Amber McCrudden takes us on an unusual journey into the sensation that is Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling. She shares her first time viewing of the promotion and answers the questions, what is Gatoh Move? And where can I watch it?
What is Gatoh Move Pro-Wrestling?
Gatoh Move Pro-Wrestling, often shortened to Gatoh Move or Gatoh Pro, is a wrestling promotion established in February 2012 by legendary Joshi wrestler Emi Sakura. She formed the promotion alongside Prachapoom “Pumi” Boonyatud, a wrestling fan, who she met while in Thailand. For the first three months, it went under the name Bangkok Girls Pro Wrestling [BBK Pro] before being re-branded as Gatoh Move, with the promotion having its last show in Thailand in November 2019.
The promotion is best known for not having a ring and hosting their shows out of Ichigaya Chocolate Square, which is a small performing space, making their shows feel more intimate and special.
There are currently two belts within the promotion, the Super Asia Championship, held by Minoru Fujita, and the Asia Dream Tag Team Championship, held by Baliyan Akki and Mei Suruga [Best Bros]. Current alumni include Riho and Mitsuru Konno.
They have a full roster of talented wrestlers: Baliyan Akki, Chie Koishikawa, Emi Sakura, Lulu Pencil, Mei Suruga, Minoru Fujita, Rin Rin, Sayaka, Sayaka Obihiro, Sayuri, Tokiko Kirihara, and Yuna Mizumori.
Who is Emi Sakura?
Emi Sakura is an absolute legend of the Japanese Joshi wrestling scene. You may know her work if you already watch AEW, as she has appeared on many Pay-Per-Views as well as their recent AEW Women’s World Championship Elimination Tournament, in the Japanese side of the bracket. You can watch her match against Yuka Sakazaki here.
Sakura was born 4th October 1976, making her in-ring debut for the International Wrestling Association of Japan in August 1995. She has worked for promotions as varied as AEW, Ice Ribbon, JWP Joshi Puroresu, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, Gatokunyan, Pro-Wrestling EVE and Philippine Wrestling Revolution. She has wrestled the likes of Luna Vachon, Ryo Mizunami, Tsukasa Fujimoto and Nikki Storm [Cross], as well as training Riho, Hikaru Shida and Mei Suruga.
My First Impressions
Gatoh Move Pro, to put it simply, is just pure joy. I started with the 3-year Anniversary show, where we see founders Emi Sakura and Prachapoom “Pumi” Boonyatud talking about the promotion, followed by the wrestlers on the show coming out, singing and dancing.
Lulu Pencil is an absolute star in her baby pink dungarees, matching hat and infectious smile; even my child is in love with her. Everyone seems to be having the most fun I’ve ever seen, and it brings a true smile to my face.
It’s really DIY and wholesome, with bright colourful costumes and no ring in sight. The camera work is handheld and shaky at times, but it makes the whole promotion and production have a sense of familiarity, of it being a family—a chosen family of people who have collectively decided to dedicate their time to the art of professional wrestling and entertaining people.
While it isn’t quite like anything I have seen before, it is altogether an enjoyable experience and one I would recommend trying, at least once.
Where can I check out Gatoh Move?
You can watch everything Gatoh Move on YouTube for FREE.
Every ChocoProLive show is uploaded for free and if you join the channel, there is a tier system ranging from £1.99-£89.99 a month, you can get cute little emojis and a loyalty badge while supporting Gatoh Move and helping them to continue making great fun content.