After reading our reports over the last few days I am sure that there are more than one or two of you who are now convinced that they entire sumo and stogies crew lives in a gay bathhouse. Sadly, I must dispel this rumor. We all must wait until Connelly gets his bathhouse up and running before we can christen it as only we can.
The big matches for today are Harumafuji v Kaisei and Hakuho v Baruto as the whole sumo world looks on to see if the two Mongolians can keep their perfect records. The JSA announced today that Haruma and Hakuho will be going up against either on Senshuraku in the hope of a possible dramatic showdown between two undefeated wrestlers.
Let’s start off low today. The makushita Yusho was decided today by a wrestler by the name of Yamaguchi from Hahuko’s Miyagino stable with a 7-0 zensho-yusho. Apparently Yamaguchi was a pretty big name in college at Nihon Daigaku and joined the professional ranks mid-makushita in Hatsu.
Onto the main events:
M13 Daido (8-4) vs M11 Kitataiki (7-5)
After a false start, the two rank-and-filers went onto to prove just why they were in fact rank-and-filers. Daido had the better tachi-ai and quickly got an outer left hand grip and drove the M11 to the straw. After kitataiki put up the slightest bit of resistance Daido switched tactics and then switched tactics again and again including some unnecessary maki-kaes before finally yorikiri-ing his opponent out of the ring.
M11 Tamawashi (2-10) vs M14 Tochinowaka (4-8)
Let’s see which tochinowaka shows up today, the guy that has the ability to rock the sumo world and become a joi mainstay, or the guy who has refused to go kyujo and has performed half-hearted sumo at best.
After a pseudo-henka by Tamawashi there is a bit of slapping before eventually Tochinowaka falls to the clay after a weak throw by Tamawashi. I am tired of being disappointed by this guy.
M12 Takanoyama (5-7) vs M10 Takarafuji (5-7)
Amazingly, the czech has been able to stave off make-koshi so far in the tournament, but his luck could only last so long. After a straightforward initial charge from both wrestlers, Takarafuji quickly gained control and walked the 100kg stick out of the ring. As much as I dislike seeing henka in the higher ranks, Takanoyama has to understand at this point that there little chance of him ever getting a winning record in the highest division if he doesn’t resort to trickery more often than not.
M10 Tamaasuka (2-10) vs M13 Masunoyama (8-4)
Masunoyama is what miyabiyama should be. Strong, stays low, and his tsuppari hit quickly with potency. Masu’s strategy worked well for him today as his pushing made quick work of Tamaasuka. Although I would like to see masu go farther up the ranks I just don’t think that he will ever be able to go toe-to-toe with the bigger guys who like prolonged belt fights like Kotoshogiku and Baruto. The reason being: Masunoyama only has half the lung function of a normal human (seriously). Next time you see this guy in a prolonged match, look closely and you will see him panting like his life depends on it (because it does.)
M9 Miyabiyama (6-6) vs M12 Sadanofuji (4-8)
Quick hikiotoshi win that is a mirror image of Wakakoyu’s modus operandi. The old man gets one win closer to his KK.
M8 Yoshikaze (6-6) vs M9 Tokitenku (8-4)
After the leg work we have been seeing from Tokitenku this tournament, I am excited for this matchup today. Yoshikaze likes to run and jump around so much that if tenku even gets a misplaced kick into his shins he is likely to hit the clay.
BUZZ- Yoshikaze jumps aside of the Mongolian and pushes him out with enough force that he belly flops on the clay. When wrestlers get this close to their KKs, you can count on them to get desparate. Toki apparently was lulled into complacency by his solid 8-4 record so far.
M16 Ikioi (6-6) vs M7 Toyohibiki (7-5)
Good strong charge from two wrestlers who were looking for their KKs. Toyohibiki had the advantage from the start and proceeded to drive Ikoi to the bales with a firmly placed nodowa. Once at the tawara, the M16 had no chance to regain his balance and was oshidashi-ed out by beeker. Ikoi needs to win his last two bouts to avoid a repeat demotion down to Juryo.
M7 Gagamaru (8-4) vs M14 Wakanosato (7-5)
After his win over Kaisei yesterday the lady achieved his first Kachi-koshi since hatsu. Wakanosato on the other hand is still one short for his winning record so I am putting my chips on the old chap today.
