Welcome back sumo fans! Natsu Basho brings us back home to Tokyo but this time with six Ozeki instead of five. Will the new challenge bring yet another day fifteen yusho race or will Hakuho-zeki take it again without breaking a sweat? Hang on for the ride folks, I am Josef Daly and this is your Natsu Basho Shonichi report.
Shontero vs. Chiyotairyu
Newcomer Chiyotairyu still doesn’t have the hair quite yet for the mage but he’s certainly doesn’t seem scared to be in the top division. Today he faced off against Shotenro. The new kid reminds me a bit of Hokutoriki the way he stared down the Mongol today, but only time will tell. Today he false started against Sho but the second time through Sho Sho went a little too forward and Chiyotairyu was able to easily pull him down for the win.
Tokitenku vs. Kitataiki
Kitataiki’s knee looked pretty rough today. Toki seemed to ease up to let Kita take him towards the bales, but when they got there Kita’s knee didn’t hold up and Tokitenku easily threw the Tokyo native to the ground.
Wakakoyu vs. Miyabiyama
When I think of these two rikishi I think of tsupari to stand the other guy up and then a definitive slap to take the guy down. Waka does just that to move Old Man Miyabi down to 0-1.
Okinoumi vs. Tochinowa
Always fun to see your favorites face off, eh. Pretty Boy Don verus the Big Boy Lee. Two fairly young rikishi worth watching. One whose improved greatly at the Tachi and the other big enough to make it to the top one day, I hope, but likely not today. Don hits first and grabs Tochi’s wrapped arm at the tachi-ai. It got the big boy off balance and from there Don Juan gains the mawashi and walks my favorite Tochi out of the ring with relative ease.
Takekaze vs. Goeido
Akita’s only Makuuchi son faced off against new old sekiwake Goeido. It’s good to see him finally back near the rank we’d expect to see him at. I see him winning 9 this time round. I can’t wait to see him face off against the other Sekiwake Toyonoshima. Today was like a vacation for the Goeido. Takekaze literally ran out of the ring without much contact. Akita down 0-1 while new old future of Japan Sumo moves to 1-0.
Got to love when six Ozeki come out to play. M2 Gaga faced off on shin-Ozeki Kakuryu today. The big Gaga has never beaten Kakuryu and today was more of the same. Kakuryu gets hold of the belt and finally throws the big boy down. Can the Gaga win 8 at this rank? M10 is the highest rank he’s had with a winning record and he really hasn’t had much luck any higher. I’m hoping he gets 7. Kakuryu picks up his first Ozeki win. Let’s hope he’s in the race on Senshuraku and not just easing into his eighth win!
Kotooshu vs. Myogiryu
Can the young aggressive Myogiryu pull off the upset? Well you’ve got to love a straight up bout and that’s what we had here today. Myogiryu and Big-O going even at the tachi-ai. Both attempted a few slap downs but in the end Kotooshu edged out the smaller rikishi. Good stuff from both men.
Takayasu vs. Kotoshogiku
What a joy it is to report when you’ve got young guys like Takayasu to follow. Kid is tough, no doubt due to his former Oyakata and stablemates. Today he went toe to toe with Kotoshogiku. To Geeku maneuvers him out of the ring easily but you’ve still got to love that with most bouts there’s a level of unknown. After hitting rock bottom, I truly hope we are beginning to see an uptick in interest in Japan and abroad. There is so much to love about the sport right now.
Kisenosato vs. Aran
Alan starts this one with a harite to the Ozeki’s face but it does next to nothing as Kise simply pushes Alan hard. Before the Russian can recover, Kise is moving forward and Alan just steps out of the ring. Kisenosato off on the right foot moves to 1-0. Gambare Nippon!
Toyonoshima vs. Baruto
Looking at these two you’d think Baruto could never lose to a guy like Toyonoshima and you’d be right… four times out of five. Baruto has won 16 of their twenty matches against each other including today’s bout. Now I bet you are wondering who won? Well your in luck dear reader, here’s what went down. The two wrapped up at the tachi-ai and it looked to me like Bart’s knee buckled a little, giving Toyo the inside grip. Unfortunately for Toyo it didn’t do much good. Bart lifts the smaller rikishi in the air about three meters high and gentle sets him outside of the ring. Bart moves to 1-0! Ma armastan Eestit ja Baruto! (I love Estonia and Baruto!)
Harumafuji vs. Homasho
Went Homasho get defensive I think he’s pretty tough to beat. The first half of this bout Haruma was getting nadda from his forward attacks on the Komusubi. The Ozeki hesitates and Homasho attacks. Too bad for him because Haruma easily brings him down to the ground via a hatakikomi. Ama get’s to 1-0 too! Ozeki going 6-0 today!? Who’d of thunk it?
Hakuho vs. Aminishiki
With six undefeated Ozeki I’d expect more the same from Hakuho. Sadly that’s not what we got today. Maybe this is to spark interest into the work week after the Japanese long holiday Golden Week or perhaps it was just messy sumo? Either way, Hak misses his grip and sloppily hops round as Sneaky pulls him out of the ring and the seat cushions go a-flying a top the dohyo to end Shonichi.
Senshuraku will tell, but tomorrow Virgil V will set us free with his day two report. See you again on Friday.