Hatsu Basho 2013 Shonichi

Hello gentlemen and ladies, it’s your ol’ pal Dick Montana wishing you a happy 2013 from the bottom of a swimming pool filled with scotch. Now, normally I wouldn’t be reporting the first day of sumo under the influence, considering I am a supposedly responsible adult and Mondays usually begin the workweek, but fortunately over here in J-town the politicians have decided to grant us the greatest of holidays – The cancelled monday. Fuck getting me a personalized mawashi for my birthday, just kick another Monday in the crotch like this one and I will be a happy little squirrel until 2014.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me pour myself another dram or seven of Glen Deveron, my current dram of favor. Stay tuned later this week to find out just how sharp the barley is (Hint: it’s sharper than Bertrum’s dick gets when he starts talking about ENGLAND).

In Juryo, Takanoyama henkas away from Kimurayama to go for that arm bar that he loves so much, but wasn’t able to grasp on to the slippery man’s blubber. It’s for the best in my opinion, I have never seen him win a bout after getting that arm bar… After a bit of a tangle around the ring, Bean-pole manages to kick Kim’s legs right out from under him, sending his ass to the ground which was ruled kirikaeshi (twisting backward knee trip). Takanohana’s lone rikishi in the upper divisions, Takanoiwa, managed to pullout a win, and Takamisaraki lost what looks to be the first of many this basho. Continuing on, Chiyonokuni won, Wakakoyu lost, blah blah blah let’s go to Makuuchi.

E-J1 Jokoryu vs W-M16 Tamaasuka
Going along with an overall theme of firsts this Basho, this is Jokoryu’s first basho in Makuuchi, and he made his first appearance on a variety show over the new years by traipsing along kissing Haruma’s kimono while the yokozuna ate sushi and looked at fireworks: riveting television I tell you. Fortunately, this match was more exciting with both wrestlers showing a good amount of spirit for the first upper division tachi-ai this year. Jokoryu managed to get a solid left hand inside grip and worked Tamaasuka around the ring a bit but was unable to keep up with the more seasoned wrestler. Tammy drove Jokoryu to the bales and even though the Joker tried some ballerina moves on the hay, it wasn’t enough to keep him from putting up a kuroboshi. 1-0 Tamaasuka – yorikiri. Although it was loss, it was a good loss, and I see a kachikoshi from Jokoryu before this basho is up.

E-M16 Miyabiyama vs W-M15 Kotoyuki
Strong charge from Kotoyuki who manages to get right in the middle of Miyabi’s chest and do a textbook push up and out. Knock your opponent’s center of gravity up enough and then just push him back a few inches. Rinse, wash, repeat. I stand by my prediction yesterday of Miyabiyama not finishing out the year; it’s clear that the guy has nothing left in the tank anymore after such a pitiful showing. The only thing Miyabiyama has is his weight, and when you get manhandled this easily out of the ring by a lighter rikishi it usually means that unless you have a temporary serious injury, you might need to think about opening a chanko-joint instead of bare-chestedly hugging other men on a daily basis.

E-M15 Tochinowaka vs W-M14 Takarafuji
Tochinowaka today picked up his first Makuuchi win in a looong time (yorikiri). Veteran commentator Pukulu over at YouTube opined that it looked like he had gotten his talent back. I say the man never lost his talent, he just lost his will to sumo and a quick jaunt down to Juryo might just have smacked the sense into the kid that he needed. Now here’s hoping he can keep it up.

E-M14 Shotenro vs W-M13 Asahisho
Slapfest today from both these wrestlers as Asahisho tried to win his match fueled by pure middle school girl-fight jealous spite-rage, but Shotenro was able to keep a cool head and focus his tsuppari on Asa’s chest-right where they count. A good calculated win for Shawty.

E-M12 Sadanofuji vs W-M11 Fujiazuma
Massive initial charge from these two which digressed into powerful open hand punches. Fuji gets his head in Sada’s chest and slides him to the bales but Sada stands his ground, lowers his center of gravity, and manages to switch places with Fujiazuma. By the time Azuma is on the outer edge he doesn’t have anything left in the tank, and Sada is able to easily push him out. Impressive effort from Sada who walks away from the dohyo with a good amount of blood coming off of his scalp.

E-M11 Wakanosato vs W-M10 Okinoumi
Okinoumi should be at a good point in the roster at M10 to be able to make a solid run for the Yusho as he is at the perfect level to stay out of the reach of any capable rikishi until the last few days if he has a near perfect record. He did bring in a win today, but it took him longer than it should have against a rikishi that, as far as I can tell, should be joining Miyabiyama in retirement this year. Oki tries to maki-kae 3-4 times before finally just saying the hell with it and driving his opponent out.

E-M10 Kitataiki vs W-M9 Takekaze
You have to give it to Takekaze; when he jumps to the side, he jumps to the mother fucking side. Sadly it wasn’t enough to pull out a win for Akita’s favorite son against Kitataiki, a rikishi so bland that even after being in the top division for two years, I still have no discernible opinion about him.

