Welcome back to ChocoPro as we prepare for a triple-bill of energetic wrestling to celebrate the second anniversary of the company. First up we have the precursor to the chaos with episodes 212 and 213 as Emi Sakura looks to settle back into her home turf and re-establish her dominance. She was always a threat but not she plans to use everything she has taken from AEW too. To prep for her upcoming title match, she had two matches across the double bill taking the main event spots of both episodes. Firstly, she was reforming the Hyakkin Thunders alongside Masahiro Takanashi to battle Sayaka and Yuna Mizumori, then for 213, she was teaming up with a fellow AEW visitor, Ryo Mizunami against Hagane Shinno and Sayaka Obihiro. Alongside those monster matches, Best Bros were in action against Shin Black Comaneci and Baliyan Akki found himself in a Triple Threat against Shin Suzuki and Choun Shiryu. Let’s get into the mayhem.

ChocoPro #212

Best Bros (Baliyan Akki & Mei Suruga) defeated Shin Black Comaneci (Antonio Honda & Tokiko Kirihara) via La Magistral on Kirihara

Up first today was something horrifying. Best Bros had an opening match spot against one of the evillest of teams in Shin Black Comaneci. The team that continues to get itself banned yet always manages to resurrect itself. Honda and Kirihara just cannot be stopped, win or lose, they will always lurk, ready to bring out prop comedy and Comanecis. It was a rough start for Best Bros as Suruga was scared by Kirihara and her taunting. After an opening flurry, the hammer of Honda had Best Bros reeling as both Suruga and Akki were subjected to horrific acts of torture and pain through the assorted props of this devilish team. This trend continued as Suruga couldn’t catch a break, being subjected to bad jokes and worse submissions. The goblin was being outdone in the goblin department, something I doubt she could stand. She got her own back with a Cazadora and wall slam, finally getting a break and unleashing Akki. Honda and Akki got into a monster striking bout and tried to help Suruga with the mini spider but she tripped and Honda went back on the attack.

Kirihara kept the pressure on and just kept torturing Suruga, forcing the match back to where it had begun. Every time she broke free, the devilish duo had another trick up their sleeve. Her grand escape came when the duo tried to go for dual Bionic Elbows and she ducked, watching Honda and Kirihara clock each other in the skull. She flew in with a crossbody and sat back as Akki got to work. Everything got rather manic as Akki and Kirihara got into another frantic exchange and history repeated itself as Honda and Kirihara took each other out with their fan attack. Akki took advantage with La Magistral and Best Bros got the win. This match had felt more like the beat-up Mei Suruga variety hour but it made for some good opening fun and showed just how fearsome Black Comaneci can be when their tactics actually work. It was always a bold move on Akki’s part to win with one of Sakura’s finishes. The mind games are beginning.

Hyakkin Thunders (Emi Sakura & Masahiro Takanashi) defeated Sayaka & Yuna Mizumori via Hyakkin Driver on Sayaka

The first main event of the weekend was the reunion of the Hyakkin Thunders. The two veterans of the company were joining forces once again to show off the new stuff Sakura had in the tank alongside a very dependable partner. Their opponents, the Tropical Fairy Yuna Mizumori and Sayaka. It was going to be a stiff contest for all involved. It opened cordially enough with some rapid-fire technical work from Takanashi and Mizumori but quickly descended as Sakura made an enemy of both opponents and got run over by a senton train. The pair worked over Sakura until the boss got pissed and started throwing Sayaka by the hair. She tagged and Takanashi began bullying Sayaka too. The Sakura hits came out as the Thunders treated Sayaka as their personal punching bag. Just as Sayaka looked to be breaking free, they pulled a ref trick and continued to get beaten down. Sayaka fought her way to freedom a second time and finally got the tag earning a breather as Mizumori got to work dishing out some punishment. That was cut short by a Takanashi Sleeper and she too found herself getting broken down by the Thunders. She escaped certain doom and the pair found a rhythm, using both their strength to drive Sakura into the wall. Again, nothing would last though as Sakura was back in control, taking them both out with less than savoury tactics. That led to a manic closing sequence where Mizumori and Sayaka really came into their own but it was too little too late and they were used against each other by the Thunders. A Hyyakin Driver later and Sayaka was out, giving Sakura her first victory back. It had been a pretty dominant display for the Thunders with a revitalised Sakura doling out one hell of a beating. Akki is in for one hell of a fight.

