Shohozan Henka Takes Out Kisenosato

Many people will be angry with Shohozan for his henka of Kisenosato, especially since Kisenosato had been leading with Takayasu. Since Harumafuji steamrolled Takayasu, Shohozan will get fewer death threats as Kisenosato remains a part of the 5-man yusho race. Ikioi just plain muscled Terunofuji off the dohyo.

Hakuho is one strong dude. Every time Tochinoshin tried to pick him up (he can lift Ichinojo), Hak countered and eventually maneuvered the Georgian over the straw bales for an authoritative yorikiri.

The leadership group, all with kachi-koshi 8-2 records: Hakuho, Harumafuji, Kisenosato, Takayasu, Takarafuji.

Hakuho Just Fell

I love Ikioi and I like seeing him win his first gold star. However, my reaction is like when Twitch was killed by Cypher in the Matrix:

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After a weird tachiai, almost completely without any contact, both wrestlers briefly grappled and backed up to size each other up. Ikioi had this look of, “What the hell am I going to do now?” Hakuho went in to attack, and stumbled.

He needed help from Ikioi to get up so I’m hoping he’s not injured. If he’s injured, they’ll never let me buy tickets to another basho. Everyone’s dropping like flies. I’ll be in Nagoya for Sunday so it’s great to have an exciting, dramatic tournament. But it’ll be disappointing if Hakuho’s not there and not in top form. I leave for Japan in a couple of days, so after tomorrow there likely won’t be any posts from me for a bit.

Exciting Matches, Dramatic Yusho Race: Hakuho, Harumafuji, Kisenosato, Takayasu

I love the fact that we’re now more than half-way through the tournament and we’ve still got four leaders and a further four wrestlers one loss off pace. Today lived up to its billing with several great bouts. When I see that the On-Demand highlight show is available, I’ll post the link. In the meantime, enjoy the fan vid from Kintamayama. Harumafuji had his hands full with the young Shodai but prevailed in a thriller. Terunofuji had just scraped by with a win against the Tasmanian Devil, energizing the crowd, when the yokozuna and maegashira squared off.

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Shodai Counters the Brutal Nodowa

Harumafuji lunged forcefully with an effective nodowa, momentarily surging forward until a quick chop from Shodai’s left hand dislodged the vise-like grip. Shodai then pivoted and pulled the Mongolian to the edge where Harumafuji’s expert footwork kept him inside the dohyo. The back-and-forth finally ended after he spun Shodai backwards, slapped him as he turned around, then propelled the pair off the dohyo with full force. One heck of an entertaining yorikiri.

Ichinojo fell off pace by virtue of a stunning effort from Chiyonokuni. Kaisei needs to earn his kachikoshi as he’s benefited from two fusen default victories. He was effective against Mitakeumi but will face a challenge in Tochiozan tomorrow. Sadly, Kotoyuki and Endo are winless and now officially makekoshi.