Welcome to day 2 of the Nagoya Basho. Sumo’s first official tournament since January. Damn. I wish Nagoya brought back swell memories but sadly last time we were here, I had to watch the whole tournament on my computer due to a baseball betting scandal (among other antisocial groups associated with this whole mess ) that eventually lead to the yaocho (matching-fixing scandal) scandal that has randomly punished some rikishi and let others off the hook. As the yaocho scandal hit I wrote speculative piece on why this happened and what could potentially happen next. I stand by my why but as for the what, I was clearly off the mark. What has occurred however is a grouping of young rikishi being given a shot at the makuuchi division. One can only hope that it will provide fresh talent but in the meantime I think we might be in for a couple of sloppy bashos Juyro all the way to the mid maegashira in the Makuuchi division until things settle.
Speaking of Juryo, I’ve got a couple of newbies (and favorites of mine) to mention today.
Kaonishiki of Akita’s Misato Town who also happens to be know for his sideburns, recorded his first ever lost in Juryo today while his counterpart in the match, Czech, Takanoyama recorded his first ever win in the division.
Bulgarian Aoiyama, a Valentine favorite, picks up his first Juryo win over Tamanoshima. The young’n has only been doing this for two years and has a 51-21 overall record. Look forward to seeing more of him eventually.
On to the big show.
Tochinonada vs. Fujiazuma
Fujiazuma, one of the newbies picks up another convincing win over Tochinonada. Yorikiri. I liked the intensity.
Shotenro vs. Toyohibiki
I like Shotenro. A lot of people don’t remember this (thus I tend to mention it on occasion), but Shotenro is one of six guys in the past 11 bashos to defeat the Yokozuna Hakuho. He and Kisenosato being the only two maegashira rikishi to do so. Sho started of today’s bout with a great nodawa followed by a tsupari. Toyo got inside and was driving the Mongol out. Shotenro tried every reversal in the book but Toyo was able to hang on for the win. Another half meter on the dohyo and it would have been a different story.
Kitataiki vs. Takayasu
Don’t know much about Takayasu but I liked what I saw today. Tachi-ai was mediocre but Takayasu was bringing the tsupari until Taiki wrapped him up. Yasu got the better grip however and as he was going for the left hand grip Kitataiki went on defensive. The defensive overcompensation on Taiki’s part cost him the match however since it left him off balance. Takayasu was easily able to toss Kita down via uwatedashingae.
Tochiozan vs. Homasho
Two rikishi that should fare very well in Nagoya faced off today. Homasho, known for being a defensive rikishi and Tochiozan, know for being extremely hot and cold in the ring. Today defense won out as Homasho moves to 2-0 with yorikiri win.
Bout of the Day: Asasekiryu vs. Miyabiyama
A great bout here. Asasekiryu fought hard to manuver around Jaba’s tsupari/nodawa attack but when he final did so Miyabi started backing him out like an offensive linemen in American football. The Secretary being a survivor and skilled rikishi went for the immediate pull down. The result was Asasekiryu and Miyabiyama hitting the ground nearly at the same time. The gunbai and I both gave Asa the win but a mono-ii was called and it was decided the match was too close to call. The redo went to Miyabiyama who was able to stand the Mongol up and knock him off balance, get behind him and finish the match okuridashi.
Kaisei vs. Okinoumi
I like both of these rikishi quite a bit. I think Kaisei is solid skill wise and has a bright future in the makuuchi. I have also been impressed with the quickness of Okinoumi’s tachi-ai post scandal (baseball). Solid tachi-ai from both men standing each other up with their arms in the air like Aomori Apple Farmers. The two gain their senses and got hold of the mawashis. Kaisei attempted the first throw and looked to be in control but Mr. Looks recovered nicely and threw the Brazilian over his hip. Great bout by two younger wrestlers.
Takekaze vs. (un)Wakanosato
Summed up in three parts.
1. Leaping henka by the man from Moriyoshi.
2. Straight arm to the face.
3. Pull down win for Takekaze.
Both of these guys days are (hopefully) numbered as they just can’t compete legitimately anymore.
Aminishiki vs. Toyonoshima
In a word Shneaky’s knee is in rough shape. With one leg there was no question who was going to win. Toyo moves to 2-0.
Kyokutenho vs. Kisenosato
Pretty even match up here but as of late Kise has won the last five. Kisenosato had a solid yorikiri positioning but the Veteran pulled a great reversal and knocked the former kid off balance with a leg hook. Yoritaoshi
Baruto vs. Yoshikaze
Baruto gives us more of the same post-ozeki sumo (read: lackluster at best). Yoshikaze gets inside easily and eventually manuevers a Mainoumi-type leg grab. Luckily for Baruto Yoshikaze is no Kakuryu (insert other extremely skilled rikishi here). The Estonian simply threw the smaller dude into the dust. Based on the first two matches I don’t forsee a good outing for sumo’s #2 man even if he is 2-0.
Kakuryu vs. Kotoshu
Can somebody give Kotoshu a message: take a nap. Man he looks exhausted. Damn. Sleep deprived driving towards a ghost of a dream yet fulfilled. The Ozeki easily worked the smaller Mongol back and got a solid grip but Kakuryu was able to turn the Bulgarian over for the uwatenage win. Sekiwake #3 represent.
Goeido vs. Kaio
A freebie for the Goeido but at what cost? I smell deal.
Harumafuji vs. Tochinoshin
Ozeki Harumafuji did not give the Georgian an inch today keeping tight on Noshin’s mawashi. An easy Oshidashi with extra dashi for the Mongolian.
Hakuho vs. Tosayutaka
No surprises here but let’s give Tosayutaka some credit here. The tachi-ai was easily heard here and I am 3,000 miles away. Can’t blame a guy for trying but Hakuho wins with a kind of uwatenage.
Even in the depths of winter there is always a Hawaiian sunrise when Chalmers comes to town. Bring your shades to day three, Chalmers is bringing the heat!