Preview: Gatoh Move ChocoPro #29 Riho’s Homecoming (7/5/20)

Photo / Twitter @hahaaaanmax

On the last episode of ChocoPro, Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling founder Emi Sakura made a major announcement. Following her victory against Yuna Mizumori in their Last Woman Standing Match, Sakura declared that an All Elite Wrestling star would be making her Gatoh Move return and ChocoPro debut. The star in question was announced as none other than Riho, who had been gone from the company for over a year. What does Gatoh Move have in store for this grand homecoming?

Emi Sakura and Lulu Pencil vs. Mitsuru Konno and Tokiko Kirihara

As the ChocoPro team that embraces the Showa Era, Mitsuru Konno and Tokiko Kirihara have been a regular team for the past several weeks Despite being unable to rack up a victory as a team, they have proven formidable as a unit. From Konno’s focus on flexibility and submissions to Kirihara’s hard-hitting strikes, it may just be a matter of time until they find themselves on the winning side. The challenge that awaits them on this episode of ChocoPro, however, is nothing short of unique.

Emi Sakura has been one of the most victorious stars since the beginning of ChocoPro. Her most recent victory came at the expense of Yuna Mizumori, as discussed earlier. Injured back and all, Sakura will be looking to keep up her winning ways. Alongside Lulu Pencil, she will have to prepare a more unorthodox approach. Despite finding herself on the losing end of her matches, Lulu Pencil has shown that she isn’t afraid to be crafty in her own right. Perhaps she will take influence from Sakura, the “Oni” of Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling, to finally score a victory.

Riho and Yuna Mizumori vs. Best Bros. (Mei Suruga and Baliyan Akki)

When discussing the biggest stars to come out of Gatoh Move, Riho is more than worthy of being in the conversation. She began her professional wrestling training at the age of nine, learning under the tutelage of Emi Sakura. Since then, she developed her craft in numerous promotions, including Ice Ribbon, where she became its first Triple Crown Champion. She went on to join Gatoh Move, where she made further history as its first and Super Asia Champion. Needless to say, it made sense why AEW expressed interest in bringing her on.

Not only did Riho achieve success in Japan but the United States as well. As one of AEW’s most prominent female stars, she went on to become the company’s first Women’s World Champion. She held the title for 133 days before ultimately dropping it to Nyla Rose. During her time in AEW, she also continued her work in Japan, specifically World Wonder Ring Stardom. She is the promotion’s current High Speed Champion. This weekend, however, Riho will return to her stomping grounds in Gatoh Move for a grand homecoming.

Riho won’t be wrestling alone, as she will team with Yuna Mizumori. The “Pineapple Girl” of Gatoh Move quickly became one of the promotion’s most popular stars. This has been the result of both engaging character work and quality matches alike. The clashes Yunamon has had with everyone from Sakura to Minoru Fujita have been recommended viewing. Keep in mind that Mizumori and Riho’s last singles match took place back in June of last year; Mizumori lost this encounter. It would make the casual viewer wonder if this event dwelled in her mind. Nonetheless, she will have to get on the same page with Riho given the caliber of opponents they’re up against.

The collective success of Mei Suruga and Baliyan Akki can’t be denied. Known together as Best Bros., they have picked up numerous wins over the likes of Mizumori, Lulu Pencil, and Tokiko Kirihara, just to name a few stars. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that Suruga has some history with Riho. In their last singles match, which coincidentally also took place in June, Suruga challenged Riho for the Super Asia Championship. Despite her best efforts, the red-clothed serenader of ChocoPro fell short against the champion. Perhaps Suruga will look at this match as a chance at redemption as she aims to collect a long-overdue victory.

Ultimately, this match has less to do with wins and losses and more with a historic homecoming. One can compare this to a bird leaving the nest they grew up in before eventually returning with greater strength and wisdom. For roughly seven years, Riho was synonymous with Gatoh Move. Her importance to the company’s growth can’t be understated. Whether you’re a fan of Gatoh Move, AEW, or Japanese women’s wrestling as a whole, this will be a show not to miss.

ChocoPro #29 will air on July 5th at 10 AM JST (July 4th at 9 PM ET.)

It will air live on the Gatoh Move YouTube channel for free before being available for on-demand viewing afterward. To support the company, you can sign up for their Patreon, which features multiple tiers, or their own on-demand streaming service linked below.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch Gatoh Move on YouTube and via the Gatoh Move Experience.


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