After Hakuho’s dohyo-iri today the main topic of conversation was on Hakuho’s shock defeat at the hands of the East Sekiwake Kisenosato. Not only was it Yokozuna’s first loss of 2011 it was also the second time in two basho that he lost to the same rikishi. The last time that happened the rikishi in question went on to become an ozeki and chage his name to Harumafuji. There are many people who have talked about the potential Kisenosato has at becoming an ozeki…. But I don’t agree. I see him continuing to occupy the sekiwake, komusubi and upper maegashira ranks for many years to come. I see him having a similar career to Kotoshogiku.
Tochinonada v Kotogasuga
Sharing second place on leader-board coming into today was Tochinonada. He nerves were obviously getting to him as he was the rikishi to display the first false start of the day. He was also the fist makuuchi rikishi to lose today. He was outclassed from the start. Kotogasuga hit hard at the tachi-ai and stood Tochi up and had him moving backwards. He tried backing around the bales, but it was all to no abail.
Toyohibiki v Mokonami
Chasing his kachikoshi, Toyohibiki stood well back from the starting line, and came charging hard at the tachi-ai. Mokonami was pushed up while moving backwards and was out before the gyoji shouted hakkeyoi. Hibiki, as Aran likes to call him, was called into the interview room to acknowledge his first makuuchi kachi-koshi since May last year.
Shotenro v Sokokurai
The next fight disappointed me. Sokokurai, a relatively new rikishi to makuuchi and a favourite of mine, decided to disappoint the fans with the first henka of the day. Shotenro reacted quickly turning around but then found himself with only a left hand outer grip and right hand around Soko’s neck. Sokokurai with a double inside grip easily worked him back and out for what I believe Murray Johnson referred to as a Frontal crush out!
Kimurayama v Hakuba
I wasn’t the only one wondering if Henkaba would Hakuba or not at the tachi-ai. Both English and Japanese commentators on TV made reference to it too. But he surprised us all and despite being stood straight up with a paw to his throat, the Henka Master recovered dug in, got a both hands on Kimurayama’s mawashi and ran him backwards across the dohyo for a legit win.
Takamisakari v Toyozakura
As Takamisakari stood up on the dohyo today I remembered the famous quote from Hunter S. Thompson: “There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”
Toyozakura moved as far to his right as he could but failed to get a useful position from it. He tried pushing the mutant back, but lacked the power. He then somehow managed to get behind and looked set to man-love Taka out of the ring. But Taka isn’t a fan of that position and at the bales spun around and Toyosakuras grip slipped to the mutants ass which in turn spun Toyo around, down and out. He picked up his make-koshi while he was down.
Kitataiki v Okinoumi
This was a great fight! A hard tachi-ai left both men in a hidari-yotsu position. And as both stretched for the right hand grip Kitataiki tried a throw which didn’t knock Okinoumi but gave him great positioning. He pushed Okinoumi back to the bales and looked set to win via yorikiri but was spun over and down to the clay instead. Great stuff from Oki-doki who never gave up. That was his eight consecutive win.
Wakakoryu v Tokitenku
From a great fight to one of the funniest bouts I have seen, well, with regard to the tachi-ai’s anyway. Both men tried entertaining the audience with stare-downs that they don’t really have any right in giving. But it did set things up! At the, first tachi-ai, Tokitenku left way to early and the gyoji called them back, but not before Toki had landed a fierce left handed harite and pushed him all the way out of the ring!! Someone was not happy! The second attempt saw Wakakoryu leave early at the tachi-ai and put hands on Toki’s shoulders before realising that the gyoji had called them back again, but he followed through and pushed Toki backwards and clean off his feet to land his ass on the bales and almost off the dohyo! The crowd was loving it!! On the third attempt at syncing up Waka again went early placing both hands on Toki’s shoulders again, but refraining from pushing this time. At this point the head judge, Takanohana, had a word with them. The fourth attempt was exactly the same as the third. And after an apology to Takanohana they got down for the fifth and final tachi-ai of this bout. This time, when the fight finally got under way, Toki tried to henka, but Waka was coming in too fast and caught Toki when he was upright. And after much less pushes than tachi-ai’s the fight was over. An entertaining tachi-ai exhibition followed but a let-down of a fight.
Koryu v Tosayutaka
After yet another false start Koryu came out with tsuppari attack. Unfortunately he had no power in his thrusts. And after a good 22 seconds where nothing much happened bar Koryu almost accidentally grabbing Tosayutaka’s hair, Koryu found himself out of breath and out of the ring.
Kyokutenho v Kokkai
Did anybody notice what was on Kokkai arse today? After noticing the black growths coming from all over his back too, I wondered if it was something like that black entity from spiderman 3. But losing easily to Kyokutenho I assume it wasn’t the same entity. Zanen.
Shimotori v Gagamaru
Nice strong pushing by Gaga on the birds broken wing today. Shimotori was pushed straight back and his attempts to evade were futile. He turned slightly but avoided nothing. Gagamaru is such a strong guy. Why take him on like that? Get him moving, laterally works best.
