Gents and Ladies, Butterballs and Meat-slabs, welcome to Day 9 of the Osaka tournament. Goldstein here, back again to bring you due coverage like a warm mawashi. Our two Yokozunae lead the pack with Ozeki Kakuryuu and M11 Oosunaarashi one behind the game. Endou is batting .500, and Kotooshuu is all kinds of not-even-trying.
Yeah, I’m slow on the pick-up today. I want to do something in honor of my first coverage of an Osaka tournament, but I’ve yet to visit the place. Or comprehend the dialect. And that’s got me thinking. Whenever a Kansai dialect is dubbed over into English, they turn it into a Brooklyn accent or a Southern accent. I’m not entirely sure why. But as I’m a Texas boy, I think I’ll settle on the latter.
Conveniently, it’s also rodeo season, so let’s put up with a country-fied sumo roundup!
J3 Tokitenkuu (5-3) v. M14W Masunoyama (4-4)
When a bull’s kickin’, it’s all you can do just to hang on. And hang on Tokitenkuu did, absorbing the brunt of a full-power Masunoyama. And kept hangin’ on. And kept hangin’ on. I’d dare say he stayed on fer the full 8 seconds, but with Masunoyama, there’s a full 20-second timer you gotta beat. Tokitenkuu, it turns out, has what it takes. He outlasted the huffin’ shovin’ Masu and took the victory when all the kick in the bull had left.
M15W Takanoiwa (6-2) v. M13W Jokouryuu (4-4)
Jokouryuu took Takanoiwa’s charge like a pro, trying to turn him around with a double-overarm grip and force him back, but he surrendered the low ground to a bull that wasn’t tired yet. Joker there got some air time as Taka took control of his hips and drove him back like a herd ‘o doughguts. Oshidashi out the west side.
M16W Satoyama (3-5) v. M12W Sadanofuji (0-8)
Satoyama already took out the big boy in town yesterday, so I suppose he must be dog tired. A wily lil ‘skeeter like him either pulls a trick shot from the hip or goes down in a blaze of not-glorious-at-all. Today, it was the latter. Sato couldn’t get his hands on Sada’s belt, and that was the end of him. A few strongarm pushes from Sada sent the lil guy back and out the northeast straw bales.
M14E Azumaryuu (4-4) v. M11W Tokushouryuu (5-3)
Ever wonder what sumo’d be like if both wrastlers’ arms were more numb than a bee’s dick in December? That’d be amusin’ as Hell to see, but this match was a close approximation. Both men flubbed their grips from the tachiai and flailed a bit before landing same-side grips (Azu’s right / Toku’s left). Tokushoryuu learned why you don’t change ropes after you got the bull ‘round the ankles. He tried to switch hand positions and came up all numb-armed again, giving Azu the opening he needed to clinch a yorikiri victory.
M16E Kagamiou (2-6) v. M10W Terunofuji (2-6)
Terunofuji sure knows how to move straight forward. Even if his opponent happens to duck aside at the last moment, stubborn as an ass he keeps going forward and out of the ring. Tsukiotoshi fer Kagamiou.
M9E Kitataiki (3-5) v. M15E Tenkaihou (2-6)
This match was over as soon as Tenkaihou got the lower position and grip at the tachiai. Kitataiki strafed and backed and strafed again, but all he was choosin’ was where to put his own grave. Tenkaihou gets the yoritaoshi win. Kitataiki’s left leg appears injured.
M12E Chiyotairyuu (5-3) v. M8W Kyokutenhou (6-2)
Arms not bodies met at the tachiai. Chiyotairyuu pulls down, and Kyokutenhou stumbles straight ahead and out to the east ringside seats. 2 second match. Any woman’ll tell ya that ain’t long enough.
M11E Oosunaarashi (7-1) v. M6W Takekaze (6-2)
Oosunaarashi looked like he was throwing the dern kitchen sink at Takekaze. He started trying to control Take’s shoulders. Then he gave that up to try fer a kotenage arm bar. That didn’t work, so he figured he’d just pound the tar outta Take’s face with a barrage of slaps. That didn’t work, so how about a head pull fer a hatakikomi? Nope. Out of ideas, he backed himself against the south straw bales. One strong shove from Takekaze oshidashis him out of the ring. For his troubles, Oosunaarashi earns a day of kyujo with a right leg injury. He’ll have to wait longer fer that KK.
M6E Aminishiki (4-4) v. M10W Myougiryuu (3-5)
Myougiryuu has an 80% winnin’ record against Ami, and this match shows why. Push. Push. Pull. Turn around. Push. Uncontested oshidashi win fer Myougi bear.
