Hatsu Basho 2014 Day 14

S&S Briton-Meyer

Briton-Meyer here after some time away both from the blog and from Sumo.  As I sit down to write this, I am reminded why I haven’t been watching Sumo recently.  I have a puppy that eats everything within reach, and so I am constantly having to find that puppy and figure out what its eating off the floor.  Ok, I’m back.  It looks like it was some kind of paper, though it could have been spaghetti.  I know, I know, the guys here at the blog will think I’m making excuses, and to tell the truth, when I think about it, I somehow managed to write about Sumo back in the day when it was DeGama who needed watching when food and floor came together to form some glorious (and delicious?) mess (I miss you, man).

I’m going to give a targeted report here because if I tried to catch up on all the story lines I’ve missed, I would stink the place up with a whole lot of bull.  So let’s see what we’ve got going on here.

My feed cut in on Kitataiki squaring off against Oosunarashi.  No.  That’s not the right word.  It wasn’t so much squaring off as it was false starting three times.  That’s ok, it gave me a chance to get settled in my chair, and it reminded me of the subtle, yet sever disapproving stare of an older Japanese man in charge, in this case Isegahama.  When they finally slapped chests, the two battled it out with twists and turns moving first towards one side of the ring with things looking iffy for Oosunarashi, and then towards the other side of the ring with things looking decidedly doomed for Kitataiki.  Okuridashi win for Oosunarashi.

Chiyootori vs Tochinowaka – a minor bout of tsuppari, followed by locking on the mawashi.  Here we go, looking like a simple win with Chiyootori pushing Tochinowaka out, and then, just because he could, Chiyootori stops pushing and pulls Tochinowaka toward the center of the ring.  Tochinowaka goes down like a sack of flour and Chiyootori walks triumph out of the ring with a shitanage win under his belt.

Takarafuji vs. Tokushouryu – I’m just throwing this one in there because I am not so happy with what has happened to the tachiai since I last watched.  That was either the friendliest tachiai ever or a yet another false start.  Ah… a false start.  Back to the line.  Maybe they’ll do the tachiai justice on the second time.  Nope, the second meeting, and the real one was so week that I think it made the gyouji voice crack in reminiscence of the impotence of puberty.   A quick ballroom dance around the ring and Takarafuji wins by yorikiri.

Kaisei goes a good way toward sealing the expulsion of Takanoiwa from Makuuchi.  Win by yorikiri.  Can’t say I’m too shook up as I didn’t even know Takanoiwa was in makuuchi until just now.

Oh gods of Sumo, hear my plea, give me a good bout to report on!  Don’t let my interest in sumo dye by tachiai.

Shouhouzan vs. Gagamaru.  Oh yeah!  I can tell this is going to be a showy bout just by the color of Shouhouzan’s mawashi.  I hope the guy wins.  Never been a huge Gagamaru fan, though it looks like the maru part of Gaga’s name is certainly continuing to live up to expectations.  I wonder if he would bounce if dropped on that belly of his!  The bout is off.  Not the most resounding tachiai, but now they are locking up.  A bear hug joins the two men and that enormous belly of Gaga’s is looking like its coming in handy.  Shouhouzan is being pushed back.  Damn.  I’d been hoping for something amazing from him.  OOHHH YEAH!  He did it.  He dropped Gagamaru by uwatenage, and my question was answered.  He doesn’t bounce much, but there is some upward action after the initial impact.  That bout got my attention!

Fujiazuma vs. Ikioi.  Ikioi’s win reminds me of some bouts I fought against Valentine.  I didn’t like that slap down technique back then and I don’t like it now.  Did Fujiazuma leave himself open to it?  Yes.  Was it ligit?  Yes.  Do I like it?  No.  Nothing to do with the sumo, just personal issues on display here.  (Valentine, you’d better make it out here for that cigar.)

What the hell is up with the tachiai misses here???  Skipping ahead.

Yoshikaze vs. Tochiouzan.  Even in my insulated American world here, I didn’t miss the news of Yoshikaze’s winning streak.  I figure I’d better root for the guy.  Today he is all forward motion, no doubt propelled from behind by his lucky wind.  He misses the tachiai, and the video feed has the strangest sound.  Its kind of like a disillusioned man’s scream.  Now, I have to say that I haven’t been impressed with the tachiai today, but I don’t think my feelings could illicit quite that sound from me.  All right, all right.  The bout begins.  Yoshikaze’s lucky wind propels him right toward Tochiouzan who dances to the the side and Yoshikaze is swept out of the ring by his gusto, or perhaps his gust.

Goeido vs. Kyoukutenho.  Goeido wins by yorikiri.  Not much else to tell, except that it appears to be a very good basho for Goeido and he is looking professional out there.  Kyoukutenho takes the news of his makekoshi with stoicism.

Tamawashi vs. Kotooshu.  After Goeido’s professionalism, I was expecting a madman’s dash to win or loss by Kotooshu, but I was suprised.  The man flowed like water today and Tamawashi was out of the ring in a flying leap as Kotooshu spun to guide the flight.  Kachikoshi for Kotooshu by hikiotoshi.

Kisenosato vs. Kakuryu.  Kissy launches his weight into the tachiai while Kaku controls his stance with knees bent.  Kaku gets the lower hold, but a quick bout of tsuppari reverses the situation with Kissy on bottom and Kaku on top.  Kaku gets his hands around the back of Kissy’s head and pulls him forward and down.  Hatakikomi win for Kaku.  Things are looking exciting for the final day as Kakuryu has only a single loss.

Hakuho vs. Kotoshogiku.  Hakuho is being pushed back.  That strikes me as a change since I last watched.  Hakuho is actually looking like he is in trouble here.  Wait… what?  I thought I had the physics of that bout worked out, but something was strange about that judo chop from Hakuho.  I watched the bout again with careful attention to where the two rikishi’s weight was placed on their feet.  Hakuho must have been putting incredible pressure on Koto’s left side.  Then it seems he suddenly removed that pressure and used his hand to interfere with Koto getting his feet positioned to regain his balance.  That was pretty cool, actually.  Had to look up what it was called as I couldn’t quite catch what the announcers said.  Uchimuso.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.  Here’s the replay in slow motion now.  There it is.  Hakuho takes the pressure off by bending his right knee suddenly.

Looks like an awesome day for tomorrow – or today – or maybe even yesterday for those of you who aren’t delayed by the time stream.



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