Aloha and welcome to Day 14 of the Kyushu! Chalmers here, reporting to you from Hawaii where the sun is shining and the NSK stream is lagging! It’s okay, though, as the plot has stopped thickening and has congealed like the gravy in my arteries from yesterday’s Thanks Giving festivities. Throwing up a fist of victory after picking up his 10th win of the tournament, Hakuho has already decided he will become the 9th winningest Yokozuna in history (tied with the Wolf), and will be coming within 10 yusho of his greatest rival, Asashoryu. Unless, of course, he somehow loses the next two matches AND loses an unlikely playoff with Kyokutenho. But after the May tournament, who knows what could happen!
Eyes are on our last Kadoban on the fence, Kotoshogiku, who stands at 7-6. The Geek faces Kyokutenho today, and the two share a 10-10 history. Though the Geek has beaten the Mongol in the last three meetings, nothing is certain when you are on the verge of demotion.
Checking up on Takamisakari down in Jyuryo: Robocop was able to summon the powers of a thousand grandmas screaming for satisfaction. Takamisa comes in low for a beautiful tachiai to gain the lower position on opponent Tenkaiho. A little lift and a walk to the bails, and the rest is history. Yorikiri win for Takamisa and one step further from retirement.
On to Makuuchi…
M15 Yoshiazuma (3-10) vs. J2 Kimurayama (4-9). A lazy tachiai from both, a little pushing and shoving later, and the heavier Kimurayama gets Yoshi’s lunch money. Oshidashi puts Kimurayama at 5 wins, Yoshi picks up his 11th loss.
J1 Takarafuji (7-6) vs. M14 Chiyonokuni (5-8). Chiyo flies in with a tsupari attack, but Takara keeps balance and patiently waits to find his grip, which he does. Takara pulls up on the belt and walks Chiyo out. Yorikiri gives Takara his Kachi and Chiyonokuni falls to 5-9.
M16 Tamawashi (7-6) vs. M13 Wakakoyu (4-9). A solid stiff arm tachiai from both sides, but King Tama showed he wanted it more. Tama pushes Waka to the bails and shoves him over. Oshidashi puts Washi on the Kachi, and Waka falls to 4-10.
M12 Kitataiki (7-6) vs. M12 Wakanosato (7-6). Kitataiki shoots to the left to try to catch the veteran off guard, but it backfires and Kita is unable to plant his inside right. Waka gets his migi in, defends with his left, and waits Kita out. Kita makes a failed attempt to belt throw, spins out of control, and Waka has his back for an easy walk out. Okuridashi gives Waka his kachi, and Kita will have to wait till tomorrow to try for his.
M14 Jokoryu (6-7) vs. M11 Miyabiyama (4-9). Both men come in swinging, but Flubby alternates between shoves and slap-downs. After a few tries, one of thows slap-downs manages to get Joko stumbling forward toward the bails. Flubby capitalizes and gives the finishing push. Hikiotoshi and Miyabiyama delivers Joko back down to Juryo.
M10 Ikioi (8-5) vs. M13 Fujiazuma (6-7). A high tachiai dooms Ikioi as Mt. Fuji delivers two stiff arms and the E. Honda special to follow. Oshidashi puts Fujiazuma one closer to his Kachi, and Ikioi at 8-6.
M11 Asahisho (6-7) vs. M8 Daido (3-10). The NSK Cameraman should be shot for missing Asahishio’s liberal application of cleansing salts to the ring… Asahishio comes out like a wildman, shoving and swinging uncontrollably. Daido plays defensively, blocking and parrying. Eventually Little Shio loses his grip on the ground and stumbles to the sand. In a last ditch effort straight out of the English Premier League, Asahishio starts crying on the ground to the ref, hoping to draw a penalty for hair-pulling. The refs tell confer with each other, and decide to send the crybaby back to the locker room. Hatakikomi gives Asahi-shio his Makekoshi, and Daido climbs to 4 wins.
M7 Gagamaru (8-5) vs. M15 Chiyotairyu (9-4). Chiyotairyu lives out my fantasy and bumps chests with Lady Gaga. The smaller Chiyo jumps back and Lady Gaga almost stumbles to sand. The two wrap up and Chiyo demonstrates why he belongs with the big boys: a quick turn with the outside grip puts Lady Gaga in the sand with a really sore elbow. Chiyotairyu may turn out to be an arm-breaker: Uwatenage brings Chiyo to 10-4, and Gaga to 8-6.
M8 Tokitenku (6-7) vs. M5 Toyohibiki (8-5). The mongol leads with a harite and the two wrap up on the tachiai. The Biki has the lower position and pushes Toki to the bails. Toki hits the bail and tries for uwatenage, but fails, tries again, fails again. Yorikiri ends it, putting Toyo at 9 wins and Toki at a makekoshi.
