There are a lot of questions burning in your minds I’m sure. Did Kisenosato beat Hakuho? Did Harumafuji drop another bout? Did Endo get double digits? How about the lower ranks? Is anything decided down there? How does Baruto’s retirement factor into all this? Speaking of retirement is Wakanosato really gonna keep going after this? Who is Gagamaru’s fitness trainer, and why has he been allowed to live? Exactly how many cigars did Homasho sell? Did Osunaarashi enslave all the rikishi he’s ever beaten to build himself a complex tomb structure? Why does Connolly’s house always reek of okra, and why does Johnson’s always reek of stale milk? The answers to all the questions and more await, hajimemasho.
A glance down the banzuke shows us that the jonokuchi yusho goes to Keitenkai (23, Onomatsu beya) for a perfect 7-0, Jonidan will have a play-off between Aokishin (24 Kasugano beya) and Horikiri (19 Shikoroyama beya). Sandanme is secure for Tenichi (36 Kitanoumi beya). Makushita was taken by Kihonoumi (29 Dewanoumi) from WAY down the banzuke at ms59w with a 7-0.
In Juryo Kagamio henka-ed his way to a 12-2. Terunofuji had to beat Kyokushuho to keep pace, but fell, via uwatenage, to 11-3. Osunaarashi picked up his 10th win after a CLOSE call thrust down at the edge. If Terunofuji loses today and Khufu wins, he’ll tie for the junyusho, but his promotion to makuuchi is already in the bag.
Homasho displayed some of his best defensive work today against Tamawashi. Tama looked to have the advantage arm-barring then thrusting Homey back to the bales, but Homey dropped down, got both hand underneath and snuck a maemawashi grip on Tamawashi, spun him around and took him out with no trouble. Classic Homey. Washi 8-6, Homey 9-5.
Tochinowaka got an awkward yorikiri over Sadanofuji for his KK (8-6, 7-7). Tokushoryu yorikiried Tenkaiho (6-8, 7-7). Wakanosato saved a bit of face with a win over Shotenro… but… still with that score from that rank I can’t see him sticking around much longer (3-11, 5-9). Tamaasuka spanked Lady Gaga, both men at 6-8 on day 15. Asahisho pushed out Kotoyuki, who must still be a bit loopy from the other day (4-8-2, 6-8). (Raja Pradhan quote of the day: “He always does the ho before the tachiai”). Fujiazuma got pushed down Masunoyama, who is always prone to sand-bagging, but still has a chance at KK. (5-9, 7-7)
Jokoryu got a good clean yorikiri over Kyokutenho that gives both men 8-6. I could see Tenho having handed him that one. Takarafuji got through Aran’s shitty attempts to keep him away in a jiffy (4-10, 3-11). Chiyotairyu moved forward against Kitataiki, so naturally he won, both at 6-8. Takekaze got inside and under Okinoumi very quickly and never lost the advantage, winning by sukuniage (9-5, 7-7). Aoiyama ran Tokitenku down and out of the ring, but his balance and foot work was garbage (6-8, 5-9). Endo is out with an ankle injury, so Shohozan picked up the fusensho win (9-5-1, 7-7).
Toyohibiki also Steamrollered Ikioi out of the ring, but there was some dispute about whether or not Ikioi’s hand or Beekers foot was out first. So we had a torinaoshi. Ikioi met Beeker at the tachiai and kotenage-ed the fuck out of him, then danced his way back to take his cash, 5-9 for both men. Toyonoshima and Tochiozan locked up on pretty equal footing, but Toyo was able to get his favorite morozashi and that was it for Elvis (8-6, 7-7).
Myogiryu tried a henka slap down on Kaisei, who rallied. They locked up and Yogi made a push that Kaisei reversed. Kaisei took Yogi up, back, and out (6-8, 7-7). Goeido was able to neutralize Takayasu’s tsuppari and forward motion, then worked Taka back with pushes and thrusts (10-4, 5-9). Both Aminishiki and Kotoshogiku had a left hand inside. Geeku got his momentum going, but couldn’t get the Sneak to go out by traditional means, so he pulled a split second sukuinage for the win, both at 9-5.
Today’s highlight bout between Hakuho and Kisenosato started off with a hearty staredown, which Kise broke first. Kise couldn’t line up and stood back up, appologizing. I must say he looked rather meek. Kise moved Hakuho back a bit at the tachiai, going for an otsuke on Hak’s right arm, which Hakuho broke hoping for the right hand inside to match the left hand he already had. Kise, however, was right inside with his left, denying Hakuho the morozashi and forcing him into hidari yotsu. Kise lacked the outside grip and Hakuho was able to turn him around, looking like Kise would go out at an angle. But Kise recoved coming back with some slaps and thrusts, Hakuho returning the favor. Hakuho, however was much lower and slapped down Kise, who was higher, and slightly off balance. The words yusho flashed up on the screen, Hak took his pile of cash and walked off the dohyo bleeding from the head. Then something bizarre happened. There was a monoii… after the bout finished, after the money was given, and after the rikishi had left the dohyo. Never seen that before. I was sure Hakuho won, but there was always that “come on you know, they are gonna do re-dos until Kise wins”. There was some question as to whether or not Hakuho grabbed Kise’s mage. Which he did not, and Hakuho walked off with his 27th yusho. Kise sat back down and was openly upset and cursing… too bad, so sad. 13-1 for Haks, 10-4 for Kise
Harumafuji got a DEEP left hand inside grip at the tachiai against Kakuryu, gave a tug and slipped left, Kak ran straight forward, and Haruma pushed him out from the side. Coulda been straight up, but I doubt it. Harry got 10-4, Kaks 9-5.
Well that’s all for me for this basho. Luckily for you we have a veteran commentator for senshuraku. Like a phoenix from the ashes, Valentine will be back for the last day to wrap things up and leave you with a good taste in your mouth.