Act 2 Comes To a Close.
The middle ⅓ of the Kyushu basho is now in the books. Yokozuna Kakuryu remains undefeated. Day 10 saw the return of the good Goeido, Takayasu a step closer to make-kochi, and an epic battle between Hakuho and Kisenosato.
Sadly the use of Harumafuji style mini-henka and nodawa Darth-Vader grip seems to be spreading. I would hope that the Nippon Sumo Kyokai will issue some guidelines on these moves, as they have gotten completely boring.
The closing 5 days of Kyushu – a few questions remain:
- Can Kakuryu survive Harumafuji and Hakuho?
- Will Ozeki hopeful Takayasu actually go make-koshi instead, as Kitamayama jokingly predicted?
- Can Goeido settle down, focus on his sumo and return to his dominant approach that won the yusho in Aki?
- What the hell is Ishiura eating, and where do we get some?
In Juryo, Osunaarashi is the man to beat, with only one loss. The only rikishi close is Seiro, at 8-2. Ura and Satoyama lost day 10, and are now 7-3.
- Undefeated: Kakuryu
- Chasers: Harumafuji, Ishiura
- Hunt Group: Hakuho, Kisenosato, Arawashi
5 matches remain
Ishiura defeats Sokokurai – Again we see the Harumafuji mini-henke move. Today Ishiura looked like he was moving his fridge, but Sokokurai was out all the same.
Toyohibiki defeats Ichinojo – Nice effort from Toyohibiki, who made quick work of the sumo robot from the future.
Ikioi defeats Chiyootori – Fantastic duel, multiple times Ikioi seemed to be ready to finish Chiyootori, but Chiyootori would not surrender. Much respect to Chiyootori, as he really fought this one to the end.
Arawashi defeats Takanoiwa – Dirty henka
Tochinoshin defeats Chiyoshoma – That strong left of Tochinoshin’s came in fast, and he took control of Chiyoshoma.
Endo defeats Nishikigi – Good effort by Nishikigi, but Endo took his time, and walked him out.
Takarafuji defeats Shodai – I really liked this match. Shodai opened strong, and Takarafuji gave ground with a lot of resistance. At no time did Takarafuji look like he was off plan, and he was able to keep mobile, and wait for Shodai to make a mistake. Then it was over to the side of the ring, with a final shove to win. Shodai has a solid future, but experienced sumotori like Takarafuji have much to teach him.
Tamawashi defeats Kaisei – What the hell was that? The Harumafuji nodawa is ugly, but Tamawashi’s blatant choke hold should be reprimanded.
Goeido defeats Kotoshogiku – Yeah, that’s the good version of Goeido! He was in control, on plan and dominated the struggling Kotoshogiku. I predict that Kotoshogiku will once again be kadoban.
Kisenosato defeats Hakuho – My pick for match of the day. Kisenosato must have been thinking as we do here at Tachiai – that Hakuho is still very strong, very cunning, but his mobility is not yet back to form. Kisenosato, who is not the most mobile rikishi, won a roving battle with the Boss, and did it in spectacular style. Multiple times Hakuho tried to wrap him up, but Kisenosato kept moving, slapping and keeping Hakuho off balance. The match finished with Kisenosato pressing Hakhuho to the edge and lifting him out of the ring. Very unlike Kisenosato, and I was really damn impressed.
Kakuryu defeats Terunofuji – The Yokozuna established a double inside grip early on Terunofuji, but Terunofuji’s size and strength prevented Kakuryu from being able to do much with it. Switching gears, Kakuryu spun Terunofuji and launched him eastward from the dohyo. Kakuryu has proven quite effective at improvising as the bout is underway
Harumafuji defeats Takayasu – Thank you Harumafuji for a real Yokozuna level display of sumo. Sadly it’s against a Sekiwake who is in real danger of going make-kochi. Takayasu put up a great fight against Harumafuji.