Goldstein is back picking up another day of gut-jiggling action. Is it just me, or does this tournament feel… somewhat mellow? The question of whether Kotooshuucream will be demoted or not has been solved. Will Endou perform alright at his new rank? Eh, kinda. Can Oosunaarashi handle makuuchi? Eh, kinda. Will Goueidou make an ozeki run? Eh, kinda. Will this be the tournament when Kisenosato gets his act together? Nope. Even Harumafuji isn’t giving us anything to grumble about. People are injured; the juryo boys have come to visit; the yokozunas are leading. It’s just kind of… comfortable, like a warm fireplace that won’t ever burn your house down or fill it with black smoke. No, I’m not going anywhere with this, shut up.
If you don’t have a drink, get one. Here comes Day 10. Or day 2 if you speak binary.
Masunoyama M11E (6-3) v. Tokushoryuu M14W (4-5)
Puff the Magic Pixie deserved the loss. From the second his hands were off the dohyo, he was slapping his hands down like a baby demanding food from his booster seat, trying for that quick, easy hatatikomi. Tokushoryuu didn’t flinch and instead took Masu’s wide open mawashi. HR Puffinstuff took a weak no-belt grip and did nothing with it. Talkshow turned the big blubber around with a strong right-handed grip and shoved him out for an easy oshidashi—a great recovery from his embarrassing roley-poley loss to Takanoiwa from Juryo yesterday. Masunoyama was clearly limping after the bout.
Gagamaru M13W (5-4) v. Tamawashi M10W (4-5)
Gaga started out strong, pushing back to the bales, but Tama rubberbanded back in his face. A graceful ballerina move from the big man with his own heels at the straw landed Gaga what looked like a hatatikomi victory, but a monoii turned the close call into a rematch. GagaTama Part II began as a clumsy pushing contest not unfamiliar to the nation’s elementary school boys and sputtered out into a Tamawashi yorikiri victory with his hands around Gagamaru’s considerable waist. Well, his gut, anyway.
Tokitenkuu M10 v. Shotenrou M15E (6-3)
After a couple of matta, Shotenrou pops out of the tachiai stance without ever letting his hands near the clay. It was all power as Shotenrou backed the old man up and showed him the ringside seats. Tsukidashi.
Sadanofuji M9E (4-5) v. Oosunaarashi M15W (5-4)
I feel like a broken record saying this, but Oosunaarashi showed his noobishness again today. Both men came out of the tachiai up high, but Ohsneeze threw all his power into pushing the heavier man back. He brought Sada to the edge of the ring, but could not close the deal. Sada pushed back directly across the ring and held the attack on Ohsneeze’s face, chin, and neck. The Egyptian simply could not manage the assault and found himself ejected on the northwest side. Oshidashi.
Yoshikaze M13E (3-6) v. Tenkaihou M8W (1-8)
Yoshi was not at all himself and yet all over this match. I love watching the little guy buzz around like that fly that you swear you should’ve hit but it somehow escaped your lightning-fast reflexes. Today he was all business, rumbling Tenkaiho back and out for a beltless yorikiri.
Toyohibiki M7E (4-5) v. Jokouryuu M12E (3-6)
The old push-push-pull. We all know it. They all know it. They keep falling for it. There are two varieties of Beaker—Slappy Beaker and Rolling Stone Beaker. Slappy Beaker pushed and slapped Jokouryuu around, making the opportunity for that pull-in hatatikomi. Jokouryuu, always aiming to be a crowd-pleaser, graced us with some lovely splits in the middle of the ring after his loss.
Chiyotairyuu M6E (7-2) v. Kitataiki M9W (5-4)
The battle of the green mawashis didn’t give me much to talk about. Chiyo ran forward; Taiki ran backward; and the inevitable happened. Was that yorikiri or oshidashi? Who cares? Yawn.
What was that? Oh nothing, just your life going past.
Fujiazuma (7-2) v. Ikioi M6W (6-3)
Fujiazuma charictaristically threw his powerful tsuppari, which held Icky in place and away from his mawashi. But that barrage could only be effective for so long. Icky got his hands inside Fuji’s chest and pushed hard, using all his strength to eject the heavier man out. Oshydashy.
Takarafuji M8E (4-5) v. Kaisei M6W (5-4)
Kaisei gets his left hand inside grip straight out of the tachiai and that’s enough to hold the two steady for near on half a minute. A mutual switch to a right-hand inside grip continues the thrilling standing-in-the-middle-of-the-ring action. Through a tussle over switching grips, Takara managed to get under the Brazilian in the front—don’t read too much into that—and lift him up and out. Yorikiri.
