Down in Juryo Chiyomaru picked up his first sekitori win over Takanoyama, meat ‘n ‘taters oshidashi. Osunaarashi got into a sorority-style slap fight with Asasekiryu. Boody came out on top with a katasukashi. Next was the best mata ever. Chiyonokuni literally leap frogged completely over Sokokurai, made it all the way to the tawara then had to jog all the way back around to the shikirisen. Sokokurai was all over this one. Shifted right at the tachiai and worked his way back for an impressive uwatenage. Now on to makuuchi.Asahisho came back from yesterday and Tamaasuka looked more like his normal, unimpressive self. Easy push out win for Asahisho. After the tachiai, Tamawashi got to the side of Masunoyama who did his best impression of a slightly moist, out of breath sandbag. Wakanosato put up a bit more of a fight today almost working Jokoryu out on several occasions, but couldn’t close the deal. Both parties tried a throw at the bales, but Waka hit first. Neither guy seemed to have any idea who won. 7 more losses guarantees Waka back in juryo.
Homey lost today to the superior bulk of Tenkaiho. The best bout that Sadanofuji has been in in quite some time was his bout against Endo today, and it’s entertainment value had little to do with Sada. Endo’s movement was great, and his patience and technique were great; countering every move that Sada brought to the table. Endo is an exciting guy to watch, congrats on his first makuuchi win.
Tochinowaka picked up a fairly standard win against Tokushoryu. Takekaze and Shotenro CLEARLY should have been a mata, and neither guy was 100%, but the gyoji said go, and Takekaze happened to go out first. Another sorority slap fight between Fujiazuma and Kotoyuki, but this time the older man (Fujiazuma) won. As usual Yoshikaze used quick darting motions and pushing and pulling attacks, Gaga fell for it, both literally and figuratively.
Kitataiki got lucky today. After dodging to the side after the tachiai, both men lost balance and Toyonoshima tumbled forward, Taiki backward, but luckily for Taiki he was able to get a quick grab of the mawashi and guided Toyo out of the ring. Kyokutenho had a nice grip on Aran’s belt and pretty much had the bout sewn up. Aran moved forward, and Kyokutenho took him out. Two days in a row of the best of Beeker… this time the victim was ol’ Sneakers. Tokitenku henka-ed back and to the left, Kaisei was ready to capitalize on the half-hearted henka.
Chiyotairyu must have read my report about his sumo on day 1, because he was way too far forward today. Myogiryu introduced his teeth to the clay. Okinoumi got a really nice deep left hand inside and caught Goeido too much to the side. Goeido went for his usual desperation neck-throw, which Oki easily shrugged off for the win. There was a fair bit of faffing around between Tochiozan and Kisenosato. Tochi seemed REALLY adamant to lose while attempting a slap/pull down. Kise got morozashi after a few seconds and happily obliged.
Takarafuji seemed to be in control of the bout with Kotooshu, he was lower, and had a better grip, but Koto made a push and Takara back up for some reason, effrectively giving Oshu the momentum he needed to walk him out. The only reason that Geek won by a throw today, was beacuse Aoiyama tried to escape the gabburi yori by moving sideways. It was thoroughly embarrassing for Aoiyama though. Takayasu and Kakuryu was more like a fraternity slap fight than the last two. the Kak tried a few pulls, and eventually slipped back and right and thrust out Takayasu.
Must say, Ikioi put up one hell of a fight against Hakuho. Sometimes you’ll see Hakuho do the “i’m gonna make it look like he’s got a chance for a bit” thing, where he choses not to win for a sec. then you will see a super violent lightning fast attack that ends it immediately. Ikioi managed to withstand said blitzkrieg (which saw Hakuho almost completely behind him), and recover a bit. Hakuho changed positions and threw down Ikoi. To be fair, at no time in the bout was Ikioi winning, nor was Hakuho losing, but you could tell that even Hakuho was impressed with Ikoi.
Not sure what was up with Harumafuji today, but he just sat there and took it from Shohozan, it looked for a while like he was trying to get a belt grip and neutralize Shoho’s tsuppari, but Haruma would have been much more effective getting his own slapping and thrusting attack going. Instead he got man-handled back and out by Shoho. First kinboshi for Shohozan, the poor little guy couldn’t hold back tears. All he needs is a KK to get the outstanding performance prize, unless the NSK decides that the shukunsho only applies to wins against Hakuho now… which wouldn’t be that surprising. Well, that’s it, the gates are open, from here on out everybody hits against Harumafuji. When he gets a loss this early in the tournament he tends to not do well.
Two days in and Hakuho and all the ozeki are perfect. Perhaps I’ll be back tomorrow, we’ll see how things go.