, then roused Sakisama back to consciousness with the ring bell.

Sakisama shook off her nap and instantly booted down Mizumori for another posing pin. She slapped Mizumori with a rose and Mizumori dodged another boot only to get kicked out of the air. Sakisama kept casually kicking down Mizumori and tried to ignore Mizumori’s offence until the Tropical Powerhouse took her out with a lariat. Sakura charged in and furiously stomped down Sakisama. Saint-Michel stormed in to help and Sakura trapped the pair in a double stretch. Sakisama used her long legs to break the hold (Sakura complained they were too long) and Sakura caught her kick but couldn’t deliver one back as her legs were too short so settled for a leg rake. Sakura tried for the Tiger Driver but Sakisama escaped by moonwalking on the roof. Sakisama downed Sakura with another mid-kick and tagged out. Saint-Michel came in stomping and tried for the Bridging Deathlock Armbar but Sakura bit into her wrist. Sakura chopped her out the window and Saint-Michel baited her into hitting the tray. Sakura snatched away the tray and wore it like a hat as she danced. She dragged Saint-Michel back through the window for the Underhook Backbreaker and Saint-Michel dropkicked the tray into Sakura’s face. Sakisama guided her maid into a double stomp and Mizumori made the save, charging both of NEO Biishiki Gun into the wall for We Will Rock You. They nailed Saint-Michel with the flipping Falcon Arrow but only got two. A pinfall war broke out and Sakisama took out Mizumori with a step-up knee. The pair double-teamed Sakura and took her out with a wrist-clutch arm-drag pin for the win. NEO Biishiki had come to ChocoPro and conquered, taking out Beauty As Is with grace and wits. This was a very entertaining tag team war with both teams bringing their A-game. It would be fun to see NEO Biishiki Gun return to the Chocolate Square at some point.

Fuminori Abe defeated Masahiro Takanashi via Ref Stoppage

Last but not least, the main event. Masahiro Takanashi was back and picking right up where he left off by battling Fuminori Abe once again. Both of these guys are extraordinary fighters and now we’ll see how Takanashi is faring after a long hiatus. His exhibition against Shiryu had been a success ad now he was going to go the distance. They opened with chain wrestling and both tried to tie the other in knots, going after their weak points. The two continued to trade holds, positions, and pins as Abe went after that repaired leg. The pace was very controlled and momentum shifted at an instant as both guys kept upping the aggression of their holds. Abe kept trying to destroy the knee and mangled that leg with heel hooks, kicks, and snaps with deadly efficiency. Pride fell away and Abe was out to cripple Takanashi. Abe even bit the weakened limb amongst him leg-based barrage. Takanashi refused to die but the screams of pain were only getting worse. Amongst the wreckage, Abe tried to fire Takanashi up as he wreaked havoc on the leg. Chris Brookes also tried to talk his friend back into play but Takanashi just found his leg smashed into the wall. Abe booted him out of the window and Takanashi used this to his advantage, barring the arm through the window for a knee drop. Takanashi had found his target and started to work the arm and shoulder with surgical precision. Both guys were trying to cripple each other and Abe tried to escape and Armbreaker with a choke. Takanashi had to fight off a Full Nelson and had his spine rocked with a PK. The knee-based brutality resumed and when Takanashi tried to kick back Abe caught him with a Dragon Screw. As the attacks mounted up and the damage continued, Takanashi’s will would not be broken and he went back after the shoulder.

That was short-lived though as Abe was back on the leg and blasting him with another PK. A vicious Figure Four nearly saw Takanashi pass out but he remained defiant and fed off everyone’s energy to turn the hold. They kept on battling as both men got to their feet to swing it out. Takanashi nailed Abe with a Shining Wizard but Abe knocked him back down with a flying knee. Takanashi had to beat a ten-count and ducked a baseball punch, causing Abe to hammer his fist against the wall. Takanashi went after the limb with a double stomp but Abe socked him with an alternate hand punch and tried for an Octopus. Takanashi locked on the Flying Octopus and hit the Taka-Tonic against the wall for a two-count. Abe jarred the leg again to prevent another Taka-Tonic and booted Takanashi in the head. Takanashi had to beat another count and Abe kept nailing Takanashi in the head with fists and headbutts. Takanashi kept calling for more and always got back up. Takanashi trapped Abe in another Shoulderbreaker and tried for a Roll-Up but Abe kicked him off. Both got up again to throw bombs and Abe locked on the Octopus, forcing the ref to stop the match as Takanashi wasn’t going to give up. Abe had taken another win in their series but this wasn’t really about victory. This was about Takanashi proving he was back and that he can still go. That knee took a lot of abuse and Masa San could barely stand but holy hell had he just gone the distance in a 35-minute plus technical masterclass with one of the best wrestlers on the scene. Masahiro Takanashi was back, shaking that ring-rust and nearly breaking limbs. This was awesome. A smooth as silk technical war that had both guys trading bombs and holds like the pros they are. It was awesome to see Takanashi back in action after so long. This whole show rocked and there’s going to be another in September. I can’t wait.

All images courtesy of Gatoh Move, DOGU, FlyingVTrigger, Video courtesy of Gatoh Move YouTube

Leave a Reply