Welcome back to ChocoPro and to another Christmas special. Celebrating both Japanese and American Christmas, Ichigaya’s favourite wrestling company had put on another double bill of wrestling delight. First off in #184, we’d have the Sakura Santa Christmas Rumble featuring some of the top MVPs in the company battling it out for Christmas supremacy and an opening tag contest that would see Masahiro Takanashi and Sayaka team up against the forces of Baliyan Akki and Chie Koishikawa. Then, in #185, we’d see a three-way fight between Trans-Am Hiroshi, Chie Koishikawa, and Tokiko Kirihara and the big return of Mei Suruga as Best Bros are back and ready to take the main event scene by storm again by battling Masahiro Takanashi and Yuna Mizumori. Let’s get into this festive action.

ChocoPro #184

Sayaka & Masahiro Takanashi defeated Chie Koishikawa & Baliyan Akki via Deep Cradle on Koishikawa

Up first today was a tag team encounter between the teams of Sayaka and Masahiro Takanashi and Chie Koishikawa and Baliyan Akki. We’ve seen Akki and Koishikawa team up before to limited success, could they reverse their fortunes against the heavy-hitting new team in their way? We’d soon find out as the dulcet tones and mockery of Chris Brookes accompanied the fight. Sayaka and Akki opened with a battle of wrist control and battled through some chain wrestling. They both tagged and Koishikawa locked up with Takanashi, getting driven into the wall and forced to smile by him. They traded knuckle-locks and went through a foray of holds too, continuously trading momentum. Takanashi countered the run and began to work over Koishikawa’s ankle. Koishikawa returned the favour but Takanashi put the block on it and the pair seesawed over leg pain. Koishikawa turned it into the Bow and Arrow and brought in Akki to continue the torture with the Namaste Stretch. Koishikawa gave him mat burn and applied a trailer hitch but Takanashi escaped and escaped with an Armbreaker, unleashing a fired-up Sayaka on the match. Sayaka stomped and kneed away for her Bow and Arrow, then kept the tags coming as the pair destroyed Koishikawa. She finally escaped with a window-rebound Tornado Arm-drag and brought in Akki. He pummelled Takanashi with knees but missed the head kick and ate a Jawbreaker for it. Akki came back with a Backbreaker and crashed out again attempting the Spider.

Takanashi tagged and Sayaka brutalised Akki with forearms. She attempted a roll-up and locked on the Crab, switching to the Sayaka Lock when he tried to escape. Takanashi threw Akki into her dropkick and Akki took both out with a wall-run crossbody. Koishikawa got the tag and brought out the chops before trying to wreck Sayaka’s knee. The Demon Chop silenced Sayaka but she was able to kick away the Muffler and deliver another heavy forearm. Takanashi came in to crush Koishikawa’s head under his boot and got caught with a leapfrog chop and Akki combo. They hit the Chop-breaker combo but Sayaka saved the match and took out Akki with a body slam. The manic closing stretch saw both teams go hell for leather as Akki and Koishikawa went to Takanashi’s legs again and a pinfall war broke out until Takanashi could put Koishikawa away with a very deep Inside Cradle. This fight kicked ass as Sayaka and Takanashi worked well as a team and everyone brought their A-game. Akki can’t seem to win tag team bouts without Suruga and Brookes was more than happy to mock him for this. Akki threatened to prove him wrong.

Sakura Santa Christmas Rumble: Antonio Honda defeated Chris Brookes, Sayuri, Sayaka Obihiro, Chon Shiryu, Tokiko Kirihara & Yuna Mizumori via Present Retrieval

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa Claus. Since he couldn’t personally visit, Emi Sakura had taken on the role from the US and had put on a special Rumble match. It would be Honda, Brookes, Obihiro, Shiryu, Kirihara, and Mizumori all battling it out for a shot at glory with Sayuri making her return as a surprise entrant to everyone’s happiness. This match had an extra stipulation as you could win instantly by retrieving a present from the crane. Honda and Mizumori started things with dancing and cardboard tree swiping. Honda tried to hypnotise Mizumori with his hat and mauled her with punches. Mizumori stopped him from going for the present and tried to throw Honda out the window but he saved himself with more punches. She made him dance and locked on the crab but was cut off by the arrival of the Christmas Comaneci, Tokiko Kirihara. Shin Black Comaneci worked over Mizumori with a rocket punch toy and other villainous shenanigans. They tried to pose but Brookes broke this up with a boot. Honda went turncoat and teamed with Brookes but Mizumori wanted to do the same for Tropicalamari. He was in a bit of a bind so Kirihara KO’ed him with a fan. They all took out Brookes and rushed for the present. Tropicalamari took control but Kirihara caused them to implode and tried for the dancing stomp but got knocked out of the window. Sayaka Obihiro was next in and filled the void with throat thrusts. Brookes stopped her with a claw but she mangled his hand, forcing Mizumori to make a save. Tropicalamari hit the wall on missed Papaya, Mango, Coconut, and Obihiro used Mizumori as a stepping stool to hit Brookes in the throat. She tried to eliminate Brookes but Kappa Kozo appeared and dragged her to her demise.

