Well, I must say I was very excited to report on today as there looked to be some good match ups. However I am now excited to report today because, unlike recently, today actually was an exciting day of sumo at the Fukuoka Koksai Center. On top of that it wasn’t a terrible crowd for a Monday.
Lets start from the beginning shall we.
Shotenro v. Shironoryu: Shironoryu read the Shotero henka, and reacted but just a little slowly. The Juryo 1 was not quite able to recover and experience won the day.
Okinoumi v. Kasugao: As I, and Okinoumi, predicted, Kasugao went for a henka. Oki got a right hand on the inside and tried a few times for the left. After some waddling around he secured a single mawashi fold, then traded-up for a deep grip and was able to shake the Kimichi Queen off balance, then it was a gabburi yori win for handsome-sam.
Goeido v. Koryu: Immediate morozashi and yorikiri for the Japanese “hope”. Koryu was pretty high the whole time and didn’t look as if he was actually trying.
Miyabiyama v. Tochinonada: I had called this one for the ex-ozeki, but after Tochi deflected Miyabi’s secondary attack, he went on the offensive and there was nada that flubbyama could do about it. (rimshot) Thats a win for Tochi.
Sokokurai v. Takamisakari: Sokokurai looked to get the best of the tachi ai and scored an nice migiyotsu, then got underneath Taka and picked up a clean yorikiri, off of a sloppy Misakari tachiai. Hiro Morita quote of the day. “Sokokurai read that all the way… well he didn’t read it… … …. …. but he was… ready… for Takamisakari’s technique.” He says some insane stuff when he does the broadcasts alone.
Tokitenku v. Bushuyama: Toki opened up with a nice harite and tried to get an inside grip which was refused by G.W. However, in Bushu’s urgency to break the grip he over extended a bit and Toki-doki took the hatakikomi chance. Win for team Mongolia.
Gagamaru v. Tosayutaka: Gaga was just to big to be moved today, despite Tosa’s best efforts. Oshidashi for the big Georgian.
Interesting Bout! Mokonami v. Toyonoshima: From the get go Toyonoshima was in control, he had Nami in an awkward sideways position, and tried 3 times for the uwatenage. Props to Nami for hanging in. Nami executed a throw at the bales, and Toyo smartly countered. This bout lasted well over a minute and Toyo had controlled the entire bout, but a monoi was called and it was ruled as a torinaoshi. Nami hit the dohyo pretty hard and stayed down for a bit holding his chest. He looked winded and in pain, so it was no surprise when Toyo took it in the rematch hatakikomi style. Nami looked pretty shaken and like he was nursing his chest. Hopefully he’ll be alright.
Tamawashi v. Kyokutenho: We all knew that if Kyokutenho got the belt it would be over, and thats exactly what happened. Yorikiri.
Kimurayama v. Shimotori: A rare straight up bout from Kimurayama, for some reason Shimotori ditched his initial attempt at the belt and went in… for… oshizumo… why Birdy? Why? The man from Niigata learned his lesson via oshidashi.
Kokkai v. Kotokasuga: Decent enough tachai from both both men, but Kok got Koto’s left arm, swung him around and oshidashi-ed his ass.
Wakanosato v. Tokusegawa: *We interrupt this report for a corny NHK graphic about Hakuho’s path to 69 wins* Tokusegawa got a nice strong hidari uwate and showed nice movement and strength taking gramps to the store for a diaper change. 2-0 Toku.
Yoshikaze v. Hakuba: Someone forgot to tell Hakuba to take his socks off… and someone also forgot to tell him that everyone knows he’s going to henka. Yoshi read the henka, kept moving, and pushed the pimple on the boil on the ass of makuuchi out.
Kitataiki v. Takekaze: Predictable push-push-pull attempt by Kaze, which Taiki was too well-balanced to fall for. Kaze then started backing up and went for a kotenage, but Taiki rotated his arm nicely and Kaze’s grip slipped off an he fell over. Good looking 2-0 start for Taiki.
