Fujiazuma came up from Juryo to usher Seiro out. Seiro’s left knee is taped up and it did seem to be giving him issues, basically wrestling one-legged. He used the right leg exclusively to try to stop Fujiazuma’s momentum, sparingly using the left for balance. I’m predicting a quick first week, with him dropping out of the tournament when he goes makekoshi. Asasekiryu outlasted Hidenoumi in an evenly contested bout. Immediately following was a great bout between Sokokurai and Kitataiki. This match went back and forth with Sokokurai winning with position in the center of the ring when Kitataiki stepped out.
Tokitenku met Daieisho forcefully with an arm thrust straight to the chin. Daieisho tried to push through but the veteran Mongolian stepped to the side and let the newbie fall to the clay. Ikioi powered through Chiyootori for a quick win. Chiyootori, like Seiro, seemed to entirely rely on the one leg. Chiyotairyu got Homarefuji with a henka followed with a shoulder push-down. Kotoyuki bulled through Kyokushuho to pick up his first win of the tournament while Gagamaru steamrolled Kagamio. Takekaze got off to a good start with a quick win over Toyonoshima.
Endo also still seems to be moving a bit gingerly on the left leg. Amuru was still no match, and quickly pushed out. Aminishiki’s sidestep caught Tokushoryu sleeping. Tamawashi moved to the same side versus Kaisei, and the Brazilian-born rikishi couldn’t get his mojo back as he was pushed out. Takarafuji seemed out of sorts in July and did not show improvement against Ichinojo. One quick shove from the big Mongolian was too much for the lackluster -fuji stablemate.
Sanyaku: Myogiryu powered through a strong forearm from Takayasu to pick up an impressive yorikiri win against quality competition. Tochiozan was similarly too much for Sadanoumi. Sadanoumi was able to escape once but the second charge saw him thrown into the crowd. Faux-zeki Kotoshogiku looked strong against Sadanofuji but that’s the trouble with so many questionable “wins” – you’re never really sure if the legit-looking ones are really on the up-and-up. Goeido, meanwhile, demonstrated superior leverage on the belt and picked up an important win over the always entertaining Osunaarashi.
Kisenosato came to win. Yoshikaze appeared to try for a hatakikomi but Kisenosato regained his balance and ushered the maegashira out of the ring. Terunofuji let Aoiyama bring the force but showed he could take it. He absorbed the Bulgarian’s initial charge, got a quick belt grip and tipped the mountain off the dohyo.
Kakuryu scored an impressive win over Tochinoshin to get started on the right foot. Though shorter, the yokozuna was clearly better positioned and powered Tochinoshin out. As I’ve already noted, Hakuho lost to Okinoumi in what’s likely not just the biggest upset of the day but probably the tournament. It means Hakuho will start his 36th title chase from the back while all the top competition picked up wins. Nevertheless, he’d be heavily favored against Yoshikaze tomorrow.