Welcome to day 14 of the Nagoya basho. While the other gentlemen of S&S are partying it up at this basho’s S&S gathering you’ve got me here to do the play-by-play. Once again the yusho race is pretty narrow. Only Hakuho and Harumafuji at the top of the heap, and the closest runner up, Kisenosato, is 3 wins behind, and can only play spoiler at this point. The JSA has broke with tradition and reset the schedule so that instead of the highest ranked ozeki facing the yokozuna on senshuraku, Harumafuji will battle Hakuho tomorrow. As we can all agree, the rivalry between Haks and Haruma favors Haks, but Harumafuji has looked pretty amazing this basho, and Hakuho has been a bit off of late. Should be an interesting bout to say the least. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Day 14 starts now.
Did anyone else notice the Gene Shalit look alike behind the east side? I could stop looking at the guy.
Hochiyama – Sotairyu – Montana was right in his assessment of Hochiyama, this started out with some pretty weak tsuppari that moved Tairyu back. Tairyu answered back and when it became obvious that tsuppari was not going to help, faked going for the belt, thrusted, and pivoted to the side for the tsukiotoshi win. 7-7, 1-13.
Tenkaiho – Takanoyama – If Takanoyama can scrape at least one more win out he’ll be sure to stick around for one more basho in makuuchi. Taka went straight in against the much bigger Tenkai and scored a right hand inside. Taka had low position and looked OK, but Kaihou pulled the slowest makikae I’ve ever seen and got morozashi, and that was that, despite an utchari attempt. Probably still gonna be around next basho. 8-6, 5-9.
Kitataiki – Takarafuji – Two good things here. 1) good to see Kitataiki getting back in the game, and 2) good to see Takarafuji flirting with a makuuchi KK. Takara went for an arm bar, pulled and rotated back, maybe for a tottari, but bad dohyokan handed Kitataiki an easy KK. 8-6, 6-8
Miyabiyama – Tamaasuka – Nothing positive to say about either of these guys, Yabi is a one dimensional rikishi who will bounce up and down from mid to low makuuchi until he finally retires, and Oscar one of those really forgettable rikishi. Push, pull, push, pull, run away backwards, slap down… That was even too complimentary for how shit this sumo was. 8-6, 2-12
Yoshikaze – Tochinowaka – Pretty standard Yoshi performance this basho, nothing out of the ordinary, but Tochinowaka needs to get over whatever mental or physical slump he is in. Maybe it’s just best for him to take a basho off, then start fresh. Typical Yoshi dodging around, typical Tochinowaka this basho, put up no fight, and was going out, but Yoshi got too eager and ran right out of the ring. All it took to secure the win was a little Temptations-style turn for Tochi, who will be fighting tomorrow to stay in the division. 7-7, 5-9
Gagamaru –Chiyotairyu – Gaga has not been too bad this basho, Chiyotairyu was better as well. Went from pushing and thrusting, Tairyu went for the belt, and avoided a slap down, and like an idiot went back to the mawashi against a bigger rikishi. Tairyu went down, and as Murray Johnson said took a left breast of lady Gaga to the face, which left him with a busted lip and a bloody nose. Lots of bloody noses this basho… 10-4, 7-7
Tokitenku – Toyohibiki – Been a few basho since we saw these guys put in a good performance. Good Tachiai from Beeker, pushing back Tenku. Tenku circled around around and around trying to find a good position. Beeker lost his grip, and then got it back, but the bout was stopped for a few minutes while the gyoji retied Tokitenku’s mawashi. In fact most of the 2mins 30 secs was mawashi tying. Toyohibiki went in for the kill after the gyoji restarted the match, but Tokitenku answered back and pulled an uwatenage. 9-5, 8-6
Wakanosato – Shotenro – Bizarre bout. Tenro came in with a thrust, but Wakanosato quickly got his favorite migiyotsu, drove and went for a sukuinage. Shotenro drove him back and a thrust to the chest sent Wakanosato teetering on the bales, Tenro though he had it in the bag, and cooly walked away. Waka’s balance kept him from falling out, and after a double take, Tenro reengaged, but Once Wakanosato got the migiyotsu it was over for Tenro. Embarassing. 8-6, 7-7
Aran – Masunoyama – Masunoyama has looked great this basho, lots of power good oshizumo, and this is coming from a guy who is not a huge fan of oshizumo. I like seeing this guy fire on all cylinders. Aran is still kind of confusing to watch. Harite/Henka from Aran, Masu pushed through it and sent the Russian flying out. Kantosho for this guy for sure. 9-4, 10-4
Ikioi – Takayasu– tough basho for both of these guys so far, Ikioi is still kind of new to the division, and Takayasu is still coming to grips with being higher up on the banzuke. Ikioi came in high looking for some kind of grip, but his foot work was a bit sloppy. A slip on the clay, and a palm to the ribcage gave Takayasu his 6th win in a row. 6-8 a piece.
