De Gama’s computer is out of action so I’ll be covering day 5. Since I am on sabbatical in the states I am relying on the NSK feed. Here in “The City That Bleeds” juryo starts at around 2am, so I have to record and go back to sleep. Unfortunately my computer restarted and cut my feed off right after juryo, so a big thank you to Andreas over at sumotalk.com for supplying me with the feed. Thanks, buddy. No shame in admitting that Daddy got me… and got me the feed.
Juryo has been pretty exciting to watch this basho. Chiyonokuni has been living up to his hype picking up win number 4 against Hitenryu. Tsurugidake is kicking butt at 5-0. Sotairyu’s furious, early Chiyotaikai-like tsuppari is tearing shit up, and Takanoyama is bringing some much needed waza-diversity to the juryo talent pool, winning over Sadanofuji today with a kawazugake (hooking bacckward counter-throw).
Today Kaonishiki chucked Kanbayashi out of the ring in amazing style, leaving KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN at 0-5. Hochiyama detonated Aoiyama’s nose today. I haven’t seen that much blood since the 4th of July here in Body-more. Almost certainly a broken nose for the Bulgarian. That is seriously going to hinder his game this basho.
Kimurayama had an easy day at the office using a quick push-pull hikiotoshi on today’s Juryo guest star Masunoyama. 2-3 and 3-2 respectively.
Sagatsukasa and Robocop locked awkwards today in spectacular fashion. They traded off advantages with beltless grips. Saga ended up with morozashi and used low position to work the clown over and out. Murph is at 1-4 and R2 is over 500 with 3-2.
Toyohibiki got the better of the tachiai over Tochinonada and avoided the desperation kubinage with a sokubiotoshi (head chop-down). A monoii was called as there was some debate over who went out first, but the shinpan went with the gyoji’s call, as there was no doubt who was in control. Nada looked either winded or hurt, but we’ll hear more about that tomorrow I guess. Beeker is at 3-2 and the old man is at 2-3.
Shotenro and Daido entered today with mirror records of 2-2. Daiso brought some oshi to the battle, but like the products from his namesake store, it looked good at first but was shoddy and easily broken. Hatakikomi win for Tenro.
Although the tachiai was kind of weak from both Fujiazuma and Tochinowaka, Fujiazuma brought enough tsuppari to keep Tochinowaka off the belt and guessing where the next blow would come from, much like Bertrum, Valentine, Chalmers, and Daly, now that they’re all married (or will be.)
A henka and slap-down attempt from Asasekiryu was not effective on new-comer Takayasu. The youngster turned it into a pushing battle. Asa tried the maneuver once more, but it just made it easier for BIG BIG SAVINGS to get the push out.
I thought Kitataiki would be doing better from M10, and I knew Homasho would be doing better from M9. However I didn’t figure Taiki would go for the weak-ass looking backward-moving slapdown attempt. Stogy Shop was all over it and had good position and used some solid de-ashi to get the win. 5-0 for our tobacco toting buddy.
Here’s another guy I expected more from: Takarafuji. He’s looked sloppy this basho, and just can’t get a win. His aite for the day, Tochiozan, also hasn’t looked his best thus far. But Mutton-chops brought home the mutton today with a solid looking oshidashi. 4-1 for Ozan and 0-5 for Treasure Mountain.
When I was waiting for my flight out of Akita in the airport I was watching some daytime variety show on NHK with special guest star Lady Gaga. For someone so cocksure, despite her awkward appearance, she was TOTALLY out of her element. Sumo’s Lady Gaga has been looking equally out of his element recently. Today, the Lady turned things around and manhandled Miyabiyama to improve to 2-3, giving Booby-yama a mirror record.
Aran brought some serious energy against Wakanosato. However, the veteran kept his cool and fought back to get morozashi and the well earned yorikiri. Nice bout though. 2-3 a piece.
