Yunamon vs Emi Sakura: Last Woman Standing

Yunamon vs Emi Sakura is the story that ChocoPro has been built around. Yes, there have been divergences, the occasional scurry down another alley, but time after time it’s come back to those two. Emi Sakura believes that two years into her career, Yunamon doesn’t know who she is. That’s she trapped somewhere between an idol and a wrestler, more interested in seeking fan approval than greatness. Unsurprisingly, that’s an opinion that Yunamon took to heart, driving her crazy as she sought to prove herself to the person who trained her. It felt like the only place it could be settled was on Chocolate Square’s mat, and while Sakura initially ducked and dodged Yunamon’s challenges, she finally gave the Tropical Girl what she wanted. It was Oni vs Pineapple in a Last Woman Standing.

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Thank You, ChocoPro

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world is a bit of a shit show at the moment. As if the global pandemic isn’t enough, we still find ourselves having to fight battles against racism and sexual abuse. It’s a situation that has taken a chunk out of everyone, with those who have only suffered excessive bleeding feeling like the lucky ones. However your last few months have looked, it’s probably safe to say you’re not going to forget them any time soon.

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Tokyo Joshi: Personality Trumps All

Before the hair sniffing. Credit: TJPW

There was a moment in the main event of Tokyo Joshi’s first show back in front of fans where Nodoka Tenma, having locked on a submission, shyly announced that Suzume’s hair smelled nice. In response, Yuka Sakazaki yelled hentai before storming the ring with Mizuki to kick Nodoka away. It might sound strange, but that silly little moment, sums up everything I love about TJPW.

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Hana Kimura

Women of Wrestling/MMA Pics & Gifs Thread 1 | Freakin' Awesome ...
Credit: Stardom

Hana Kimura was extraordinary. I’ve thought a lot about how to describe her, but it’s the word I keep coming back to. She walked into a room, and she owned it, more charisma in one defiantly raised middle finger than most have in their entire bodies. I was lucky enough to see her live in Shinkiba 1st Ring and the Tokyo Dome, two buildings that couldn’t be more different, but she dominated both. At the age of 22, Hana looked like someone who could do whatever she wanted, whether that be a long career in wrestling or the joshi classic of an early retirement and another life. That’s what should have happened.

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Tam Nakano vs Arisa Hoshiki: Communication Through Violence

Stardom Shining Destiny 2019 on 6/16/19 Review
Ow. Credit: Stardom

I’ve decided I’m not quite done with saying goodbye to Arisa Hoshiki. Having already said my thanks, I now want one more chance to sit back and appreciate her, and if I’m going to do that, there is only one match that I’m going to watch. Tam vs Arisa might not be one of Meltzer’s Classics, but it is a Stuart Classic, and while that lacks the SEO benefits, it’s just as big an honour.

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Thank You, Arisa

Arisa Hoshiki Wins Cinderella Tournament - Last Word on Pro Wrestling
I’m going to miss her. Credit: Stardom

Yesterday it was announced that Arisa Hoshiki, the current Wonder of Stardom champion, has been forced to retire because of injuries. It was news that was both a surprise and not. She had been a notable absence from the last two Stardom shows while the lack of information about what was keeping her out suggested it wasn’t a mere knock. However, even if a part of me was scared this was coming, it didn’t stop it being gutting.

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Wrestling Is Fake

Mick Foley Reflects On That Epic HELL IN A CELL Match With The ...
Credit: WWE

It’s a question that every wrestling fan has heard: ‘you know it’s fake, right?’ What people rarely mention is that the replies have been heard a million times too. ‘Do you know Game of Thrones is fake?’ or perhaps ‘tell that to Mick Foley!’ (this is usually followed by showing people the iconic Hell in a Cell, which doesn’t take into account that it is an awful first wrestling match to show anyone). We fans have been questioned about our weird allegiance to this pseudo-sport so often that we’ve rehearsed the answers as well as they’ve rehearsed the questions and my only thought is, well, why?

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Fuck WWE, Love Wrestling

My feelings about WWE are no secret, and yet, even I was shocked by what happened there this week. Vince McMahon, having already decided to put his wrestlers at risk by running live TV, culled the roster, releasing name after name into a world where their chances of finding employment are severely reduced. People who a few days before were so essential they were asked to fly across the country during a pandemic, were now told they didn’t have a job. It was a callous and evil act that proved, once again, Vince does not give a flying fuck about the men and women who work for him.

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TJPW: Battling Without Fans

There is also a lot of dancing. Credit: TJPW

When you get past the discussion as to whether wrestling should be running empty arena shows, the biggest talking point for most fans at the moment is how to go about making those shows work. As I write this, the only WWE I’ve watched took place in a graveyard, but it’s safe to say their television efforts have been widely criticised and while AEW hasn’t been quite as badly received, no-one is screaming from the rooftops about them being shows of the year. Wrestling is struggling with how to present itself in a fan-less environment, and it’s quite interesting watching companies scramble for answers.

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