09. Nagoya Basho 2011

Nagoya Basho 2011

Shonichi

Is it safe to say sumo hit rock bottom?  Can we say this, or am I being a bit rash?  Because every time we say this they seem to somehow outdo themselves.  But really, I’m struggling to think what is more damning to a sport than the revelation of a massive bout-fixing scandal.  How about the revelation that a dozen sekitori rikishi are actually women?

Today brings the first televised sumo since January.  I for one want to look forward to reemerge of ‘decent sumo,’ and I’m just hoping finally they’ve hit rock bottom, because from there, it’s no way but up.

A few bouts of note in Juryo, were a whoppin’ seven rikishi dawn the silk sekitori mawashis for the first time.

EJ6 Sadanoumi vs. WJ6 Kaonishiki: Akitan Kaonishiki can finally stop licking Takamisakari’s boots and focus on his sumo…and his sideburns. Kao had some good thrusts upstairs, but was squirming backwards, letting Sadanoumi gain on him.  With a twist to the right, the 32 year old Akitan pulled a hand pull-down, bringing his opponent down in a bout way too soft even for Juryo.

EJ5 Hochiyama vs. WJ5 Takanoyama: Takanoyama has been Kisenosato’s bitch for years now, but he’s unshackled and taking on Hochiyama whose 41 kilos heavier than the Czech.  Right to belt with left, but Hochiyama shook it off, thus throwing the Bohemian off balance, went for morozashi, and Hochi pushed forward for a force out win.

EJ4 Kokkai vs. WJ4 Aoiyama: A Georgian on the decline and a Bulgarian on the rise.  The two conch heads at the tachiai, then Kokkai easily shook off the careless junior with a slap-down win.

And in the big show…

EM14 Takamisakari vs. WM14 Tochinonada: A lot of history, 17-10 in Ringo’s favor.  Ringo came in with a right-hand outside, left-hand in, which set up nicely for an over-arm throw to the left.  Easy win for the Apple farmer.

EM7 Tokitenku vs. WM7 Gagamaru: Gaga had a strong forward thrust onto Toki10, keeping his balance, but just teetering.  At one point Gaga grasped Toki10’s leg as he drove forward.  This actually worked against him as the tall Mongol just had to force his leg down and continue backward in large strides, throwing Gaga off balance.  Toki shook Gaga off with what was called an over-arm throw, but was more just typical sloppy sumo by the Georgian.

EM6 Tamawashi vs. WM6 Aran: Henka by Aran.

EM5 Kaisei vs. WM5 Wakanosato: Waka was faster and drove a bit forward at the tachiai, but the Brazilian got a steady left-hand outside, and after a bit of patty cake, slipped inside the right-hand for a grip and drove forward, force-out win for Kaisei.

EM4 Okinoumi vs. WM4 Takekaze: Don Juan fighting two “kaze’s” today; tonsillitis, and the Akitan.  Some good bitch-slapping by the two with Take waiting for an opportunity for a slap-down and Don Juan standing steady, but finally finishing the little devil off with a beltless arm-throw.  Okinoumi wins.

WM3 Aminishiki vs. WS2 Kakuryu: Amisneaky leads head-to-head 11-4, but the Kak is coming off an excellent 12-3 performance in May.  Today, Kak stepped back from the tachiai, but was able to gain a right-hand outside, left-hand inside and drive an ailing Amisneaky out, force-out win.

EM3 Wakakoyu vs. WS1 Kisenosato: it’s been eight and a half years since these two locked up.  Today, Waka kept Kissy off at the tachiai with a full-armed thrust, but it didn’t last as Kissy slapped it off and easily thrust Waka out of the ring, push-out style.

ES1 Kotoshogiku vs. WM2 Toyonoshima: head-to-head 19-7 in Geek’s favor.  Geek’s also being buffed up for an Ozeki-run by turning in 11 and 10 wins in January and May respectively.  But, did I see this one right?  Bang at tachiai, and when the dust settled, Toyo had advanced a yard on the Geek.  They both pushed up upon each other looking for a grip, and Toyonoshima initiated the hug-n-chug® on the Geek!  Geek is now consulting with his lawyers while Toyonoshima enjoys his first win of the tournament.

EM2 Kyokutenho vs. WO Kotooshu: Kadoban after a dismal performance in May, Koto walked into Kyoku’s grip, but Kyoku was just too weak to do anything with this spoon-fed opportunity.  Flailing around for a while, Kyoku lost his grip and Koto easily drove the elder Mongol out.  I can’t see Oshu coming out with enough wins to shake the kadoban label this basho if he chooses to continue handing his belt over to opponents at the tachiai.  Today was fortunate, but it won’t be that easy later days.

EO Kaio vs. WM1 Yoshikaze: two-to-oh in Kaio’s favor, but kinda tough to win bouts without yaocho, eh?  No grips at tachiai, but Yoshi kept in constant movement easily throwing Kaio off balance, and Yoshi came in behind Methuselah and won with a rear push-out.  Oh, and Kaio was fighting today to tie some sort of record or something?  Most yaocho wins, or something like this?  Nice work by Yoshikaze.

EM1 Tosayutaka vs. WO Harumafuji: Good tachiai by Haruma, straight into Tosa, getting the right-hand inside, left-hand out, and push to the edge where the Gorilla bent like a Berg cock and while attempting an utchari (backward pivot-throw) on the Ozeki, Tosa’s right heel graced the snake-eye sand just a split second before Haruma tumbled out of the ring.  Nice bout and win by Harumafuji.

EO Baruto vs. EK Goeido: Goeido, who has been known to shake a win from the Estonian Tree from time to time, attacked in low at the tachiai, but on Bart who really has a choice but to go in low, right?  Bart was up too high as always, but got a good belt grip and picked up Goeido tsuridashi style, and walked him out.  A lift-out win for Bart.  They’re candy for the fans, but Bart best work on other techniques besides these crane lifts.  The good rikishi never fall for it.

EY Hakuho vs. WK Tochinoshin: The Yokozuna is 8-0 on the Georgian.  Shin went looking for a grip at the tachiai rather than thrusts, but Haku didn’t even need a grip because once making contact, he drove into Tochinoshin and continued to press forward on his opponent over the rice bales.  It looked like a butsukari-geiko practice for the yokozuna, as the Georgian (and everyone else) is leagues below the Yokozuna.

Overall, a not-bad day of sumo.  Mrs. Valentine was watching next to me and commented “nice to see some hard work from the rikishi today.”  Aside from that Aran henka and Kotooshu’s crap win, I’d have to agree with the missus.

Sumo reports come daily, but Daly comes tomorrow.  Be sure you don’t miss it!

Day 2

Welcome to day 2 of the Nagoya Basho. Sumo’s first official tournament since January. Damn. I wish Nagoya brought back swell memories but sadly last time we were here, I had to watch the whole tournament on my computer due to a baseball betting scandal (among other antisocial groups associated with this whole mess ) that eventually lead to the yaocho (matching-fixing scandal) scandal that has randomly punished some rikishi and let others off the hook. As the yaocho scandal hit I wrote speculative piece on why this happened and what could potentially happen next. I stand by my why but as for the what, I was clearly off the mark. What has occurred however is a grouping of young rikishi being given a shot at the makuuchi division. One can only hope that it will provide fresh talent but in the meantime I think we might be in for a couple of sloppy bashos Juyro all the way to the mid maegashira in the Makuuchi division until things settle.

Speaking of Juryo, I’ve got a couple of newbies (and favorites of mine) to mention today.
Kaonishiki of Akita’s Misato Town who also happens to be know for his sideburns, recorded his first ever lost in Juryo today while his counterpart in the match, Czech,  Takanoyama recorded his first ever win in the division.

Bulgarian Aoiyama, a Valentine favorite, picks up his first Juryo win over Tamanoshima. The young’n has only been doing this for two years and has a 51-21 overall record. Look forward to seeing more of him eventually.

On to the big show.

Tochinonada vs. Fujiazuma

Fujiazuma, one of the newbies picks up another convincing win over Tochinonada. Yorikiri. I liked the intensity.

Shotenro vs. Toyohibiki

I like Shotenro. A lot of people don’t remember this (thus I tend to mention it on occasion), but Shotenro is one of six guys in the past 11 bashos to defeat the Yokozuna Hakuho. He and Kisenosato being the only two maegashira rikishi to do so. Sho started of today’s bout with a great nodawa followed by a tsupari. Toyo got inside and was driving the Mongol out. Shotenro tried every reversal in the book but Toyo was able to hang on for the win. Another half meter on the dohyo and it would have been a different story.

Kitataiki vs. Takayasu
Don’t know much about Takayasu but I liked what I saw today. Tachi-ai was mediocre but Takayasu was bringing the tsupari until Taiki wrapped him up. Yasu got the better grip however and as he was going for the left hand grip Kitataiki went on defensive. The defensive overcompensation  on Taiki’s part cost him the match however since it left him off balance. Takayasu was easily able to toss Kita down via uwatedashingae.

Tochiozan vs. Homasho

Two rikishi that should fare very well in Nagoya faced off today. Homasho, known for being a defensive rikishi and Tochiozan, know for being extremely hot and cold in the ring. Today defense won out as Homasho moves to 2-0 with yorikiri win.

Bout of the Day: Asasekiryu vs. Miyabiyama

A great bout here. Asasekiryu fought hard to manuver around Jaba’s tsupari/nodawa attack but when he final did so Miyabi started backing him out like an offensive linemen in American football. The Secretary being a survivor  and skilled rikishi went for the immediate pull down. The result was Asasekiryu and Miyabiyama hitting the ground nearly at the same time. The gunbai and I both gave Asa the win but a mono-ii was called and it was decided the match was too close to call. The redo went to Miyabiyama who was able to stand the Mongol up and knock him off balance, get behind him and finish the match okuridashi.

Kaisei vs. Okinoumi

I like both of these rikishi quite a bit. I think Kaisei is solid skill wise and has a bright future in the makuuchi. I have also been impressed with the quickness of Okinoumi’s  tachi-ai post scandal (baseball). Solid tachi-ai from both men standing each other up with their arms in the air like Aomori Apple Farmers. The two gain their senses and got hold of the mawashis. Kaisei attempted the first throw and looked to be in control but Mr. Looks recovered nicely and threw the Brazilian over his hip. Great bout by two younger wrestlers.

Takekaze vs. (un)Wakanosato

Summed up in three parts.

1. Leaping henka by the man from Moriyoshi.

2. Straight arm to the face.

3. Pull down win for Takekaze.

Both of these guys days are (hopefully) numbered as they just can’t compete legitimately anymore.

Aminishiki vs. Toyonoshima

In a word Shneaky’s knee is in rough shape. With one leg there was no question who was going to win. Toyo moves to 2-0.

Kyokutenho vs. Kisenosato

Pretty even match up here but as of late Kise has won the last five. Kisenosato had a solid yorikiri positioning but the Veteran pulled a great reversal and knocked the former kid off balance with a leg hook. Yoritaoshi

Baruto vs. Yoshikaze

Baruto gives us more of the same post-ozeki sumo (read: lackluster at best). Yoshikaze gets inside easily and eventually manuevers a Mainoumi-type leg grab. Luckily for Baruto Yoshikaze is no Kakuryu (insert other extremely skilled rikishi here). The Estonian simply threw the smaller dude into the dust.  Based on the first two matches I don’t forsee a good outing for sumo’s #2 man even if he is 2-0.

