Have to apologize ahead of time. We are on a skeleton crew this basho. Valentine is still gettin back into life in the states, and DeGama and Bertrum are busy rolling each others sausages. (They can’t keep their hands off the sausage since the wedding.) Connolly, Johnson, and I will hold down the fort as best we can. So let’s get things started with day 1.
We’ll start the day off in The lower ranks. Musashimaru’s nephew Musashikuni won today by an EXCEEDINGLY slow oshidashi. Slow as it was the technique was sound. Takanoyama picked up a win over Tanzo via arm bar which he then turned into okuridashi. Satoyama had a possible injury to his right hand after his win over Kagamio. Osunaarashi fell to Azumaryu after not being able to produce with his tsuppari. Chiyonokuni is back after his ball crushing injury, out of the gates he looked goo, but Kyokushuho won via slap down. Last, Sokokurai was looking in control but at the bales he lost to Takanoiwa by utchari. Now on to makuuchi.Wakanosato was completely man-handled. The worst part was it was by Tamaasuka… a rikishi who had never beaten him. There was no drive coming from Waka, no power at all, and very little motivation. Me thinks the end is drawing ever closer for our geriatric friend.
Endo, the talk of the town these days. His first bout as makuuchi was against Homasho (who he cleanly beat in juryo last basho). Today was not a repeat. Homasho came in hard (for Homasho) and kept the pressure on doing a textbook example of his type of defensive sumo. Endo looked good, his foot work was great, and he enough power, but Homey was patient and used found a chink in the mage-less wonder’s armor.
Takekaze made Tochinowaka look a fool today. Tochi always problems with shorter guys, and Takaze in particular. Take’s lower center of gravity and quick motion spelled a loss for the rikishi who has a chronic “too high” problem.
Kotoyuki surprised today by blasting Gagamaru out. That’s not a typing error. Kotoyuki went straight in, and using little to no lateral motion pushed out the biggest guy in makuuchi. Nice work, he’s becoming more and more interesting to watch.
If you want to see what Toyohibiki looks like at his best, today was a good example. Beeker exploded at the tachiai and speedily showed Kaisei the porta. It’s just too bad we only ever see this Beeker once or twice every basho.
We have said time and time again that we can’t understand why Chiyotairyu resorts to backward moving pull sumo when his forward stuff is so good. Like Michael Jordan with that whole baseball phase. Perhaps its a confidence issue, or perhaps a stupidity issue. Either way it was exactly what he did against Goeido. Now I hate Goeido with a passion unbridled, but I can admit that he is too good to fall for that shit, which he didn’t. Win for Goeido.
Takarafuji is a bit out of his league. Don’t get me wrong he’s a good fighter, but M3 is just a bit high for him right now. Today was a good example. Right at the tachiai with Myogiryu he went for an arm lock, Yogi circled away but a hand in Takara’s chest stood him up, and walked him out. Over before it began.
Battle of the Bulg(e)arians. I was SURE that Aoiyama was gonna take this, because I was SURE that Oshu was gonna come in way too high. That didn’t happen. Both men met up and separated the clashed again separated, then once more. Kotooshu looking for an easy win, and Aoiyama determined not to go out with a whimper. But Oshu managed to get a paw in and thrust down the younger man with a tsukidashi. Pretty shitty bout.
The Geek is pretty one dimensional as a rikishi. Every once in a while he can pull of a throw, or something, but it’s hug and chug 95% of the time. Lucky for him, today’s bout was solidly in his dimension. Okinoumi came straight in against the Geek, but the Geek had a bit more momentum and had Oki up and out with little effort.
Ikioi usually has got some game. but today against Kakuryu, after the tachiai he got scared and immediately turned into Miyabiyama. Slapping and pulling while basically running the fuck away from the angry Kak.
Last three bouts were over real quick.
Shohozan came in with tsuppari against Kisenosato, but I have never really known tsuppari to have much effect on him. Kise work out Shoho pretty easily. Harumafuji looked real strong today against Tochiozan, blasting him out, and Hakuho made short work of Takayasu.
So everyone sekiwake and up won today. I’ll be back in a few hours to report on day 2.