Welcome back to ChocoPro and the end of another season of Ichigaya’s favourite wrestling show. It had been another whirlwind of wrestling as the company had delivered more massive matches and returns. However, the end had come calling once again and we were going to send the season off in style, with a massive farewell rumble for Emi Sakura before she left for America once again. Her subjects had come out in force and now she was going to have to battle them all. Sakura was going to have to fight off nine different competitors if she wanted to head back to the US with the win. Was she up to the task or was she going back with an L? Let’s find out.

Farewell Rumble: Emi Sakura defeated Antonio “Emi” Honda, Chris Brookes, Baliyan Akki, Sayuri, Hagane Shinno, Trans-Am Hiroshi, Sayaka Obihiro, Tokiko Kirihara & Masahiro Takanashi via Koishikawa Strikes Back

Here we go, the grand finale of another series. Today’s finale was all about sending Emi Sakura off in style. It would be your standard ChocoPro rumble with Emi Sakura starting at number one with contenders entering at regular intervals. The rules are simple. You win through pinfall, submission, or throwing your opponent out of a window. Was Sakura going to take the rumble by storm or was she going to be beaten in her own rumble? Akki was entrant two and within minutes we had a bite as Sakura decided she wasn’t playing fair. They maintained their heated rivalry with grappling, kicks, and blocks with both keeping a frantic pace to the action. The chop-lines came out and as Sakura ate Akki’s knees on an attempted We Will Rock You, Honda came out in his best Sakura cosplay. The two Sakuras joined each other in song, dance, and beating up Akki but Honda was having issues with his back. Akki hurt Sakura’s back too and Honda also crashed and burned to try We Will Rock You, tripping up on the mat. The gong sounded and we had another entrant, Tokiko Kirihara. She too went right for Akki before getting into it with Sakura. Honda switched sides and gave Kirihara the musical motivation for another beatdown on Akki. Sakura turned the tide on Black Comaneci and tried for another We Will Rock You, only to get the same result again, more knees. As she lay in pain, Sayaka Obihiro entered the fray and started lighting everyone up with chops and throat thrusts. Honda joined in the chopping fun and the pair spouted random names and catchphrases as they went back and forth. They locked up and Obihiro eliminated Honda with Obihiro Magic. Sakura cut off Obihiro’s celebration and threw her and Akki at the wall for another attempt at her signature but still got knees and another entrant.

The air in the room changed instantly as Hagane Shinno entered the rumble and just started booting people in the teeth. Akki brought the fight to him and everyone else sat back and watch the carnage unfold. Sakura finally cut them off and tried for We Will Rock You on Shinno but he followed the pattern and got his knees up too. Shinno choked her out for trying but Masahiro Takanashi was the next entrant and saved her, breaking the hold. The Hyakkin Thunders teamed up on Shinno and started gathering everyone for another attempt at WWRY but they couldn’t decide who was going to fly and Takanashi ended up throwing Sakura into even more knees. That blunder summoned a new fighter and Trans-Am Hiroshi came into the fight, taking everyone out with gut punches and Karate. Sakura cut him down with her style of Karate and tuned up the band again but Hiroshi burst into an operatic rendition of the song. Everyone else joined in and celebrated when it was done. Kirihara went in for a hug and Hiroshi tapped her out with a Cross Armbreaker, what a dick. Sakura threw him to the wall for WWRY only for the penultimate entrant Chris Brookes to cut her off with a boot to the face. Takanashi rushed to change into his CDK gear as Brookes entertained everyone with a monologue. CDK went to work on everyone left in the match and hit the first successful WWRY of the match on everyone. Brookes submitted Obihiro in another human centipede of submissions and nearly did the same to Hiroshi but he meditated out of the hold. Brookes and Hiroshi took the fight to a new dimension with force powers, with Brookes overwhelming Hiroshi and tapping him out before he could get too powerful.

Brookes and Shinno upped the physicality with monstrous chops and went into a full-on fight as everyone sat back and watched. Brookes nearly killed Shinno and Akki jumped in with a Swanton to try and take out Brookes. Akki kept working over Brookes and the pair beat the absolute tar out of each other, no one else wanting to interrupt the action. Even the studio felt the wrath of this fight as Akki put a hole in the ceiling eating a Brainbuster. Akki made the dumb decision of going for the Namaste Splash so Takanashi just pushed him out the window, eliminating him. With the crowd thinning out, the final entrant came in, The ChocoPro Ninja Sayuri. She teed off on Takanashi and Sakura with chops and nearly scored a double pin. Shinno charged Takanashi and the pair fought at the window so Sayuri grabbed their legs and threw them both to their doom. Sakura downed her with another set of hard chops and narrowly avoid defeat by Sleeper and Crucifix. Sayuri kept trying to eliminate Sakura but couldn’t find the means to do so. Sakura tried to defend herself with an AEW sign but Sayuri just drilled it into her chest with a Yakuza Kick. Sakura buried her under a pin and eliminated her, leaving just the Queen and Brookes in the match.

The final two wasted no time getting into it as Brookes just brutalised Sakura with the shotgun dropkick and desperately tried for the Praying Mantis Bomb. Sakura overpowered him with a back body drop and the pair just kept going for counters, Sakura trying to utilise her claws and Brookes overpowering her. Brookes saved himself from elimination by not touching the floor and Sakura ended up doing the same, neither wanted to fall through that window. Brookes hit a rare German Suplex into the wall and kept bouncing Sakura into the bricks, trying to get a pin. Sakura wouldn’t give and kept striking back, no matter what Brookes threw at her or whatever hold he locked in. He started getting nasty so Chie, who’d been objectively reffing to this point stepped in. He tried to intimidate her so she fought back, aiding Sakura and eliminating Brookes with a dropkick. He tripped over Sakura and fell out the window. Sakura had done it. She’d entered at number one and survived everyone who came at her. This was an excellent bit of fun with a whole host of good moments and good scraps littered throughout. There were so many high-impact pairings within this contest that helped boost it from a typical rumble. Seeing Shinno, Brookes, Akki, and Sakura all try to kill each other made for great entertainment. Sakura gets to go back to America happy and once again knows her home company is in safe hands. That ends season 12 with a bang. It’ll be fun to see what madness they bring with them for the next one. Keep killing it in America Sakura, your friends and students will be watching on.

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

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