Kakuryu vs. Kotoshu

Can somebody give Kotoshu a message: take a nap. Man he looks exhausted. Damn. Sleep deprived driving towards a ghost of a dream yet fulfilled. The Ozeki easily worked the smaller Mongol back and got a solid grip but Kakuryu was able to turn the Bulgarian over for the uwatenage win. Sekiwake #3 represent.

Goeido vs. Kaio

A freebie for the Goeido but at what cost? I smell deal.

Harumafuji vs. Tochinoshin

Ozeki Harumafuji did not give the Georgian an inch today keeping tight on Noshin’s mawashi. An easy Oshidashi with extra dashi for the Mongolian.

Hakuho vs. Tosayutaka

No surprises here but let’s give Tosayutaka some credit here. The tachi-ai was easily heard here and I am 3,000 miles away. Can’t blame a guy for trying but Hakuho wins with a kind of uwatenage.

Even in the depths of winter there is always a Hawaiian sunrise when Chalmers comes to town. Bring your shades to day three, Chalmers is bringing the heat!

Day 3

Chalmers here with your Day 3 action.  Lots of history in the making, so keep your computers glued to S&S daily reports, your one-stop shop for all that is Gentlemen’s Sumo.

Takamisakari vs. Fujiazuma– Robocop looking pumped up to move ahead in the count, gets pumped out in a belly-bump reminiscent of the Geek (Kotoshogiku), himself.  Fujiazuma making his Makuuchi debut here in Nagoya, and bumps past his first three, rather seasoned opponents.

Sagatsukasa vs. Kimurayama – Racing Stripe (Saga) keeps his chin tucked for a nice tachiai, and stays inside and low, out of gripping reach of Kimura.  Stripe uses his small stature and old age to his advantage to push-out Kimura for  his first win of the tourney, Oshidashi.

Daido vs. Tochinonada– An eyes closed tachiai from rookie Daido gives Nada the upper hand as he maneuvers his off-balance opponent to the bales for an easy slap-down, Hatakikomi.  Nada with his first W this tournament.

Takayasu vs. Shotenro – Either my internet is slow, or Takayasu is the hairiest J in sumo…  Super Cheap, enjoying his 21st birthday… in February, and his  Makuuchi debut, shows some oomph with a great tachiai and some solid patty  cake.  Cheap makes it finds the bargain and lets Shoten stumble himself to the Bales and out with a complimentary slap on the way out, hatakikomi.  Super Cheap up 2-1.

Toyohibiki vs. Takarafuji – Toyo takes a step back for the tachiai and charges extra hard to knock Takarafuji back.  Takara fights back only to get slapped down, Hatakikomi.  Toyo up 3-0.

Tochinowaka vs. Asasekiryu – Asa hits hard at the tachiai, but not hard enough to move the giant Tochinowaka.  Tochi does a good job of staying in front of  Asa with a tsupari defence, eventually getting Asa close to the bales.  Experience gave way to size as Tochi gave the extra push for the win, oshidashi to 3-0 for Tochinowaka.

Kitataiki vs. Miyabiyama – After a head-conking tachiai, Kita gets a good left-hand-in on the Flub and walks him out for an easy win, yorikiri.

Homasho vs. Gagamaru – Cigar Shop doing well the last two days, hoping to keep the momentum as he faces our fair Lady.  Lady Gaga looking like he had the upper hand unfortunately only gets a high grip.  Cigar Shop gets two hands on, left-in, and waddles his Lady out of the ring, yorikiri.  Cigar Shop, 3-0.

Tokitenku vs. Aran – The two looked even at the tachiai with both getting their migiyotsu and dancing around the ring.  Aran gets a little too conforatable (or  tired), and Team Mongol gets a little tricky, wrapping his leg inside and around Aran’s leg, for a perfectly executed uchiwgake.  Team Mongol 3-0.

Tamawashi vs. Tochiozan– King Tama continues to struggle, barely getting off the line before getting hit by The King.  Tama gives up the inside position and Elvis gets two arms under his armpits for the easy push.  Tama eventually loses his footing and falls to a sukuinage throw down.

Kaisei vs. Takekaze– Aside from a noticeable height differenece, the two looked like brothers with nearly matching mawashi.  The Brazillian charged head on into Home Team like an angry bull.  Home Team, experience on his side, turns bull fighter and perfectly side steps the tachiai, then side steps again as Kaisei recovers.  An easy slap down for the slippery salmon ofAkita, hikiotoshi.  Home Team up 2-1.

Okinoumi vs. Wakanosato– Strong tachiai from Waka, takin on the Hearth-Throb Kid.  Waka showing surprising speed getting his right hand out and his left arm under and high.  Not a strong position, but Waka
able to keep Oki back peddling to a yorikiri victory, the first for Waka.

Wakakoyu vs. Aminishiki– Koyu, fighting well above his pay grade, never takes a step forward as The Sneak puts his head and two hands into the chest of his inexperienced opponent.  Koyu is pushed to the sand, yoritaoshi, and The Sneak gets a much needed win.

Goeido vs. Kisenosato– Goeido, a bit too anxious, dashes uncontrolled into the patiently waiting arms of Kisenosato, only to be deflected off and out.   Easy oshitaoshi win for Kise.

Kotoshogiku vs. Tochinoshin – All eyes on The Geek as he makes his long journey toward Ozeki.  Nice, low tachiai from the Geek and, though he doesn’t get the hug, he still had the chug with a combination of bumbs to the bails and a nice, hard one-hand belt throw, uwatenage.  Noshin still with no hope so far this tournament at Komusubi.

Toyonoshima vs. Harumafuji– Harumafuji showing that those lightning tachiais of yore, able to get two hands on the back of Toyo’s mawashi and runs him out of the ring, literally.  A running yorikiri 3rd win for Team Mongol.

Baruto vs. Kyokutenho – Easy win for ‘ol Bart today over his elder Tenho.  Bart able to get two hands in and under the arms of Tenho, and the rest was a walk in the park… or out of the ring, yorikiri puts Bart up 3.

Tosautaka vs. Kotooshu– Another of many fighting way above their pay grade, Tosa gets a friendly reminder of how short his stay at Maegashira 1 will be.  Oshu toys with him from the tachiai, until he gets a hold of the back of his mawashi, and WWF’s him right onto the bales.  I am a bit unsure we’ll see Tosa tomorrow as he limped out of the arena.  Yoriatoshi body slam puts Oshu up 3.

Kaio vs. Kakuryu– Old Man Kaio, on the verge of making history for all time career wins, faces the one guy that can’t be bought.  The Kak gives as fair a match as he could without hurting the old man, but slaps Old Man to the ground, oshitaoshi.

Hakuho vs. Yoshikaze– Yoshikaze, trying to enjoy the highest rank he may ever hold, takes his lickings from the Yokozuna of Yokozunas (perhaps?).  Yosh gives his best at the tachiai, only to bounce off and get slapped to the ground on the recoil.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he suffered whiplash on that hit.  The Hak
hatakikomis his way to his 8th, and on to history.

Brown comin atcha with Day 4.  Don’t miss it!

“See You”, from Hawaii
~ Chalmers

Day 4

Hisashiburi all, it has been a while but I hope not to disappoint you with today’s bouts.

With my time in Japan coming to a close, I have limited time to get things done so I have complied 10 bouts and 1 quasi bout.

Fujizama vs. Shotenro This bout reminded me a lot about how I go about in sumo, I find that the taller you are, the easier it is to just grab the person that is pushing you by the back of the head use his force to push him down with a simple but effective hatakikomi. I hope to see more great work from Shotenro even though he is 2-2 so far in this basho.

Daidou vs. Kimurayama I really enjoyed this bout, with Kimura having Daidou by the face for the beginning of the bout, I thought it was going to be an easy win for him but after a nice slip from Daidou, he was able to push out Kimura with ease. I have to commend Daidou with the great tachi-ai and quick thinking on his feet at the end with the yorikiri.

Takamisakari vs. Tochinowaka Not a great start for our blind fellow and just could not get that grip that he needed. Unfortunately it did not take much for Tochinowaka to easily edge Takamisakari out with a yorikiri. With Taka’s 1-4 record I wonder how many more bashos he has left before he is sent out to pasture.

Tochiozan vs. Gagamaru The tachi-ai on this bout was quite a sight but that was pretty much the most of it. After a few heavy thrust from Tochiozan, Gagamaru was easily sent flying out of the ring with a nice oshidashi.

Kaisei vs. Aran I always expect much from Aran, and today I felt he gave me much of what I was expecting. He started his taichi-ai with a nice slap in the face to the unsuspecting Kaisei and that seemed to confuse the Brazilian enough to have Aran get behind him and beat him with a okuridashi and to add insult to injury, I think I say the ol’russian try a kancho on the poor guy.

Wakakoyu vs. Takekaze Big shock today with Takekaze the master of henka. Being 2-1, one would assume he would play it safe and stay out of harm’s way, but today we was confident enough to go straight up to his opponent Wakakoyu and not only win one for Akita, but also winning after losing his balance. This brings him to 3-1 let’s make it 8-1 Take!

Tochinoshin vs. Kisenosato Big surprises in this bout, I really thought Tochi was going to lose on a few occasions and with the stale mate I thought it was going to be a matter of time until Kisenosato would push him out but the battle of endurance was won by Tochinoshin and winning with a yorikiri.

Kakuryu vs. Harumafuji Great tachi-ai from both contenders but it seemed as if Kaku was starting off stronger than his opponent and it almost looked like he had it in the bag. That is, until Haruma was able to get a grip on his Mawashi and pushed him out with a yorikiri.

Baruto vs. Tosayutaka Just want to say I hope Tosayutaka can make it to the next basho (he will be out on kyujo due to a severe knee injury), the others need guys like him to make their records look more impressive.

Yoshikaze vs. Kotooshu With Yoshikaze recently coming up to this big kids table, one must wonder if he will be able to keep up with them. With his only win coming from Kaio, I doubt that he will be eating with them for much longer. Kotooshu was nice enough to feed Yoshi a nice helping of dirt salad served by a nice hatakikomi.

Hakuho vs. Kyokutenho The only reason I am writing this report is because it included Hakuho but to be honest I have seen better bouts between drunk people in a camp site. This bout ended faster than it started with Hakuho pushing Kyokutensho out of the easier than a salary man pushing into a rush hour train.

With 5 people with a 4-0 record so far, I am to wonder if Hakuho will get the record that has eluded all other sumo wrestlers, 8 straight basho wins.

Come back tomorrow for the 5th day of the basho coming to you from good ol’ De gama.

Brown out.

Day 5

De Gama’s computer is out of action so I’ll be covering day 5.  Since I am on sabbatical in the states I am relying on the NSK feed.  Here in “The City That Bleeds” juryo starts at around 2am, so I have to record and go back to sleep.  Unfortunately my computer restarted and cut my feed off right after juryo, so a big thank you to Andreas over at sumotalk.com for supplying me with the feed.  Thanks, buddy.  No shame in admitting that Daddy got me… and got me the feed.

Juryo has been pretty exciting to watch this basho.  Chiyonokuni has been living up to his hype picking up win number 4 against Hitenryu.  Tsurugidake is kicking butt at 5-0.  Sotairyu’s furious, early Chiyotaikai-like tsuppari is tearing shit up, and Takanoyama is bringing some much needed waza-diversity to the juryo talent pool, winning over Sadanofuji today with a kawazugake (hooking bacckward counter-throw).

