No butts in the seats in Fukuoka. Why? The Rally Monkey of the JSA, 35 year old Takamisakari is low in Juryo and has vowed that he will retire if he falls to Makushita. Scandals mean nothing when compared to this pledge. J10E Chiyoarashi vs. J10W Takamisakari: head to head is 1-0, in Ringo’s favor. Snapple started out slow at the tachiai, but drove forward with a funky morozashi, then finished out with uncharacteristic thrusts on his opponent. Push-out win for Takamisakari.
M16E Aoiyama vs. M16W Tsurugidake: head-2-head, one-2-one. Aoiyama drove forward with impressive power at the tachiai, not allowing his smaller opponent to get inside. The Bulgarian tried a pull-down once from the back of the neck, but it did enough only to throw Tsurugi off balance and from there Aoi restarted his thrusting campaign, push-out win for the Shinmaku. And it’s into the NHK Booth for the Virgil Valentine Rikishi on the Bubble. I’ll drink a shot of straight Bulleit Frontier bourbon to a great Makuuchi career from this gentleman.
M14E Kaisei vs. M14W Takarafuji: Kaisei leads the career head-to-head 3-0. Kaisei started out too high and nearly got locked up in an ugly armbar, but was able to stay in close. Takara went for makikae (grip switcheroo) and this split-second opportunity gave Kaisei the chance to get an overarm throw win.
M12W Sagatsukasa vs. M11W Myogiryu: first timers, here. Fast and more powerful at the tachiai, Myogiryu drove Sagats back, but Sagats stayed low to remain in, and the battle returned to the center of the ring. No advantage for either for a while, but when Myogi drove both men lost their balance, and Satags seems to just have slipped or his knee buckled whilst in retreat. Shinmaku Myogiryu gets his first Makuuchi win on shonichi.
M8W Takayasu vs. M7W Takekaze: someone slept with someone’s wife…a true bitch-slapping affair it twas. Taka and Take both slapping away, with Take moving backward, but once he slipped a bit to Taka’s side, he turned on offensive and kept Taka in front of him as he slapped the hell out of Taka like the half-filipino child that he is, and out of the ring. Push-out win for Takekaze.
M3E Aran vs. SW Kakuryu: Head-to-head is 7-1 in the Kak’s favor, with the Kak winning the last six meetings. Why is Aran still ranked this high? A 5-10 at Komusubi in September should have dropped the Russian out of the meat-grinder for this basho. He’s going to get his ass handed to him this basho (to be clear, this is because of his pansy sumo, not his potential). Kak came in low, stayed close so Aran couldn’t thrust. Kak gained a tight morozashi and easily lead Aran back and out, force-out win. Good stuff from the Kak.
SE Kisenosato vs. M2W Kyokutenho: head-to-head is a pair of nines. Even tachiai today between the old Mongol and the Accomplice, both looking for belt grips. Kise drove Kyoku back while Kyoku was maneuvering for an arm throw. The Accomplice stayed the course and brought down the elder Mongol, frontal crush-out. Overall, a meh win for the Ozeki hopeful.
M2E Tochinoshin vs. OW Kotoshogiku: 4-8 between the two in the past. Today a strong tachiai from the Geek and No-Shine didn’t come up with a damn thing as the Geek quickly hugged-n-chugged the Georgian out/down with frontal crush-out win.
OE Kotooshu vs. M1W Goeido: the Oh-shoot leads Go-away 10-3 head-to-head. Oshu tried a few Three Stooges-style cheap slaps after impact of the tachiai, but given that didn’t work he moved in and the two tried lame-attempt throws on each other. Oshu survived the double lame throw attempts with what they called a “rear push down.” Amateur win by the Eurozeki.
M1E Okinoumi vs. OW Harumafuji: Oki leads the head-to-head 2-1. Low tachiai by Haruma, who quickly gained a left inside grip. Oki tried to keep Haruma away from his belt by ignorantly standing tall, which is a bad idea. Haruma took advantage of the Statue of Liberty, and moved in on her, frontal crush-out win for the Mongol.
OE Baruto vs. KE Toyonoshima: Bart leads the head-to-head 13-3. Bart immediately gained the right-hand outside and drove forward at the tachiai, but Toyo simply pivoted on his right foot using amazing balance and took down an unbalanced Goliath with a beltless arm-throw. After the bout, Bart looked more like Toyo tickled him out of the ring than out witted him. The guy has got to learn to put away that awe-shucks smile after a loss. It shows a clear lack of interest, motivation, and focus.
YE Hakuho vs. KW Homasho: Daiyokozuna leads the head-to-head 11-0, and today was more of the same as Hakuho came in strong as always at the tachiai, slapped Homie’s head, and Homie was easily down to the clay, a slap-down win.
Hakuho’s in the lead. Bout of the day? David vs Goliath. Bart’s half-assed loss to Toyonoshima should start a fire in the belly for Bart…but “should” doesn’t mean “will.” The Accomplice is ten more wins away from Ozeki and the Eurozeki is seven wins away from shaking kadoban. Let’s hope for some more exciting days of sumo as this basho marches onward.
I shall return to my evening on the Bulleit Frontier. Keep it up until Creswell comes at ya tomorrow.