Every few basho a match will come your way that just surprises the hell out of you because of the sheer talent of the wrestlers involved; perhaps one has a devastatingly effective strategy planned out before-hand, maybe its just a free for all where both rikishi just put their souls and their chanko nabe rations on the line and fight like mad until one is flipped out into the ring in a dazzling display of skill. Today it became evident that this wasn’t going to be one of those basho. In fact I almost turned off my television after the baruto-kise match only to give into temptation and watch the Hakuho and Harumafuji match. I wish I hadn’t. Wanna know why? Well then, step on in.
E-M16 Kaisei (3-8) vs W-J1 Hochiyama (6-5)
Both get migi-yotsu, but Kaisei has the advantage in strength and after some brief resistance forces Hochiyama out.
E-J1 Tamawashi (7-4) vs W-M15 Kyokushuho (3-8)
Annnnd here was the first sign today wasn’t going to be that great. Tamawashi gets hidari yotsu straight away but immediately Kyokusho starts driving him towards the bales. Knowing he can’t stop shuho, tama makes a last ditch uwatenage effort to throw his opponent to the ground which results in both of them hitting the clay at about the same time. After a mono-ii, the shipan come back in favor of Tamawashi, but looking at the replay, you can clearly tell Tama’s leg hit the ground first. Kyokushuho gets robbed and Tamawashi gets his Kachi-koshi.
W-M14 Sagatsukasa (4-7) vs W-M12 Tosayutaka (4-7)
After a decent start Yutaka tries a weak slap down move which fails and nearly gets pushed out. After recovering quickly these two then decide to play patty cake for a while, each trying to get inside the others grip. Eventaully Saga doubles down and gets both hands inside to shove Tosa out. Oshidashi
E-M11Fujiazuma (6-5) vs W-M16 Ninoumi (3-8)
Ninoumi came with a plan today. He was going to bury himself in Azuma’s chest straight from the tachi-ai and shove his chump ass out of the ring. He got exactly what he wanted three or four times, but couldn’t get the other guy to budge. Fuji eventually just took a step back and slapped the newbie down. Hatakikomi. Points to ninoumi for spirit I guess though.
W-M13 Tenkaiho (7-4) vs W-M11 Sadanofuji (6-5)
I dunno where Tenkaiho was today, but it certainly wasn’t anywhere near the dohyo. Sadanofuji got a hold of Tenkaiho’s arm straight away with one hand and put the other squarely in his throat to drive him out for an easy oshidashi win putting both rikishi one short of KK.
E-M14 Takanoyama (5-6) vs W-M10 Gagamaru (8-3)
I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of the lady on most days, and even less when she beats one of my current faves, but she had her shit together today. Takanoyama wisely decided to keep him away from his mawashi straight from the tachi-ai and get to the side, but ultimately just wasn’t quick enough. An oshidashi win for an unusually steady Gaga and Takanoyama falls one step closer to joining juryo again.
E-M13 Chiyonokuni (8-3) vs W-M8 Tochiozan (9-2)
Chiyo shows a hell of a lot of determination in his tsukiotoshi win over ozan.
W-M9 Daido (4-7) vs W-M7 Aoiyama (3-8)
Easy yorikiri win for Aoiyama. Nuff said.
E-M6 Yoshikaze (6-5) vs E-M9 Tochinoshin (7-4)
Yoshikaze makes a slight side step at the start but both charge in with some speed, colliding with eachother again and again. Noshin eventually wraps yoshi’s arms up from above and tries a lift out move that looks like it was about to dislocate both of his shoulders. Yoshikaze somehow takes advantage of his position and forces the M6 to the straw where noshin tries a (rather painful looking for yoshi) utchari. I thought he got it, but mono-ii was called and eventually ruled a yoritaoshi win for yoshikaze.
E-M10 Tokitenku (7-4) vs W-M6 Kyukutenho (7-4)
Both get migi yotsu straight away, hump eachother for the better part of two minutes and tenku yorikiris tenho out for his KK.
E-M15 Asasekiryu (7-4) vs W-M5 Toyohibiki (5-6)
Asasekiryu decides to take the low road and henka, slapping toyohibiki down straight away. I remember thinking “Sexyryu has been doing pretty damn good this basho, why did he think he had to result to cheap tricks for the win? He probably would have won anyway .” Looking back, this was a bit of foreshadowing.
E-M8 Shohozan (6-5) vs W-M4 Tochinowaka (6-5)
Shohozan goes after waka’s throat like a homing missle and chases him around the ring until he gets pushed away and falls under his own momentum, although it was ruled tsukiotoshi.
E-M3 Kitatakiki (1-10) vs E-M5 Myogiryu (7-4)
To be fair to kitataii he has had a tough schedule so far, and myogiryu is in no short supply of talent. Myoiryu uses some of that talent today to get an excellen start at the tachi-ai and drive taiki out.
E-M4 Homasho (5-6) vs W-M1 Aminishiki (6-5)
The sneak tries his fair share of tricks today but ultimately shoves homasho out with raw power.
E-K Miyabiyama (3-8) vs W-M2 Goeido (4-7)
Miyabi the hutt continuously strikes away at goeido from the get-go with his tree trunk arms, and Goeido comes dangerously close to eating dirt. So close, that miyabiyama lets up for just enough time to allow goeido to get his shit back together and push the old man’s ass out of the ring.
E-M1 Takekaze (2-9) vs W-K Wakakoyu (3-8)
The moriyoshi muffin uses Wakakoyu’s own techinique of pushing against a riskish and then pulling him down against him, to move to an expected 3-9.
E-M2 Okinoumi (2-9) vs W-S Toyonoshima (3-8)
Goddamn, toyonoshima is quick when he wants to be. He gets morozashi and skillfully gets okinoumis back to the wall where he forces him out.
E-O Baruto (11-0) vs W-O Kisenosato (9-2)
Using a move that looked nearly exactly like what kise pulled on the geek two days ago, bart takes a step back and pushed kise’s neck until he hits the dirt. At least when Kise did the dirty deed of henka, he had the courtesy of charging at his opponent for a split second. We don’t even get a reach around of of Bart today. Completely un-ozeki-like sumo. But it looks like that is hatsu basho’s theme this year.
E-O Kotooshu (8-3) vs W-M3 Takayasu (4-7)
Takayasu gave a hell of an effort as always, but oshu managed to keep his balance and push yasu out.
E-S Kakuryu (8-3) vs W-O Kotoshogiku (6-5)
In the only decent match in sanyaku today, the geek tries his patented chug-and-gabburi (is that how it goes?) to push kakuryu to the straw where it looks like he is going topple over , but the Mongolian somehow keeps his ground. Kotoshigiku then backs off, switches tactics by twirling the puppy face sekiwake around and promptly shoves him out.
E-Y Hakuho (10-1) vs W-O Harumafuji(8-3)
A side step that would shame Hakuba. Haruma jumps wide, pulls the yokozuna past him, and then shoves him into the third row. I am sure some will say yaocho after this seeing as Hakuho definitely let up before being unlitmately shoved out, but I am pretty god damn sure that is just one man mentally kicking himself for getting tricked by such a dirty move, and anger at the sunnavabitch who pulled it. Once again, were we actually thinking haruma was possible yokozuna material a few basho back?
Need a way to wash today out of your brain? Come back tomorrow for some of Valentine’s sweet sweet lovin. That’ll do the trick.