Today Kaonishiki chucked Kanbayashi out of the ring in amazing style, leaving KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN at 0-5.  Hochiyama detonated Aoiyama’s nose today.  I haven’t seen that much blood since the 4th of July here in Body-more.  Almost certainly a broken nose for the Bulgarian.  That is seriously going to hinder his game this basho.

Makuuchi time.

Kimurayama had an easy day at the office using a quick push-pull hikiotoshi on today’s Juryo guest star Masunoyama. 2-3 and 3-2 respectively.

Sagatsukasa and Robocop locked awkwards today in spectacular fashion.  They traded off advantages with beltless grips.  Saga ended up with morozashi and used low position to work the clown over and out.  Murph is at 1-4 and R2 is over 500 with 3-2.

Toyohibiki got the better of the tachiai over Tochinonada and avoided the desperation kubinage with a sokubiotoshi (head chop-down).  A monoii was called as there was some debate over who went out first, but the shinpan went with the gyoji’s call, as there was no doubt who was in control.  Nada looked either winded or hurt, but we’ll hear more about that tomorrow I guess.  Beeker is at 3-2 and the old man is at 2-3.

Shotenro and Daido entered today with mirror records of 2-2.  Daiso brought some oshi to the battle, but like the products from his namesake store, it looked good at first but was shoddy and easily broken.  Hatakikomi win for Tenro.

Although the tachiai was kind of weak from both Fujiazuma and Tochinowaka, Fujiazuma brought enough tsuppari to keep Tochinowaka off the belt and guessing where the next blow would come from, much like Bertrum, Valentine, Chalmers, and Daly, now that they’re all married (or will be.)

A henka and slap-down attempt from Asasekiryu was not effective on new-comer Takayasu.  The youngster turned it into a pushing battle.  Asa tried the maneuver once more, but it just made it easier for BIG BIG SAVINGS to get the push out.

I thought Kitataiki would be doing better from M10, and I knew Homasho would be doing better from M9.  However I didn’t figure Taiki would go for the weak-ass looking backward-moving slapdown attempt.  Stogy Shop was all over it and had good position and used some solid de-ashi to get the win.  5-0 for our tobacco toting buddy.

Here’s another guy I expected more from: Takarafuji.  He’s looked sloppy this basho, and just can’t get a win.  His aite for the day, Tochiozan, also hasn’t looked his best thus far.  But Mutton-chops brought home the mutton today with a solid looking oshidashi. 4-1 for Ozan and 0-5 for Treasure Mountain.

When I was waiting for my flight out of Akita in the airport I was watching some daytime variety show on NHK with special guest star Lady Gaga.  For someone so cocksure, despite her awkward appearance, she was TOTALLY out of her element.  Sumo’s Lady Gaga has been looking equally out of his element recently.  Today, the Lady turned things around and manhandled Miyabiyama to improve to 2-3, giving Booby-yama a mirror record.

Aran brought some serious energy against Wakanosato.  However, the veteran kept his cool and fought back to get morozashi and the well earned yorikiri.  Nice bout though. 2-3 a piece.

On the first go between Kaisei and Tokitenk, the Mongol backpedaled and thrust the Brazilian down, but it was unclear if Tenku’s foot went out first.  An unusually long monoii ensued, which is usually indicative of a torinaoshi.  And sure enough… RE-DO!  After a mata they locked up, each with a migi-yotsu, Tenku backpedaled again and took the Brazilian out with a uwatedashinage.

1-3 Tamawashi came in hard against 3-1 Okinoumi.  It looked bad for Casanova, but the Dapper man in the diaper snagged a lefthand outside grip on the mawashi with a right hand inside which spelled u-w-a-t-e-h-i-n-e-r-i.

Aminishiki looked to have things in the bag with a decent tachiai and deashi against Takekaze, but Kaze turned the tide at the tawara with some lateral movement on Sneaky’s bad knee.  A clean sukuinage and 4-1 for the hometown boy.  Vice versa for Aomori.

I was looking forward to this next one.  I love seeing Goeido get schooled.  I hate the hype he carries, and more importantly, I just don’t like his face.  But this was not how I envisioned it.  Chicken-shit henka, hatakikomi from Tochinoshin, who can do better, and more importantly should know better.

Next up, Sekitori showdown.  The Geeku has a 22-12 edge over Kisenosato, and more importantly has been more consistent lately.  Geeku came out of the gates with lots of power and went right into his classic hug and chug.  Kise put up a decent fight and almost fought back from the bales.  The Kid’s mistake was letting his left hand grip on the belt go and trying to swtich grips.  Geeku got a hand under Kise’s left knee and scored a yoritaoshi. 4-1 for the Geek and 2-3 for the Blink.

Not sure what Kotooshu was going for today, but he didn’t get it.  He moved backward and it was all too easy for Wakakoyu to stand him up and push him out.  Oshu needs to get demoted for a basho or two.

Next up, Kaio vs Kyokutenho.  The old man trying for win #1046.  The crowd was undeniably behind him.  They locked up, pretty much equal with left hands inside (although Kaio did have the right hand outside kicker).  The old man slowly worked the Non-Saftey Driver back slowly and with a final shove spanked the mongol out for his record breaking win.  There was even a dame-oshi to the throat.  Fair enough.  And now for the personal commentary on this.  I appreciate what Mike over at sumotalk had to say about the ol’Kaio.  Being newer to sumo (started watching Hatsu 2008) the only Kaio I can remember is the struggling-for-his-8 Kaio.  I appreciate his years of work, his 8 hard-fought yusho, and his influence on younger rikishi.  But I can’t share the sentiment.  It’s time.  That’s all.

Although he runs hot and cold, I do like watching Yoshikaze fight, especially against more nimble rikishi like Harumafuji.  Vicious slapping between the two while each looked for his way in.  Ama got it first with a left hand inside and right hand out.  Easy force out from there.

Another match up I always like seeing.  Baruto vs Kakuryu.  On two ocassions I have seen Fishface pull a perfect sotogake on Masterblaster when he tries for his tsuridashi.  Bouts like those are where the Kak shows his skills.  Today was not one of those.  Push to the face, pull on the arm was all it took for the Icthy-rikishi to claim the win and the envelopes.  Both men at 4-1.

Toyonoshima relies on a quick tachiai and an off-center shoulder blast to get morozashi.  When fighting Hakuho he needs an emphasis on the quick morozashi, and no hesitation whatsoever after that.   Toyo managed to get the morozashi, but for some reason, be it nerves or an attempt to think outside the box, he tried to use a hazuoshi (thrust to the armpit) to throw the Yok off balance.  It didn’t work, and the Dai-yokozuna did what anyone would expect.  Hak thrust down Toyo’s arm and spun things around at lighting speed, out-classing the shorter man in convincing style.

5-0 rikishi are Hakuho, Harumafuji, and Homasho.

4-1 are Bart, Geek, Casanova, Ozan, Super Savings, and Tochinowaka waka waka.

I’ll be burning the midnight whisky again tomorrow to bring you guys day 6.

Day 6

Day 6 juryo action was not overly exciting.  Good news, Aoiyama fought through his broken nose to lose to Bushuyama in disappointing fashion.  Takanoyama opened up against Akiseyama with a henka and turned  into a okuritaoshi.  Fair enough, he doesn’t use them that often, and it took away Mr. Diagonal’s advantage.  The only bout of note that I could see was the case of Myogiryu v Sotairyu.  Spirited effort by both parties, but once it went to the belt it was Myogiryu’s bout to lose, which he did not.

On to the big show.  The crowd for this Friday, at least at the beginning of makuuchi was not that great.  The kyokai has really screwed themselves yet again.  By cutting the commentary from the feed, and cutting the niconico feed alltogether they have sucessfully cut off a portion of their young viewers.  A small portion though it may be, if I were them I would make it my goal not to discourage or slight a single young viewer, but that’s what you get when you have what is basically a corporation run by a bunch of meatheads with nothing more than a 9th grade education.  But enough of my love letters to the kyokai.

Tamaasuka v Tochinonada Juryo frontman Asuka had this one from the tachiai.  Low postion and a good grip left Nada in the dust. 5-1, 2-4.

Kimurayama v Shotenro Kimura, with his usual backward moving pushing, which I still don’t quite understand, led Tenro to the bales and thrust down whilst moving sideways. 3-3 for both “men”.

Daido v Fujiazuma with false start x4 from Daiso, the crowd was starting to get rowdy, telling them to hurry it up.  When they finally collided Fujiazuma went for the nodowa, and Daiso forgot what he was supposed to be doing.  They both puttered around looking confused.  Daiso fell over, and the age old “we have nothing else to call this” kimarite, tsukiotoshi, was given. 2-4, 5-1.

Takamisakari v Toyohibiki Twitchy did not seem ready for this one, he just wasn’t lined up, but the gyoji didn’t call a mata.  Beeker was all over it and handed another loss to Senor Itchy Scratchy.  1-5, 4-2.

Takayasu v Sagatsukasa Bargain Basement slathered on the tsuppari, but was having some problems with Saga’s height, and started back pedaling, things were looking bad for the heisei hopeful.  It was lucky for him that Saga lost his balance and a gentle clap on the left shoulder sealed the deal, once again, no other choice but tukiotoshi.  They both knew that 50% off didn’t win, and the smirk on Saga’s face told the tale. 5-1, 3-3.

Kitataiki v Tochinowaka Taiki came in nice and low on the tachiai and got a right hand inside, left hand out, Waka only with the right hand inside.  Taiki pivoted left trying for the shitatenage, but allowing waka to grab the mawashi outside on the left.  That was all she wrote folks. 5-1, 2-4.

Takarafuji v Miyabiyama Takarafuji came in with a juryo tachiai, and Miyabiyama took full advantage.  The new comer just became a punching bag for the former ozeki.  push-push-pull Hikiotoshi win.  Takarafuji yet to get his first makuuchi win.  0-6, 3-3.

Asasekiryu v Gagamaru It looked from the beginning like the Lady had it sewn up, but Sexy held back the milky white tide, and sealed the deal with an uwatedashinage.  Both rikishi at 2-4.

Tochiozan v Aran I gotta say, while announcing the rikishi names the gyoji really padded his part.  Sideburns started off with the upper hand moving right into dry hump mode, and bringing the Russian to the bales.  Alan fought back and managed right hand inside left hand outside grip (Ozan with the same.)  The Rusky slowly regained ground until nearly back at the shikirisen.  Ozan dropped his hips and forced forward while going for a sotogake, neither of which was totally successful.  Alan pivoted around now leaving Ozan the closest to the bales.  Both rikishi dropped their hips and fought for tsuridashi, the Russian having the edge in position.  Pretty nice bout. 4-2, 3-3.

Kaisei v Homasho I like the positive turn that Homasho’s sumo nhas taken in the past few basho.  That being said, he was not on his game today.  He was moving back right from the tachiai and couldn’t gain any ground.  A thrust to the face from the Brazilian shattered Homey’s balance.  Only his first loss though.  Tsukitaoshi. 2-4, 5-1.

Tokitenku v Wakanosato Advantage went right away to Wakanosato with a left hand inside right hand outside  and better position.  He did the ol’ hug and chug to the bales, and as Tenku set up to withstand the humping-barrage, the veteran changed things up with a swift uwatenage.  Good stuff from the home of youth. 4-2, 3-3.

Tamawashi v Takekaze it took a few tries, but Takekaze’s ol’ push-push-slap down technique worked on Eagle Balls. 1-5, 5-1.  Just for the record this is Takekaze’s best start since Hatsu 2008 ranked at M7.

