Dude, organic, I love that stuff. Used to work in a healthfood shop back in the land of the leprechauns. Out in the sticks of Akita tho, there are very little healthfood shops. But I do get kilos of home grown vegetables for free from my amazing neighbours who delight in giving away the food they planted by hand. And I in return give then a hand. There is nothing wrong with that, right Bertrum!?
Speaking of hands, and biggies … we got 20 top level (read: division) bouts coming up today. And the last fight of the day will be the highlight of Day 12. Two yokozuna hopefuls Kisenosato and Harumafuji both with 9-2 records, fight for the yokozuna rank. One hops to become a yokozuna, the other hopes to stay. And speaking of Harumafuji, what a little bitch!
Let’s look at how the not-so-yokozuna yokozuna has been fairing this basho. He started off on Day 1 with a strong win against Tochiozan. He got manhandled by Shohozan on Day 2. Day 3 he won convincingly against Ikioi, and then got destroyed by Aoiyama on Day 4. On Day 5 and 6 he was strong against Takayasu and Okinoumi. Then on Day 7 he true colours started to show as he disgusted everyone as he henka-ed Toyohibiki. Why? I think I would have a descent shot a beating Hibi-chan! On Day 8 on maned up and took on Chiyotairyu head on. He won on Day 9 against Myogiryu, but had a lot of pull down attempts. Day 10 had Brazilian Kaisei facing him, so with another awful henka picked up an easy snaky win. BITCH! Yesterday Goeido made him work very hard for his victory, tho. So which Harumaphoney will turn up today? Let’s find out!
E-M15 Wakanosato (2-9) vs W-J2 Chiyonokuni (5-6)
That bright red 9 by Wakanosato’s name indicated that he has already had a losing record this basho. So he is guaranteed to move down the banzuke next tournament. There are however only 3 spots below him, so he needs to win all remaining bout if that is going to happen. Today the old man moved exactly like an old man, slow and inoffensive. Chiyonokuni pushed him upwards, tried a pull down, and then drove forward pushing him out without much objection. You may be sure that he is back down to juryo, and the only question is when he will retire.
E-M14 Masunoyama (5-6) vs W-M15 Tamaasuka (4-7)
Massive-No-Lungs has a massive heart, and that’s why so many people like him. He give 110% each bout, and on top form he only has about 60 % to offer. His heart makes up the other 50%. He caught Tama at the lines and drove his straight back. His quick victory wasn’t gonna happen though as Tama dug in and pushed back hard, seperating the two for a second. When Masu hit again, Tama looked to have his number, blocking his attack perfectly. But you remember that huge heart I was talking about, well he used it to up his game. Massive Heart summoned the power of Greyskull and drove Tama around the ring, and over the bales!
W-M16 Tamawashi (6-5) vs W-M14 Jokoryu (7-4)
Joe is obviously looking for his kachikoshi in this fight. Tama knew he would be fired up, so he brought his A-game and attacked Joe’s neck with everything he could muster. Joe was diven back to the bales but wasn’t going out easy, but as he tried to lower himself he got beaten via oshitaoshi being pushed to you fall backwards!
W-M13 Homasho (8-3) vs W-M11 Tochinowaka (5-6)
Here Homasho has a green 8 by his name indicating that he has already had a winning record this tournament, and will definitely move up the banzuke in November.Today he came in at what looked like a very good angle of attack, and rose Tochi’s centre of gravity. Somehow Tochi’s feet seemed to be magnetically connected to the dohyo and with legs of steel drove forward, and steamrolled Homasho out.
E-M10 Tokushoryu (5-6) vs E-M13 Endo (8-3) Take 1
What a first basho performance Endo is having! He’s only lost to Homasho (Endo stayed in the ring as Homasho flew off the ring!), Jokoryu (a straight up loss) and Gagamaru (I felt there should have been a mono-ii). Anyway… today Tokushoryu tried to get into his head by taking his sweet ass time to get down at the tachi-ai. And when he finally did he henka-ed, Harumafuji style, getting completely around and forcing Endo out. However a mono-ii was called as it looked like Toku put his foot on the tawara as he was running Endo out. Undecided the judges decided to have a rematch!
