I know you all want to get to the big results, but bear with me for a minute here. The juryo feed went in and out for a while. We say that “Nihon Ganbarou” screen for a few bouts, although we could hear what was going on. So I didn’t catch every juryo bout, but one in particular stuck out. Sotairyu v. Hokutokuni. I like Sotairyu because of his explosive tachi-ai, and unwillingness to quit at the edge, but yesterdayHokutokuni exploded out from the shikiri. That was one of the best juryo tachiais I have ever seen. Sotairyu didn’t even have a chance to get an attack started. I am going to go out on a limb and say this guy is certainly bound for makuuchi, and if he can stay healthy, at least joii. Watch it here. Oh yeah, and Robocop is now 4 wins away from staying nalive for one more basho. Now lets go behind the curtain.
Aoiyama – Bushuyama – Aoiyama had Bushu on the retreat, but overstretched a bit, and Bush took the easy win. 2-1 each.
Kimurayama – Sadanofuji – Sadanofuji is my hero today, using good forward motion, keeping his hips low, and not falling for the backward pulling of Kimura. 6 more till juryo. 1-2, 2-1
Shohozan – Tsurugidake – Tsurugidake’s attack was just too slipshod and ill-placed. Shohozan got right through the defenses, and some convincing shoves got the job done. Reminiscent of a junior high school fight, and lasted abotu as long. Tsurugidake also spilled the salt basket, bad luck for tomorrow. 1-2, 0-3
Kaisei – Sagatsukasa – WOW, man. Sagatsukasa didn’t waste a second getting both hands inside, then got his right paw all up in that Brazilian armpit and straight up owned Kaisei. Perhaps Kaisei was expecting a henka, and didn’t fully commit. But either way, Saga has some brass ones, going straight in, chest to chest with a guy a full 27cm taller and 41kg heavier than himself. 2-1 for both men.
Daido – Asasekiryu – Slight henka to the left by Asasekiryu failed to get any real results. Although the Sex machine had Daido up slightly higher, he couldn’t manage a belt grip, and pushing and thrusting is not Asa’s game. This one went to Daido via katasukashi. 2-1, 1-2
Takarafuji – Myogiryu – Once again, good solid stuff from Myorigryu. Focused, low tsuppari, with solid deashi. That’s good sumo folks. Basics, basics, basics. 1-2, 2-1
Toyohibiki – Tamawashi – Mawashi had Beeker moving back with some good tsuppari, then Beeker moved Mawash back with a dose of his own medicine. At the bales Mawashi caught Beeker off balance with a left hand on Beekers right side and picked up a thrust down win. 1-2 a piece.
Fujiazuma – Wakakoyu – Waka started off with a double David Carradine then pulled down for the win. Looks a bit like Takekaze’s M.O. 2-1 each.
Wakansato – Kokkai – both veterans came into this battle winless. Both men are also not quite what they used to be. They started off with mirror grips. Both with hidariyotsu with left hand on the belt. After some milling about to set up Kokkai drove forward. Waka braced on the bales and reached deep for the right hand grip then dumped the Kok with an uwatenage. 1-2, 0-3
Tokitenku – Takayasu – Takayasu in fast with an alternating nodowa. Tenku was moving back, and tried a hop back to break the grip and reset, but Takayasu’s momentum was too much and too fast for Tenku to set up a good enough defense. 1-2, 2-1
Takekaze – Miyabiyama – straight up tachiai this time. Both men trading off pushing and pulling rotating around the dohyo. Takekaze’s smaller size and greater speed allowed him to out maneuver Miyabi and take him from behind. Akita’s native son is 3-0 for his best start since 2007, former ozeki 1-2.
Kitataiki – Aminishiki – Nishiki had a good straight tachi ai, moved Taiki back and used a hand pull down to secure the win. 0-3, 2-1.
Yoshikaze – Tochiozan – Darn good tachiai by both parties, Yoshi with a nodowa, and Ozan with a hazuoshi in yoshi’s pit. Yoshi went for the pull down, which compromised his balance enough for Ozan to get a push moving. A final push to the chest sealed the deal. 1-2, 2-1
Aran – Tochinowaka – Easy day at the office for Tochinowaka. Aran’s blows were too high, which allowed the bigger man two hands in the armpits. All she wrote. 0-3, 3-0
Gagamaru – Kakuryu – Kakuryu decided to start things off with some tsuppari before settling into a morozashi which Gaga broke. More tsuppari as Gaga had Kakuryu on the defensive. Advantage passed back and forth before Gaga just plain ntired out and was taken out by the Kak. 1-2, 3-0
Kisenosato – Toyonoshima – Both rikishi going in undefeated. I must say I find it a bit strange that both rikishi got hands on the belt at the tachiai, but neither grabbed it. They instead chose to deflect each other to the side. Toyo got what looked like would be a successful kotenage with a hand on kise’s neck, but Kise got out of it and turned the momentum away from the bales. Nodowa and thrusts to the chest got Kise the win. As much as I like Toyonoshima, it looks like he just gave up after his kotenage attempt. Seems kinda fishy to me. 3-0, 2-1
Kyokutenho – Harumafuji – Harry started things off with his usual nodowa, then went for a maemitsu front grip on the belt, then to a deep morozashi double inside grip. Tenho wrapped up the ozeki’s arms and pushed forward, locking Harry’s elbows and driving the ozeki backwards. Using the Tawara for leverage, Harry spun around and went for a shitatenage, but his left leg slipped and the ozeki went down first.
Baruto – Okinoumi – Okinoumi got a morozashi straight away with Baruto getting his usual both hands outside. Don Juan pushed forward, and Krang back peddaled to the right and went for a kubinage neck throw. Oki regained and lost his left hand grip but retained his right hand on the front of the belt, getting thrown around like a rag doll by the big man. Oki regrouped got his left hand back inside and up higher near the arm pit, and as Krang went for the sukuinage, Oki pushed to the chest and knocked out his first ozeki of the basho. Baruto looks abysmal with 1-2, and Oki continues the love affair with 1-2 as well.
Homasho – Kotoshogiku – The momentum at the tachiai went to Kotoshogiku moving Homey back as Homey employed his oft-used otsuke. The shin-komusubi moved the shin-ozeki back near the bales, then Geeku side stepped and thrust down Homasho with a right paw to the ribcage. 0-3, 3-0
Kotooshu – Tochinoshin – congratulations, Oshu, pretty much your first ozeki-like win in 2 basho. 2-1, 0-3
Hakuho – Goeido – Pretty serious staredown between these two. Hakuho got his favorite grip (migiyotsu with the lefthand outside grip) almost immediately, and let fly a vicious uwatenage the sent both parties flying around the dohyo. Goeido hitting the clay first.
So after 3 days only 1 ozeki is undefeated.
3-0 Hakuho, Kotoshogiku, Kisenosato, Kakuryu, Tochinowaka, Takekaze
Connolly is riding shotgun tomorrow.