Welcome back to ChocoPro and the final double bill of season 11. This was the big one for Baliyan Akki as it would make or break his season. He’d finally regained his momentum after a bit of a rough patch and now, in the one match of #197, he could potentially dethrone the Dragon before the big interim vs real champion match at #200. We’ve seen Akki come so close to claiming that Super Asia Title before, would he fall again? Then once that dramatic affair is done, we get to #198 and the season finale with another test for Chie Koishikawa as she battles her fellow overly-energetic fighter Kaori Yoneyama and Best Bros prepare for the fights to come with a battle against Hagane Shinno and Sayaka Obihiro. It was a show where anything and everything could happen as the road to #200 creeps ever closer to its destination. Let’s get into the action.

ChocoPro #197

Baliyan Akki defeated Chon Shiryu via Namaste Press

Well, here we go, Akki vs Shiryu in for the Super Asia Title. Baliyan Akki has become the face of the company through his work in Best Bros and the early days as the ace of the company. That Ace status has been continuously tested and now, he had become the last step in Shiryu’s destruction of the Title’s challengers. Mizumori had fallen, Takanashi had fallen, he was all that stood between Shiryu and a clean sweep. Could that boyhood dream finally come true? They began with the feeling out process and masterfully manoeuvred between Hammerlocks and Headlocks to test the other’s mettle. That technicality picked up its pace and added more limbs but the pair didn’t lose focus and kept trading evenly. As expected, Shiryu resorted to dirty tricks to get ahead but none of these could stop Akki’s heart of wits. Every time Shiryu scored a beatdown through underhanded means, Akki would find a way back into things and punish Shiryu with more damage. Takanashi had proven how effective that technique was so Akki adopted it. Early on, Shiryu tried to use the Crane Choke but Akki had the wherewithal to break the hold by dragging Shiryu away and smashing his knees. This was a trend that followed most of the early match as Shiryu pulled out his tricks and Akki punished him with nastier and nastier knee-focused strikes, kicks, and holds. If Shiryu was going to be as ruthless as ever then Akki was not holding back on him. That title meant too much. That dogged focus cost him though as a series of wall attacks saw him driven face-first into the bricks and trapped into a Rolling Neck Crank. As the match went on, it became apparent that the pair were too wise to the other’s tricks and so, they started to adapt to do their damage, Akki catching Shiryu off-guard with Backbreakers and finding even more creative holds to wreck that knee. He ever drew on Suruga for inspiration but avoided becoming a goblin.

Once again, Shiryu just had to pick his moment and blasted Akki into the wall with a We Will Rock You. He finally locked on the Kangaroo Clutch but again, Akki was relentless and refused to give up on anything. He returned to dominance with a Spider and met Shiryu on the match for a hellacious strike exchange. This was the time for both guys to beat the hell out of each other further to show just how much they wanted it. Both obliged and both got rocked by heavy shots. Shiryu won the exchange but again, no matter what he threw at Akki, it wasn’t enough. He just kept kicking out. Akki once again locked up the legs and kept trying to weaken the back with more abuse. He hit Shiryu with his own Gory Bomb and crashed out as Shiryu did the same to him. Akki avoided doom by getting the knees up on Project A and blitzed his way through one final barrage of high-flying hard-hitting Swantons, Backbreakers, and dropkicks to land the Namaste Press and take the win.

The boyhood dream had been fulfilled. Baliyan Akki now held a singles title in Japan. He was a double champion in the company and once again, stood triumphantly if a little winded as the ace. He was in shock but he’d earned it. This match was incredible. It went by in a flash telling a story of how pure determination can get you through the harshest of foes. Big match Akki knocked it out of the park again and now has a title belt to go with said performances. Now though, he has to prove it wasn’t a fluke by beating the one person he couldn’t beat before, Minoru Fujita. Congratulations Baliyan Akki, you earned that. You won.

ChocoPro #198

Best Bros (Baliyan Akki & Mei Suruga) defeated Hagane Shinno & Sayaka Obihiro via B3 on Obihiro

No rest for the wicked. Baliyan Akki had won the Super Asia Title mere days ago and now, he was back in action again alongside his bro, Mei Suruga. They were bringing the Best Bros flavour to the season end and were taking on one of Suruga’s desired competitors, Hagane Shinno against the iron chef, Sayaka Obihiro. It was time to get wild as Shinno was out to hurt the champions. Shinno and Akki opened with another round of hostilities, trying to lock the other up. They were both meant to tag out but Suruga took out Obihiro so she could have a pop at Shinno too. Best Bros went after Shinno and Suruga did an extended song number to remind us she wanted Best Bros vs Shinno and Kaori Yoneyama. Obihiro saved the day and the pair took their time beating down Suruga. The Apple Girl hurt her own hands striking back at Shinno, so the pair targeted those two, systematically limiting her offence. She escaped using the wall and a slam the unleashed Akki on Shinno. He and Shinno beat the hell out of each other and just as Shinno was gaining steam, used Suruga to take him out again. Shinno got his vengeance by destroying both and got highly competitive with Suruga, before wrecking her spine with a lethal kick. Obihiro tried to keep the momentum going but Suruga trapped her in the Apple Mutilation. Akki kept her locked up and Obihiro did her best to rebound and work with Shinno. The pair had Best Bros on the ropes but as per, they found a way to keep the match in their control and took the win with B3 after dual crossbodies. It was another Best Bros win but they’d only felt a fraction of what Shinno could unleash. It was a nice opening tag bout with more fun spots and chemistry but we all know it’s just a build to Shinno and Yoneyama vs Best Bros.

Kaori Yoneyama defeated Chie Koishikawa via Knee to Head

It was time to end the season with a bang as the MVP, Chie Koishikawa had one final test to round out her series. Kaori Yoneyama is one of her best on-again/off-again foes and was going to push her to the limit once again. It was sink-or-swim time for Koishikawa as there was no chance Yoneyama was going to hold back with Best Bros watching. Plus, Kaori wanted to promote her song is now on Amazon and iTunes. Koishikawa was terrifying from the start here as she was all intensity and all business. They sped through their chain wrestling as Yoneyama worked to prove she was a step ahead of Koishikawa. Yoneyama quickly established a game plan and bit, stomped, and snapped the arms of Koishikawa. She was not afraid of being a goblin here. She had Koishikawa trapped and there was very little that she could do about it. Shinno had come to support his Egg Tarts partner and ended up getting dragged into the action as Koishikawa just clung to him. He ended up in a tug of war as Yoneyama grabbed his other arm and started yanking. He’d been stuck in the middle of an argument since he was technically a partner to both. Koishikawa grew sick of words and just attacked them both.

The heavy chops and strikes came out as this match went from technical to physical fast. Koishikawa began locking up the legs and sank in the Muffler. Shinno sang his support for her as he had for Koishikawa and watched on as Yoneyama brute-forced her way back into the match. Koishikawa refused to die and kept trying to come back but just couldn’t find the move or hold to end it all. The heart was there but she just couldn’t find the ending. Yoneyama kicked into another gear and ended everything with a nasty barrage of knee strikes. Koishikawa showed so much again and came fingertips away from victory. She has improved with every season but never quite seems to get those singles wins. Her time will come soon and all these sad losses will be but a distant memory. This was a great match and managed to encapsulate the struggle Shinno is in as he has to watch both of his friends fight. Koishikawa is always getting stronger and there’s hope that next season will finally be the time she takes over.

All images courtesy of Gatoh Move, FlyingVTrigger, Videos courtesy of Gatoh Move YouTube

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