And I was mistaken! Gaga demonstrates a quicker than normal tachi-ai- driving Wakanosato up and allowing the heavier Georgian to use his mass to drive him out for an oshidashi win. Wakawaka still has two chances to avoid his MK.
M6 Homasho (7-5) vs M15 Chiyotairyu (6-6)
Although I have given up all hope on the cigar store indian of ever achieving anything great, I feel like the newest addition to Makuuchi from chiyonofuji’s stable has a chance to do some great things as long as he stops doing shit sumo. Case in point: he was doing fantastic early in the tournament until he reverted to his pulling ways and starting a mad losing streak.
Today the wolf-pup goes for some fantastic forward-moving pushing, forcing Homasho to go on the defensive straight away. Only after mr. manners keeps slipping around him does tairyu finally resort to pulling, forcing his opponent down to the dohyo just a split second before he steps out. Although it was a hikiotoshi win, it was a hikiotoshi win I can get behind. Both wrestlers are left at 7-6.
M15 Hochiyama (1-11) vs M5 Takayasu (4-8)
After an intial exchange of tsuppari between the two, they both go for outer left hand grips. Takayasu wriggles his way free and forces Hochiyama to the ground via what can only be described a night-club wriggling dance move.
M3 Wakakoyu (3-9) vs M4 Takekaze (6-6)
Takekaze leads the head to head here 4-0 all by either hikiotoshi or hatakikomi wins. If there was ever a wrestler I was ok with him using those moves against it would be Wakakoyu. Hopefully Takakeze’s win today will look a little less yaocho-ey than his unlikely win over Aoiyama yesterday.
And… Takekaze picks up win number 7 with a quick backwards step and a slap down as wakakoyu jumped forward to set up his usual push-pull trick. Wakakoyu drops to 3-10.
M3 Shohozan (5-7) vs M2 Okinoumi (3-9)
Best match of the day so far. Shohozan starts off with his signature tsuparri before the two settle down into a Oki-shitate Shoho-uwate position. Shoho has the momentum the entire match and tries goes for 1 oshidashi, 3 uwatenage, and 2 yorikiri before finally throwing Don Juan to the dirt and belly-flopping on his head via uwatenage. Shohozan improves to 6-7 and Okinoumi falls to an embarrassing (but expected of an M2) 3-10.
M2 Aoiyama (5-7) vs M6 Shotenro (7-5)
I think the announcer summed this one up well when he said aaaaa chuto-hanpa henka deshita! Shawty tried a cheap BUZZ in an attempt to seal his KK, but Aoiyama was too quick with his forward movement (something that was peculiarly absent yesterday…) and shoved the M6 out.
M1 Kyokutenho (0-12) vs M1 Aminishiki (3-9)
Kyokutenho is just breaking records left and right these days; a fantastic feat for someone his age. Sadly, the record that he has most recently broken is the most consecutive losses for a wrestler who won the last basho. The last records was 8 losses, which the Mogolian has shattered, assuring his place in dubious record books for the forseeable future. Although I am against yaocho in all its forms, watching this tournament I want to give Aminishiki some money in a little black enevelope if only to spare the 37 year old wrestler the shame of going 0-15. Kyokutenho is 8-1 in the head to head, so there still might be a chance that he could pull out his first win today.
Aminishiki gets morozashi straight away from the tachi-ai and eventually tries a baruto-esque tsuridashi before settling for a straight-forward yorikiri win.
K Myogiryu (6-6) vs M5 Aran (9-3)
After his last two messed up losses I am hoping that myogi can get his head straight to deal with the crazy and wild sumo that Aran is known to bring to the table. His best bet is that Aran has gone complacent after getting his KK and will try to fight the komusubi straight up.
Myogiryu takes his dear sweet time getting his hands down at the tachi-ai clearly trying to calm himself down. As soon as his hands hit the clay, Aran can’t jump back and slap down fast enough. It looked like he was anticipating the ultra low charge that the komusubi had been showing the last few days, but Myogi was on his game today. He recovered from the half-assed henka attempt quickly and sent Alan down into the second row moving one step closer to sekiwake at 7-6.
