I’m back again for day 9. I think I might be a little bit cursed. I just realized that for as many basho as I can remember in recent years I have picked the one or two of the guys that go kyujo for my fantasy sumo team. Kotoyuki seemed like a lock. I picked Yoshikaze last time for shits and giggles, and he was out for a fractured wrist. In Nagoya it was Chiyonokuni. In Natsu I had picked Baruto (that was the final injury that brought on his retirement), Haru was Chiyotairyu, and the list goes on. I feel like maybe I should stop picking riksihi I like, and just pick guys like Tamaasuka, or Goeido, or Tenkaiho, or Goeido. Anyway, I’ll leave the metaphysical ponderings on such twoddle to Connolly, and get on with the report.
Takanoiwa showed he’s got the chops for a chance in makuuchi by taking out Tokushoryu by shitatenage on a day trip up from juryo. Both guys are sitting at 4-5. Kyokushuho had Shotenro’s number today. Kyoku slammed into Shoten, grabbing the belt and pulling him in close, pinning Sho’s arm against his chest and propping him up, then initiating a low move across the dohyo to get him out. Kyoku is at 5-4, and Shotenro is at 6-3.
Kagamio, also up from juryo, didn’t have as good luck as Takanoiwa. Gagamaru got right under his armpit and one shove was all it took to send Kagamio flying out of the ring. Both are at 5-4. Osunaarashi came in with some good tsuppari, but was, yet again, a bit high, and despite being thrusted back, Jokoryu was able to halt the attack and get inside on Senefru’s belt. The pharaoh locked up Jokers arms from the outside, but Joker was able to break it and re-engage. Joker pushed Boody back, but Boody had a kote-grip on Joker’s left arm and spun away trying for a backward rotating kotenage. Gunbai went to Joker, but from my seat it looked like the Joker’s arm may have gone down first. Monoii confirmed a tsukiotoshi win binging the pharaoh to 5-4, and that loss takes Jokoryu down to 3-6.
Nothing gives me more joy than things like this next bout. Tamawashi henak-ed on Yoshikaze, who recovered and brought the pain to Tamaawashi. Tama fought Yoshi back to the bales, and with the prize in sight over stretched a bit. Yoshi saw it and slipped to the side and pulled Tama down, moving to 3-6, Tama is at 4-5. Tokitenku is injured and is gonna resort to trickery. But not today, he met up with Tamaasuka and right quickly moved backward and slapped him down. Not the best sumo, but not overly tricky. Toki is at 4-5, Tama at 2-7.
Fujiazuma, who has looked pretty strong this basho, came out of the gates really slowly against Tenkaiho, and couldn’t really get a tsuppari going, so just copied off of Tokitenku’s paper, and slapped down (called a thrust down) while moving backwards handing Tenkaiho his MK, and geting himself to 7-2. Endo came in against Sadanofuji hoping to tsuppari his way in to a belt grip. Sada did an alright job of keeping him out, and Endo got in too close and too low, and was easily pulled down taking Sada to 4-5, and Golden boy to 3-6.
One thing I gotta say about Takarafuji. His practice with Harumafuji has made him a great punching bag. That guy can take tsuppari like no one’s business. Just like today against Beeker, he weathered the storm until he saw his chance to catch Beeker on the side, deflected a blow, then thrust him out. That brings both men to 4-5. I was interested to see Chiyotairyu take on Masunoyama. It was obvious that Tairyu had written his name on that win and put it in the fridge for later, because he just dominated. Shoving Masu forward then pulling him in, then thrusting him away again to get him out violently. Chiyo 7-2, Masu 6-3.
Ikoi took everything Kaisei had to offer at the initial charge and worked his way into a morozashi, then as Kaisei moved forward, Ikoi just deepened his grip, forcing Kaisei’s right arm up in the air, then dropped his hips and walked Kaisei to the edge. To his credit Kaisei tried for a desperation kubinage, but Ikioi recovered and shitatenaged Kaisei to improve to 6-3, Kaisei is still aight at 5-4. Kitataiki got a good position advantage on Aoiyama at the tachiai and pulled the Bulgarian in to neutralize his tsuppari. Taiki had paid the price for hastiness earlier in the basho and took his good ol’ time to get set and finished this bout the smart and safe way. Aoiyama “drops” to 7-2 and Taiki pops up to a 5-4.
Just like Takarafuji, Toyonoshima is a champ at taking it in the face. WHich is why I would always bet on him to win against guys like Takayasu. That which he did right soon. By getting in close and getting under Takayasu’s tsuppari and getting him out from a lower position. Takayasu is at 1-8 Toyo is at 4-5. This was a rare trick-free bout from Aminishiki. He and Myogiryu met straight-up and grappled back and forth trying for a good grip. Sneakers tried to move to the side for a better angle, but it just seemed to be a better angle for Yogi, who got inside on Sneaks and stood him up and worked him out without much trouble. Yogi 5-4, Ami 3-6.
Tochiozan was yet again a bit too anxious. Kyokutenho grabbed his arms and spun around, completely unbalancing Ozan, throwing him down by a kotenage that made him look a few years younger than thrity-fucking-nine. Gramps 3-6, Sideburns at 4-5. The JSA’s problem is they switch their “Japanese Hope” to a different guy every basho. Sometimes it’s Kise, sometimes Tochiozan, or Myogiryu, Chiyotairyu, or Endo, and this time it’s Goeido, who lost embarrassingly to a well timed Okinoumi kotenage at the bales. No-eido looked pretty decently balanced at the tachiai and while moving OK(i)noumi back out, but in the last foot or so Blow-eido just jumped the gun, and Oki-Doki slipped to the side and pulled the arm throw. 6-3 for Faux-eido and 4-5 for Don Juan.
Yet another unexciting unbalanced rikishi. This one was local hero Shohozan getting slapped down after one second by Ozeki Kakuryu. 2-7 for the townie, 7-2 for the Ozeki. After his embarrassing loss yesterday, I’m sure Kise was REALLY glad to see Takekaze today. To be fair to the little guy, he put up a better fight than usual against Hakuho, but the Kid was all over him today, a pretty standard yorikiri from the kid to Akita with love.Kise is 7-2, and Take is doing better at M3 than I thought he would at 4-5.
This is what Harumafuji does to guys who are too high. A nasty paw to Tochinowaka’s throat got him obscenely high (even more-so than Johnson on a lazy college weekend) and worked him out with little to no problem. That’s 9 wins for Haruma, and 2 for Tochi. Harumafuji looked pretty fucking beastial today.
Homasho put up a valiant effort against Hakuho. Initial impact was all Hakuho, which is to be expected. Kublai got his right hand inside and favored left hand out pretty fuckin fast. Then drove Homey to the bales. Homey tried for a twist down at while moving backwards which got Haks up on one leg. Before you could whistle dixie, Homey was on the bales. Then we got to see how good he is on the defense. Haks dropped his his and moved forward with his prefered grip and Homey managed to hang in on the bales for 8 full seconds. That’s more than most of hakuho’s full bouts. Hakuho had to even drop the assault and reset to finish him off. Way to go Homey. You may not have won, bhut you get massive props from me. Hakuho is aslo at 9 wins, and Homey is also at 2.
Over-all not a terrible day for sumo. A few interesting bouts. Tomorrow is day 10, and I’m pretty sure that Bucky Goldstein will be back for the play by play. And if you’re wondering, yes, he is a pretty flagrant racial stereotype.