Cage Match of Undefeateds As Act 2 Begins
With the first third of Haru behind us, it’s time to crack the lid on the second act. The second act of a basho is where the rikishi on “hot streaks” get increasingly significant challenges, with the idea being to see who has been hiding behind an easy schedule. Starting day 6, it’s clear the schedulers are turning the intensity up another notch.
Matches We Like
Takakeisho vs Tokushoryu – These two slap-happy rikishi have been part of the crew at the lower end of Makuuchi who have been pounding each other silly. All of the younger guys are pushme-pullyous, and it makes things a bit generic. But sometimes its cool to watch these guys smack each other around.
Ura vs Ishiura – Thank you oh Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan! The tiny wonders face in a brawl of strength vs agility. This may be a whole nothing burger, but it might just create a tear in the fabric of the universe that results in cotton candy for all. Be ready for amazement!
Ichinojo vs Okinoumi – Well, Ichinojo’s been plowing along like a giant St. Bernard in a snow bank. It’s not pretty but you know he’s going to get there. But let’s pretend to Okinoumi does not suffer from a painful pelvic wound… Wouldn’t you like to see him contort Ichinojo for a bit? We all do. Let’s see if he can make it happen.
Kaisei vs Aoiyama – Battle of meat mountains! Kaisei is back, yes indeed. After injuring himself on a play date with Hakuho, he took a week or so to recover. Let’s see if he can impress Aoiyama. No matter who wins, it’s going to be HUGE!
Endo vs Chiyonokuni – Both of these guys don’t get much press, but both of them are doing pretty well this basho. Chiyonokuni struggled after going through a round of bulking up, but seems to have it under control now. Endo is a few steps behind the “up and coming” team, but he will, I presume, eventually shed his larval form and emerge as MechaEndou.
Kotoshogiku vs Mitakeumi – Kotoshogiku’s one good leg may have blown out on day 5. So the Cinderella run to reclaim Ozeki may have perished. Even so, as we have shown yesterday, the ones everyone has to look out for this tournament are Komusubi and Sekiwake. Everybody loves Kotoshogiku, but Mitakeumi needs more wins.
Goeido vs Tamawashi – Goeido, mucho respect for coming out for your home town basho after some orthopedic guy rebuilt your ankle. But it’s not working. Go kyujo now, and avoid a career ending bout. Nobody is going to try to hurt you, but you are dangerous to yourself right now.
Takayasu vs Terunofuji – Oh hell yes! Undefeated kadoban Ozeki vs undefeated Sekiwake gunning for an Ozeki slot. Takayasu has been fighting calm and in control, Terunofuji like an demon possessed. Only one will remain undefeated. I intend to drink an entire bottle of Sake before watching this, and the following match. This is my match of the day
Takarafuji vs Kisenosato – Not sure if this one will be anti-climatic, but Takarafuji has been fighting well. But I would expect that Kisenosato will take care of this guy.
Harumafuji vs Yoshikaze – Harumafuji is struggling. He is still injured and not fighitng well. His footing has been off for the past few days, and I worry that thigh muscle tear is still causing problems. Harumafuji and Yoshikaze have history, a lot of history. Most of it involves pain, blood and hospital stays.