ChocoPro #213

Baliyan Akki defeated Shin Suzuki & Choun Shiryu via Namaste Splash on Suzuki

The second show began with a dose of anarchy as we had another stacked triple-threat. Baliyan Akki was going to have his work cut out for him as he had to contend with former champion Choun Shiryu and the Headstand King Shin Suzuki. Any weakness here would be an obvious target for Sakura so he had to have a strong showing ahead of the anniversary show. This match even had an extra layer of cool as Mizunami was doing commentary. As is often the case with ChocoPro three-ways this led to a lot of energetic fun with Akki going from bystander to survivor as Suzuki and Shiryu remembered they were in there with the champ. There was a lot of fun to be had but as is always the case, these types of matches are better watched than read. Akki was forced to step up once again by the competition but everyone got their shine and we are reminded just how good Suzuki and Shiryu really are. This was excellent opening match fodder and did its job very damn well.  It was full of blinks and you’d miss it fun, with all three making full use of the environment. This time the champ had to win with his own move, unable to make any passings at Sakura.

Emi Sakura & Ryo Mizunami defeated Sayaka Obihiro & Hagane Shinno via Queen’s Gambit on Obihiro

Last but not least, the second main event of the weekend. Emi Sakura isn’t the only star from Japan to grace AEW. She had enlisted another to join her for this show. She’d called on ChocoPro’s Aniki, Ryo Mizunami to team with her against the returning killer Hagane Shinno and the Iron Chef Sayaka Obihiro. Once again, Sakura was giving herself some stiff competition but she was more than up for the challenge. Sakura and Mizunami jumped their competition but this just pissed off Shinno and led to the pair getting a double team mauling as Obihiro directed traffic. Shinno didn’t really want to deal with that energy and pushed her aside so he could focus his fury. Shinno and Sakura shunted it out and Mizunami got into a chopping battle with Obihiro, the viciousness making everyone wince. Obihiro continued to be the victim of countless assaults with Shinno unable to do much from the sidelines. Obihiro kept trying to out-chop Mizunami but it just wasn’t happening, Aniki was too tough for it. despite all this though, Obihiro wouldn’t quit, holding on for dear life through every pin attempt. That heart didn’t stop them beating her down further, Sakura showing a real mean streak and Mizunami showing her usual flash and power. After a long struggle, Obihiro finally managed to chop down Mizunami and got out of the match. As expected, Shinno came in pissed and started dishing out boots to the face. He started taking on them both and gave me a dream match I didn’t know I needed as he started slugging it out with Mizunami.

She managed to put him down and almost broke him in half with a spear. Sakura came in to pick the bones and added some claw marks to Shinno’s back but he was able to withstand the force and got the tag to Obihiro. She chopped the hell out of Sakura but it was not enough to stem the tide of the match and with Mizunami holding them in place, she and Shinno ate the We Will Rock You. Shinno and Obihiro made another last-ditch effort at teamwork and started to turn the tide of the match, targeting Sakura with strikes and the twist but again, it just wasn’t enough. Sakura was too experienced for Obihiro’s roll-ups and with one final flurry alongside Mizunami, she set up Obihiro for the Queen’s Gambit and ended things. It was another monster win for Sakura as she and Mizunami had just put down a very fired-up and heavy-hitting pair of challengers. This was a very heart-filled performance from Obihiro and under any other circumstance would have no doubt been a winning effort. Sadly, it was not to be and Sakura made an example of her. Goddamn, I love the tag division of ChocoPro. Even the most makeshift of alliances can yield utter gold. Next up is the anniversary show. Akki is in for a rough ride as Sakura seems more dangerous than ever.

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

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