Yes, there were some big moves in the makuuchi and some huge upsets in sanyaku…but I’m going to start with the match up I was most looking forward to, Ura vs Osunaarashi. My big questions coming into this were, 1) How well healed is the Egyptian? and 2) How would Ura handle his opponent’s aggressiveness? I consider this Ura’s first makuuchi bout.
Ura wisely avoided a strong, head-on tachiai. As we’ve seen before, Ura backed up a good 3 feet off the usual starting point, forcing the opponent to travel a greater distance. He ducked and deflected Osunaarashi, staying low and keeping him at arms length. Osunaarashi made a charge but Ura was able to counter, pivot, and drive Osunaarashi off the dohyo and into the crowd.
Kotoshogiku shook off his first challenge in Shodai while Goeido got a strong win against Tochinoshin. Both ozeki look to head off demotion. Inexplicably, Terunofuji showed up today and looked to be at maybe 70-80% healthy. Yoshikaze was not going to take it easy on him and tried a quick hatakikomi but the ozeki didn’t fall for it. However, Yoshikaze went on the attack and picked up a yorikiri win as Terunofuji had no strength to counter. TERUNOFUJI NEEDS TO GO KYUJO AND HEAL!! When he is this banged up, it damages the sport as everyone wonders how does he manage to get a winning record in the final days against strong opponents?
I don’t even know what happened with Kisenosato against Okinoumi. I keep watching the replays and the Maegashira somehow got him turned around and pushed out. He didn’t have a particularly strong grip or position but…come on. Anyway, I’d draw a great big BATSU over any chance he had to win this tournament now.
Well, maybe half-batsu as Kakuryu got shoved out by Tochiozan. Regardless, I have been quite disappointed with Kakuryu’s performances at yokozuna. If he’s still injured, he needs to sit out. He won’t face demotion but he faces humiliation if he loses like today, jut a straight forward oshidashi push out? Tochi-from-Kochi didn’t even need to wrangle him to the edge. It just took one strong shove from the middle of the dohyo.
Harumafuji was having none of these upsets. From the outset, he went at Kaisei’s throat with a forceful nodowa and he did not let up. Kaisei tried what he could to pull Harumafuji’s hand from his neck but the stranglehold was too much. That’s got to be an unpleasant feeling.