K Toyonoshima (3-9) vs S Tochiozan (3-9)
Some pathetic records from these two. These records are expected of two lower-ranked wrestlers who have gotten promoted after a fluke good tournament before getting chewed up by the meat grinder, not a joi mainstay and one of the participants in the last tournament’s kettei-sen.
Toyo goes straight into Tochi-oh-my-goodness-zan’s chest withis signature shoulder tackle. Ohzan puts up a good fight and refuses to give any ground, but the new father throws his opponent to the ground via katasukashi.
FYI the two participants of last tournament’s championship match now have a combined 3-23 record.
S Goeido (7-5) vs M4 Tochinoshin (7-5)
Goeido starts off with a weird backing-up-no-slap or pull attempt half henka tachai before getting migi-yotsu on Noshin’s belt and throwing him down to the dirt for the win. BUT WAIT. After a mono-ii it was decided that when Goeido fell to the dirt during his throw his elbow hit the ground before tochinoshin did, reversing the judgement. Noshin picks up his KK and Goeido has to try again.
O Kotooshu (8-4) vs O Kakuryu (6-6)
10-13 in favor of Kakuryu, but the eurozeki has won their most recent match up. The puppy-faced Ozeki gets a right hand outside grip and spins the larger rikishi around and around to the ground until he falls for an uwatedashinage win. The Kak is sitting at 7-6, Oshu at 8-5. How many of you want to bet that if the Kak is 7-7 on senshuraku he will magically pull his 8th win out of his ass?
M8 Kaisei (9-3) vs O Harumafuji (12-0)
The first big bout of the day. I gotta say, going into this match I don’t think anyone has money on the Brazilian, regardless of how well he has been performing this basho. 0-1 in favor of the ozeki, with his win coming last year in Nagoya. This match-up has to be the JSA trying to correct the mistake of last basho of not having kyokutenho fight more ozeki.
OUCH. Arguably the fastest rikishi in the division wastes 0 time getting his hand in the Brazilians maw to push him straight up and down in maybe 2 seconds. Haruma did grab the back vertical section of Kaisei’s mawashi when shoving him out, which should have been a disqualifier but it wasn’t called (along with his other dame-oshi and hair pulls that he has done this basho). Kaisei falls to 9-4 and Haruma remains perfect at 13-0
O Kisenosato (9-3) vs O Kotoshogiku (9-3)
The prediction by the sumo and stogies crew going into this bout is 4 for Kissy and 1 for the Geek. Let’s see who is right. As a complete side-note I am digging Kise’s new crotch-smashing warm up move.
The geek doesn’t touch his hand to the clay enough at the tachi-ai and the two are separated after a rather fierce initial collision. Round 2: Kise uncharacteristically goes for a belt grab and after a good amount of belly bumping he actually manages to out gabburi kotoshogiku. I am sorry, but this match was bullshit. I am not saying it was fixed, but Kotoshogiku was not doing anything out there. He was moving enough, but wasn’t digging in, stayed high, and practically walked out backwards at the end to spare Kise the trouble of pushing. Bleh.
Y Hakuho (12-0) vs O Baruto 8-4
The second big match of the day. The yokozuna leads the head to head 22-3, with the Estonian having gotten two of his 3 wins in the last year, meaning that it’s a more even match than the numbers would have you believe (lying bastard numbers…). Speaking of numbers, Hakuho is the fastest yokozuna in histry to get to 400 wins at 30 basho. The next closes was Kitanoumi with 32 basho. Asashoryu incidentally required 37 basho to reach the 400 mark.
That kept me on the edge of my seat. After a huge tachi-ai where both wrestlers got migi-yotsu, Hakuho gives up the inner grip to go for a failed uwatenage attempt. After getting his preferred grip back Bart and the Hak stay locked up for a good 30 seconds with the Estonian trying a few unsuccessful but closed tsuridashi attempts. Eventuallt the Yokozuna ended the tension filled match by throwing out the ozeki into the stands with a quick uwatenage to kep his perfect 13-0 record. All signs point to a 14-0 playoff between the two rivals on day 15.
That’s it for me. See you all on Senshuraku when you will once again be subjected to my half (ok fully) drunk analysis