We start with M8E Tochinoshin (1-0) vs. M10W Chiyotairyu (1-0). It was the first match up between these two, but Chiyotairyu came out of the chute like he had a bone to pick with Tochinoshin. Two big blows to the chin by Tairyu, then No-shine finished him off with an easy slap-down. The Georgian is on a roll at 2-0.
M9E Tokitenku (1-0) vs. M6W Aoiyama (1-0): I’ve never seen such a lame henka attempt as the one Toki tried today. He stood straight up and put a left on the Bulgarian’s right shoulder as if they were about to start the chick-dance. Aoi easily pushed the disgraced Mongol outbound with a push-out win.
OE Harumafuji (1-0) vs. M2W Gagamaru (0-1); though this match-up features one of the lightest men in the division versus the heaviest, Haruma has a 2-0 edge over Gaga. At the tachiai, Haruma went straight for the throat, thus raising Gaga center of gravity, but Gaga stepped back out of it and came back in towards Haruma with a strong two-arm thrust nearly sending the Mongol off-balance and out of the ring. Near the rice bales and with Hoss hauling at him, Haruma sidestepped to the left and put a hand on Gaga’s already-low head to pull down. Just as Gaga flew to the clay, Haruma was off balance and went down with his whole body, as he refused to put down his foot outside the ring. Rewatching the tape a few times, it’s clear this bout warranted a rematch as Gaga’s hands went down precisely as Haruma’s body re-met the surface of the earth. Nevertheless, none of the judges saw it that close, and the bout went to Gaga without question. Gaga improves to 1-1 with this push-out win. Harumafuji is the first ozeki to fall, and he also stands at 1-1.
M2E Myogiryu (0-1) vs. OW Kakuryu (1-0); Myogiryu was hotter at the tachiai and had the Kak moving back, but in doing so Myogi just about lost his balance. Regaining his balance and with his head already low, Myogi dug into the Kak’s chest and drove the Shin-Ozeki right out of the ring. Another push-out win over an Ozeki, and a fine performance by Myogi who nearly lost it all with that wobbling act in the start.
OE Kotooshu (1-0) vs. SW Goeido (1-0); though the Eurozeki has a 12-3 lead over Goeido, I’d kind of like to see a third ozeki fall just to satisfy sadistic pleasures. Well, the Eurozeki sure didn’t let me down! Oshu’s tachiai was strong and he was digging forward on Goeido who was only squirming at first, but found opportunity knocking when Oshu had his right paw too high. Goeido worked into his right arm pit and the two went into the nage position. When the dust settled, Goeido hit the clay last with a beltless arm throw win. A rare quality win by the Kansai Kid.
OE Kisenosato (1-0) vs. KW Aminishiki (1-0): a long history between these two adds up to 19-12 in Kissy’s favor. Fresh off a win over the Yokozuna, today Sneaky came out a-blazin’ at the tachiai, but it didn’t really lead Kissy back further than just one step. Kissy squared back up with Sneaky and got some good thrusts in, but Sneaky hung with him by securing a right on Kissy’s belt. Kissy eventually finished him off with a strong left-hand thrust down which send Sneaky down to the clay.
M1W Takayasu (0-1) vs. OW Baruto (1-0): tachiai started off lack-luster with both men reaching out as if they needed bear hugs. Taka went hands to Bart’s chest while Bart tried lifting up on both arms of his opponent. Bart succeeded, and won a right in the armpit and a left on the shoulder. With that, it was an easy force-out win for the Estonian.
YE Hakuho (0-1) vs. M1E Aran (0-1): Hak leads the head-to-head 9-0. The Yokozuna decided to bring his ass-kickin’ game-face today, hit Aran like a ton of bricks at the tachiai and went right for his right-hand inside, left-hand out. Aran had similar grips, but was no match as the Yokozuna lowered his hips and drove forward.
It’s too early to say hardly anything about how this basho will develop. Just watch, enjoy, and pour yourself a straight sippin’ whiskey!