Homasho v. Tochiozan: Tochiozan was not as aggressive as he’s been recently, which allowed Homey the advantage. Homey had a decent tachiai, kept low and kept Ozan of the belt. Homey made a push, got his right arm under Ozan’s left pit, and it was over 1-1 for both men. Bang up job by our Cigar Store Indian
Asasekiryu v. Kakuryu: Both Mongolians got good grips, but Kakuryu got his at the tachiai and Sexy got his after he had already lost his balance. Man, the Kak look particularly thick and eager this basho… glistening in the sun.
Aminishiki v. Kotooshu: A good barometer for how well Oshu will do in a basho is how well he does early on in the basho. Too bad he had he nemesis Steven Seg… I mean Aminishiki on day 2. Sneaky slipped slightly to the side at the tachiai and got the left hand in the pit and it was over folks. Sorry Oshu, no yusho this time.
“Interesting” Bout! (note the air quotes)Kaio v. Kotoshogiku: I had this called for the Geeku, but damn… it didn’t even look plausible. I don’t see how Kaio, using only 1 hand on placed on Geeku’s side after a sideways shift, could send a dude with that much bulk spinning like that. Not so sure about this one. But perhaps i shouldn’t be surprised. Win for old man Kyushu.
Interesting Bout! Tochinoshin v. Harumafuji: the gyoji was particularly harsh on Harumafuji for a false start in which there was what looked like a henka. Harumafuji looked to be keeping pressure off his right shoulder. At the real tachiai Ama scored a maemitsu with his left and tried to keep low. Noshin managed to lock up Harry’s arms, then the Ozeki switched to a left hand uwate. Noshin scored a right hand on the indside. Harumafuji was doing his best to stay low and keep Noshin’s left hand away from the belt. The Ozeki pulled a number of throw attempts all of which almost worked, but Noshin either countered, or was too solid to be moved. After some tactical maneuvering Ama had Noshin on the bales, but at the last second the Georgian shifted to the side and executed a nice sukuinage. Celebrations in Georgia tonite… all 3 Georgians victorious in fine form.
Interesting Bout! Baruto v. Aran: At the tachiai Baruto jumped up a bit and Aran came in decently low. Both parties brought some vicious tsuppari, trading advantage. Then Aran deflected Baruto’s charge and got behind him, it looked for sure like an okuridashi. But only Aran would hesitate here. He stopped for a crucial second to contemplate, and Bart dug in. The Estonian couldn’t be moved. Aran went for a leg trip, but Bart wouldn’t budge… then it happened… Bart had snagged a last second lefthand grip on a part of Aran’s mawashi. Showing some nice diversity, Baruto pulled a harimanage, sweeping Aran up backwards and slamming him to the ground. Gumbai went to Bart. Monoi called, replay showed Aran’s head hitting the deck a split second before Bart’s back. good versitile stuff from Bart… What the fuck, Alan?
and now the match of the Day Hakuho v. Kisenosato: Harite, Hakuho Migiyotsu, left hand outside, uwatenage. That’s how this bout should have gone.
There was not really much of a staredown to be had here. I was surprised the Kid looked pensive and a bit nervous, and Hakho looked steely and perfect. Hakuho opened up with a harite that Kise knew was coming. Kise countered with his own slap which sent Hakuho into a fury. Kise used that split second to get inside, he followed it with some furious de-ashi which drove the yokozuna back and bit off balance. Hakuho regained, but was on the defensive. Kisenosato kept moving, kept his right hand secure on the mawashi and kept Hakuho off the belt. Kise made a final drive for the bales and as Hakuho pulled Kise close with his right hand Kise slammed a well placed left palm into the Yokozuna’s chest sending into the second row and successfully snapping the winning streak. Hakuho tied Tanikaze at 63, but will go no further. Kinboshi for Kisenosato. Hakuho obviously lost this bout. Props to Kise for good strategy. Well there we have it folks. Technically there is a yusho race. I think we’re all a bit stunned by this victory, we also all do not want to be Kisenosato next time he does keiko with Hakuho.
Chalmers tomorrow, to help me make sense of all of this… i think I’m gonna go have a drink… i am even really awake? Chalmers, hold me in the dark, dark night.