Happy Birthday, ChocoPro!

I love these goofs. Credit: ChocoPro

The last year is a hard one to reflect upon. On the one hand, it feels like nothing has happened, and yet, at the same time, everything has. The world has twisted and turned, changing in ways that will reverberate for a long old time. In the middle of all that, we’ve all had to find things that keep us going. The stuff that makes getting through each day that little bit easier. For me, that’s been ChocoPro.

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Emi Sakura vs Sayaka Obihiro: Winning Isn’t Everything

Emi is not impressed.

Emi Sakura and Sayaka Obihiro had one of my favourite matches of 2020, and while it would be unfair to compare their showdown on ChocoPro 87 to the main event of Sakura’s anniversary, I enjoyed it for the exact same reasons. The bouts between these two mean very different things to those involved. Obi may now be ten years into her career, a decorated wrestler and a veteran in her own right, but when she faces off with Emi, she reverts. She becomes, once more, a young trainee desperate to impress her sensei and prove she’s worthy of stepping onto the mat with her. It doesn’t matter if it’s the main event of Emi’s 25th anniversary, or second on the card, she throws her heart and soul into the action, fighting until she’s exhausted, stumbling around the ring and barely able to stand.

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Ramblings About’s Top Ten Matches of January 2021

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Everything about this picture is gold. Credit: ChocoPro

The calendar has ticked over, and we are into 2021, bringing with it, em, well, much of the same so far, but fingers crossed it gets better! It does mean we’re into a fresh year of wrestling, though, with a whole new set of opportunities for people new and old to impress. With it comes, of course, my monthly round-ups of my favourite matches, where I bring you a taste of all the stuff I’ve been enjoying. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dig in.

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Ramblings About’s Top Ten Matches of December 2020

Now this, this is wrestling! Credit: ChocoPro

December is a weird month for wrestling as it both feels quiet and busy. We’re building up to the New Year buzz in Japan, but at the same time, everyone is going back and looking at the past twelve months as a whole, picking out their favourite matches and moments. Still, wrestling never sleeps, so there was plenty of stuff to get your teeth into, and these were the ten matches that I particularly enjoyed.

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Ramblings About’s Top Ten Matches Of November 2020

Defiant Pencil. Credit: ChocoPro

The year may be coming to a close, but November has proven a hell of a month for wrestling, giving me a tough time as I tried to trim my favourite matches down to a mere ten. I succeeded, so you can all be proud of me and hopefully enjoy my monthly round-up of all the action that’s been keeping me entertained over the last thirty days.

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Ramblings About’s Top Ten Matches Of October 2020

Living that shrimp life. Credit: ChocoProLIVE!

Guess what, folks? I was smart this month. Rather than waiting for the 31st to hurriedly throw this together, I wrote it as we went. How fucking sensible is that? You may no3 call me a grown-up. There was plenty to write about too, as we’ve got a bit of deathmatch, a load of nonsense and even some straight-ahead wrestling, what will they think of next?

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Ramblings About’s Top Ten Matches of September 2020

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Big champ. Credit: Ice Ribbon

Another month is done, and this hell year ticks on, providing us with little joy. One thing it has given us, though, is plenty of fantastic wrestling. There are a lot of big tournaments going on right now, but not a single one made this list because, well, I honestly haven’t watched a second of them. There is a lot more fun to be had elsewhere.

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Tokiko Kirihara: ChocoPro’s Success Story

Don’t mess. Credit: ChocoPro

ChocoPro might not have been around long, but it can already lay claim to a success story or two. Both Yunamon and Mitsuru have benefited from long arcs that have seen them grapple with who they are as a wrestler (while season three has hinted at a similar role for Mei). Meanwhile, Emi ‘Oni’ Sakura stirs the pot, looking on as the likes of Lulu Pencil grow in confidence, finding themselves in the ring. Nearly everyone involved has had something for fans to grasp hold of, and yet, ChocoPro’s greatest success story is none of that. Instead, it’s been the growth of one Tokiko Kirihara, known to fans as Otoki.

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Emi Sakura: The Perfect Wrestler

‘You hate me? That’s okay.’ Credit: ChocoPro

Emi Sakura has been wrestling for twenty-five years. That’s longer than some of modern-day joshi’s biggest stars have been alive and covers a period where the scene has changed in countless ways. In that time, Emi has been an erratic constant. Despite having worked for some of the biggest companies and alongside the biggest stars, Sakura-san has ultimately ploughed her own path, doing things in a way that only she could.

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