I was greeted by some huge news as soon as I turned on my TV today. Not one, but TWO ozeki have bowed out of the Aki basho due to injury. First off ozeki Kotoshogiku injured his left knee when fighting Homasho yesterday. Did something happen that I don’t remember? I don’t think so. Have a look for yourself: Kotoshogiku vs Homasho.
The next ozeki to go kyujo was Baruto. He fractured his big toe before the tournament began, and on top of that he injured his right ankle. I guess at that point you gotta say fair enough, I’ll take a break.
This apparently is the first time that 2 ozeki ever went kyujo on the same day. So we’re going to have at least two kadoban ozeki in November!
Asahisho vs Takanoyama
The first meeting between these two in the makuuchi division. Takanoyama went to the side, and tried to arm bar Asa-salty-hands. It almost worked out but needed some followup pushing. Which Taka was more than willing to try, but not for long enough. After a few pushed Taka reverted to a pull down which was not the right move and allowed Asa back into the game. Taka kept the pressure, slapping and dodging and just trying to knock Asa off balance. But Asa was on form and when he finally got Taka in front of him pushed him back and out.
Asasekiryu vs Tenkaiho
Asasekiryu went slightly to the side to get the advantage from the tachi-ai. He got a good right handed outer grip with his other hand on Tenkaiho’s head. Instead of, or perhaps because unable to, pull Ten in with his right hand grip the two locked up in yotsu-sumo. Then Asa pulled off a beautiful shitatenage and dropped Tenkaiho to the dirt.
Chiyotairyu vs Sadanofuji
After a slow tachi-ai Chiyo gets a right hand grip. He pulled forward strongly on Sada’s mawashi and got directly behind him. From there Sada does not have the skill or speed required to evade the push out.
Fujiazuma vs Takarafuji
After a weak sumo both men enguaged in some slow tsuppari. Fujiazuma drove forward, got Takarafuji to the edge and without dropping his hips bellybumps Takara over the tawara.
Kyokutenho vs Kimurayama
Kyokutenho had an easy win against Kimurayama today. Kimuras tried to evade a belt grip and basically set up Kyokutenho for a simple push out. Kyokutenho now has 808 career wins, which puts him clear into 9th place of all time!
Daido vs Wakanosato
Daido got a strong left hand outside grip and went to throw the old man down. Wakanosato may be old, but he has good balance. He was also able to prevent Daido from gaining a right hand grip, which he desperately needed. When Wakanosato’s opportunity finally arose, he drove Daido over the bales for a good win.
Yoshikaze vs Okinoumi
Oki got a good start and was driving Yoshi back. But Yoshi can squirm, and squirm he did, and managed to get both arms inside Okinoumi, but not literally. He started to drive forward, and then went for a pull down, when a pull down was not on the cards. And that gave Oki the opening to yorikiri his way to victory, and 4-0.
Miyabiyama vs Takayasu
Miyabiyama pushed Takayasu up at the tachi-ai, and immediately went for a pull down. Takayasu was perfectly balanced though, and followed with a paw to his throat. Next he pushed on the his chest and that was curtains for Miyabi. Takayasu also moves to cool 4-0.
Wakakoyu vs Shotenro
Wakakoyu was all about the tsuppari today. Shotenro was looking quite dull, looking for a pull down. Then roles changed as Wakakoyu went for a pull down which didn’t work and gave the advantage to Shotenro. Sho still wasn’t so interested in doing a while lot though, and allowed Waka to start pushing and shoving again. But then Shotenro pugged on the back of Waka’s head with perfect timing, and Shotenro landed on the sand.
Tokitenku vs Kitataiki
0-3 vs 0-3! After they crashed Tokitenku realised that Kitataiki was way to low, so Toki went for a push down. Kita was moving fast though, so Tokitenku needed to reverse back as fast as he could. It was pretty close in the end as Toki was spinning around at the edge, Kita didn’t have the balance to stay on his feet long enough to gain the win.
Aminishiki vs Masunoyama
Mass-without-lungs was doing well, pushing the snake backwards. But when the two separated MWL forgot about his feet, and kept them way too close together. When the snake pushed him again he fell backwards clear off his feet, and clear off the dohyo.
