Another day of sumo and another glass of whisky as the natsu basho rolls along. The whisky for the day is Glenlivet 18 and the sumo for the day isn’t all that bad with a few good matches in the upper ranks. Although I wasn’t scheduled to force my half-coherent opinions upon you all until later in the basho, De Gama’s sheer explosive elation at the Kimi-Yoshi-Take Kaze hattrick yesterday left him withered and incapable of reporting. So buckle up you sunsabitches, you’re stuck with me.
A quick stop to juryo reveals a surprisingly genki Takanoyama taking on Kokkai and walking away with a win although Kokkai might have taken an injury. Jokoryu (formerly known as sakumayama) seems to be adjusting slowly to Juryo with a respectable 5-5 record. Although that’s not a bad first foray into Juryo, it is still more losses than the guy has had in his whole career so far. Needless to say he won’t be breaking the record for the fastest rise to makuuchi come July. Crowd favorite takamisakari is still hanging in there with a 4-6, and ikioi, a favorite amongst the S&S crowd, looks to have the makings of a makuuchi comeback in July with a 7-3 record so far.
Onto the big(ger) boys.
Yesterday Hakuho’s stablemaster made his long suspected injury official: the man broke his left index finger during his bout with aminishiki on day one. Seeing as he is all but out of the Yusho race at this point, it will be interesting to see how he goes forward with this basho. Going into Day 10 our leaderboard is: Kisenosato and Tochiozan with 8 wins and Tamawashi, Takarafuji and Kotoshogiku with 7.
M15 Fujiazuma 2-7 vs M16 Takarafuji 7-2
Your standard pushing match between two chumps in this author’s humble opinion. They both went down nearly simultaneously but the gyoji (correctly) gave Takarafuji the win allowing him to hold onto his second place in this basho, although I doubt there are many among us who seriously believe this guy has got a chance.
M3 Tenkaiho 2-7 vs M13 Kimikaze 4-5
The first of the kazes gets a relatively quick outside left hand grip on Tenkaiho’s belt, but refuses to do anything with it, jumping around and backwards to no avail, which virtually assured that he would get forced out by the much larger rikishi via gabburi. Although I always love seeing new blood in Makuuchi, it’s guys like Kimikaze who are probably not going to hang around long enough to make an impression unless they stick to basics: strong, smart, forward-moving sumo. Needless to say there wasn’t much of that here today
M10 Wakanosato 4-5 M15 Tamawashi 7-2
Tamawashi pulls a half-BUZZ on wakanosato at the tachi-ai to throw him off balance and it works as he escorts senor sato out of the rin via oshidashi to remain on our leaderboard.
M9 Tokitenku 4-5 vs M14 Asasekiryu 3-6
Both of the Mongolians manage to get right-hand inside grips and staightaway procedd to do…… nothing with them. After what seems like an eternity Tokitenku escorts the red dragon out of the ring a la yorikiri.
M8 Tochinoshin 5-4 vs M11 Shotenro 6-3
Good, spirited start to the match and short-tenro does what he does best by pushing the white boy up and then down into the dirt. Noshin gets so frazzled after he gets up that he actually goes to the north side of the ring to bow out. The raucous laughter eventually reminded him of his mistake.
M7 Shohozan 4-5 vs M12 Daido 5-4
Boy, did Shohozan want it today. The boy snapped up out of the tachi-ai into the much larger Daido’s chest before firing a few very ineffective tsuppari into the gigantic chest of the Tokyo native. After a bit of running around Shohozan headbut-tackled Daido out of the ring in what looks more like a pokemon move than a standard kimarite.
Wakakoyu 5-4 vs Yoshikaze 4-5
Wakakoyu pulls some decent sumo out of his sizable ass today as he manages to push and then NOT immediately go after the cheap pull down. All of his legit forward shoves allow the lighter yoshikze to get morozashi which he uses to try to lift the wookie out of the ring. Sadly the lad just doesn’t have the strength and after pinning his arms Wakakoyu drives him to the bales. Yoshikzae goes for a sacrifice move but falls just ever so slightly before his opponent. Kimetaoshi win for Wakakoyu.
Kaisei 6-3 vs Aoiyama 6-3
Nteresting match between this battle of the bulges. Kaisei gets the advantage off the tachi-ai and manages to push mr. flappy tits out to the edge of the ring were he wins, or so he thinks. In reality Aoiyama’s fancy footwork allows him a ballet move I am going to name the revolving door that he uses to usher the Brazilian out of the ring.
M7 Kyokutenho 6-3 vs M4 Tochiozan 8-1
Tochiozan’s hope for the yusho diminish as the Mongolian hands this Japanese hopeful his second loss of the basho via katsukashi.