On the first go between Kaisei and Tokitenk, the Mongol backpedaled and thrust the Brazilian down, but it was unclear if Tenku’s foot went out first. An unusually long monoii ensued, which is usually indicative of a torinaoshi. And sure enough… RE-DO! After a mata they locked up, each with a migi-yotsu, Tenku backpedaled again and took the Brazilian out with a uwatedashinage.
1-3 Tamawashi came in hard against 3-1 Okinoumi. It looked bad for Casanova, but the Dapper man in the diaper snagged a lefthand outside grip on the mawashi with a right hand inside which spelled u-w-a-t-e-h-i-n-e-r-i.
Aminishiki looked to have things in the bag with a decent tachiai and deashi against Takekaze, but Kaze turned the tide at the tawara with some lateral movement on Sneaky’s bad knee. A clean sukuinage and 4-1 for the hometown boy. Vice versa for Aomori.
I was looking forward to this next one. I love seeing Goeido get schooled. I hate the hype he carries, and more importantly, I just don’t like his face. But this was not how I envisioned it. Chicken-shit henka, hatakikomi from Tochinoshin, who can do better, and more importantly should know better.
Next up, Sekitori showdown. The Geeku has a 22-12 edge over Kisenosato, and more importantly has been more consistent lately. Geeku came out of the gates with lots of power and went right into his classic hug and chug. Kise put up a decent fight and almost fought back from the bales. The Kid’s mistake was letting his left hand grip on the belt go and trying to swtich grips. Geeku got a hand under Kise’s left knee and scored a yoritaoshi. 4-1 for the Geek and 2-3 for the Blink.
Not sure what Kotooshu was going for today, but he didn’t get it. He moved backward and it was all too easy for Wakakoyu to stand him up and push him out. Oshu needs to get demoted for a basho or two.
Next up, Kaio vs Kyokutenho. The old man trying for win #1046. The crowd was undeniably behind him. They locked up, pretty much equal with left hands inside (although Kaio did have the right hand outside kicker). The old man slowly worked the Non-Saftey Driver back slowly and with a final shove spanked the mongol out for his record breaking win. There was even a dame-oshi to the throat. Fair enough. And now for the personal commentary on this. I appreciate what Mike over at sumotalk had to say about the ol’Kaio. Being newer to sumo (started watching Hatsu 2008) the only Kaio I can remember is the struggling-for-his-8 Kaio. I appreciate his years of work, his 8 hard-fought yusho, and his influence on younger rikishi. But I can’t share the sentiment. It’s time. That’s all.
Although he runs hot and cold, I do like watching Yoshikaze fight, especially against more nimble rikishi like Harumafuji. Vicious slapping between the two while each looked for his way in. Ama got it first with a left hand inside and right hand out. Easy force out from there.
Another match up I always like seeing. Baruto vs Kakuryu. On two ocassions I have seen Fishface pull a perfect sotogake on Masterblaster when he tries for his tsuridashi. Bouts like those are where the Kak shows his skills. Today was not one of those. Push to the face, pull on the arm was all it took for the Icthy-rikishi to claim the win and the envelopes. Both men at 4-1.
Toyonoshima relies on a quick tachiai and an off-center shoulder blast to get morozashi. When fighting Hakuho he needs an emphasis on the quick morozashi, and no hesitation whatsoever after that. Toyo managed to get the morozashi, but for some reason, be it nerves or an attempt to think outside the box, he tried to use a hazuoshi (thrust to the armpit) to throw the Yok off balance. It didn’t work, and the Dai-yokozuna did what anyone would expect. Hak thrust down Toyo’s arm and spun things around at lighting speed, out-classing the shorter man in convincing style.
5-0 rikishi are Hakuho, Harumafuji, and Homasho.
4-1 are Bart, Geek, Casanova, Ozan, Super Savings, and Tochinowaka waka waka.
I’ll be burning the midnight whisky again tomorrow to bring you guys day 6.