Wakakoyu v Okinoumi Although Okinoumi is looking much better, he is not very good at working past decent tsuppari, which is what Koyu brought today.  Casanova will need to work on that if he’s gonna break into sanyaku.  Solid win for Wakakoyu.  2-4, 4-2.

Kotoshogiku v Aminishiki my thoughts before the bout were that Geek would be expecting a henka, so he wasn’t gonna give 100% to the tachi and over commit.  So Sneaky has 2 choices, go for the henka that Geek is expecting or go balls to the wall against a less than full throttle Geek on a bum knee.  Sneaky chose the direct approach and scored morozashi.  But, showing diversity for the second time this basho, Geek squeaked out a nice looking kotenage, therefore out-sneaking the Sneak. So today the Geek is the Sneak and the Sneak is just Weak.  5-1, 1-5.

Yoshikaze v Kakuryu Yoshi didn’t bring quite enough movement today.  It was all to easy for Icthyozumo to get the yorikiri, Geeku style. 1-5, 5-1.

Baurto v Toyonoshima Toyonoshima has toppled the gentle giant before, but the giant was not gentle today.  Opened with a harite, manhandled the little man, and closed things off with a dame oshi.  I like seeing a more aggressive Baruto. 5-1, 2-4.

Tochinoshin v Kotooshu like I said, I want to see Kotooshu get demoted, we haven’t seen ozeki sumo out of him in quite some time.  However there was some good chikara in today’s match and the faux-zeki finished things off with a decent enough uwatenage.  2-4, 4-2.

Kaio v Kisenosato Kise got adecent half of the tachiai, and with some gumption he was able to get things moving.  Kaio broke the Kid’s left hand inside grip, breaking his own grip at the same time.  It turned into a thrusting battle.  Kaio just couldn’t keep up and was on the defensive, moving backwards and running out of real estate.  The Kid saw it and closed in for the yorikiri kill on the exhausted old-zeki. 2-4, 3-3.

Kyokutenho v hAruMAfuji Definitely seeing a different hAruMAfuji this basho.  No contest.  This cheap horse came out of the gates with a nodowa into an easy oshidashi to the chest leaving Ama as the only Ozeki still in the yusho race. 1-5, 6-0.

Hakuho v Goeido jitters got the better of Goeido with a false start.  That being said, the Hype put up a hell of a fight against the Yokozuna.  Goeido got a left hand outside form the tachiai, but managed to go makikae without losing ground to get maemitsu, Hakuho quickly securing the left hand inside right hand outside, not his preferred grip… Goeido’s left hand grip broke but was regained. Neither party had really gained any ground at this point.  Hakuho spun around for the right hand uwatenage, which didn’t work and only served to break his right hand off the mawashi, Goeido blocking the Yokozuna’s left hand from getting maemitsu with his newly freed right hand.  Hak tried for maemitsu again but seamlessly slid from there back into his deep left hand grip, after flirting with makikae.  Still pretty much in the center of the dohyo at this point.  Goeido spun to his left trying for the uwatenage, his form looked good, but Hakuho’s balance was better.  This allowed Hak to get his preferred right hand inside left hand out, and that was it.  Best bout of the day, but no surprises. 6-0, 1-5.

Bertrum tomorrow for Day 7, you lucky sons-of-bitches.

Day 7

Bertrum bringing you day 7 of the Basho!

As I roll off my futon, still feeing a bit hazy from the night before. I realise something. First thing in the morning is not the best time to write a report. That said, I gunna put on a thick cup o tea, and see off there is enough honey left in the jar for me toast. It may not be the best reporting thusfar, but I’m still gunna give it to ya hard! And here’s the report.

Takamisakari vs. Yoshiazuma
Opening up here, Taka didn’t look in a bad position. Had his shoulder under Yoshi, and a grip on the Mawashi. But his problem was, he lacked any strength. Seemed like he put all is focus on getting the grip, and somehow forgot to push. A simple win for Yohiazuma, and taka on 6 straight losses.

Sagatsukasa vs. Fujiazuma
Fuji using what he does best here, he gives it the pneumatic drill action with the hands here. Took him a lil while to get going, but the flurry’s were too much for Saga who went out Oshidashi. Fuji looking good on 6-1

Toyohibiki vs. Tochiowaka
Goood inside right hand grip by tochio, giving him the advantage. Toyohibiki however, manages with his outside grip, and a foot pressed hard on the rope, to push with momentum and secure an uwatenage.

Takayasu vs. Kimurayama
Not such an interesting bout, Takayasu had a clear avantage and stands now on a respectable 6-1.

Tochinonada vs. Takayafuji
First win for Takayafuji here. Also not that interesting bout.  Tochinonada seemed a bit off form though.

Kitataiki vs. Shotenro
A reapeat of the last bout. Shotenro dint put up much of  a fight, as Kitataiki Yorikiri’s him right out. Both men now 3-4

Daido vs. Asasekiryu

This is what I like to see, both men charging at the tachiai. Asa pushes Daido off, who attempts a slap down but fails. This gives Asa an advantage with momentum to win by  Shitatenage.

Homasho vs. Miyabiyama
A good bout here. But the slaps by Miyabiyama just weren’t matching up to the shoulder barges of Homasho. The problem with those E-Honda style slaps is, you really need to have some minerals behind them balls if you wanna pull it off, otherwise I feel you just lose focus in the bout giving your opponent an upper hand.

Tokitenku vs. Tochiozan
Quick bout by the the “burns” over tokitenku, he had both arms under his arms, and just pushes toki out. 5-2

Gagamaru vs.  Wakanosato
A false start from waka. But the bout was really both trying to throw each other – with gaga on the attack. At the edge tho, waka had it using gagas momentum against him. Sukuinage

Kaisei vs. Tamawashi
Kaisei clearly the stronger wrestler here. Tamawashi kept pushing against the wall, but Kaisei on the third or fourth attempt, reads the plays, and steps aside. Tsukiotoshi

Aran vs. Takekaze
Size mattered here! Aran gets Kaze into an awkward postion from which he never recovered.

Kyokutenho vs. Okinoumi
Not a bout worth commenting on, but Okinoumi wins and is looking good on 5-2.

Kakuryu vs. Kisenosato
First time these two fought each other at Sekiwake. Tho Kakuryu is beaing head hunted for Ozeki in the future perhaps, I think he still needs a bit more time. He was no match for Kisenosato this bout, who stands 4-3 to Kakuryu 5-2.

Kotoshogiku vs. Yoshikaze
So far best bout of the day, clearly. Both guys wanted this win, but Kotoshogiku was under the arms and in a position to capitalise on the thrusts. 6 wins in a row for that guy. And brothers kaze not doing so well today.

Goedio vs. Harumafuji
Brilliant Uwatenage by Harumafuji! Was over in a blink, and by the time I opened my eyes, all I see is Haruma tea bagging goeido on the ground! Haruma on a straight 7-0 win!

Baruto vs. Tochinoshin
Baruto follows suit with Haruma here. Uwatenage for him as well. Slightly pushed Tochinoshin too early here, but does have a bit more strength to finish it off. 6-1 for him.

Toyonoshima vs. Kotooshu

Kotooshu looking ok here, but. Though he one the bout, he dint really seem to bothered about it. Don’t get me wrong, he was strong here. But. I expected something better. Toyonoshima was off balance, and spun around a few times before going out. Koto – 5-2

Kaio vs. Aminishiki
Kaio, desperate with a few pennies left in his coin pouch.

Hakuho vs. Wakakoyu

Wow! Hakuho was a bit surplused. Hats off to wakakoyu here, he manages to throw hakuho off his game. That said, hakuho manages to recover and slaps down wakakoyu. Nice bout.

So in conclusion of Day 7. Well, not really impressed with the day to be honest. I like to see wrestlers wanting to try and grab the bout by the balls an say “this ones mine” but here today, a lot of wrestlers seemed to give up a bit too easily, and not use there strength.  That except for the yoshikaze and wakakoyu bouts. Whether the others are saving their strength for tomorrow… we shall see.

Bertrum.

Day 8

A good day to you fellows! I was going to write this report a little earlier in the day,  however, allow me to explain why I didn’t if you will. Just as I go to settle meself down. I get a call from me brother, de Gama of Spain! “Hey man, what are you doing today?” “Apart from this report I gotta write, nothing much” – I reply. “Wait there”, he says. “Put ya Jinbei on and then, you can grill me some steak”. A few hours later, I’m feeling this is a bit of a raw deal – not only do i have to cook, but my report is delayed. However, yet again de Gama proves that it is better to wait for the olives to be ripe before plucking. I answer the door to be greeted by none other than Ezra Brooks, Kentucky Straight “Now you can a write de report” de Gama explains. And so here it is (the interesting bouts only mind ye)…

Fujiyazuma vs. Bushiyama
Well from the tachiai, Fuji got a nice low dig in with his shoulder and an inside grip on the miwashi. He struggled to find the right moment to really excercise his strength however, but did manag to capitalise handsomely. Looking good on 7-1

Takayasu vs. Daido
Daido really wanted this bout. He tried, so hats off to him, but he just wasn’t a match against Taka and really Taka was out of his league. He kept pushing against Goliath, but with a strong swoop, Daido did a doo doo.

Kitataiki vs. Toyohibiki
A pretty funny bout. Another one of those where the two wrestlers are poorly matched against each other. From the tachiai, kitataiki engages, only to slide on his feet (backwards) out of the ring. Reminded me of me old rugby days back in me shire! Yatton vs. Weston…

Takamisakari vs. Asaseiryu
Well, Taka is sucking. 1-6 currently (to be 1-7). However, i will admit that despite the record, he deserved this bout. Early on he countered what asa gave him, to the point that the two were almost equal. Asa had a better grip on the mawashi, but Taka dint let this hold him up. He tried several times to throw him down, and a asa became off-balanced, it should have been taka’s. Yet, asa slyly sweeps with his leg, and down goes taka…. shame.

tokitenku vs. Homasho
A silly, quick bout with not much effort. But worth noting that the homo is on 7-1

Tamawashi vs. Gagamaru
Wow! From the get go Gaga was off balance in her high heels. And Tama certainly wanted to check the sexual status of Lady Gaga, checking to see if those boobies are real. Gaga recovers from the off balance, and you could see that he was trying for the mawashi to lift him out, but unfortunately he was a lil too low, and Tama manages to force him down between the legs.

Tochizan vs. Wakanosato
Well this bout looked like it was going to be interesting, A struggle at the start, and then a disappointing step over the rope for wakanosato.

Tochinoshin vs kakuryu
The problem here, is tochinoshin went too high. However, at the rope he manages to turn it around and put the pressure back. But, he came a bit too late, so did tochinoshin.

Brothers kaze not doing so goood.

Kaio vs. Kotoshogiku
Kaio got fucked, how he should. Fair shout for kotoshogiku

Okinoumi vs. Harumafuji
Not such an interesting bout. Haruma goes in quick and almost manages to to topple oki out the ring, but oki sidesteps and avoids. However, haruma pulls off another successful uwatenage.

Goeido vs. Kotooshu
The bout really shoulda have been goeido’s. He certainly seemed on form! A shame to him, as he thrusts himself at kotoshu and pushes him back, his hand went down first, before kotoshu fell head over heels..

Hakuho vs. Aminishiki
A disappointing bout. Aminishiki’s leg is clearly not up to supporting the weight, but at least he tried! Hakuho 8-0

And that’s it from Bertrum and de Gama on his one. de Gama may I ask, any final words on the day? ” today wasn’t that impressed, only abouttwo bouts were worth watching” Personally, I think de Gama is just upset that both kazes lost.

