Hatsu Basho 2014 Day 4

It’s a night of wrestling.  And drama.  Wrestlama.  They should come up with a better name for that.

Good evening, folks.  Goldstein here, introducing tonight’s main event.

They had their eyes on each other.  Two star-crossed heavy men in diapers on a date with destiny.  One, the big boy in the sumo equivalent of the scandalous red dress (leaving nothing up top to the imagination!), an ozeki with designs on the top spot.  He knew he had what it takes to win; he had the crowd on his side.  But his wily opponent… if Big Red let his guard down for just a moment, it could be all over.  That opponent, that dashingly ugly upstart in his baby blues—he could taste the glory, if only he could get the right grip.  He’s done it before.  Does he have another miracle in him?  The wind carries a whisper of his future; it says, “Kisenosatoooo.”  All eyes are on them.  Their intense but brief encounter would play out before millions—okay, let’s be honest, thousands—of eager eyes, four judges, and a noisy referee.  It all plays out in the ring.  The crowd is mildly excited.  The moment of truth nears.

Stay tuned for tonight’s episode:  Dohyo Really Love Me?

M15-E Tokushouryuu (2-1) v. J2-W Chiyoou (1-2)
Toku took the early advantage and never let it go.  He pressed forward with his body and arms close to the juryo visitor’s chest.  At the ring’s edge, Chiyooooooooooo found solid ground to stand on for just a moment, but a swift switch to a migi-yotsu helped Toku push up and out for a yorikiri victory.

M14-E Kagamiou (1-2) v. M16-W Satoyama (2-1)
Satoyama must be feeling pretty good about himself.  His WWI strategy of “keep your head the fuck down” seems to be working for him.  It didn’t appear that way at the beginning of the match.  Mirror boy got an overarm grip on Sato’s mawashi and lifted up, driving the smaller guy to the straw bales.  Sato chucked a strong, slow rightward twist that put both wrestlers back in the center of the ring, jostling for arm position.  Unable to get an outside grip, Sato shows some amazing clear-headedness and slides his right arm into a near-center underhand grip.  Staying mostly square to his opponent, Sato chose his moment and twisted up.  His grip position spun poor Kagami like a kid spinning a pencil.
Come for the sumo, stay for the weak metaphors.

M13-E Kyokushuhou (1-2) v. M14-W Masunoyama (2-1)
This match was just 3 seconds of intense tsuppari.  Masunoyama left his face and all the inside angles wide open.  Shoehoe brought the stiff-arm right up the middle, pushing Masu up and back.  Masunoyama couldn’t even put up a huff of a fight.  He retreated outside the ring where it’s safe.  Both men are 2-2 after this match.

M12-E Gagamaru (2-1) v. M16-E Oosunaarashi (2-1)
Oosunaarashi has not solved his too-high tachiai problem.  If anything it’s gotten worse.  Yesterday, Satoyama dodged it completely, making the Egyptian just look awful.  But that shouldn’t be a problem with the big white amoeba Gagamaru, right?
Where Oosunaarashi was mentally in this match, I can’t tell you.  His henka was half-hearted, and his tsuppari was absolutely rookie-like.  It looked like he just stood up, surprised himself, and started flailing aimlessly.  He must have known he was getting nowhere because he decided to stop trying to slap the big guy and instead give him a big, weak hug.  Lady Gaga does not like unwelcome advances, and he slapped the hairy guy down for a hatatikomi win.

M15-W Takanoiwa (0-3) v. M12-W Chiyoootori (1-2)
Pretty textbook match here.  After the initial impact of two heavy bodies ramming into each other, both men remained where they were in the center of the ring.  Chiyooo appeared to get an advantage, pushing Taka southward, but Taka managed to turn things around with a series of side steps.  He pushed Chiyooo up and out for his first makuuchi win with an oshidashi. Takanoiwa also has the world’s most boring mawashi.

M10-E Sadanofuji (2-1) v. M13-W Tokitenkuu (1-2)
There are a lot of very brief matches today, but this one was the sole long one.  It dragged on for quite a while, and we got to see Tokitenkuu bring up that leg for a couple kick attempts.  Five seconds into the match, both wrestlers had settled into the grips they would keep for the duration. Toki got both hands on the back of Sad’s mawashi, and Sad retaliated with a kannuki.  Sounds like a woodland creature, but it’s actually that double over-arm, tickling-your-armpits grip.  The interesting part came when the gyoji had to call a pair of mattas to fix Sadanofuji’s mawashi.  Standing together for 3 minutes, arms locked, one with his hands down the other’s backside until an outside authority has to tell them to keep their clothes on… reminds me of middle school dances.  Someone from the crowd shouted “Gyoji, ganbare!” as the ref struggled to get Sad’s belt on right.  It took him so long the 2nd time to get things tied that Yoshikaze out of nowhere popped up onto the dohyo offering to help.  Adorable.  Eventually, Toki was able to get some forward momentum rolling and won by yorikiri.

M8-E Kitataiki (2-1) v. M11-W Yoshikaze (2-1)
With the crowd supporting the helpful Yoshikaze, he shows his spritely self with a fast transition from an inside push on the belt to an outside push-down for a hatatikomi win.