M9W Gagamaru (3-5) v. M5W Aoiyama (5-3)
Would it be terrible of me to call this one the shootout at the Ookii Corral? Yes, yes it would. Aight.
After a Gagamaru tachai slower than a tortoise stampede, Aoiyama took complete control and drove that roly-poly varmint straight out the east side. Yorikiri.
M7W Chiyotairyuu (3-5) v. M4W Ikioi (4-4)
Chiyo brushes aside Icky’s initial double-barreled thrust, and with those shots gone, Icky was plum outta ammo. He had nothing left to give as Chiyo pushed him back and eventually out on the south side.
M4E Yoshikaze (5-3) v. M8E Takarafuji (4-4)
If this match were a color, it’d be beige. Maybe not pure blandness beige, perhaps a dark beige, but beige nevertheless. It’s difficult to have anythin’ less to say about it. Yoshi played a defensive game of slaps before usherin’ Takarafuji forward, exposin’ his backside to a strong push and ejection out the southeast corner. Okuridashi.
M3W Kaisei (1-7) v. M7E Toyohibiki (2-6)
Right away Beaker locked up Kaisei’s right arm and pushed at the Brazilian’s throat with his free hand. Kaisei didn’t have an answer to that and backed out to the south, just like Santa Anna. Oshidashi.
M5E Chiyoootori (5-3) v. M2W Tochinowaka (2-6)
Chiyooo had all the charge and established a lower position. Tochi hoped fer a hatakikomi but couldn’t find one. He backed out to the northwest. Easy quick victory fer the man with too many o’s.
M2E Okinoumi (2-6) v. Komusubi-W Shouhouzan (3-5)
Both wrestlers locked up on each other’s chests and remained there fer the rest of the match. Shou wanted the belt, and it was all Oklahoma could do to keep The Man With the Golden Belt from getting it. Eventually, Shou settled fer a double overarm kannuki grip and ejected Oki to the south. Oshidashi.
Komusubi E Toyonoshima (4-4) v. M1W Tamawashi (1-7)
In a violent matta, Tamawashi gives away his gameplan—attackin’ Toyonoshima with straight-armed thrusts to his throat. After the real tachiai, Toyonoshima plays defensive, keeping his energetic opponent at bay. He musta gotten tired of protecting himself ‘cause he decided to attack. Bad idea. Tama sidestepped the push and turned Toyo right around fer an okuridashi victory.
Sekiwake E Goueidou (6-2) v. M1E Endou (4-4)
The peanut gallery didn’t know who to cheer fer in this one. Highly anticipated match. Goueidou played a wise match. Endou charged hard, reachin’ fer Goueidou’s mawashi, but the Sekiwake was ready fer it. He swept away the youngin’s hands, and Endou went charging past his mark. Turning around put Endou off balance and perfectly positioned fer a hard push onto his back and off the dohyo like a frightened armadillo.
Ozeki E Kakuryuu (7-1) v. M3W Takayasu (3-5)
From the beginning, both men jostled fer hand position, settling fer same-side grips on the mawashi (K right, T left). Takayasu tried fer a shitatenage, but that gave Kakuryuu an opening to show some real quality sumo. The ozeki endured the throw attempt easily and used his grip to pull Taka sideways across the ring. Havin’ his opponent’s exposed flank, Kakuryuu popped out a susoharai kick that sent Taka tumblin’ all the way across the ring fer an ejection out the northwest side. Yorikiri, kachi-koshi, and many other words as well. Victory.
Ozeki E Kisenosato (6-2) v. Ozeki W Kotoshogiku (5-3)
Kisenosato rightly employed the same winning strategy against Giku that one would use against Masunoyama. Hold on, keep ‘em high, and wait ‘til he tires himself out. Giku was all too eager to play into this game. He bucked and charged with all his might, despite knowin’ that an unpressured Kise is like a wall. As Giku started to show weakness, Kise used a shitatenage to turn the butterball ‘round and push him out for a yorikiri to the northeast.
Seki-really-wake W Kotooshuu (1-7) v. Yokozuna W Harumafuji, undefeated
Puuuuush, pull. Harumafuji wins by hatakikomi. Kotooshuu on all fours on the dohyo looking thoroughly defeated, not just in this match but as a rikishi. Makkekoshi fer him. No more words need be spent on this kind of sumo.
Yokozuna E Hakuhou, undefeated v. Sekiwake W Tochiouzan (4-4)
Hakuhou had difficulty getting a hand position—not something often heard on the prairie. It didn’t matter anyway; he quickly got under Tochi’s arms and backed him out the north side. Waitin’ fer the hands to come down took ‘bout as long as the match itself.
Yer leaders after 9 days: Yokozunae Hakuhou and Harumafuji, trailed by Kakuryuu.