M10 Yoshikaze (6-7) vs. M4 Masunoyama (5-8). Yoshikaze has been showing superb sumo this tournament. A quick tachiai from Toshi puts two in the chest of Masunoyama, then the two wrap up. Yoshi keeps his right hand in while keeping Masu’s right arm high. Yoshi works around to the side and the two dance around like this until Masunoyama’s heart can’t take any more. Yoshi turns and pulls Masu to the sand. Uwatenage puts the fan-favorite of this tournament to 7-7, and Masu to 5-9.
M3 Tochinoshin (3-10) vs. M9 Shotenro (5-8). Both come in high which works in the taller Noshin’s favor. Noshin wraps under Shoten’s arms, keeps them high, and the two hug it out for a few uncomfortable seconds. Noshin grabs Shoten’s belt and turns hard
M2 Shohozan (9-4) vs. M1 Tochiozan (9-4). As the two Ozans meet, the crowd chants for Shoho. The two have a quick tachia and both tstupari it out before wrapping up. Tochi gets a weak hidari-yotsu. Tochi tries for the uwatenage, but Shoho stays in it to win it. The crowd cheers Shoho on, but experience and weight favor Tochi, who drops all his weight onto Shoho’s right side while pulling with the left. Shoho’s legs can’t take it and he crumbles to the ground. Uwatehineri puts Tochiozan on top 10-4.
Komusubi Aminishiki (5-8) vs. M3 Takekaze( 3-10). Home team looks like he’s all but gone home to Akita. A weak tachiai gives up the position to The Sneak, who stands his little Akitan up and shoves him back and out. A quick oshidashi puts The Sneak at 6-8, and Makekaze at 3-11 (sorry Home Team, had to say it).
M4 Takayasu (4-9) vs. Komusubi Homasho (4-9). Takayasu wins the tachiai and puts Cigar Shop on the defensive, pushing him back to the bails. Cigar Shop dances on the bails for a bit and almost gets Takayasu turned around. Yasu recovers and the two wrap up again. Yasu drives forward as Homie continues to side-step. Yasu lifts his left under Homie’s arm to keep him high and off balanced as he worked Homie to the bails and out. Yorikiri puts Yasu on over Homie, at 5-9.
Sekiwake Myogiru (5-8) vs. M2 Kaisei (5-8). Myogiru stands Kaisei up high on the tachiai as the two wrap up, but Kaisei adjusts and pulls Myogiru’s morozashi grip up high. Kaisei uses his size to bully Myogiru back to bails and out, yorikiri, putting team Brazil at 6 wins.
M7 Aran (8-5) vs. Sekiwake Goeido (9-4). Goeido smells the fear as Alan give a weak tachiai and runs away from a belt fight. Goeido tries to come in but Alan keeps defending and backing away like Goeido’s got the plague. Goeido gets tired and shoves the Russian into the first row. Oshidashi gives Goeido his 10th win.
M6 Toyonoshima (9-4) vs. Ozeki Kotooshu (8-5). The two tie up at the tachiai and Toyo mangages a morozashi, two hands in. Oshu uses his height to pull up on Toyo’s arms. Toyo drives and the Eurozeki turns to try an arm throw. It looked like Oshu may have won, and the judges met to confer, but they rule in favor of Toyo. I missed the judges announcement, but they ruled Shitatenage. Toyo at 10-4, Kotooshu at 8-6.
Ozeki Kotoshogiku (7-6) vs. M6 Kyokutenho (10-3). The crowd chants for the Geek as the two circle each other. Tenho loses the tachiai, coming in high and foolishly giving Koto the low-ground. The Geek does what he does best and puts his belly into it as he drives Tenho over the bails. Yorikiri save as Kotoshogiku takes himself off the Kadoban, and Kyokutenho out of the yusho race. With that, Hakuho’s victory is sealed.
Yokozuna Hakuho (12-1) vs. Ozeki Kakuryu (8-5). Kakuryu flies out of the shoot, and catches Hakuho before taking a step. Hakuho holds his ground and shows his strength, pushing the little back from his initial advance. Kakuryu pushes off the bails and the two end up in the center of the dohyo. Hakhuho, won’t play around with this Mogol and turns on away from his migi-yotsu. A perfect uwatenage you’d miss if you blinked puts the Yokozuna at 13-1; the Kak at
Ozeki Kisenosato (9-4) vs. Yokozuna Harumafuji (9-4). Harumafuji shows his speed as he shoots in quick and low, pushing the Ozeki back. But Kise has size and power, regaining his stance, turning the Yokozuna to his left, and using that arm strength to push the Yokozuna back to the bails and out. I don’t know what Haruma hopes to accomplish by trying this new, up-and-up style with the larger Ozeki, but it hasn’t worked for him yet. Yorikiri puts Kisenosato at 10-4 with a Kinboshi, and Harumafuji in the first row with 5 losses. The Hak, obviously disappointed, leaves the ringside before Haruma can crawl his way back in.
We now know the fates of our three Kadobans, the yusho winner, and who to cheer for tomorrow: Yoshikaze and Kitataiki both at 7-7.
Montana will let you know the results of the tournament tomorrow! Aloha a hui hou! Keppare Kitataiki!