Tochinoshin – Kaisei – Noshin has been back on his game this basho, as has Kaisei. I was really looking forward to this bout. Great tachiai by Kaisei, moved Noshin right back, Utchari attempt by the Georgian had no effect. 8-5, 10-4
Daido – Takekaze – Daido had a great start, but cooled off a bit, and Takekaze had a few decent wins. Takekaze went in strong and shifted to the side, hoping to take Daido off balance, Daido was having none of that and picks up another win. 10-5, 7-7.
Wakakoyu – Tamawashi – Henka, by Tamawashi… ugly ugly ugly win. 3-11, 4-10
Kyokutenho – Sadanofuji – Poor Kyokutenho, yusho last basho, 0-13 this basho. Kyoku gaman-ed through a bit of thrusting and waited a few seconds until it was time for the katasukashi. Last basho’s yusho winner, just picked up his first win on day 14. 1-13, 4-10
Okinoumi – Aminishiki – I expect the Sneak to be picking up this kind of score from M1 at his age, but Casanova should be scoring higher here. Today was all Sneaky, he went into a belt grip and pushed Oki around with not much resistance, turned to the left, and pulled out an uwatedashinage. 5-9, 3-11
Myogiryu – Homasho – Really looking forward to this bout, but hoping that Yogi get distracted by pic-a-nic baskets like he has been in the past few days. Homasho had this one from the tachiai, backward motion, a few limp-dicked thrusts, and a throw attempt was all that Yogi had to offer. Not enough. KK for Homey, no cigar for Yogi. 7-7, 8-7
Aoiyama – Toyonoshima – Aoiyama was all over Shin-papa. No answer at all. Nice powerful oshidashi by the Bulgarian bulge. 7-7, 4-10
Shohozan – Tochiozan – Hozan was in trouble from the start with Tochiozan getting in deep. But Hozan got some room and opened up a can of tsuppari. Tochiozan was moved back, harite were exchanged and Shohozan picks up his 7th. 7-7, 3-11
Goeido – Kakuryu – Expected a better performance from the Kak, and since Goeido is out with an injury (broken rib or something), we’ll have to wait until tomorrow. 8-6
Kotooshu – Harumafuji – Harumafuji is on till the break of dawn this basho, Kotooshu is looking better. Deep left hand slip to the side, tap the inside of the knee, and forward movement, with nothing back from Kotooshu. Either that was the worst, most obvious yaocho ever, or It was just a bout against Kotooshu. 8-6, 14-0
Baruto – Kotoshogiku – Bart and the Geek… that sounds like a show that would have been on Nickelodeon when I was younger. After a bit of fumbling around, The Geek got his favorite morozashi/gabburi combo, and humped his way to victory.8-6, 10-4
Hakuho – Kisenosato – Can’t say I’ve been overly pleased with Kissy this basho, but I’m not overly disappointed either. Hakuho had as bit of a sloppy start but has been getting into the groove the further we go in this basho. I do like the rivalry building up between these two though. It adds some flavor. Little do you know, it’s about to get a lot more flavorful. A Kisenosato matta with no apology, Hakuho got pissed and gave Kise a fairly aggressive shove back to his side of the ring. Kise matta-ed again, and Hakuho lost his cool. Usually after a matta both rikishi stand up, they return to their positions and that’s all. Hakuho stood up flexed his shoulders and stalked Kise all the way back over his shikirisen . I was sure Haks was gonna deck the kid. The screws had been tightened. Some serious shit was about to kick off. Hakuho cooled his jets, apologized to the shinpan-cho, and returned to his side of the ring. BAM! Tachiai……………… henka…………… from Hakuho……………. Hatakikomi…………………… I had to check to see if I was having a nightmare. To be fair, Kise deserved it. They had plenty of time, and no reason to rush things. It was nice to see that kind of aggression from Hakuho, like I said before this specific rivalry is good for this sport. 14-0, 10-4 I dare anyone to say that this bout was yaocho.
Well, we’ve got two men at 14-0 going for the yusho. If Hakuho gets a zensho he will have 9, which is the most ever. Right now he is tied with Taiho and Futabayama at 8. Harumafuji obviously wants to make up for his failed attempt at tsunatori a while back, by showing he can still fuck shit up and yusho. The closest rikishi to these two Mongolian monsters are Kisenosato, Kotoshogiku, Daido,Kaisei, Gagamaru, and Masunoyama at 10-4. Senshuraku is shaping up to be a pretty exciting day of sumo, and lucky, lucky you… bring your towel, a sponge, and some hot oils because all day tomorrow Dick Montana will soap you up and rinse you off, but won’t leave you wanting. Right here at Sumo & Stogies no yu.