Chon Shiryu was out next with his belt and his chops. hitting everyone in sight. He murdered Mizumori and started a pinfall war, using the window for a leverage pin and eliminating Mizumori. Brookes tried to eliminate Shiryu with a Manji but Sayuri came to his aid, entering the match and bringing Dragon Ninja back together. They wrecked Brookes and Honda with signature offence and Shiryu booted Brookes out of the window with a step-up kick. Honda punched the pair away but danced too hard for the elbow. Sayuri trapped him in the window Sleeper and Shiryu prepared another kick but a malfunction at the junction caused him to kick her. She collapsed back into the studio and Honda dumped her out of the window. Honda and Shiryu slugged and chopped it out with Honda lighting the champ up with heavy punches. Shiryu struck back but Honda landed the Dusty elbow. They both grabbed stools and slugged it out again around the present. They both took spills to the floor and Shiryu tried to climb across the crane rail. Honda brained him with the crane and took the present, winning the match and earning a title shot. He’d come in at number one and taken it all, forming fragile alliances and outlasting everyone else. Antonio Honda wins Christmas, using his wish to get that title shot. This was manic fun and had a lot of fun little stories running through it. The turncoat activities were enjoyable to watch and I’m always happy to see the ChocoPro Ninja, Sayuri back in action.

ChocoPro #185

Trans-Am Hiroshi defeated Tokiko Kirihara & Chie Koishikawa via Roll-up on Kirihara

This episode opened with more chaos. Ahead of Suruga’s big return to ChocoPro action, we had three favourites going head-to-head-to-head in triple threat fun. It would be Yoga and Song master Trans-Am Hiroshi taking on the Hyperactive Chopping Machine Chie Koishikawa and Comaneci Queen Tokiko Kirihara. We had a massive clash of styles and temperaments to enjoy here. Hiroshi scared everyone with his stances and breathing exercises, leading to a very tense opening stretch. Kirihara cut him off with a low kick and locked up with Koishikawa for some chain wrestling. They battled around the mat and Hiroshi cut off Koishikawa’s run with a gut punch. He chopped her ear and had his leg attacked by Kirihara. She went for the grounded Cobra Twist but Koishikawa cut her off and got her sabre. Hiroshi agreed to a Fencing vs Judo contest and ended up getting stabbed and choked with the sabre. Hiroshi recovered thanks to the power of meditation and was joined in meditation by Koishikawa and Kirihara when they couldn’t move him. Hiroshi tried to sneak attack but they too, could not be moved. They both beat the hell out of him and he turned the Claw into a Judo throw, then stopped Koishikawa with force powers. Koishikawa played dead and freaked Hiroshi out, leading him to a song and dance break as he tried to rouse her with Wham’s Last Christmas. She joined him in song and nearly got rolled up but Kirihara made the save. She locked Hiroshi in the Comaneci and put him to sleep. He too played dead so Kirihara tried to rouse him with song too, bringing him back for a duet. They enjoyed their song and Hiroshi took the win with a roll-up in another ultimate act of betrayal. This was such a mess in the best way. It had everything from multiple homicides to musical numbers and fencing. Hiroshi continues to be one of the wildest combatants in the company and almost unstoppable too.

Best Bros (Baliyan Akki & Mei Suruga) defeated Masahiro Takanashi & Yuna Mizumori via Bros be Back (B3) on Mizumori

Last but not least, the second main event. Best Bros were back. They’d held the Asia Dream Tag Titles for almost a year and with Suruga being in the US for an excursion, it was time for them to prove why they still had those titles. Their first opponents on this return trip, Masahiro Takanashi and Yuna Mizumori. Suruga opened with Mizumori and after a very one-sided lock-up, got technical. The pair countered like crazy until Suruga could end the exchange with a dropkick. Mizumori rolled her up and the pair tagged out, or at least they would have but Suruga faked out Takanashi and Akki by refusing to tag. They scrambled around the mat and Suruga was Cute on Purpose. Takanashi kicked out but got downed by the Crossbody combo. He blocked a Suplex but Suruga stomped his foot and flattened him with a slam. Takanashi begged for mercy, then raked her eyes, making her pay for not tagging Akki. Thus began the breakdown of Suruga as Mizumori and Takanashi mauled her with some holds, strikes and Daniel Garcia sign attacks, stopping her as she forearmed back. Suruga escaped with her wall smashes and finally tagged in Akki after a double chop. He ran roughshod on Takanashi and stopped Mizumori in her tracks with a slam when she tried to interject herself. He crushed both with a Spider but Takanashi cut off his onslaught with a Crossface. Akki escaped but Takanashi continued to stun him with a Jawbreaker and blasted him with a dropkick.

This launched him into Suruga and she tagged herself in to light up Takanashi with stomps. Best Bros hit the rolling Swanton and Akki threw Suruga into a double stomp. Suruga locked on Apple Mutilation but Mizumori made the save, catapulting Suruga into an X Thrust. Mizumori went on the offensive with a shoulder tackle and splash but couldn’t hit Tropical Yahho as Suruga turned it into a Sunset Flip. A pinfall war broke out and Akki nearly killed off Mizumori with a Backbreaker. He trapped her in the Deathlock and tried for the Namaste Splash but Takanashi dragged him down into a Coconut Crush. Best Bros countered more double-team with dual cross-bodies and got thrown into the wall for Yunamon Elbows. She took both out with a diving shoulder block and flattened Akki with a handstand press. The pair struck it out and after trading bombs, Mizumori almost got the win with a lariat. More hard shots were thrown and Best Bros took the win with B3. It had been a triumphant return to action as Suruga showed off some new tricks and Akki found his groove again alongside his best bro. Suruga was happy to be back but she wants more challenges. So, with that, the ante has been upped as at #187 the champions fight CDK. This match kicked ass, that one is going to hit even harder.

All images courtesy of Gatoh Move, DOGU, Yuna Mizumori, FlyingVTrigger, Videos courtesy of Gatoh Move YouTube

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