Takekaze vs Toyohibiki
Toyohibiki got his elbow into the Akitians neck from the tachi-ai and was driving forward. But the Akitian was keeping the lateral pressure on and at the perfect time he released that pressure and slapped Toyo down.
Tochiozan vs Toyonoshima
Tochiozan had more power in his tachi-ai, and with a right hand inside grip. Toyo quickly went makikae, but Tochi just locked in on the now inside grip from Toyo and drove him back. At the edge Toyo was bending backwards like a scene from the Matrix, so Tochiozan decided to switch tactics and threw Toyo forward and down into the centre of the ring.
Aoiyama vs Goeido
Goeido got a good inside position under the armpits of the much bigger Aoiyama. He was trying to win via a beltless arm throw. Aoiyama was left squeezing in on Goeido’s arms trying to keep his balance. As Goeido was trying to force Aoi to the left, Aoi went makikae and immediately Goeido changed direction and dumped him to the right. Good aggressive stuff from Goeido today.
Kotoshogiku vs Gagamaru
With the withdrawal of Kotoshogiku, Gagamaru can have the evening off as he prepared for his date with Kisenosato tomorrow.
Tochinoshin vs Kisenosato
Kisenosato has had a perfect start this basho, racing off to 3-0. He first faces an M1, then an M2. Today he moves back up the banzuke to face Komusubi Tochinoshin. After and initial scrapple at the tachi-ai Tochi was using his right arm to push on Kissys face, but when his hand slipped of his face his arm went over Kises shoulder. Kissy reacted perfectly getting the mawashi, and pulling Tochi in close while keeping him at an angle. From there it is easy to for anyone back and out. Solid win from Kisenosato.
Harumafuji vs Kaisei
Some doubt whether Harumafuji is genuinely gunning for yokozuna, but I really hope he is. It will make his career much shorter, but will also make sumo a helluva lot more interesting for the time being! He just needs to keep on winning. Today he hit Kaisei hard and fast before Kaisei had even moved. The ozeki had a left handed grip which he then used to pull kaizen forward as he moved to the side. Kaisei was on the dirt before he knew what was happening. 4-0 for Harumafuji.
Homasho vs Kakuryu
Kakuryu has started perfectly this basho, how long more that will continue has yet to be seen. The Kak came in low and looked in good form. He was pushing Homey back and looked certain to win. But then Homey backed up and pulled on the Kaks arm. He then circled around keeping lateral pressure, which was key to keeping him in the fight, and drove the ozeki back. With a final push he sent the ozeki flying off the dohyo, landing him on top of the yokozuna.
Kotooshu vs Shohozan
This is only the second date for these too. Kotooshu wore the pants the last day, will it be the same today? “Best tan and best scowl” was the commentators comments before the fight! lol I like it! Tanny got a much better tachi-ai, perhaps it should have been a madamada but he got away with it. So he gained a huge advantage. He kept himself low and pushed the ozeki back with ferocity, He got an inside grip and looked set to throw the ozeki down over his knee, but Kotooshu quickly deflated that option. Shoho was now without a grip but had a double inside grip. As the ozeki went to drive forward he allowed the sekiwake to get a solid deep right hand grip which he used to throw the ozeki towards the tawara. From there he was set up to push the ozeki out with style. Great win from a hungry Shohozan!
Myogiryu vs Baruto
With Baruto’s withdrawal Myogiryu gets gifted the win, and can look forward to M1 Shohozan tomorrow.
Hakuho vs Aran
Ranked at M2 this basho, Aran has so far been entertaining all ozeki. Today he gets fed to the one of the finest men to ever set foot on a dohyo. These two have met 10 times in the past with Hakuho sharing all the spoils. Hakuho hit hard and fast, completely destroying the hopes and dreams Aran may have unrealistically had before stepping onto the dohyo today. The Yokozuna forced Aran to the bales, belly-bopping and simply manhandling the Russian. For safety, for fun, or shear precision at the edge Hakuho forced Aran down to his left.
de Gama is already roasting the coffee beans for tomorrow.