ChocoPro: Wrestling for an Online Age

(This article, written by Norihiro Hashimoto, originally appeared in Japanese at Yahoo News via Sports Graphic Number under the headline “Minoru Suzuki fought at the debut event! Introducing ChocoPro: Wrestling made for online broadcast”)

Chocolate Pro Wrestling—ChocoPro for short—is a new promotion, founded on March 28, 2020 by Emi Sakura, head of Gatoh Move. The promotions also share a venue: Tokyo’s Ichigaya Chocolate Square. Where ChocoPro differs from Gatoh Move is that all of its events are exclusively broadcast on YouTube. In fact, ChocoPro has never had a single audience member in attendance.

During ChocoPro events, Ichigaya Chocolate Square is completely empty, save for the wrestlers and a few staffers. But Sakura refuses to think of these as “no-audience” shows: “There’s definitely an audience,” she says. “They’re just on the other side of the camera.”

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