Over to you Valentine.

Day 9

I absolutely love three days weekends in the middle of a basho!  But for this three day weekend in July where it’s too damn hot to do anything, my daily routine consisted of watching the NSK internet feed from 8:30 to 15:00, then NHK 15:00 to 18:00.  It was wise to stock up on ice cubes as the whisky is well to warm to drink straight at this time of year.

Starting where things got interesting in Juryo.

EJ11 Chiyonokuni (6-2) vs. WJ12 Myogiryu (6-2): Two men rocking Juryo.  Nice knock on the melons at the tachiai with Myogiryu gaining ground.  Chiyo was aiming for an over-arm throw, but his grip was way too loose, while Myogiryu kept in close and worked on the belt.  Chiyo revamped and tried again for the over-arm throw, this time adding a leg for the trip.  Myogiryu stayed in close and the two tumbled over and down off the dohyo in what looked like some sort of spinning mess of limbs, waxed hair, and trickles of blood.  In the end, it was clear Myogiryu kept his skin off the clay the longest, and he advances to 7-2 while Kokonoe’s top rikishi settles for 6-3.

EJ10 Tsurugidake (6-2) vs. WJ6 Kaonishiki (3-5): Tsurugidake came out blazing with nice thrusts.  Kaonishiki just back-peddled, searching for a pull-down attempt.  Kaonishiki is too big and way too slow to be taking pages out of the Takekaze play-book.  Tsurugidake gets to stay on the leaderboard while Kaonishiki falls to 3-6.

WJ9 Shironoryu (5-3) vs. WJ4 Aoiyama (4-4): At the tachiai, Aoiyama reared his massive arms back and attacked with even two-hand thrusts.  With the arm-length this giant possesses, Shironoryu had no chance.  Aoiyama is Shinjuryo and still a lot to learn, but I expect big things from this big man who improves to 5-4.  Mongol Shironoryu shares the same record.

EJ2 Yoshiazuma (5-3) vs. WJ5 Takanoyama (7-1): Takanoyama started off with a low tachiai, going right to the mawashi of Yoshiazuma.  The much taller and heavier Yoshi responded going belt-to-belt and easily led the Czecher out of the ring.  Yoshiazuma goes 6-3 while Takanoyama remains on the leaderboard with 7-2.

Barely in Makuuchi now, EM14 Takamisakari (1-7) vs. EJ1 Masunoyama (5-3): Good tachiai, but Masu had more behind his charge.  Tkmskr stayed with the larger opponent, but was never able to maintain a belt-grip as Masu’s thrusts kept the clown away.  This bout essentially seals Tkmskr’s fate in Makuuchi and we’ll either be seeing him in Juryo next basho, or in a blue jacket doing security in the hanamichi.  Talk about true disaster for the NSK!  Baseball betting, yakuza, hazings, bout-fixing; they can deal with these, but Takamisakari falling from Makuuchi?

EM15 Fujiazuma (7-1) vs. WM10 Takarafuji (2-6): Fujiazuma was in charge all the way, with thrusts, shoves, and bitch-slaps, then he locked in close with morozashi leading his opponent to the bales.  But, Deluxe-Fuji spun around right at the rice bales and Fujiazuma tumbled down just as Deluxe-Fuji stepped out.  Gumbai went for Delux, but the boys in black had a long discussion and chose to have the newbies try a redo.  Round II: at tachiai both reach for belt grips, but neither man gets it.  They part, then Fujiazuma lunged at Delux, but Delux worked in a quick outside grip and sent Fuji down with a pulling over-arm throw.  Fujiazuma is 7-2 while Delux-Fuji is 3-6.

EM8 Tochiozan (6-2) vs. EM11 Takayasu (7-1): Takayasu hit hard at the tachiai, but turned his head back, giving Tochiozan a bit of advantage from the start.  Takayasu continued to try various grips as he squirmed around, but O had him locked up and moving backwards.  Both men now have 7s and 2s.

EM9 Homasho (7-1) vs. WM5 Wakanosato (4-4): Waka leads the head-to-head 8-3, but the Cigar Store Indian is looking a lot better this basho (and heftier).  Even tachiai, but Waka never let up with his forward motion and squared focus on Homasho.  Each time Waka reached in for a grip on Homasho’s belt, Homasho would actually step back rather than simply drop his hips to prevent Waka’s grasp.  With enough back-peddling from Cigar Store, Waka picked up his fifth win while Chief Ho falls to 7-2.

EM5 Kaisei (4-4) vs. WM7 Gagamaru (2-6): Awkward tachiai with neither man really putting both fists down, but they go on.  Gagamaru dug his head in low, but Kaisei kept strong on the defense.  Once Gaga lifted his head up, his center gravity was just high enough for Kaisei to lead the Georgian back and out.  Easy force-out for the Gentleman from Brazil.  Kaisei 5-4; Gagamaru 2-7.

EM7 Tokitenku (4-4) vs. WM4 Takekaze (5-3): Head-to-head all 10s between these two Makuuchi mainstays.  Good tachiai from Take and no funny stuff, but Toki worked himself to a bit of an angle on Take and with a firm right-hand inside, left-hand outside, Toki lead the Akitan out, force-out win for the Mongolian.  Both men end the day with 5-4.

WM3 Aminishiki (1-7) vs. WO Kotooshu (6-2): Head-to-head is 15-12 in Sneaky’s favor over the slow-witted Bulgarian.  Sneaky controlled the tachiai, but Oshu used his long arms and strong thrusts one at a time to lead Sneaky off balance and off the dohyo.  Sneaky is hurting at 1-8 while Oshu is having a mediocre showing for a true Ozeki, at 7-2.

EO Kaio (3-5) vs. EM3 Wakakoyu (2-6): Wakakoyu gave a straight thrust to the neck which took Kaio back to the bales, and from there Wakakoyu let up and the old man stumbled to the clay, discovering it’s a lot harder to win bouts when no yaocho is involved.  Kaio’s a piss-poor 3-6; Wakakoyu, on the other hand, has a respectable 3-6, given it’s his first time in the meat grinder.

ES1 Kotoshogiku (7-1) vs. WO Harumafuji (8-0): Quite a rivalry here with the career head-to-head 24-11 in the Geeks favor.  Haruma started at first in the tachiai with hands to the face, but with a little room between the two, he moved his hands down to a very snug double-inside grip to the belt—so snug in fact, the Geek couldn’t work into any hug-n-chug and the Mongol led the hyped Sekiwake out of the ring with a superb force-out.  Haruma, who’s been fighting like a Yokozuna in this basho, is at 9-0 while the Geek is still a handful of wins shy for Ozeki promotion.

EO Baruto (7-1) vs. WS1 Kisenosato (5-3): I swear Bart’s evil twin is donning his mawashi this basho.  My God, did he make minced meat of Kissy!  Quick tachiai to the throat, a couple of extra jabs to twist up his opponent, then a slap-down win.  Bart’s now 8-1 while Kisenosato settles for 5-4.

EY Hakuho (8-0) vs. WS2 Kakuryu (6-2): the Yokozuna leads the head-to-head 17-0.  Kak went for double-hand nodowa, but didn’t last long.  Both tsuppari for a while until Hak used a strong side thrust to throw the Kak off balance and twisting around the younger Mongol, Hakuho led the Kak out with a force-out win.  Dai-Yokozuna is 9-0 while the Kak is a respectable 6-3.

Chalmers bring us the aloha spirit tomorrow with open arms…and open legs.

Day 10

Chalmers here with all your high lights from Day 10 of the Nagoya Basho!

From the last three in Juryo…

EJ7 Sadonofuji (3-6) vs. WJ2 Bushuyama (5-4) – ‘Ol George W. looking like he forgot any and all technique, finds himself in a playground shoving match.  Bush loses, oshidashi.  Sado 4-6.

EJ1 Masunoyama (6-3) vs. EJ5 Hochiyama (6-3) – These two still doing decent this basho.  Massivenoyama uses his mass well, winning the tachiai and never looking back, his surprisingly quick little lets shuffle his mountain brethren back to and over the bails.  Yorikiri puts Massive at 7-3.

WJ5 Takanoyama (7-2) vs. WJ1 Tamaasuka (5-4) – One of the most entertaining rikishi to watch, Takanoyama, always puts on a good show.
The Czech is outmatched at the tachiai, as usual, but quickely falls into his niche of using his speed to get around his opponents and goes for the arm bar.  Tamaasuka stays focused on the belt and gets his right hand in deep and the left high under Taka’s arm.  The rest is the inevitable: walk to the bails and SPLAT, yoriatoshi man crush.  Takanoyama falls from the leaderboard, 7-3.  I must say, whenever Takanoyama loses, he goes down in the hardest way possible.
Never give up, never surrender!

On to Makunouchi…

All eyes on The Geek as he makes his run to the top.  Looking to get another Ozeki under his belt (minds out of the gutter!), he’s looking for revenge after his streak is spoiled by Harumafuji.  Speaking of Team Mongolia, things are looking a lot like May 2008 (minus Asa, of course) with the Mongolians rising up to the epic finish on Senshuraku.  Seems like yesterday we were all chanting his name in the Kokugikan…  Haruma with what should be a light schedule today, let’s hope he can keep it together through the Ozekis.

EJ2 Yoshiazuma (6-3) vs. W14 Tochinonada (4-5) – Yoshi, wearing the same colors and expression as our very own, Takamisakari, brings the thunder from down under and makes short work of Nada.  Nada brings nada to the table for the easy walkout, yorikiri in Yoshi’s favor.

E12 Daido (3-6) vs. E14 Takamisakari (1-8) – After hitting rock bottom yesterday, Takamisakari ANGRY!!!  Takamisa looks focused at line, wins the tachiai, gets a left hand out right hand high, and trashes Daido into the class.  I think Daido was airborne for a split second.  Baby Huey finally showing his strength, and probably the biggest cheers of the day.

E11 Takayasu (7-2) vs. E15 Fujiazuma (7-2) – One of my favorites this tourney(and the fans like him), Super Cheap, Takayasu, looking to show he belongs in the upper ranks with a Kachikoshi.  Unfortunately, Fuji had similar
plans.  Fuji looking like the more seasoned pattycaker, shoves Cheapo all over the ring and finally out, oshidashi, Fuji makes his kachikoshi.

E10 Kitataiki (3-6) vs. W15 Kimurayama (4-5) – Kimurayama with a lousy tachiai, turning his body off line and giving a deep left hand grip to Kitataiki.  Easy walk out from there, yorikiri to Kitataiki.

E13 Sagatsukasa (4-5) vs. W10 Takarafuji (3-6) – Money Bags, Takarafuji, performs like a bimbo this tournament.  Racing stripes, Saga, outsized but not outmatched, gets low and works Takara to the bails, stands him out, pushes him out.  Yorikiri, Saga at 5-5.

E9 Homasho (7-2) vs. W11 Tochinowaka (5-4) – Homasho, getting a Nagoya welcome worthy of the Chief, looks for his Kachikoshi today.  Cigar Shop
(Homasho) puts his head into the tachiai to get Tochi back to the bails, but can’t finish.  Tochi pushes back but is side stepped by the Chief and loses his footing.  Easy kachikoshi for the Cigar Shop Indian, tsukiotoshi.

E8 Tochiozan (7-2) VS. e12 Toyohibiki (6-3) – Elvis (Tochi) looks no further for his kachikoshi today.  Straight in at the tachiai, hands in tight and gets the morozashi two hands in.  From there its an easy walk-shove out, okuridashi, and the kachikoshi.