E-M10 Tokushoryu (5-6) vs E-M13 Endo (8-3) Take 2
No henka this time around saw Tokushoryu blast Endo hard, moving ever so slightly to his left. Enso held his ground though and Tokushoryus pushes seemed to push himself backwards. When there was a tiny gap he tried for a slap down which put the short haired newbie off balance. Then as Toku was about to drive forward Endo landed a beautiful slap to his face, before he was attacked. Toku drove Endo to the tawara without a mawashi grip, so he was able to dig in and push back. This saw Endo in the driving seat and absolutely beautiful deashi he glided over the dohyo. Toku tried a throw, which was blocked before Endo drove him out. Good stuff. He was pretty lucky to get the rematch, but he sure as hell made the best of his opportunity.
Later Endo said that perhaps he had let his guard down after getting his 8th win yesterday, in reference to falling for the henka in the first battle. Tomorrow he faces Tochiozan.
W-M12 Sadanofuji (7-4) vs W-M10 Shotenro (4-7)
Shotenro got under Sadanofuji’s armpits and drove him straight back and out. Simple, straightforward.
E-M7 Aran (3-8) vs E-M12 Tenkaiho (6-5)
Aran tried a gently placed arm bar to the throat of Tenkaiho, before getting a left hand grip, as Ten got the right. When Aran got the double grip, he tried to drive, but didn’t have what was needed. And Tenkaiho easily toppled him.
E-M11 Takekaze (7-4) vs W-M7 Toyonoshima (6-5)
Looking for his 8th win Takekaze henka-ed from the get-go. He got all the way around and looked set to win easily. But Toyonoshima somehow managed to keep his footing, if only just, and as he was going backwards he slapped down on the Akitians arms until he got his feet back into a good position, then he got a hand on Take’S back and dropped him to the clay. Sweet!
E-M6 Kitataiki (5-6) vs W-M9 Kotoyuki (4-7)
Kotoyuki slapped down on Kitataiki’s shoulders from the tachi-ai, and both spun around. But Kotoyuki had the advantage and drove forward to win with one shove. Kitataiki looked furious.
E-M5 Tokitenku (4-7) vs E-M9 Gagamaru (5-6)
Tokitenku started fast, but Gaga joined in so it wasn’t called back by the ref. Toki got quickly onto the right side of the beast and twisted him around trying to make him dizzy. In fairness Gaga kept himself upright, and I dare say that it was some good well-needed footwork practice for him. okitenku then stopped and with his head into Gagas side, and a grip on his wrist, Toki released his hand and put his hand on Gagas shin, and dropped him. The kimarite was called as uwatedashinage, but it was actually much cooler!
E-M3 Takarafuji (1-10) vs E-M8 Fujiazuma (3-8)
Fujiazuma was all in Taka’s face and throat, pushing and slapping. Taka was holding his ground though, waiting for a way in to Fuji’s belt. It opportunity came, and less than a second later Fuji was on the ground from a tsukiotoshi push to the upper body that knocked him off his feet.
E-M1 Shohozan (5-6) vs W-M6 Kyokutenho (7-4)
Shohozan got his left paw into Kyokutenho’s throat and kept it there. He then got his left hand under the Mongolians left armpit and from there was about to force him backwards on an angle that he had no hope of escaping from.
W-M2 Aoiyama (5-6) vs W-M1 Ikioi (3-8)
Flailing handbag fight from Ikioi (weird shoulder guy). Aoiyama came forward strong, leading with both hands. Ikioi was slapping and flailing at his arms, while retreating. Aoi couldn’t seem to land a good shove. When Ikioi finally did move forward Aoi got him into an weak arm bar lock, but it was too late, Ikioi moved out of that lock and shoved the Bulgarian out.
E-K Tochiozan (5-6) vs W-M4 Kaisei (6-5)
Kaisei got a double handed outside grip at the tachi-ai, meaning Tochi got a double inside. Tochi didn’t take the mawashi though, he concentrated in raising his arms, breaking Kaisei’s grip, and driving him back. He got him to the edge but couldn’t finish him off. So taking a left handed grip he turned and dropped the Brazilian forward.
