The casual ease with which Kisenosato slapped Shohozan down belies the contentiousness of the bout. Shohozan put together an amazing effort and had the yokozuna on the ropes but just couldn’t pull off the victory. In a great bout, Shohozan got the upper hand when he was able to get a two handed belt grip and he started walking Kise back. But once on the bales, Kisenosato pivoted. As Shohozan resisted the throw to the right, he ended up getting tossed aside to the left in a brutal finishing move. I, honestly, don’t know which finishing move was more devastating…this, or Chiyonokuni’s tottari body slam over Arawashi a few bouts previously. Just some good ole “wrassling” out there today, I tell you what.
Kakuryu had his own yokozuna-style beat down of Shodai. I was happy to see the authority with which he was able to put the komusubi away. It wasn’t easy but the headshots were effective, getting Shodai to back up and out. As Bruce has mentioned before, Kakuryu’s sumo often seems very reactive so he gets himself into difficult situations but today, he was in control. Harumafuji dispatched Takanoiwa with an over-eager yokozuna-tornado death spin that sent both off the dohyo into the crowd.
Mitakeumi was no match for Terunofuji. Our lone Ozeki almost looks healthy as he bats away the competition with contempt. It’s like someone stole his lunch money. I love to watch that intensity. And we always get that intensity from Ikioi, don’t we? Takayasu had to fight for this win, that’s for sure, as Ikioi dragged him along the edge of the ring but Takayasu wouldn’t topple. He regained control, bringing action back to the center of the ring. Once he caught his breath, he made his move, dragging Ikioi to the clay. Kisenosato and Takayasu stay in the lead, undefeated.
Didn’t someone tell Sokokurai not to let Kotoshogiku wrap him up? He must not have gotten the message because the “hug-and-chug” was in full effect. Chiyoshouma was committed to the nodowa, which was actually very effective against Takarafuji, as he backed him up and finished with a throw. Yoshikaze weathered a few celebratory blows from Aoiyama and quickly worked the giant Bulgarian out of the ring. Endo was on the ball, edging Hokutofuji closer to that first make-koshi. Ura withstood a fierce attack from Kotoyuki. But with a quick “olé” of a hard-charging Kotoyuki, Ura dodged his way to another win.