I’m back for day one. I was trying to think of a good theme for today. But I just couldn’t manage to find one. Shonichi is always a bit nebulous. You always have some guys shaking off ring rust, guys just recovering from injuries, guys who are over ranked, and guys who are under ranked. There are guys who are debuting in a new division and are up against seasoned veterans, and seasoned veterans who sank down and are now fighting against guys about half their age. There are the streaky ozeki who pray they don’t lose in the first week, lest they have to go kyujo. Finally, you have bizarre freaks like Hakuho who are never off, and then you have twilight zone days when guys like Hakuho actually do have an off day. It’s impossible to call shonichi, yet it sets up the whole basho. Luckily, no twilight zone today… or isn’t there…
Down in the lower ranks, former Yokozuna Musashimaru’s nephew Musashikuni picked up a win against Tosa, Sokokurai picked up a win over Akiseyama. Terunofuji had an embarrassing loss over Azumaryu, and Takanoiwa won over Chiyootori. On to makuuchi.
Tamaasuka had Juryo visitor Kagamio moving back, but Kaga slipped to the side and pulled a throw just before the bales. Osunaarashi faced off against Shotenro in his debut bout. After a matta, Boody came it hard trying to push at first, but quickly abandoning that for a morozashi, moving Shotenro to the bales. Unfortunately Khufu was too high (as is his wont) and Shotenro locked up the Pharaoh’s elbows and, after a long struggle at the bales, forced him out. Boody hung on longer than most would at the bales, but too high is too high and a loss is a loss.
Tokushoryu looked good today in his bread and butter pushout win against Kyokushuho, but it was pretty unexciting. Lady Gaga gave two pushes to Yoshikaze to end the bout pretty much before it started. Fujizauma’s tsuppari looked strong and kept Jokoryu off the belt and sent him flying out of the ring. Once Tamawashi locked up with Masunoyama, most would figure it would be over, but Tamawashi isn’t to handy on the belt himself, and was sloppily sukuinaged by Masa just a second before he ran out himself.
This next one was odd. Kotoyuki and Tokitenku matta-ed twice. Each time Kotoyuki got an enormous amount of applause for giving a larger than normal bow to the gyoji. Must have been a lot of grandmothers in the audience today. Kotoyuki finished off Tenku via tsuppari in seconds, and can look forward to a shitakubeya filled with werther’s originals and slightly soiled bloomers. Skippingforward to today’s meaty bouts…
Endo’s tachiai against Beeker was cautious at best. Beekr locked up the youngster’s left arm with an otsuke and went for the throat with his free arm. That sent Endo backwards, wheeling for position and trying to get inside. Endo ran out of real estate and a paw to the chest saw him violently to the ground. As predicted he is not 100%. Beeker, however, was… and we all know how good he can be when he’s 100%.
Ikioi blacked out a bit at the tachiai against Chiyotairyu and collapsed. Aoiyama was on the run from Kaisei but slapped down at the bales. As Doreen Simmons put it “a hatakikomi that doesn’t make you look stupid.” Classic defensive stuff from Homasho against Tochinowaka. Tochi obviously was the aggressor, and had Homey back on the ropes, but in no real danger. Tochi subsequently slipped and fell on his ass with seemingly no provocation. Innumerable Ross Mihara puns ensued. Takekaze was too far forward against Tochiozan and fell victim to what was unfortunately the “type of hatakikomi that DOES make you look stupid.”
Takayasu was out of the gates with some decent looking tsuppari against Goeido, unfortunately Goeido had slipped to the side and employing “the kind of hatakikomi that makes you look like a cat DESPERATELY trying to catch a laser pointer dot.”
The next bout made me smile. Toyonoshima did exactly what he does best, shoulder blast–>morozashi–>shitatenage–>Kotooshu at 1 loss. Kakuryu locked up with Kyokutenho tring for a nage with his right uwate, then immediately going in for the shitatedashinage while Gramps was off balance. I guess Kotoshogiku was a bit hung over from oendan parties, because he seemed to have less focus than I do when relieving myself on a car somewhere on Friday night. Sneakers backpeddaled and sent the hometown boy out either by hikiotoshi or “the type of hatakikomi that makes you want to drink heavily.”
Myogiryu had Kisenosato at an upward and sideways angle, and looked to have the advantage. But on careful review, Kise was in control, though good footwork he was able to fight back to a good position and force Yogi out.
Shohozan came in with both hands on Harumafuji’s shoulders and moved back like he was going for a hatakikomi… which should have worked because Haruma was WAY too far forward. I guess he was pushing instead of pulling. Haruma gave a slap to the head, pulled Shoho’s neck down, then slipped behind the komusubi for an okuridashi win.
Okinoumi’s tachiai wasn’t bad against Hakuho, but it wasn’t great. Strike 1. He couldn’t get a grip, and couldn’t decide if he wanted to go for one, or just try to keep Hakuho off his own belt. Strike 2. He moved backwards. Strike 3. Hakuho finished things off to bring shonichi to a close.
Bertrum will be here, sausage in hand, for day 2.