Hakuho’s victory over Kakuryu sealed his perfect record in this first tournament of 2015. It was a tight battle but Hakuho prevailed with a powerful force-out win. In the previous bout, Harumafuji destroyed Kisenosato, perhaps a little bitter that his championship hopes were extinguished so early and with such a disappointing loss to Jokoryu.
Goeido will remain ozeki as Kotoshogiku rolled over like a lap-dog for the second day in a row to hand Goeido his eighth win and kachi-koshi on the final day. This bout was disappointingly uncompetitive but perhaps my least favorite was Ichinojo’s performance against Toyonoshima. Both had assured losing records and neither really demonstrated much effort as the 200 kg Mongolian basically let himself be slid to the side of the ring and sluggishly flopped over like a rag-doll. Even Ikioi didn’t seem to want to win today. He started out strong but his slip-up just seemed unnecessary. I mean a loss to Sokokurai? Really? Ikioi will surely fall into the lower third of the maegashira for the March tournament.
In perhaps today’s best match, Terunofuji forced out his Mongolian compatriot, Tamawashi, to secure not only an eighth win and a winning record but also a fighting spirit prize. It was the only special prize awarded after this tournament and rightfully so. The lower sanyaku and upper maegashira wrestlers were so bad Kitataiki will probably be sekiwake w/ Gagamaru as komusubi, fresh from Juryo, and leapfrogging over these maegashira.
All I can say is that in March, all of this drama around #33 will be over, Ikioi, Ichinojo, Aminishiki, Tochinoshin and Endo will all be back in the low-to-mid maegashira ranks with Oosunaarashi, joined by Gagamaru and Kitataiki from Juryo. These will bring some exciting bouts and a few will sweep up 10+ wins. We can finally get back a bit of normalcy.