Kyushu; typically a tense basho. A basho of change; when all of the rikishi fly down south to avoid the cold, much like the Siberian swans that migrate to Akita. Every year the less-than-magestic honking of these portly birds reminds me to always wear a hat, and watch where I step, but also that the Kyushu basho is on. Change; I mentioned it before. We have a new yokozuna. Perhaps he’s the panacea the NSK is looking for, perhaps he will bring in more ticket sales, perhaps he will make the sport appealing to younger audiences, perhaps he will cleanse the sport of scandal, gambling, and all the other ailments of every major professional sport. But who are we kidding… it’s sumo time, always wear a hat, cause zabuton might be flying, and watch where you step, cause the birds are back in town.
Jokoryu v Yoshiazuma – The makuuchi newcomer put up a good fight against the better morozashi beltgrip that Yoshiazuma had, but it was sealed from the start. Although Joko proffered a few good throw attempts, Yoshi nabbed the yorikiri.
Tamawashi v Chiyonokuni – Tamawashi got the better of the tachiai, moving Chiyo back. A throw attempt by both parties near the edge lead to a monoii, but Chiyonokuni’s mage touched first, and the call was sukuinage for Mawashi.
Chiyotairyu v Wakakoyu – Both of these guys are all about the Miyabiyama style push-push-pull junk. Chiyotairyu had the edge today, with a pretty decent tachiai to boot. Although the excitement factor was minimal.
Kitaitaiki v Fujiazuma – Taiki just couldn’t get around the thrusting and get a belt grip, Fuji had the better momentum and mindset and therefore got the tsukidashi win.
Wakanosato v Miyabiyama – Wakanosato did a decent job avoiding the slaps and pulls, but couldn’t manage a belt grip. Instead he decided to just go for the oshidashi. Not an impressive bout, the age and speed of the rikishi didn’t make it any better.
Ikioi v Asahisho – A pretty nice tachiai by Asa, but the more solid footwork of Ikioi won the day.
Yoshikaze v Asasekiryu – Embarrassing loss for Sexy after a shitty slapdown attempt. Yoshi got the inside grip and after a little work sideways and round the back, got the okuridashi.
Tokitenku v Shotenro – Tenro had Tenku up high from the start, getting a partial banzai out of him, and got in good position for a well executed shitatenage.
Daido v Aran – Aran was moving back from the start, Daido gaining ground. The Russian secured a good grip and unleashed a good strong throw from near the bales, picking up the win. Not the worst we’ve seen from Alan in the past few basho. Hopefully it will be the worst we see here in Novemeber, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Kyokutenho v Gagamaru – Nice tachiai from Mr. Yusho, and a good grip. Mongolia’s finest didn’t allow Georgia’s Gorgeous-est to get any forward motion going. The former champion worked the current heavyweight back and out for an easy looking win.
Toyonoshima v Toyohibiki – Toyonoshima slipped to the side after the initial hit, and was moving back. Beeker looked to have things sewn up, but Toyo used that lateral motion and his naturally low stature to pull a desperation sukuinage. Win for the little guy.
Takayasu v Aoiyama – Good forward motion and tsuppari from the Yama, that’s all. Not much opposition from Takayasu today.
Masunoyama v Takekaze – As it is in the beginning, so it shall be in the end. Nasty henka/hataki from Takekaze and a slip and tumble from Masu, with what looks like a possible hand or wrist injury for the lungless wonder. He’s known for sticking it out through injuries, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back.
Tochinoshin v Goeido – Goeido had his name all over this one form the tachiai. Wasn’t perfect though, the Japanese hype’s foot work was a bit uneven. Eido’s left foot went dangerously close to Noshin exiting the building, but the nod was given to Kool-Eido.
Kakuryu v Kaisei – After losing to Goeido yesterday, Kakuryu had something to prove, and the proof is in the pudding. Kakuryu was all over this one with a fast tachi and migiyotsu. Apparently this is fermented mare’s milk pudding.
Baruto v Shohozan – A cracker-jack tachiai morozashi by Shoho with quick lateral motion and an underhanded spin, left oversized Tony Soprano on the dirt. Given the limping from the Boss after this bout, it looks like his left knee is fucked. Although the impact during the replay didn’t look like it could have caused as much damage as Gumba’s face bemoaned. He needs a miracle. Today Shoho got one.
Myogiryu v Kotooshu – Myogiryu had the better grip and intial charge, but Oshu managed to work him back and out using pressure from above… I guess. Not really sure how Yogi lost that one. Oshu might get his 8 after all…again…yay…
Kotoshogiku v Homasho –At the collision Homey slipped down, leaving me unfulfilled. I really wanted a “Homey don’t play that” joke out of this one. I guess I’ll just have to settle for “Homey didn’t play that out very well, did he.”
Kisenosato v Aminishiki – The Sneak kept the Kid on the move, but it just so happens that all of that movement was sideways and backwards on the Sneak’s part. The kid sealed it up to keep his honor for today.
Hakuho v Tochiozan – It’s been 3 years since Hakuho was not fighting in the musubi no ichiban, a bit strange not seeing his name in that terminal position. I am, however, happy to report that not much else has changed. Harite, side step, and hatakikomi. Signed, sealed, delivered.
Haruma v Okinoumi – Started off with a standard Harumafuji nodowa, which he tried to trade up for an inside grip. Oki was ready and willing, moving the yokozuna back. Harry slipped to the side with a left hand inside, trying for a shitatenage, but Oki counter threw with nothing but a kotenage, and Harumafuji’s sideways position was off balance enough to buckle his leg prematurely. Monoii was called and in the replay it appeared that Harry’s arm went down at the same time as Oki’s knee, I would have been fine seeing a rematch as it was a bit close, but it was called gunbai dori. A first loss for Harry on his first musubi no ichiban, a first kinboshi for Okinoumi, and a not so encouraging end to today’s sumo. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day, and Chalmers is back to bring you day 3.