I was looking forward to reading the commentary on the Sunday matches when I woke up, but it looks like I’m going to have to write it instead.
Nishikigi defeats Tokushoryu. Tokushoryu should have been down in Juryo this basho, and is over-ranked at M15e; it looks like this mistake will soon be corrected. Nishikigi is, as usual, valiantly trying to stave off demotion.
Yutakayama defeats Kaisei. After a rough start to the basho, Yutakayama is trying to make his second stay in Makuuchi last longer than a cup of coffee.
Asanoyama defeats Sadanoumi. Asanoyama goes to 5-3 and takes another step toward earning his kachi-koshi and staying in Makuuchi. Sadanoumi’s return from kyujo is looking likely to be for nought. Tomorrow’s torikumi features the “why bother?” Tokushoryu-Sadanoumi matchup.
Okinoumi defeats Daieisho. Daieisho falls off his unlikely spot atop the leaderboard.
Endo defeats Chiyomaru. Endo nicely absorbed the bigger man’s charge and then walked him off the dohyo. I really like Endo’s sumo when he’s on. Tomorrow he takes on the rampaging Takanoiwa.
Daishomaru easily defeats Takekaze and stays on the leaderboard at 7-1.
Chiyonokuni easily defeats Ishiura. It looks like the rest of the Makuuchi has figured out that when Ishiura comes in super-low, it easy to just push him down until his hands touch the dirt. He needs to either improve this technique to make himself less vulnerable to the obvious counter, or come up with other tactics.
Takanoiwa defeats Ikioi for the first time, and continues his strong basho. Ikioi continues to disappoint.
Ichinojo handily defeats Takarafuji as a tune-up to his upcoming trip up the banzuke. He’s got Shohozan tomorrow.
Arawashi defeats the game but hapless Kagayaki, and is also having himself a nice basho.
Takakeisho defeats Chiyoshoma. One of the best bouts of the day. After a long grappling battle, Takakeisho finally gets Chiyoshoma off his mawashi and shoves him off the dohyo. Takakeisho improves to 5-3 and takes on Mitakeumi tomorrow in a prime battle of the tadpoles.
Chiyotairyu defeats Shodai. Shodai doesn’t have much going right now, and seems to have slipped to boot. On paper, he shouldn’t trouble Harumafuji much tomorrow.
Onosho handily defeats Tochinoshin and remains tied for the lead. Huge Onosho-Chiyotairyu bout tomorrow!
Tochiozan defeats Kotoshogiku. First, the henka, from which Kotoshogiku recovers nicely. Then, Tochiozan easily absorbs Kotoshogiku’s increasingly ineffective bumpety-bump attack and tosses him aside like a sack of laundry. The dreaded Kotoshogiku Day recedes into distant memory.
Hokutofuji defeats Mitakeumi. Hokutofuji is back! He outmuscled and outmaneuvered Mitakeumi, who is not starting an Ozeki run and needs to worry about preserving his Sekiwake rank.
Yoshikaze defeats Shohozan in exactly the bloody battle of two veteran warriors we expected. Yoshikaze is not ready to surrender his Sekiwake slot.
Goeido overwhelms Tamawashi, who is not fighting at full strength. Are the schedulers trying to give Goeido the yusho? He faces Aoiyama tomorrow, who is back for only his second bout and was easily tossed by Harumafuji.