E7 Tokitenku (5-4) vs. W13 Shotenro (4-5) – Shoten, with a lightning tachiai, puts Toki outside the bails before the match begins, oshidashi.

E6 Tamawashi (2-7) vs. W9 Asasekiryu (4-5) – King Tama looking to lose it, gives a high morozashi to Asa.  Tama refuses to give up without a fight and takes them both out of the ring.  Asa makes the mistake of not bracing his fall
with his face, and touches down with his arm first.  Tama by decision lives to see another day, kotenage.

E8 Miyabiyama (5-4) vs. W5 Wakanosato (5-4) – Flubby brings his yappari-tsuppari and Waka easily deflects.  Flubby gets pushed out from behind, still swinging, okuridashi.

E4 Okinoumi (5-4) vs. W6 Aran (5-4) – The Heartbreak Kid (Oki), lets his fan down today.  Alan gets a morozashi two hands in and the rest is easy: turn the hips, drop one shoulder, sukuinage throwdown.

W7 Gagamaru (1-7) vs. W4 Takekaze (5-4) – Two hoping to break their losing streak, our fair Lady takes on the Home Team, Takekaze.  Gaga is just too much Lady to handle.  Home Team pushed back and out for the bullet-dodging win.  Oshidashi, Lady Gaga hangs in there.

E5 Kaisei (5-4) vs. W3 Aminishiki (1-8) – The Sneak (Ami) continues to show he doesn’t belong at the big boys table.  The Gorillian Brazilian gets a hand way to the back of Ami’s mawashi and holds firm, turning the Sneak to his side and pushing him out, yorikiri.  Kaisei within two of his second makuuchi kachikoshi.

EK Goeido (1-8) vs. E2 Kyokutenho (1-8) –   Who’s going further down the banzuke? A: Kyokutenho.  Kyokutenho, with a high grip, gets Goeido to the bails.  Goeido capitalizes on his lower position and lifts Kyoku up and off the dohyo (ouch!).  Great utchari throwout gives Goeido his second win!

W1 Yoshikaze (2-7) vs. WK Tochinoshin (5-4) – Noshin better not lose to a scrub like Yoshi, not if he wants to stay in sanyaku.  Yoshi tries to henka, only pisses Noshin off, and resorts to a non-existant plan B.  Noshin jukes Yoshi out and sends him running out of the ring, complimentary dameoshi slap in the ass
included.  Tsukiotoshi, Noshin at 6-4.

W2 Toyonoshima (4-5) vs. WS Kakuryu (6-3) – After the initial slapping the hell out of each other, they engage in a stare down with the one good eye they each have left.  The Kak gets Toyo to the bails but misfires and is deflected out, okuridashi win for Toyo.

EO Baruto (8-1) vs. ES Kotoshogiku (7-2) –  The Geek (Kotoshogiku) looking for another chance to beat an Ozeki and earn his promotion.  Bart comes in WAY too high and gives up a morozashi.  Belly to belly, no one beats the Geek.  Geek dry humps Bart to the bails and, surprising everyone, changes gears by turning his hip and tossing Bart across the ring.  Perfect shitatenage and the Geek gets his Kachi, putting him withing just a few of Ozeki consideration.  Geek, faito faitooooo!

EO Kaio (3-6) vs. WO Kotooshu (7-2) – Old-zeki vs. Faux-zeki, Kaio continues his downward spiral since hitting the top of his career on day 5 when he made history.  Kaio puts on a terrible performance, running away after the tachiai hoping to tire out his opponent with laps.  Oshu pursues and shoves Kaio out for his kachikoshi, oshidashi.

EM3 Wakakoyu (3-7) vs. WO Harumafuji (9-0) – Haruma with a chance at his second championship (maybe) if he just holds on to his momentum.  The two lock up at the tachiai, Haruma unable to move the larger Wakakoyu.  Haruma shows some technique reminiscent of two Mongol sempai, Hakuho and Asa, with a quick drop of his hip and a hard pull down on the mawashi.  Uwatehineri win for Harumafuji puts him at 10, still sharing the lead with Hakuho.

EY Hakuho (9-0) vs. WS Kisenosato (5-4) – Kise, hoping for a future ozeki promotion, can’t be looking for breaks from the Hak.  Hakuho, knowing Kise’s speed, jumps him at the tachiai.  Kise barely gets his hands off the ground
before the Hak slaps him back and wraps him up with his favorite right hand
in.  Hak never loses with his migi-yotsu, and won’t today.  Wasting no time, the
Hak turns to the inside hand and lifts with the outside, finishing Kise off with an uwatenage that he makes look easy.  Hakuho still undefeated.  I look forward to when he meets Haruma on senshuraku.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned to Sumo & Stogies for all your sumo reports from Nagoya!

Connolly with Day 11!

Chalmers, signing off.

Day 11

Yesterday was a pretty average day for me. I went to work in the morning, sat in front of my computer for much longer than I would have liked, and sweated profusely in room the cried for air-conditioning. Outside the thunder clouds were forming, and once the thunder rolled the lightening quickly followed and the heavens opened. I realized I had left my car windows open, and sprinting to my car and back. The encouragement calls of “Fighto! Fighto!” did little to keep me dry. I returned to my desk about 2 minutes later soaked to the skin, reminding myself that I really should bring that spare umbrella I have to work tomorrow.

After driving 30km to my local supermarket to buy food for dinner I was returning home, fatigued and hungry when an email came through to my phone that said “Did you hear the news?? HE retired Finally!!” I knew exactly who “HE” was but it took a few moments to actually sink in. And as it did I began to feel lighter and lighter almost as though a weight had been lifted, not just from me but from everyone, everywhere. Colours seemed brighter, more vivid. Sounds became louder and clearer. I was smiling from ear to ear and I felt elevated, limitless, almost like I had taken some NZT-48.

I don’t doubt he was at one point a great rikishi, but I know that since I started watching sumo back in 2007 he has sucked. And if you take the time to look at his record you will notice that he has been shit since 2006. Like a dog that cleans his arse on your carpet, Kaio has smeared over some of the great records that were set by some of the legit Greats. Don’t believe me? Compare these two tables: Chiyonofuji and Kaio.

Matsutani vs. Kimurayama
J3 Matsutani came up from Juryo to challenge the M15 Kimurayama. Matsu started as close to Kimura as possible and went in frontal thrusts. When the dust started to settle Kimurayama easily toppled the Juryo rikishi with a tsukiotoshi.

Takamisakari vs. Shotenro
The drowning clown knew he was fighting for his life today as he took on the higher ranked Shotenro (one of the 4 rikishi to beat Hakuho is 2009!). Sho got a great start by pushing on the clowns throat and pushing him back to the bales. Somehow Taka evaded and then manages to get a grip on Sho that neutralised his arms up high. Taka then yorikiri’d his 3rd win of the tournament.

Fujiazuma vs. Tochinowaka
Tochinowaka who started this tournament with 4 straight wins came into the today after 4 straight losses. Today was the first time for these guys to meet. Tochi tried and push and slap down but Fuji was on the ball and moved in quickly. He got a great grip on Tochi’s front belt which saved him. After pushing Tochi back and to the bales it looked all over, but somehow Fuji seemed to lose his footing and fell down to tsukiotoshi.

Sagatsukasa vs. Tochinowaka
Saga came from the tachi-ai with great speed, but no power. When he couldn’t push Tochi back he tried back-peddling, going for a pull down, but it really just made it easy for Tochi to push him out!

Tochinonada vs. Gagamaru
Gagamaru is probably a little over-ranked at M7. He still has stuff to learn, as you can tell from his 3-7 record. Tochi hit Gaga hard and fast and then saw an opening on Gaga’s left. He got a nice grip and while continuing to move quickly, he kept Gaga off center and worked him around for an impressive uwatenage.

Tokitenku vs. Takayasu
A great fight… After an extended fight between the two in which Takayasu was ALL over Toki for the majority of the match, keeping his paw in the face of the Mongolian. After a lockup Toki performed a lovely leg sweep on Taka and dropped him to the ground. A mono-ii was called as it was thought Toki may have touched his hand off the ground during the first few seconds of the fight. But it was decided he didn’t. Toki did well to hold out and win this one.

Kitataiki vs. Aran
Aran has had a descent tournament having only lost to some of the fatter wrestlers so far, Gaga, Miyabi, Wakanosato. He is also ranked at M6 and Kita being at M10 I had Aran to take this one without too much sweating today. At the tachi-ai Aran pushed hard and then went for a pull down. That didn’t work, and both fell into yotsu-zumo. But Arans superior strength saw him easily swing Kita around and out via uwatenage.

Tamawashi vs. Homasho
Having secured his KK yesterday Homasho came into today looking to inflate our very own Briton-Meyers bubble. Both crashed heads and remained low at the tachi-ai. And before either wrestler got a hand to belt, Homasho gave a little tug on Tama’s right arm and sent him to the dirt. Tamawashi also picked himself up a MK.

Asasekiryu vs. Wakanosato
The 35 year old Wakanosato showed he still has his strength. They two locked un in the center of the ring for a while, and without changing grip or position Wakanosato simple applied pressure and forced Asa back and out.

Kaisei vs. Miyabiyama
Kaisei won the tachi tai today and drove Miyabi back close to the bales but Miyabi slipped slightly to the side and pulled on the back of the Brazilians head. From there Kaisei was struggling, and showed his inexperience by trying to pull back on Miyabi’s head when the opportunity was never there. And that sacrificed position twice. Miyabiyama kept on trucking until the opportunity for an easy enough oshidashi arose.

Tochiozan vs. Takekaze
Takekaze jumped up and to the side at the tachi-ai while slapping down on Tochiozan. The slap on Tochi had relatively zero effect but it did sererate the two. And when Tochi went to engage Take slapped him down a second before stepping out himself.

Kyokutenho vs. Yoshikaze
M2 takes on M1 with a combined total of 3 wins from 30 fights….. wow!  Yoshi slipped to the side at the tachi-ai and got both arms high inside on Kyoku and prevented him from getting any sort of grip. Yoshi again shifted sideways and got a grip both on the front and back of the belt. Then went back to a double inside grip and yorikiri’d himself a victory.

Wakakoyu vs. Tochinoshin
Wakakoyu had planned on doing all pushing this match and completely stuck with that plan. He got had his hand on the throat of Tochinoshin for the majority of the fight. Tochi was working hard to get a grip of Waka’s belt but everytime he got close Waka managed to break his grip. Waka kept pushing forward on Tochi’s throat and eventually got his win via oshidashi.

Goeido vs. Kakuryu
It only took Goeido 9 days to MK this tourney. His win yesterday was a start but he should now switch into damage control. The Kak was obviously geared up for today as he has no intention of giving up his sekiwake spot. Kak pushed Goeido up and then went to pull him down. The Kak then started backpeddling as Goeido pushed forwards. But Kakuryu always managed to keep downwards pressure on Goeido who eventually succumbed and fell down flat. The Kak only needs one more win to maintain his sekiwake position.

Toyonoshima vs. Kisenosato
This was an important match for Kissy today, as he already had 5 losses coming into the fight and has yet to face 2 ozeki. I think he’ll do well if he gets his KK and manages to hold onto his sekiwake rank. Toyonoshima got a solid right hand on the front of Kissy’s belt but didn’t have the strength to do anything with it. Kissy forced his way forward and easily pushed Toyo back and out.