Takayasu M3E (1-8) v. Endou M7W (3-6)
This was an intense belt battle, and the slowed pace gave Endou what he needed to show some of that potential he’s been keeping in his pocket this tournament. I know mawashi’s don’t have pockets, but bear with me. They held on to opposing one-handed belt grips from the get-go and played patty-cake with their free hands in the center of the ring. They eventually settled on opposing left-in-right-out grips, and Taka moved in close to Endou, trying to uproot him or else do a slow-mo gabburi. Endou saw his chance and spun Taka around, ending today’s match with an uwatenage exclamation point.
Houmashou M4E (2-7) v. Toyonoshima M2W (4-5)
Where’s Houmashou this tournament? He’s outside of the ring, unfortunately. The big Toy—again, don’t read too much into that—got under Houma’s arms and pushed him to the east side straw bales. Houma whispered to Toyonoshima that he wanted a hot dog from the vendor on the west side of the ring, so Toyo spun him around and pushed him out there. Yorikiri.
Kyokutenhou M2E (3-6) v. Aminishiki M1W (3-6)
Ami got under Tenhou right away in an aggressive thrust that never seemed to really end, just fade away. Fortunately for Ami, Tenhou didn’t know what to do from his position. He tried for a hatatikomi, but all that really accomplished was giving Ami a grip even closer to his center of gravity. Tenhou backed up and out with Ami clinging to him like a Ravens linebacker. Yorikiri.
Myougiryuu M1E (5-4) v. Okinoumi Komusubi-W (4-5)
Myougi Bear charged out strong, pushing Oki back to the bales, but a left-inside twist from Oki stopped the bear’s momentum. Oki must’ve whispered that there was a pick-a-nic basket in the east side crowd, ‘cause Myougi just collapsed backwards under a strong push from the baby-blue-belted wrestler for an oshidashi loss.
Goueidou Sekiwake-E (6-3) v. Takekaze M3W (4-5)
Goueidou forgot where he was for the first half of the match. Takekaze got an eazy morozashi around him, and Goueidou had nothing he could manage with his arms. The big fart (tall wind, get it?) couldn’t close it, as Goueidou remembered he was a rikishi in a match in front of people and held on at the very edge. Takekaze finally clinched it with a shitatenage that needed a monoii for confirmation. The gyouji was at the wrong angle an must’ve just mentally flipped a coin as to which direction to point the gumbai.
Kisenosato Ozeki-E (7-2) v. Shouhouzan Komusubi-E (2-7)
I don’t like Kisenosato, but I can appreciate how it seems like every rikishi who meets him in a tachiai looks like they’re running full-force into a brick wall. Neither man succeeded in getting a mawashi grip right away, and Shouhouzan backed away and around, trying to get a little space. Kisenosato, however, held himself close to his opponent like those ghosts in Mario and managed to slide his left hand down for a hidari-yotsu. That’s one place you never want to be—between Kisenosato and the edge of the dohyo with a strong hand on your belt. There’s another place you don’t want to be—Baltimore, with a strong hand on your belt. Kisenosato secures his katchi-kochi by yorikiri.
Tochiouzan Sekiwake-W (4-5) v. Kakuryuu Ozeki-E (7-2)
The Kak started out underneath Tochi, but even with his hands on the man’s neck at the ring’s edge, he wasn’t able to send Tochi out. Another attempted underside push fails, and a mutual slap fight had the Kak stumbling nearly to defeat. The Kak dodged towards the middle of the ring and redirected Tochi’s charge to the side. With Tochi unbalanced and the Kak back on solid feet, Kakuryuu got under his opponent for the third time and shoved him out to the south. Oshidashi.
Hakuhou Yokozuna-E (9-0) v. Tochinowaka M4W (2-7)
Tochinowaka showed some spirit at the tachiai, attacking the yokozuna hard and managing to get a grip on that black mawashi. Hakuhou had other ideas. With an opposing grip, he broke Wakawaka’s hold on his belt and abandoned his own grip in favor of just plain strong-arming the maegashira in the throat and jaw. Wakawaka backed away, and Hakuho fired off a blindingly quick double-armed push on his opponent’s hips. Waka fell back and slipped. Oshitaoshi.
Aoiyama M5E (7-2) v. Harumafuji Yokozuna-W (9-0)
Absolutely shameful. You might recall that last basho, Aoyama gave Haruma the slip and achieved his first kinboshi. The Yokozuna apparently wanted to return one humiliation for another, and in the end, he looks all the more childish for it. Harumapussy did that thing where he does barely make contact at the tachiai but immediately twists and jumps to the side with a belt grip so it’s like a henka but not really a henka. Uwate-fuck-you-nage.