I hope all of you enjoyed the St. Paddy’s day weekend. Myself… I spent it with Bertum, his Bird, and DeGama, and although it wasn’t under the best of circumstances, I’m still recovering from it on a Tuesday night, so we did something right at some point. It certainly wasn’t that pointless drive to Oga though. Anyway, on to day 10, which certainly hasn’t helped my condition at all, with the exception of one or two bouts.
Sotairyu brought his usual tsuppari to Wakanosato, who struggled for a grip. At first I though it was over when Sotairyu decided to abandon the thrusting for a belt grip, as that has been Wakanosato’s B&B for years, but either Sotairyu has stepped up his belt game, or Waka don’t got the same homely sparkle, because the younger man held on for quite some time, and almost pulled off one hell of a counter throw at the edge. Almost, but not quite. Waka picked this one up improving to a respectable 7-3, while Sotairyu is one step away from a makekoshi at 3-7 in his makuuchi debut.
I was sure Masunoyama was gonna clean up from M12, he’s been showing the fire, but not the best decisions. Today was a classic example. He had a decent charge, but switched to a backward and sideways moving hatakikomi attempt on a too well-balanced Tamawashi. Masu rolled of the clay sideways first and Tamawashi’s momentum ended him up in the second row and brought him to a lousy 2-8, whilst Masu limps forward at 4-6 without much chance at KK.
This next was a real shame. It was the best tachiai I have seen from Takekaze in some time, but he was a bit too premature in thinking he had this one wrapped up. Fujiazuma wheeled left at the bales and slapped down the poor Akitan. Fujiazuma has been doing pretty well this basho at 7-3, and Take can still KK at 5-5.
Oiwato and Yoshikaze supplied nothing more than an uninteresting slap/pull down contest, which Oiwato won in… well, uninteresting fashion. 5-5 for the former Kanbayashi and Yoshi is still a bro at 6-4.
Aoiyama is continuing to carve out his niche with a decent win over Sadanofuji. When the tsuppari and nearly successful hikiotoshi seemed to fail him, he locked up and drove Sada out with sheer strength. Say what you want, but the cat is strong. 7-3 for the Bulgarian Breast Machine, Sada hangs in at 5-5.
Monoii for Daido (who i’ve never been overly impressed with) and Kyokutenho (who I am only recently unimpressed with) on their first go ’round. Looked like Daido’s foot went out and Kyoku’s arm hit the ground at the same time. Second go ’round, after getting driven back by Kyoku, Daido got around him and used the former champion’s own momentum to carry him out. 5-5 and 4-6 respectively.
Chiyonokuni’s dodge to the left at the initial charge was read like a convini magazine by Toyohibiki, and Beeker got around and behind the Wolf’s other, other, other pup for an embarassing loss. 5-5 and 4-6 for these two.
Gagamaru didn’t give up any ground to Shotenro, avoided a pull down attempt, and drove forward for an oshidashi win. This is as good as I’ve seen the Lady as of late, which is less of a compliment than it sounds like. Gaga is 4-6 and Shit-tenro is 6-4.
Serves Jokoryu right for a stank-ass henka/slapdown attempt. Kitataiki drove him right back and up, never losing advantage. Jokoryu tried to reverse things with an outside leg trip, Taiki was too strong. 3rd loss in a row takes Joko to 6-4 and Kitataiki improves to 7-3.
After a jumpy tachiai Okinoumi went in against Aran like a rabid dog, fighting hard for the right hand inside position he scored after toying with an armlock. After that is was textbook, get the left hand outside, drop the hips, and walk the man out. Oki picks up his KK on day 10 and Aran drops to 5-5.
Another disappointing bout. Really quick thrustdown of Kaisei by Takarafuji, which looked like it was closer to lost balance. A much more confident Takara is at 6-4, and Kaisei continues his less confident streak with a paltry 2-8.
Takayasu tried for some tsuppari against Tokitenku, but the kick-prone Mongolian was too quick in getting grip, and Taka had to capitulate. Taka continually tried to take the initiative, but Toki wouldn’t budge, defending well on the belt, as he sometimes can. Toki started to tire, and Taka pressed the issue, trying to out-muscle, and Toki tried for a sotogake to get the balance card, eventually playing it to the tune of an uwatenage, two minutes of hard fighting, and a nearly revealed bathing-suit area. Pretty decent bout. Takayasu is at 4-6 and Toki “improves” to 3-7.
