Yes, tomorrow Ichinojo faces Terunofuji. Today, Sadanoumi was the one who impressed me. Granted, he had a default win yesterday so he’s only got two real wins but wow, have they been good. First, he stunned the hell out of Terunofuji and me with a win on Day 1 – today he turned the tables on Kitataiki. From the tachiai, Kitataiki was able to push him straight back to the edge of the dohyo but Sadanoumi had a solid belt grip and was able to throw him at the last minute, just like against Terunofuji on Day 1. But we need to be realistic; it’s just two wins and he has Harumafuji tomorrow. That said, if I were Harumafuji, I’d not be lulled into shoving him to the edge…
Speaking of Harumafuji, today’s win was pretty cool. I’ve seen many bouts where a wrestler is driven to the straw bales but then is able to use the leverage to turn the tables and get momentum going the other way. Ichinojo v Kotoshogiku comes to mind. Today, Harumafuji had Toyonoshima up on those bales but bulled straight through, forcing the maegashira flat on his back – which had to hurt.
Endo got roughed up by Kyokushuho. If Endo is going to win any matches this tournament it will need to be with his upper body. Oosunaarashi had bum knees last year and beat the crap out of many opponents with his aggressive slaps. But today, Endo was chased out of the ring. It looked like another when he was more than happy to jump off the dohyo after getting absolutely pummeled. He had very little answer which was sad to see; I like Endo. I just want him healthy.
It’s still too early to be tracking the leaderboard but Harumafuji and Kisenosato are the lone sanyaku wrestlers undefeated so far. (Kotoshogiku and Goeido fell flat on their faces today, picking up their first losses.) Then we go down to M3 Sadanoumi, M6 Aoiyama, and 5 other lower wrestlers at 3-0.
Tomorrow there will be several “Battle of the Unbeatens” and interestingly, they are all Japanese vs Foreigner. It’s an interesting sign of just how international the sport has become.
* Harumafuji (Mongolia) vs Sadanoumi
* Takayasu vs Aoiyama (Bulgaria)
* Ikioi vs Kaisei (Brazil)
* Yoshikaze vs Amuru (Russia)