E-M9 Tokitenku vs W-M8 Chiyotairyu
Goddamit. I want to like Chiyotairyu. I really honestly do. He’s from the Kokonoe-beya, the guy is wicked fucking strong, and has his fundamentals DOWN. Unfortunately he still seems to be enamored with Wakakoyu’s push-pull bullshit. Luckily it worked for him today, but if I were him I wouldn’t pull that shit against anyone stronger than Tokitenku.

E-M8 Yoshikaze vs W-M7 Masunoyama
Make no mistake about the lil’ engine that could that is Masunoyama, the guy may not have a full tank of gas, but he is still really goddam strong. Yoshikaze eventually went down amidst a flurry of blows from Maunoyama after he lost his footing, but considering how much power the tugboat was packing I initially though he had knocked him out.

E-M7 Takayasu vs W-M6 Aoiyama
They charge, they hug, they fall out of the ring. Ref points toward Aoi. After a mono-ii , it is declared Gumbai-dori. 1-0 for the Bulgarian.

E-M6 Tochinoshin vs W-M5 Ikioi
Ikioi ran into a truck named Tochinoshin today and decided that the best course of action would be to go backwards? Why? Just more evidence for forward-moving sumo.

E-M4 Gagamaru vs W-M4 Aran
Either Gagamaru is getting better at belt-fighting, or Alan has no fucking idea what he is doing on the Dohyo. Honestly, I do not know which one it is. Gaga ended up winning today but only after bringing Aran to the edge multiple times but being unable to seal the deal. Aran, for his part, shoved the lady back in the middle of the ring where he proceeded to jump in the air and bump chests for absolutely no goddamn reason. A confusing match more than anything.

E-M3 Toyohibiki vs W-S Baruto
Wow, Baruto going before Goeido; that’s something I never thought I would see, and after today’s match it’s something that I probably won’t have to see again. Both Bart and the beeker get a good charge in at first but Baruto wastes no time in slamming Biki down with a powerful uwatenage. If he can pull out half of the power he had today in the rest of his matches then he is a shoe-in for his Ozeki re-promotion.

E-S Goeido vs W-M3 Kaisei
Good match from both rikishi, with Goedio eventually walking the Brazilian out of the ring with one leg in the air like both of them were about to do their business on some fire hydrants. Not bad, but Goeido will need to perform more convincing sumo if he wants to gain a rank this year.

W-M2 Kyokutenho vs W-O Kotoshogiku
Not much here. The geek gets a strong belt grip and performs his triple patented belly-bump against which Kyoku is helpless. Prediction for this year: Kyoku is out by 2014, and Kotoshogiku spends the most uneventful year at Ozeki ever.

E-O Kotooshu vs E-M2 Toyonoshima
Toyo clearly planned to catch rather than pitch at the tachi-ai and it worked wonders for him. The much taller Bulgarian had to awkwardly bend over to try to get any leverage on the smaller ‘shima, and Toyo eventually backpedalled faster than ‘oshu could go forward, resulting in a win for Toyo that for some stupid reason was deemed an oshidashi win for the Bulgarian. Hopefully this isn’t representative of this year’s reffing.

W-M1 Myogiryu vs W-O Kakuryu
The Kak was on the defensive today as the ever forward-moving Myogiryu managed to push the Ozeki immediately to the edge of the Dohyo where the Mongolian was forced to sidestep to stay in. As he was moving laterally, Myogiryu kept going forward and Kaku used his momentum to roll him out while he jumped in the air backwards trying to stay airborne for slightly longer than the Maegashira. Luckily for him, his strategy worked, and he will start of the year with a lucky lucky 1-0.

E-O Kisenosato vs E-M1 Aminishiki
So much of me wants to believe that Ami just had a shitty bout. After all, the majority of his bouts are shit. But this particular bout had him losing spectacularly with a misplaced foot. Ami literally rolled backwards with all limbs spread out in the most dramatic fashion I could imagine. Now, was this just a shitty step on his part? Probably. But did it also look like he was trying to get his feet into shitty positions earlier in the match as well? Probably. Am I just imagining things to go along with my predetermined narrative that the JSA is trying to orchestrate a yusho for Kise this year? Probably.

E-K Tochiozan vs W-Y Harumafuji
Haruma ended up looking more than a little desperate against his challenger today as he swung between backpedalling and swinging his massive Harite that he was supposed to have hung up once he donned the side belt. In the end it worked out for a win for the Yokozuna, but it looks like he wants these wins more than Patton Creswell wants a long hard tube in his mouth.

E-Y Hakuho vs W-K Shohozan
Yeah, Hakuho is going to win this basho. Shohozan starts the tachia-ai practically standing on the line, and Hakuho starts practically on the bales. Doesn’t matter. The yokozuna takes the golden-belted wrestler’s charge and easily pushes him off balance and backwards in one simple gesture. Shoho in an act of desperation tries to crouch down to lower his center of gravity against a forward charge that never came. Hakuho just ended up coming over to him and shoving him over into the dirt in what liked like a master scolding his dog. Fantastic yokozuna-like sumo that I looking forward to seeing more of this year.

That’s it for me guys and gals, drop in tomorrow for day 2 from Chalmers.

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