W-M3 Chiyotairyu (3-8) vs W-K Takayasu (4-7)
Takayasu got a solid grip that Chiyo started working on breaking from the start. He couldn’t break it though, and he was trying to gain a grip of his own. Takayasu launched a throw which was defended, and created an opening to get a solid right grip. Chiyo then used that grip to throw and push (a throw that didn’t work, but turned into a push instead) Taka out.
E-S Myogiryu (5-6) vs E-M2 Okinoumi (5-6)
Myogiryu stalled, and then got the better at the tachi-ai. Okinoumi prevented the Sekiwake for getting the mawashi grip he was searching for, keeping he elbows in close to his body, while forcing Myogiryu upright. Myogi knew he was in trouble, and so tried to reverse. But Oki sensed it coming, and drove forward with perfect timing, and running him out backwards.
W-M5 Aminishiki (8-3) vs W-S Goeido (7-4)
The snake tried to henka, surprise surprise. Goeido landed a sweet slap to the side of his face on the way though. As Aminishiki was moving around, the sekiwake got his left arm under Ami’s which not only kept him alive, but gave him all the grip he needed to force the little bitch out. I love it! Goeido went off to the interview room to celebrate his kachikoshi.
E-M4 Toyohibiki (5-6) vs W-O Kakuryu (8-3)
Toyohibiki came in quite low, and drove the ozeki back. Kakuryu is very fact though so he stepped backwards while pulling Hibi forwards with a grip under his armpits. As he stepped out of the way, Hibi fell forward. So this ozeki stays in the yusho race for another day.
E-Y Hakuho (10-1) vs E-O Kotoshogiku (7-4)
Hakuho surprised me a lot by losing on Day 9. He seemed to fight Goeido with any real passion to win. And even yesterday against Myogiryu, he seemed to be very lax indeed. Perhaps he is just a bit disconnected or disheartened at the moment. All the rikishi around him don’t seem to be doing their part to fight from their hearts. I’m speaking mainly of the upper echelon of wrestlers. But who knows, maybe I’m just disappointed because I wanted him to have another zensho-yusho perfect tournament. Hakuho has beaten Kotoshogiku 10 times straight.
Today Hakuho showed us what he is made of, a lot! The ozeki blocked the Yokozuna from getting his favoured grip, while briefly getting into his armpit. Kotoshogiku then tried to hum Hak, a move that works against the majority of other rikishi. Hakuho stopped him quickly, and pushed him back slightly, before putting his left hand on the back of his head and dropping him to his knees. Solid Hakuho style sumo.
E-O Kisenosato (9-2) vs W-Y Harumafuji (9-2)
These two have met a lot of times in the past, their first meeting was way back in the September 2004 basho. Back then the now ozeki was fignting under his family name Hagiwara and the now yokozuna was fighting with the name many readers will remember well, Ama. But today will be their 6th meeting since becoming yokozuna, and a very interesting stat is that since then ozeki Kisenosato has an overwhelming 4-1 record. Also an interesting point to note is that in all those fights there wasn’t a sniff of a tachi-ai henka. Let’s hope today will be no different!
This bout went on to last 50 seconds! At the start Kise hit hard and moved the yokozuna back. Harumafuji had his hand in the ozekis throat but it was being ineffective, so he changed plans and tried slapping down the arms and he jumped out of the way. Kise caught him with a half shove as he jumped though and the yokozuna landed on the tawara and trying to gain his balance. He squatted right down to get his balance, so low that when Kise came in to push him out he was too low. The yokozuna then sprung back up into the ozekis chest, getting an insdie grip, leaving the ozeki to squeeze in on his arms. The two wrestle-rocked each other left and right, and soon Kise was balancing on one foot on the tawara at the other side of the dohyo. He had the yokozunas left arm up high though, and was able to move the action back to the centre of the ring. Things settled down for a little bit, Harumafuji with his head under Kise’s chin and having him at an off angle. Harumafuji tried to pull yank him forward but his feet were planted well. After a long stalemate, Kisenosato used his hight hand to pull on the Harry’s armpit and sent him to the dirt. Wow! Amazing.
Oh so the leaderboard now looks like this.
9-3 Harumafuji, Kakuryu, Endo
Bring your pencils and tinfoil hats tomorrow as Creswell will be back to explain the intricacies of remote viewing.
I’ll see you again in November.