May Technical Examination Basho: Day 14

With an unexpected loss to Harumafuji yesterday the Yokozuna has left the door open for Tochinoshin and slightly less so for Baruto, Kaisei, Tosayutaka, and Kakuryu. Has the Technical Examination Basho shown or proven that Yaocho is finished in Sumo? I’ll let you be the judge dear readers. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. It’s been too long since I’ve written one of these. Bear with me as I get my groove back.

Old met new today when Old man Miyabi faced off against Takayasu.

The young gun dominated this match: pushing Jaba all around the dohyo. Takayasu’s footing however slipped out of the ring. Both men move to 7-7.

Very few people know this but Daido and Gagamaru actually picked their shikona to honor the musicians that inspires them. Whether that is true or not, it does serve as an excellent introduction to this bout, no?

Dido started the bout with a false start and surprisingly didn’t seem to pay the Gentlemen Gaga any respect for his misstep. The bout began with a mediocre tachi-ai followed by a series of thrusts. Gaga missed Dido with one of those thrusts and found himself at the Edge of Glory while Dido said Thank You. Thank you too little too late however, as Gaga recovered his Poker Face and began backing Dido into surrendering: White Flag and all. Dido tried desperately to get away but with his back turned to Gaga the match ended in some Bad Romance. Gaga wins with an okuritaoshi. Were all those references worth it for lower Maegashira match? I think so.

Kimurayama and Yoshikaze went into today’s bout 7-6 a piece.

Cafe Kaze wins this one easily against the slower and less respected Kimurayama with a yorikiri.

Old timers Tokitenku and Wakanosato faced off today.

Toki had a chance at his eight today but it wasn’t meant to be. Waka dives as though he was going for a touchdown catch to win by oshidashi.

Tough men Aran and Kitataiki faced off today to decide who was the toughest Maegashira rikishi.

Ugly stuff from both rikishi. Aran looked to be trying a pull down while Kitataiki appeared to be pushing the Russian with a reckless abandon (so much for either rikishi gaining any manly points). Recklessness caused the bout to go in Aran’s favor however with a nice move at the edge of the dohyo. Aran won the battle but Kita’s expression after the bout reflected the general ugliness of it all. A Kodak moment and me without my camera, for shame.

Since I know we have a few viewers in Brazil, it brings me great joy to see Kaisei  representing so well in his Shin-Makuuchi debut. The Brazilian found himself at 10-3 today facing off against Aminishiki-da-Sneaky.

Sneaky wisely locked up the arms of Kaio’s Understudy and went for a ride around the ring. ‘Bout halfway round the Aomori veteran tossed the big fella to the ground. Brazil moves to 10-4 and out of contention for the Yusho (not that he really had much of a chance anyways). That being said, Kaisei’s future looks pretty bright in Makuuchi.

Kakuryu at 10-3 has been looking outstanding after a slow start. Today he took on Mr. Forgettable, Tosayutaka, who is having a pretty solid basho himself at 10-3 too.

Not surprisingly however Kakuryu dominated this match straight from the word go. Nice tsupari to take Tosayutaka right out of the ring. Kakuryu potentially stays in the Yusho race at 11-3

Tochinoshin (11-2) and Kotoshogiku (9-4)

Slight henka from the Georgian played to his advantage as he was able to wrap his long arms around the Geek to gain a solid grip. From there Noshin simply swung the smaller Shogiku around and out for the yorikiri win.

Sekiwake Kisenosato was fighting to stay alive for his eight while Kaio was already there to my surprise.

Kise simply did what needed to be done to win against the Old Man. He kept his footing and balance to guarantee the yorikiri without any tricky business.

Harumafuji has been looking less than stellar for a long time. Injuries, shady dealings, complacency, or whatever the cause maybe at 8-5 he needed this win just as much as Akita’s Finest, Takekaze (7-6).

Kaze nearly won this from go with a cheap pull down attempt but Ama recovered nicely and battled back to the center of the dohyo. Harumafuji was able to gain a solid grip and walk Takekaze out to the ring for what looked to be a pretty routine yorikiri win.

But wait!

It gets much better at this point! With Akita’s Finest clearly out of the ring, Ama shows his strength and decides to pick Kaze up and throw him (literally) into the crowd. Now I know behavior like that can sometimes be frowned upon, but all I have to say is that’s the Harumafuji I know and love. Hope to see more of that in July!

Hakuho faced off against Baruto today who desperately needs to bring back the tsupari sumo that got him his Ozeki rank! His lazy sumo will not cut it if he ever wants to dominate the sport. A win from Hakuho today would make the basho a whole lot less interesting but likely nonetheless.

A quick tachi-ai turned into a lifting match that favored the Yokozuna. At the center of the ring the Dai Yokozuna went for the leg trip we’ve seen Kakuryu use many times to defeat the Estonian, but to no avail today. At this point the bout seemed to be pretty even but Bart rushed himself or didn’t think his next move out and went for a headlock. This half baked plan gave Hakuho more than enough time to gain a solid grip to win by yorikiri.

With that win Hakuho controls his destiny tomorrow. Will he be victorious or will a combination of Kaio and Tochinoshin ruin his plans!? Find out tomorrow! Dealing a lot yo! In other words, I’ve got your back again tomorrow! Senshuraku! Be there.

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