One of the few truly positive outcomes of 2020 was surely the emergence of ChocoPro, the straight-to-camera Gatoh Move spin off that sprung from the mind of Emi Sakura.
Launched in March of last year as restrictions in response to COVID-19 had come into effect, ChocoPro was designed as an antidote to the various no-fan concepts that had began to proliferate professional wrestling.
As described by one of the company’s breakout stars, Baliyan Akki, on Episode 10 of The Wrstling Podcast, Sakura’s vision rebelled against the idea of ‘no fans’:
I remember Emi Sakura very clearly saying that she doesn’t want to do Gatoh Move without an audience. Emi Sakura hates the words ‘without an audience’.
At one point, we were the only company in the world who was still wrestling and she did an interview one time, and it was hard as she was trying to tell them ‘it (ChocoPro) is not without an audience – we have an audience! There’s 300 people watching us on YouTube live!
As a result, the performers play directly to the camera, whilst acknowledging comments within the YouTube live chat to create a unique and inclusive presentation.
One year later, the company is set to celebrate both its conceptual anniversary as well as its 100th episode with a special event spread over March 27th and 28th.
— Emi Sakura さくらえみ (@EmiSakura_gtmv) March 9, 2021
In turn, ChocoPro has given rise to the likes of Mei Suruga, who recently competed in the AEW Women’s Eliminator tournament, Lulu Pencil, Yuna Mizumori and the aforementioned, Baliyan Akki.
Whilst the card for the show has yet to be announced, we’ll be sure to keep you posted as information becomes available.