Today’s Myogiryu needed to be around for days 4-9. He looked good; refusing to be taken off balance or surrender ground to the Sneak, easily winning this one, to partially salvage his chance at KK with a 4-6, while Aminishiki sank to 3-7.
Tochinoshin fell straight down at the slightest whiff of lateral movement from Goeido. Didn’t expect that at all. Eido is 7-3, and Noshin is 4-6.
As usual Kise gave up the inside grip right from the get go. Ikioi capitalized and was right in with the left and outside with the right. Kise went for a trusting movement right as Ikioi tried for some weird kind of grip-less throw. It looked bizzare, and had no effect other than to throw Ikioi off balance and backward and allowing Kise the hidari yotsu and a migi uwate. The Kid pulled the other Osaka wonder to the side and won by yoritaoshi, but it looked kind of like a tsukitaoshi? to me. Kissy is an unimpressive (for an ozeki) 6-4 heading for a possible kadoban, and Ikioi gets an MK on day 10.
My feed cut out for Toyonoshima and Kotoshogiku, but both guys a pretty predictable so let me see if I hit the mark. Toyo went in with a shoulder blast looking to get morozashi, and the Geek ended up with a partial grip Toyo was driven back to the bales maybe once, fought back a bit then pulled off a sukuinage, I asume in the middle of a gabburi attempt, was I close? Both gentlemen are at 7-3.
Not sure what Kakuryu thought he was doing, henkaing to the right and trying to slap down Ozan… or while Ozan did nothing while Kakuryu stood there off balance for a for a second, but the two met back up and Kakuryu went down embarrassingly. That was awful and I’m not even sure I wanna call it yaocho, because it would be the worst performed, most flagrant example of it I have seen in some time. Kakuryu ain’t the only thing up there that smells like fish. Both guys even to 5-5, Kakuryu’s kadoban being a lot more probable than Kissy’s but not as guaranteed as Oshu’s.
Looked to me like Shohozan’s inital thrust to Harumafuji’s face missed and then froze mid-air as if in contemplation about attempting a pulldown, which very well might have worked given Harumafuji’s position. But Shoho was a bit high, and Harry was really fast, and got an immediate morozashi, and it was over before Shoho could even surrender, which he did. What is the name of that restaurant that guy in Farva from super troopers really liked with all the goofy shit on the walls? Haruma is at 7-3 and Shoho could afford it at 6-4.
Hakuho and Baruto’s bout was pretty damn long and there were a few things that piqued my interest. One being that Baruto managed to execute a makikae while Hakuho had his favorite grip and Bart was in a less advantageous position balanced too heavily on his weak knee, however, we’ll get to that in a minute. First Haks went right in for his favorite left hand outside, and Bart tried to keep him away with some vigorous tsuppari. Hak tried again and Bart pushed again, hand pull attmept by Haks which got Bart off balance enough for Haks to force things into a belt battle. Haks with his left hand outside, and Bart with a right hand inside. Haks then also snagged the inside right handily. Hakuho did his best to break Bart’s grip with vigorous hip movement, and Bart pushed back the Yokozuna with an all-out charge. Hakuho lost his inside right, while pivoting at the bales to avoid a yorikiri, Then reversed the momentum, slamming his right side into Bart with some leverage help from the bales. Bart tried 3 times unsuccessfully to grab the outer mawashi with his left hand and even tried a spinning shitatenage. All of which failed, probably convincing the Estonian he had little to no choice but to try for the hail mary. Now in the center of the dohyo came the afore-mentioned makikae, VERY shortly after which Bart was forced upward into an even worse position and was VERY quickly and decisively uwatedashinage-ed. I could see how someone would call yaocho, but over all I think this bout was on the level and these two just fought hard.
Anyway, after 10 days we have Hakuho on top with 10 wins. Okinoumi at 8-2. Harumafuji, Kotoshogiku, Toyonoshima Goeido and Kitataiki at 7-3. Serious 6-4 rikishi include Kisenosato, Baruto and Shohozan (non-serious rikishi would be Shotentro, Takarafuji,a nd Shotenro.)
It will be really tough for anyone to catch Hakuho now, but don’t take my word for it. Valentine will be back for day 11.