Obviously, the big news today is Kotoshogiku’s demotion. Here, though, I’ll focus on the rest of the action, starting with our leader, Kisenosato. Today he battled Ikioi. What I really like seeing here was that it was a battle. Ikioi is giving ozeki and yokozuna a run for their money now. Make no mistake, Kisenosato was in command but he had to keep that pressure on the whole bout, otherwise Ikioi’s persistence along the tawara could have turned the tables. Hakuho won, too. Quickly. (What a difference punctuation makes, no?)
Endo scored another ozeki scalp as he brought down Goeido. I’d been hoping Goeido could get into double digits this tournament but he may have tweaked his knee. I wonder if he’ll sit out the last few days or join Terunofuji in irrelevance. Is it me, or did Takekaze get PISSED at Terunofuji for the pansy little slaps? The veteran maegashira landed a solid one and then yanked the ozeki down, locking in a winning record while Terunofuji is now kadoban for March.
Takanoiwa is mopping the floor with low-ranked maegashira and, along with Ichinojo remains in the yusho hunt tied with Hakuho heading into the final weekend. (It’s a long weekend here in Trumpland due to the inauguration, so I’m not getting ahead of myself.) Today’s victim, Nishikigi, got an extra shove at the end of a fierce bout with a couple of wild haymakers thrown. Tomorrow he’ll finally be thrown to the wolves against a resurgent Takayasu. Meanwhile, Hokutofuji gave his all but his knee seemed to hamper him against Ichinojo. Ichinojo will have a tough one against Chiyoshoma tomorrow. Chiyoshoma knocked Sokokurai off the leadership table in a great grappling match that at times looked like a nature video featuring mountain goats.
Shodai does not want a losing record. He held off Shohozan today but needs to keep winning to stay in sanyaku. Mitakeumi, meanwhile, is keeping up the sanyaku charge, obliterating Uncle Takara.
Osunaarashi’s right knee is not there. He needed that strength to have any hope against Kaisei. Both wrestlers settled quickly into a belt-battle which pretty much assured Kaisei the win but likely kept the Great Sand Storm from further injury.
Sadanoumi demonstrated some fire in his bout against Kagayaki. He ended up losing but it was an entertaining, energetic, pushing bout. You could tell he was going after his winning record with enthusiasm. This was good to see given the way he slid down the rankings last year after peaking in the top maegashira. Both men will battle for winning records tomorrow.
Down in Juryo, Aminishiki was all-in on the hatakikomi tactic against Ura. Ura showed he’s not quite as susceptible to that as he got the wily one turned around and shoved off the dohyo into the first row of cushions.
Thanks to Kintamayama for the video. Couldn’t stay up last night but hope to catch the action live tonight. By the way, try muting the audio and listening to Sleaford Mods. It’s perfect for some reason.