M11-E Shotenrou (1-2) v. M8-W Tochinowaka (2-1)
Shotenrou began the bout with an epic right handed stiff-arm to the face of Tochinowaka.  Unperturbed, the big guy got that armpit kannuki and drove Shotenrou back and out for a yorikiri win.  Shotenrou shook his fist in frustration after it was over.

M7-E Takarafuji (1-2) v. M10-W Endou (2-1)
Takarafuji won the battle at the tachiai with a migi-yotsu grip on Endou’s left flank.  He turned Endou’s back to the southeast side and drove hard, his left hand pushing up under Endou’s shoulder.  Endou tried in vain to escape to the northeast, but was driven onto the straw bales.  Yes, ONTO.  But don’t worry—Endou is Michael Fucking Jordan.  With some impressive hovertime, Endou’s left foot spun on top of the east straw bales, affording his right foot time to step behind him, land inside the ring, and give him the stability and momentum to spin around and let Takarafuji fall on his face.  Watch this match on YouTube and see the magic happen.  Victory out of the jaws of defeat.  Shitatenage.  Takanoyama would be proud of such a slick move.

M6-E Tamawashi (2-1) v. M9-W Fujiazuma (1-2)

A straightforward 5-second match.  Tama won the push-fight, upending Fuji, who backpedaled his way off the dohyo.  Tsukiwashi.

M9-E Takayasu (2-1) v. M8-W Kaisei (0-3)
Takaeasy had the early advantage with some powerful upward thrusts and a hand on the Brazilian’s throat.  Kaisei recovered, pushing against Take It Easy’s shoulders.  He finally thrust the green belt out to the southwest.  Takayasu seemed to land painfully on his right foot and limped his way out of the ring area.

M3-E Aoiyama (2-2) – M5-E Shohozan (3-1)
Aoiyama looked eager to get things started prior to the match, and that energy carried into the fight.  It was as much a slapfest as anyone could hope for, and the power in Aoiyama’s hands was easy to see.  He’s not a wrestler that gets in your head—he just smacks the tar out of it.  Battered, Shohozan fell forward first, giving Aoiyama the win by hatatikomi.

M5-W Kyokutenhou (2-2) v. M3-W Toyohibiki (2-2)
3 second match.  It happens every tournament—someone goes Biki-bowling.  Kyoku met Beaker’s thrust and took a strong hidari-yotsu grip with his right hand behind the bowling ball’s head.  The old man stepped back with his right foot and flipped Beaker over.  Shitatenage.  We may get a 2nd dose of Biki-bowling tomorrow when he faces Kakuryuu.

M2-W Ikioi (1-2) v. Komusubi-W Tochiouzan (3-0)
Tochi did a great job of keeping ikioi away from his mawashi, keeping his hips back and controlling Iki’s arms and shoulders.  With that threat under control, he just had to wait for an opening.  Ikioi gave him one when he moved too far back (thus leaning forward) to defend a Tochi press.  Tochi twisted back and to the right to slip Ikioi off balance and flat on the clay.  Sukuinage.

Sekiwake-E Goueidou (3-0) v. M4-W Takekaze (2-1)
Take controlled most of the match very effectively with what looked like nervous energy and attention, but Goueidou found a way to turn it into a hatakikomi victory.  This was a battle of nerves where the struggling G-man held it together.  It definitely didn’t look like ozeki sumo, but it was a display of ozeki-worthy mental endurance.

M4-E Aminishiki (0-3) v. Sekiwake-W Kotooshuu (2-1)
Ami tried to dodge Koto’s charge to the side, but the former (yay!) ozeki held it together and stayed face-to-face with the old man.  Ami couldn’t keep up with Koto’s pressure, stumbled his footwork, and crumpled backwards with bent knees.  Oshitaoshi.

Komusubi-E Myogiryuu – Kyuujou
Ozeki-E Kotoshogiku gets the free win.  He needs it.

M1-E Toyonoshima (2-1) v. Ozeki-W Kakuryuu (2-1)
Kakuryuu stood up too high at the tachiai and backed off, separating both men.  Toy pursued, only to be held off by some strong-arms from the ozeki.  Kakuryuu caught Toy pushing a bit too hard as they met again, and he let the roly-poly man fall forward for a hatatikomi win.

Ozeki-E Kisenosato (3-1) v. M1-W Okinoumi (2-1)
Match of the day.  Here we go.  A bent-elbow meeting turns into opposing left-hand inside grips on the west side of the dohyo.  After a pause, Kise stomach-bumps Oki back to the bales, where Oki turns and nearly throws the ozeki off-blance.  Kise, however, recovers and gets his momentum back, easing Oki out by yorikiri.  I can only hope Aoiyama pulls off an upset tomorrow.

Yokozuna-W Hakuhou (3-0) v. M2E Chiyotairyuu (0-3)
1 second match.  Chiyo bounces back off of Hakuho’s tachiai, flails his arms in a momentary attempt at tsuppary.  Hakuho turns his hips just slightly, and Chiyo’s hands just slide off his chest and straight to the clay.  Hatatikomi.  That word is not fun to type.

Thus endeth Act IV.  Stay tuned for Act V tomorrow:  Yoritaoshi My Heart

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