Goeido v Wakanosato
Both men came into the ring today looking for their 8th win to secure kachikoshi. After the tachi-ai Goeido tied up Wakanosato’s arms and had him moving backwards. Waka tried to slip to the side and Goeido appeared to fall first. But the gyoji pointed to Goeidos direction and the replay clearly showed Waka stepping out before Goeido hid the deck.
Half time at the makuuchi today, and time for a beer! Not just any kind of beer though, recently when down in Hiroshima I discovered the nicest craft beer I have ever drank, anywhere. Kure beer. I highly recommend you try their weizen beer if you ever have the opportunity.
Miyabiyama v Asasekiryu
Both men trying to put off their unavoidable a make-koshi for another 24 hours. Miyabi was pushing and thrusting all over Asa’s face, but it was no money shot. Asa didn’t retreat and simply waited for the fear of what McDonalds could do to the best of us to wear himself out and basically fall down in a heap.
Homasho v Takekaze
Our kiritampo flavoured rikishi hadn’t the best tachi-ai. Homasho had him moving backwards and all the way around the ring but the substance of our nabe didn’t give up at any time and managed to arm lock Homies and tried for a throw. But as both men fell Homasho got a hand to Take’s chest that sent him out first.
Toyonoshima v Tochinoshin
What has happened to Tochinoshin this basho?? The only person he manages to beat this basho thus far has been Aminishiki! Today Toyonoshima greeted him at the tachi-ai and searched for a grip that he couldn’t get, so he just stepped back and with a hand to the back of Tochi no-heart’s head slapped him down. I loved Murrays comment about him after the fight: “Tochinoshin can’t even buy a win…… I mean that figuratively of course.”
Tokusegawa v Aminishiki
These guys had only met twice in the past, and AmiSneaky won both times. But today Tokusegawa had plans to change things around. He hit hard at the tachi-ai and got the snake back-peddling and out in less than two seconds. Nice! 🙂
Tochiozan v Aran
I like Aran a lot. I think he has potential, he just need to be more focused. Today he started well against Tochiozan with a nice push to the throat followed by some nice tsuppari. He was unlucky to not end up with a better position, as he surrendered his belt and was left with just a strong brace around Tochi’s arms. The two then moved to migi-yotsu and as Aran tried to get his left arm inside, Tochiozan pushed hard to the edge. But Aran countered very well and somehow managed to pull off a kotenage at the edge. The 2 men went flying out of the ring with 4 legs in the air, a mono-ii was called, but the gyoji’s decision stood. Tochiozan was unlucky.
Kisenosato v Tamawashi
Kissy was looking to seal his kachi-koshi today coming from his win yesterday against Hakuho. But you gotta question anyone who can beat a yokozuna and lose to someone like Kaio! Consistency is no strength of his, and that’s another reason to back up my original point of him never becoming an ozeki.
The fight started with a nice head-butt, followed by a separation between the two. The handbags came out and slapping proceeded, but then Kise easily thrust Tamawashi down via tsukiotoshi.
Yoshikaze v Kotoshogiku
I don’t believe that Yoshikaze ever had any form of a chance against Kotoshogiku today. Once Koto got a grip of the lively young fella he used his virtually unstoppable gaburi-yori to add another win via yorikiri.
Kotooshu v Kakuryu
Though Kotooshu is a fellow European, and Europeans are far and two between I struggle with an inner conflict when he fights. I want to support him, I enjoy when I see him win, but the guy sucks! He stands at a towering 6 ft 8 in and today he faced up with Kakuryu 6 ft 1 in tall. So he has an impressive reach advantage. But he let Kakuryu dominate him today, he only managed to get one hand on Kak’s belt and even though he did start pushing the Kak back, he allowed himself to be flipped over by a shitatenage move. But I guess he has his kachi-koshi so he doesn’t care too much any more.
Kaio v Baruto
Bart lost when he shouldn’t have. I’m not wasting my time writing about this.
Hakuho v Harumafaji
I was very interested to see how Hakuho would be today. After losing yesterday he had to be vulnerable. I’m not sure of Harumafuji’s condition at the moment, but he doesn’t have many bandages at the moment. Surly he had a good chance, as obviously Hakuho hasn’t been the best recently. And apparently he has a cold to top things off too!
Hakuho was back a fair amount from the lines again today at the tachi-ai. Harry hit hard and through a combination of quick moved stood the yokozuna upright. But Hakuho also has a lot of speed and regained his balance quickly. As the two separated, and exchanging slaps, Hakuho threw a harite with his right and Ama hit that hand with his left to knock the yokozuna slightly off balance, and when Hakuho came back in to meet the ozeki he was gone in the other direction with a grip on the yokozunas arm. Unfortunately for Harumafuji he didn’t have a strong grip and managed to slip at the same time. He wouldn’t have beaten Hakuho with that move had he not fallen, but the fight was definitely not being controlled by the yokozuna! He was lucky to see Harumafuji fall.
I’ve been the little green man (with the little green bag).
Daly will deal the deck tomorrow.