Wow a lot has changed since my Shonichi report. The young guns, save Tochinowaka have fallen off, or worse, performed some really crappy sumo, henka and all. Homie and Don Juan have both cooled off a bit but still have a good shot at the Komusubi rank if they get their eight. Kakuryu and Harumafuji seem to have backed off their promotion runs, and by some miracle from above Kisenosato appears to have the focus to make a run at Ozeki. Day seven had him at 7-0. In Juryo surprisingly, Aoiyama has returned to from injury leave after the first two days to begin fighting again. I am sure it’s happen before but it’s the first time I recall someone doing that: he’s at 4-2-2. Finally, we also found former Dai-Yokozuna Asashoryu, a favorite among the S & S crew, on twitter, and are proudly following his updates as he attempts to become a successful business man.
All that said some things this basho have been pretty damn consistent. Kotoshogiku continues to make a solid run for Ozeki promotion and as long as hug’n’chug doesn’t drop some easy ones during week two he should have a decent shot. He was 7-0 after day 7.
Despite last basho, Hakuho is still in the driver’s seat this basho. Going in today he’s 7-0 and the favorite far and away. I am certain he still has many years of great sumo ahead of him and will continue to refer to him as the Dai-Yokozuna as I think the last couple of losses have more to do with saving sumo in Japan than any loss of skill on the part of the humble champion. Oh yeah, Takamisakari is 4-4 after a loss today and may or may not struggle to make it back to Makuuchi. Let us know what you think. Enough with the introduction, I am Josef Daly, and this is your Aki Basho Nakabi Report.
Tosayutaka vs Takanoyama
Takanoyama had won his last two bouts: one by luck and the other by a nice kakenage. Weighing less 100 kgs and generally being seen as an underdog this basho has brought the newbie a ton of support from the crowd. Today he faced off against Tosayutaka. Quick tachi-ai and a solid grip gives Takanoyama his second legit win, putting both rikishi at 3-5 at the halfway mark.
Hochiyama vs Shotenro
Shotenro has looked awful this basho, partly due what appears to be a knee injury while newcomer, Who’s Your Mama has basically beaten guys who will likely not be in Makuuchi for long. Shotenro decided to show a bit more spirit and restrain today. After a fury of tsupari the Mongol attempted a quick pull down, followed by gaining a solid inside grip. From there Show Ten forced Who’s Your Mama to the bales and made sure he didn’t step out like he did against Takanoyama on Day 6. Shotenro is 3-5 while Hochiyama is 4-4.
Kimurayama vs Tamaasuka
Kimurayama henkas for an easy win over Tamaasuka. I won’t mind when these guys are gone from this division.
Kitataiki vs Kokkai
I’ve enjoyed watching both of these rikishi make a bit of a comeback this basho. Going into today both men were 5-2. Coke gets the caffeinated jump start at the tachi-ai and had Taiki reeling to the bails. Tokyo’s son recovered and brought the bout back to the center of the dohyo. From there both rikishi had a classic one-hand grip. After a moment Kita maneuvered a great frontal crush out win sending both rikishi crashing off the dohyo. Kita wins, but after the fall his nose was bleeding all over the place.
Daido vs Gagamaru
I’ve never cared for Dido’s music or his sumo. Just can’t imagine this guy collaborating with Eminem or hitting those falsettos. Going into today dude was 5-2. Gaga was 6-1 just one behind the leaders and showing some powerful sumo. Gentleman Gaga continues to play to his power and literally pushes Dido into the crowd.
Tamawashi vs Yoshiazuma
Yoshiazuma hasn’t been around long enough for me to form an opinion of him but today’s henka was like an awkward first impression, especially since Tamawashi was able to recover even though he literally almost ran off the dohyo. Tama gained control but lost it at the bales when Yoshi turned Mawashi for an uwatenage win.
Fujiazuma vs Tochinowaka
As I mentioned in the intro, the young guns to the division appeared to be looking great after day one but only Tochinowaka has really continued on that track. Today Fujiazuma and Tochinowaka faced off in a great tsupari battle. Tochinowaka over powers the shorter Azuma for a quick oshidashi win.
Takayasu vs Toyohibiki
Good stuff from Takayasu today after a bit of awful sumo. Toyo had the advantage in the tsupari but Takayasu recovered nicely at the bales and was able to send Toyohibiki flying off the dohyo. Kid moves to 3-5 while Toyo falls to 2-6.
Kaisei vs Wakakoyu
I’ve enjoyed watching Kaisei progress since I first saw him fight in Makushita. Today our favorite Brazilian rikishi slips up by leaning a little too far forward giving Wakakoyu and easy hikiotoshi win.
Toyonoshima vs Homasho
It’s been a surprisingly good first week for the M1 rikishi Homasho & Okinoumi. Today Homasho methodically moved Toyonoshima out of the ring via oshidashi. Homie sits at 5-3 while Komusubi Toyonoshima drops to 1-7.
Okinoumi vs Aran
At 0-7 I saw this one coming. Aran jumps a henka and drops Okinoumi like he was hot (which he was for an M1 rikishi). Oki drops to 3-5 while Alan disgracefully picks up his first win of the basho.
Kotoshogiku vs Kakuryu
Both rikishi had a chance at Ozeki promotion this basho but only Kotoshogiku has really been able to pull out enough wins thus far to have a shot. Today however Kakuryu was able to wrap up fellow Sekiwake and win via a skillful yorikiri. Kakuryu moves to 4-4 while Kotoshogiku drops one to move to 7-1. As long as hug’n’chug can recover from this loss and not drop any to maegashira rikishi his run will still be in tact.
Miyabiyama vs Kisenosato
Kise is on a roll. Yesterday’s win over Kakuryu was enough for me believe that he is the only other guy in the division right now that could give Hakuho a run for this basho. If you didn’t see yesterday’s bout go here. Today he easily beats Old Man Yama and moves to 8-0. Can his focus last the rest of the basho? For sumo’s own sake let’s hope so!
Harumafuji vs Tokitenku
I think the majority of us at S & S are in agreement that Harumafuji has probably saved his sumo career by not making this Yokozuna run a reality. Valentine will likely speak to this after the basho is over. Today Haruma get’s back to 500 with an athletic uwatedashinage win.
Baruto vs Tochinoshin
Ozeki are really irrelevant when they get their asses kicked by likes of Yoshikaze and other rikishi who have no business beating them. It really made me wonder why the hell Baruto can’t bring the fire to a lot of his matches. Today Tochinoshin and Baruto faced off. The two men from Eastern Europe lifted eachother off the dohyo a few time and finally Baruto forced the Georgian off the dohyo. Now it looked to me like Baruto’s hand hit the ground before Tochinoshin’s body did, but the dead body rule might have been in effect so who knows. Creswell? Valentine? Any idea? Baruto is the only Ozeki with a winning record at 5-2, but unless a miracle occurs he is completely out of the yusho race. Noshin drops to 4-4 at M4.
Hakuho vs Tochiozan
Tochiozan is either Tigger or Eeyore when he arrives at a basho. This basho he’s been pretty damn engaged in the bouts and was 6-1 going into his bout against the undefeated Dai-Yokozuna. Hakuho’s sumo was picture perfect today as he walks Ozan out of the ring as though it was deashi practice. Yorikiri win and one step closer to the yusho.
Hope you enjoyed this ultraviolet Nakabi Report; Creswell gotcha for all of Day 9.