Baruto vs. Aminishiki
The one legged AmiSnake came onto the dohyo propped up by his single 1 win this tournament to face the Biomas that is Baruto. I wonder what was going through the Snakes mind. I would have been concentrating on not having my leg snapping off like an overcooked chicken wing, but he seemed to have his own ideas. He came in low, and caught the Big fellow at an awkward off angle and applied pressure. Baruto was kinda stuck for something to do, so he backed off and pulled Ami down. But it was very close to the bales, Baruto was standing on the bales on the ball of his foot. Rightfully no mono-ii was called.

Kaio vs. Okinoumi
Okimoumi picked up a freebie today as the Ozeki surprised us with his 6-year overdue retirement yesterday.

Kotooshu vs. Harumafuji
Amafuji has been well on form this tournament, keeping the Yokozuna on his toes is not something many rikishi of late have been able to do. And the Shoe box secured his KK yesterday against former Ozeki Kaio so I didn’t expect him to put in too much of an effort here today. Ama came in fast and low today, he pushed Shoe up and got his left hand on the right belt and managed to push on Shoe’s face to start him moving backwards. Ama made sure to stay on Kotooshu’s side keeping the pressure on and had him out easily to maintain his perfect record.

Hakuho vs. Kotoshogiku
This was make or break time for Kotoshogiku today. If he drank enough Gummiberry Juice and engaged his correct hug-n-chug he would probably go on to be promoted to Ozeki after this tournament.
Hakuho started a little bit back from the tachi-ai today but Kotoshogiku was right up on the lines. Hakuho opened with a right hand slap to the face, that actually didn’t seem as powerful as it could have been. The Hak then got a left had grip and worked to prevent Koto doing the same. Koto managed to get a left hand grip so Hak was then reaching to get his right hand grip. But Kotoshogiku did a great job at preventing Hakuho getting the grip he wanted, he kept his arse just back far enough. The Yokozuna then pushed forward to make Koto submit but he didn’t and actually got a better grip towards the back of Hak’s belt. Koto then pushed the Yokozuna back to the straw which he evaded by shifting to his left. Hakuho finally got the grip he wanted but now Kotoshogiku was in a position to hug-n-chug. Although Hak evaded once and pushed back, on the second attempt Kotoshogiku backed.

With that win Kotoshogiku moves to 30 wins over the last 3 “legit” basho or 29 if you include the Technical Examination Tournament in May (where he finished 10-5). With 4 days left to go he has a fantastic chance of ozeki promotion! He faces Kakuryu tomorrow.

The leader board now has Harumafuji standing proudly on top, Hakuho with one loss and Baruto, Kotoshogiku and Homasho with two losses.

Brown ‘ill turn you around and blow your bubbles tomorrow.

Connolly.

Day 13

Well, its that time again boys.  de Gama is up for another run … christening the new computer after the shameful display that happened last week.  Waking up this morning was a bit rough… but to even add onto that is knowing that about ten people are going to be wrecking your small village in only a few hours.  All I can say to myself is perk up buddy, perk  up.  Dammit, de Gama get the coffee going – grab a smoke … we got sumo to report.

Takamisakari vs. Tamaasuka:  Well,  I usually like to compliment the guy however his bout today was terrible.  I think the guy has been done for a while. Where was the strength, where was the skill?  Robo cop seemed to jiggle his way into the tachiai then jiggle his way out of the ring.  To give the guy credit (not really at all) he had control of the match but somehow stepped out under the opponent’s retaliation. Whatever. Tamaasuka (who?) wins.

Homasho vs. Takayasu: After skipping a couple unimportant bouts we get to the tobacco store Indian.  I’d like to say this bout was very exciting but I’m not really impressed.  Takayasu basically takes Homes up to the ring and then plants a shit as Homasho charges him all the way across and out of the ring.  Heres to Homasho showing that he may be a little underranked,

Kimurayama vs. Miyabiyama:   After a heavy night its always nice to wake up and see a great pair jiggling back and forth.   That’s why I was happy to see the Miyabiyama fight.And even though he did lose… its all about the bounce.  Not the slap –Miyabi. Thanks Kimura, I needed it. Like the announcer said Miyabiyama came down hard but not hard enough.

Tochiozan vs. Shotenro:  Classic example of modern sumo… get your kachikoshi and coast til its over.  Shotenro completely man-handles the less than superb sideburns.  Maybe that’s why he gave us a little message later on. To redeem himself.

Sagatsukasa vs. Gagamaru:  Did anyone else notice that the nhk announcer called the guy Gentlemen Gaga?  Getting a bit familiar with the guy aren’t we… anyway, Lady Gaga does not really look too well this basho but hey whatever … the lady can sing (perhaps not all that great).   In all fairness though it was a decent bout until the end.  Saga had the Lady’s number the entire time but because Gaga is just massive he had to work for it.  Saga just kept low and held Gaga high.  Finally, the Lady finally crumbles.

Kyokutenho vs.  Tamawashi:  Well again after skipping a couple bouts that I’m not bothered about, I decided to come in at this point.  De Gama, you say, Kyokutenho is  1 -12…. Why the hell do you want to start now?  Morimoto Nami, my good friends, Morimoto Nami… even if shes only giving us the news.  I appreciate it… I truly do.  So now onto the bout… Kyokutenho gripless gets pushed out of the ring.

Kaisei vs. Yoshikaze:  Now its time for a glorious victory from the fearless hero hailing from one of the more heated spots in Japan: Saiki, Oita.  I can honestly say I’ve been there and I’m happy to say its his hometown.  Anyways, the warrior displays his untapped potential as he head-thrusts Kaisei.  This puts him in a weird position, but that doesn’t stop the champion whose piss poor score doesn’t properly represent his untapped power. Kaisei takes him to the edge and almost outs him.  But, Yoshi reverses him and throws Kaisei out.  What a pro… what a pro.  I do use that word lightly mind you.

Takekaze vs. Tochinoshin:  Recently in Akita the winds have been blowing quite strongly.  Some of the more learned people say its because of the after effects of the Typhoon.  I say it’s the Wind Gods hailing from Mt. Moriyoshi sweeping the enemies down before the Brothers Kaze.  I do say this maybe the first time I’ve reported that both of them have won.  Maybe I didn’t need to see Miyabiyama jiggling this morning, if you catch my drift.  I know you did Creswell.  But, the happiness comes with a bitter end as the wind beneath Take’s feet swings him to the side and allows Noshin to fall on his face.

Goeido vs. Toyonoshima:  Both the boys come at each other.  And what about the Tachiai? Toyonoshima gives himself some room, steps back, and slaps down.  Goeido recovering off the ground slowly sees the ozeki promotion slip out of his fingers. Try again next year buddy.

Wakakoyu vs. Kakuryu:  Nice job by Kakuryu.  He deflects the attack, gets inside, and quickly thrusts his way out of the ring.

Kotoshogiku vs. Okinoumi: Oki meant be considered a good looking man but the sun is smiling at the Geek.  Until now.   The Geek not really looking all that comfortable.  Maybe that’s not really a good word for it.  More like cautious.  All he tried to do was look for a certain grip and Oki just won’t give in.  After a while of hugging, Oki takes him down.

Baruto vs. Harumafuji: Good match up.  Two Ozeki, ozeki-esque scores.  Gonna be a good bout.  And I’m disappointed.  Haruma sneaks to the side and puts off Baruto.  Baruto being a bit too high relies on his strength to carry him through but fails.  Haruma gets it and keeps his perfect score.

Hakuho vs. Kotooshu:  Classic Haks.  They meet at tachiai and Oshu pushes Hakuho back to the edge of the ring.  Then, Hakuho turns it around and throws Oshu down below the ring.

Over all a good day of sumo.  Anyways, I’d love to give a proper closing but I’m afraid I must make preparations for later this evening.

De Gama

Day 14

I’ll tell ya, I’m really mixed up here.  I really don’t have a lot of experience with commentating on sports.  I mean,  Mrs. Columbo and I, we love to watch a game of baseball, but this is a bit out of my league if you take my meaning, ma’am.  But as Mr. Creswell was found dead this morning, I’m obliged to take over for today.  You see the poor guy got a little excited last night and had a few too many and, well, there must have been some kind of struggle.  You see we found him this morning by the docks.  His wallet was missing, and it appears that it was a simple robbery.  You know how things can get in this part of town.  Anyway ma’am, I’ve been reading one of the books I found in Mr. Creswell’s room, his landlord told me it would be OK to borrow it for a bit, just so I can get an idea of what he was doing at the time of the murder.  I really don’t have a lot of time because I’ve got my dog in the car, so I’ll do my best here to explain what went on, in the quickest way possible.  I’m gonna go through a few things here, so just try and stay with me and help me sort out a few things I’m not too clear on.

I’ll tell ya, this first bout really had me stumped.  From what I understand, this TochinoNada fella is almost twice this MatsuTani guy’s age, but the older guy still managed to get his way in there after the start and get a pretty quick, waddaya callit, yorikiri on this young hopeful.  I mean the guy is young, and has 3 lower division championships.  I just don’t get it.

Tha next one up here is TamanoShima against TochinoWaka.  Here I’m really confused.  I didn’t know those guys were allowed to move sideways when things get goin, but that Tochi guy did it.  I mean, luckily the other guy saw it comin or else, jeez could you imagine?  Anyway the older guy pushed him back a bit, but you know how it is with those younger guys, a lot’a fight in ‘em.  Anyway, he managed to turn ‘em around and get the win.  Amazing.  Mrs. Columbo woulda gotten a kick outta that one.  She loves stuff like that.

The next, waddadey called, bouts?, here was between Kitataiki and Daido.  (Did I get that right ma’am?)  Woulyda look at that, another new comer.  I hope he did better than that other guy.  KitaTaiki came in really strong and got way inside on the guy, but he managed to turn it around somehow. They were kinda locked up for a minute, then that umpire yelled somethin at ‘em and they started up again.  That Daido guy tried to throw him (Kitataiki, not the umpire.  Jeez, what was that ump wearing?  Looks like my wife’s pajamas) but Kitataiki moved around and ended up pushing Daido out.  Ya’know, this stuff is kind of interesting.

Ok, so now we have Shotenro and Takarafuji.  Shotenro had Takarafuji out pretty much right after the startup… what’s that?  Tachiai? Well I never would have guessed that’s what they call it, thank you ma’am for clearing that up.

Next was Fujiazuma and some guy who I think I might have bought cigars from at one point, which reminds me… I’m sorry that I dropped a bit of ash on your carpet, you don’t happen to have an ash tray do you… I’ll just use this bowl here.  This Homasho guy moved back at first letting Fujiazuma gain ground.  I thought it was over, but then just like that *snap* threw the other guy down.  That’s good… I like his style.  The announcer called that an uwadaynahgay, sounds like some kinda insult to me, but whado I know?

My goodness that guy is short… Sagatsukasa did this little hop to get underneath Asasekiryu and pushed up from there, then he kept trying to wrap up Asasekiryu’s legs, which didn’t seem to do it.  Then it looked like they were holding hands dancing around… you know Mrs. Columbo tried to sign us up for ballroom dancing, but me… I got two left feet.  Anyway, Sagatsukasa planted his left knee and swung Asasekiryu down over it.  Nice little move.

Both of these next guys remind me of the captain, one’s got the same side burns and the other moves kinda funny…kinda like that robot from lost in space.  So Tochiozan and Takamisakari just exploded into each other, but just like Elvis, Tochiozan won that one… hmmmm that analogy didn’t really work.  Don’t worry I’ll get it.