M8 Kitataiki 3-6 vs M4 Tochinowaka 2-7
I feel like Tochinowaka and Homasho are like spiritual brothers. Both of them know how to perfom good, and in some cases great sumo, but every other basho completely lose their drive to do well. Both of them can be an absolute joy to watch when they are on fire, and absolutely infuriating to watch when they just stand there and get manhandled out of the ring by people they should be steamrolling. Today is no exception as Kitataiki?!?! of all people decides to bring out the BUZZ, allowing the taller tochinowaka to barrel into the clay unopposed.
M3 Takekaze 2-7 vs M2 Gagamaru 3-6
Wow, some really good sumo today from Akita’s favorite son. The muffin from moriyoshi goes straight into the face of the Georgian beast at the tachi-ai and is effortless pushed back by the strength of the heaviest wrestler in the division. Takakaze wisely uses his speed to get out of a full on power contest with the lady before eventually diving straight into his chest and pulling off a magnificent sukuinage scoop throw. Really, a fun match to watch. Well, after 4 glasses of the Glenlivet all of these are pretty fun to watch to be honest.
K Homasho 1-8 vs M1 Aran 0-9
Alan by far has the stupidest looking tachi-ai stance, and so far has had the stupidest looking sumo this basho. Thankfully? Homie sumo is just unfocused and sloppy enough for Aaron to get a belt grip and use his power for a change to pick up his first win of the basho. Ugh, after his performance last basho it physically hurts to write about Aran.
M1 Takayasu 2-7 vs K Aminishiki 5-4
After a hurricane of slaps, shoves, and a few near misses by the referee, the sneakster manages to shove the hairball to the ground. 6-4 for ami and 2-8 for takayasu.
S Toyonoshima 5-4 vs M2 Myogiryu 4-5
Quick, fantastic tachi-ai from two of my favorite rikishi. Toyo more than once comes close to dumping myogi into the dirt, but the 25 year old has the tenacity to hang on to eventually force out shima. Fun, skillful, forward-moving sumo from some guys who deserve their ranks.
O Harumafuji 5-4 vs S Goeido 6-3
Both get a right hand grip from the start and after a brief staling period Haruma pulls a sweet spin-around uwatenage. Yet another match from today you should watch if you get the chance.
O Kisenosato 8-1 vs O Kotooshu 6-3
With the sole leading position on the line going into this match it was bound to be a good one. Oshu showing more spirit than usual today with the two of them crashing into eachother again and again with Kise eventually coming out the winner. Now, I am not going to say that Kise didn’t deserve his win, because he did, but Kotoshu just isn’t really an opponent to write home about beating this days. Although he stands at the top of the leaderboard for today, Kise has shown time and time again that he is nothing if not hot and cold and I sense a cold front coming in. My prediction: Jun-yusho at best for the second newest Ozeki.
O Kotoshogiku 7-2 vs O Baruto 6-3
Bart gets a strong right hand inside grip 2 seconds in and everyone in the stadium knows that it is just a matter of time before he uses his monstrous strength to rip the opposite Ozeki off the ground and outside the bales. Both Bart and the geek sit at at 3rd place with 7-3s.
Y Hahuko 5-4 vs O Kakuryu 7-2
With the admittance of Hakuho’s injury fresho n everyone’s mind, all eyes were on the yokozuna tosee how well he performed. Personally I was just glad to get to the act instead of having to watch 6 minutes of two strips of tape across Hak’s right hand. After an obviously larger amount of Hakuho cheering than usual the match starts and Kakuryu runs straight into the yokozuna’s arms and the match was all over. Chronologically the match lasted for a few seconds until the Ozeki was forced outside the ring, but the real decider happened as soon as the Hak got the kak’s right arm up into a position where he just couldn’t get a grip.
And with that ends day 10 of yet another basho. Your current winners are:
Kisenosato with 9-1
Tochiozan, Tamawashi and Takarafuji at 8-1
With Kise holding the current top spot and three chumps taking second place, it would be fair to speculate that the red belted wrestler with the angriest face around is pretty close to having this one in the bag. You would be wrong. Call me crazy but I think we are going to see a win by someone other than these 4 before this tournament is through.
Although Tamawashi nominally remains on the leaderboard for a shared second place, it would serve everyone to remember that one his wins is from his default over Chiyotairyu who pulled out of the tournament yesterday due to his injury. With Tairyu’s pull out this means that both of Kokonoe-beya’s makuuchi wrestler’s have gone kyujo. The only other injury in the tournament so far is Sadogatake’s boy in Juryo Kotoyuki who went kyujo earlier in the tournament, made a comeback, then decided to puss out and kyujo again today.
That’s it for today, check in tomorrow to see just what new insights and STDs tomorrow’s reporter decides to share with you.