Toyohibiki took off like a jet engine against Miyabiyama, but Miyabiyama kind of slapped him down.  (I hate to be a bother, but shouldn’t that guy be wearing a… you know…. a… brassiere…or something?)

No this one was bothering me for a while, I just couldn’t figure it out… ’cause Tokitenku went in against Kimurayama like normal, but then just kicked him in the shin.  Mr. Kimura just went right down, I wonder if that other guy played soccer before…

Now it’s Takayasu vs some guy named Alan or something.  Ya know… he kinda looks like my mechanic.  He fights like my mechanic too.  He lifted the other guy, Takayasu, up and pushed him out.

HOLEY MOLEY!  That guy is big.  How much does he weigh?  200 kilos… we’ll I’ll be… I didn’t know they made ‘em that big in Georgia.  I was sure Gagamaru was gonna take Kyokutenho out, but right at that little… border thing  Kyoku turned it around and with a little hopping he got him out… does that chinese writing mean rabbit? cause that would fit.

Next up is Kaisei and Toyonoshima.  I always like to root for the little guy, and Toyo is certainly little.  Things didn’t look like the were going his way, but he shifted his hips a bit, and turned things around.  That was some quick movement for such a big boy. Ya know, I just love it when the little guy, don’t you ma’am?

Next up is Yoshikaze and Wakakoyu. This was a quick one, they started pushin’ each other, but then Yoshikaze did a kind of dive tackle to Wakakoyu.

Next is Goeido and Tamawashi, I did some checking inbetween bouts and learned that Tamawashi is a “pusher-thruster” and Goeido is “over ranked”.  This just looked like my sisters fighting over who gets to use the bathroom first, even the take-down was the same.  SotoGake they said… for Goeido.

Tochinoshin looks like the Mole from Dick Tracy and Aminishiki’s leg looks like you could buy it at a hardware store.  With his leg in that kind of condition you couldn’t expect a guy to do much, which was exactly what you got.

Next up is Wakanosato and Kotoshogiku, who I hear might get a promotion if he wins the next two bouts.  (Boy I could use a promotion… I’ve been a lieutenant for 30 years).  Ain’t that always the way… you get so close, then an old guy that looks like a boot takes you down with a sukuinage.  Who knows, he might still get it.  Good luck to the guy.

Kakuryu vs Takekaze huh?  There wasn’t that much to this one, some pushing around and Kakuryu won.  Wait a minute… a guy comes out and sweeps up the ring?  How did I miss that?  …why would someone want to sweep up dirt…hmmmm.

Next up is Kisenosato and Okinoumi.  Two relatively young guys.  Kisenosato got right in there and with one or two tries he threw down Oki with an “UWATENAGE”, or so I’m told.

Now this guy I’ve heard of.  He does ads for yogurt, you see the wife, she makes me eat the stuff… says it’s good for my health… and the way it tastes… it better be.  Anyway Baruto had a false start, and in the second go round Kotooshu got a keen little maemitsu and maneuvered around for a nice throw down.  It was a close call but the judges seemed to think Oshu had it.  I woulda looked at it again, but far be it for me….

Today’s last bout was Harumafuji vs the champ, Hakuho.  Now this guy is impressive, he looks to be one of the best ever.  What?  No, ma’am Hakuho, not Harumafuji.  I knew this was going to happen from the beginning, and here is how it happened:  Harumafuji actually got the best of the tachiai and got a left hand outside. Hakuho with a right hand on the front of the mawashi went for the immediate shitatenage, but in turning to the side he let Harumafuji in to get a right hand on the front of his own mawashi.  Hakuho was left groping for something with his right and in doing so surrendered his left hand inside grip for a left hand inside with no grip on the belt.  Harumafuji went for the twist down, which failed and Hakuho went for the thrust down, which failed.  After that Hakho locked up Harumafuji’s arms, which meant a double inside grip for the smaller man.    There was quite a bit of battling for position and here is where Hakuho made the critical error.  He slapped Harumafuji’s side and went makikae… that’s right ma’am… makikae.  While he secured a left hand inside grip he surrendered balance.  Harumafuji had the champion on the diagonal… like this… and when the champion went for the final shitatenage, Harumafuji was able to get a hand deeeeeeeeep on the back of the mawashi, and with a slight shift sideways and a push… the ozeki had the yokozuna outside the tawara, and the weapon… was a yorikiri.

Well ma’am… that’s all there is… I’ll let myself out…………………………………….Oh ma’am, there’s just one more thing.  That’s yusho number 2 for Harumafuji.

Some guy named Connelly should be by tomorrow to help you sort things out.

Senshuraku

A special thanks to Columbo for stepping in and reporting on such short notice. Good job sir.

Fujiazuma(9-5) vs. Masunoyama(11-3)
Masunoyama came up from juryo today to take on Fujiazuma, but he was also fighting for the juryo yusho. Unfortunately for him he couldn’t topple the M15. And that forced a playoff, which he also lost. Not the best of days for him!

Daido(5-9) vs. Tamaasuka(8-6)
Daido picked up his 6th win today as Tamaasuka who was in much better position allows himself to be pushed out as he was retreating.

Takayasu(8-6) vs. Takamisakari(3-11)
Takamisakari showed us again today that his is truly over the hill. He was owned by the much younger Takayasu. Takamisakari is now deciding whether he will retire or if he will compete in juryo in September.

Tochiozan(9-5) vs. Kitataiki(7-7)
Kitakaiki was the first wrestler fighting for his KK today. And after fixing the bandage on his leg he was ready to go. After a great tachi-ai Tochiozan gets a double inside grip and acted quickly and easily disposes Kitataiki. So a nice round 10 wins for Tochi.

Kimurayama(7-7) vs. Gagamaru(4-10)
Next up Kimurayama was fighting for his KK. Kimurayama quickly shifted to the side at the tachi-ai, but Gaga wasn’t fazed as he stayed composed and squared back up to Kimu and easily forced him out with powerful oshidashi.

Tokitenku(7-7) vs. Tochinonada(6-8)
And now Tokitenku was after his KK. Between these two guys Tokitenku has the winning record. Tochi fought well today though, and he avoided 3 attempted leg trips by Tokitenku. A nice long bout with Toki exhibiting many of his skills, and eventually taking Tochi finally winning by yorikiri.

Tamawashi(4-10) vs. Shotenro (7-7)
Exciting stuff here today as Shotenro is the 4th wrestler in a row fightin for his kachikochi. A fast tachi-ai from both fighters here, but Tamawashi’s thrusts were slightly stronger and without any hand on either belt Shotenro is landed on top of some giggling old ladies. Makekoshi for you buddy.

Sagatsukasa(8-6) vs. Wakanosato(8-6)
The M13 Saga took on M5 Waka. I could have been a great win for Saga, but after getting a much better tachi-ai he couldn’t even budge Waka back an inch. Waka pushed forward and tried out Kotoshogiku’s hug-n-chug to gain his 9th win, without breaking a sweat.

Tochinowaka(8-6) vs. Takekaze(7-7)
Our very own Henkaphile was in need of one last win today to get more wins than losses. Takekaze was ranked much higher, so shouldn’t have had any issues today. Takekaze hit straight on today, and immediately slipped to his left, got into the side of Tochi, stood him upright and drove him over the edge. Good stuff from Takekaze, we love ya really ;)

Wakakoyu(4-10) vs. Takarafuji(4-10)
Wakakoyu pushed up on Takarafuji’s face to stand him slightly upright. He then proceeded to slap him about 20 times in the face before pulling Taka to the dirt.

Miyabiyama(8-6) vs. Toyonoshima(8-6)
Another beltless fight today as Toyonoshima pushed on the neck of Miyabi and easily forced him over the edge. Miyanbi wasn’t in this fight at all today.

Kyokutenho(2-12) vs. Asasekiryu(5-9)
These guys locked up after the tachi-ai, and as Kyokutenho tried to shift his left arm from the outside of Asa to the inside position Asa pressed forwards and easily disposed of Kyokutenho. A miserable 2-13 finish for him.

Toyohibiki(8-6) vs. Yoshikaze(6-8)
Yoshikaze was trying to minimise his drop on the banzuke today and he executed his plan nicely today too. When Toyo tried to lock him up his left leg slipped too far back and Yoshi pushed him down for an easy win.

Kaisei(6-8) vs. Tochinoshin(5-9)
Brazilian flags flew as Kaisei entered the dohyo today. The two locked into yotsu-zumo today and both fighters exerted huge amounts of energy in this fight. Tochi first lifted the big Kaisei off the ground and started walking for the bales but couldn’t quite make it. Kaisei then returned the favour but after the dust settled Tochi had the strength left to drive Kaisei over the edge.

Goeido(4-10) vs. Aminishiki(2-12)
Obviously both these guys were struggling this basho, and one more than the other! After they locked up, and Ami had a descent grip he charged up about to try a throw, but Goeido was also in a throwing position and launched his own. And the wrapped injured leg had no strength to defend against the throw. Ami fell to 2-13 and will fall nice and far (though not as far as this writer would like) on the next banzuke.

Aran(10-4) vs. Kakuryu(9-5)
Kakryu got a very deep left hand grip on the back of Arans belt. So Aran had to go over the top for a grip, and as he didn’t have enough height to do anything with it he just waited as Kakryu launched his attack. Aran defended for a while on the bales, but then crashed down.

Kotoshogiku(10-4) vs. Homasho(11-3)
Before the fights began today Kotoshogiku was awarded with the outstanding performance prize for taking down the Yokozuna and blowing his ozeki promotion the following day. Homasho was awarded the fighting spirit prize. Kotoshogiku didn’t get the position or grip he wanted from the tachi-ai. But Homasho tried a pull down and completely gave up a good position. As a result Homasho had to back peddle around the dohyo before Kotoshogiku questioned Homasho’s prize.

Okinoumi(7-7) vs. Kotooshu(9-5)
Okinoumi won his KK today against Kotooshu. Kotooshu got a great double grip on the front on Okinoumi’s belt today, but the belt was tied loosely and prevented him for easily winning. Oki pushed back and Kotooshu accidently stepped over the bales. The side judge spotted it and raised his hand, but the two fighters continued and Oki was thrown to the ground. Then Oki was rightly awarded the win. Fair play.

Kisenosato(9-5) vs. Harumafuji(14-0)
The big match of the day! Could Harumafuji get a zensho yusho? The last ozeki to win such yusho was Hakuho! Harumafuji got pushed back to the bales at the start of the bout today and his knees and hands all went within centimetres from the clay, but amazingly recovered and went on the offensive again. He caught Kissy and went for a throw, using his knee to try topple him. That didn’t work so he reverted to leg trips and pushing. Next Harumafuji was back up, had a good grip on the red belt that stood between a yusho and a ZENSHO yusho. And as he pushed forward, pushed forward for the victory, he overextended himself and dropped to the ground. Oh well……

Hakuho(12-2) vs. Baruto(10-4)
Baruto got a great grip from the tachi-ai today. GREAT grip. And Hakuho had a grip but not as good. Baruto didn’t waste any time and launched his attack. He went for the throw and that sent Hakuho stumbling towards the edge. It looked like Hakuho was about to recover, he tippy toed on the towari. Neither the viewers or Baruto knew at this point that he had already won, so Baruto attacked again with a shove that drove the Yokozuna into the 3rd row. An excellent win from Baruto that took advantage of a slightly tired Hakuho.

And that brings us to the end of the Nagoya basho. It was a good one! I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did here.

Connolly.

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