Kyushu Day 1 Highlights


Kyushu-Day-1

Matta, Matta, Matta

Day one got off to a rough start, as many of the matches had difficulties getting underway properly, or finishing cleanly. Many of the rikishi seem to be off the pace, and a bit nervous. A good percentage of the matches either started with a matta or finished with a monoii! Typically the first few days of any basho feature the men shaking off the training cobwebs and getting back into tournament form.

In the upper ranks we had two Yokozuna losses today, one of them resulting in a kinboshi. We all knew that things were going to be rough, at least at the start, so don’t get worried just yet. In Kisenosato’s loss, there were a series of false starts, which clearly threw everyone’s timing off. For Harumafuji, it’s clear that he got off balance and Onosho made him pay. Elsewhere in the top ranks, Goeido looked damn awesome in his first match, blasting Takakeisho off the dohyo in the “Goeido 2.0” style we love so much.

Highlight Matches

Nishikigi defeats Daiamami – Daiamami’s first Makuuchi bout, and Nishikigi gave him a pretty good fight. This turned into a strength battle, which Nishikigi seems to handle well.

Aminishiki defeats Kotoyuki – Aminishiki looked quite awesome in his win, and the crowd was really behind “Uncle Sumo”. Of course we had some matta action to slow things down, but in the end, Aminishiki deftly threw Kotoyuki, to score the win.

Asanoyama defeats Okinoumi – Asanoyama really nailed this tachiai, and dispatched Okinoumi with little fanfare. Its clear Okinoumi is bothered by his injury and could not muster much defensive force to stop Asanoyama’s advance.

Kaisei defeats Daieisho – Kaisei continues to improve, I think it looks like he did indeed lose some weight even from Aki. While still somewhat lethargic, he was faster and more aggressive than he has been in tournaments earlier this year. Daieisho gave him a decent fight for a bit, but completely lost his balance and was forced out.

Ichinojo defeats Chiyonokuni – It looked to me like an early start by Chiyonokuni, but Ichinojo took over and dominated this match, handling Chiyonokuni easily and forcing him out. Is it time to hope that Ichinojo is back on his sumo?

Hokutofuji defeats Terunofuji – Another match that had a rough start, Terunofuji could only offer any defense for a few seconds before his knees started to give way, and Hokutofuji dispatched him over the bales. This is going to be daily agony for Terunofuji, its clear.

Shohozan defeats Yoshikaze – Great battle between these two, it was a slug fest from the start, but Shohozan caught Yoshikaze overcommitted and off balance, and took him down.

Mitakeumi defeats Tochiozan – Another monoii, this time Tochiozan stepped out as he was pulling Mitakeumi down. The gyoji’s decision was reversed and Mitakeumi was given the win.

Takayasu defeats Chiyotairyu – In the burliest match you will see on day 1, these two giants finished fast, as Takayasu caught his opponent too far forward and pulled him down.

Goeido defeats Takakeisho – Oh yea! We got some Goeido 2.0 today, and he was on strong. Launching with unstoppable force straight out of the tachiai, he caught Takakeisho low, a really tough thing to do. His charge was strong and he just kept pushing ahead. You can see the look of surprise on Takakeisho’s face, and it’s over in the blink of an eye. This is the kind of Goeido we love to see, complete commitment to his attack, no turning back, no second chances. In this mode he is like a gunslinger of old west lore, and when he’s in his grove he is unstoppable. More please!

Tamawashi defeats Kisenosato – This match was a mess, I lost count on how many false starts / mattas were involved. The match itself was a bit of a puzzle, Kisenosato started strong, but Tamawashi broke contact and moved off. Kisenosato followed, and Tamawashi re-engaged with a very strong oshi attack which took the Yokozuna out. Kinboshi for Tamawashi.

Hakuho defeats Kotoshogiku – Good effort from Kotoshogiku, but wow, Hakuho was ready and strong today. Really great to see this guy work when he is in good form and good health. Hakuho took the fight to Kotoshogiku, and really controlled him throughout, ending the match with masterfully executed uwatedashinage.

Onosho defeats Harumafuji – Very surprising that Harumafuji lost control of this match at the tachiai, letting Onosho get underneath and inside. Onosho shows that last time was not a fluke, and he used a quick push/pull combo to get the Yokozuna on the clay. Impressive 2-0 against Harumafuji for Onosho now.

11 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 1 Highlights

  1. Ichinojo is my surprise of the day. GENKI. He almost looked agile! He pivots, stays in control, picks up a solid Day 1 win against Chiyonokuni. I want to see more of that.

    Kotoyuki’s matta may have been to prevent, or in preparation for, a henka. But that backfired. Kisenosato looked ginger on his left ankle. Not a good sign. He didn’t seem to put all of his weight on it. I don’t think he or Terunofuji will finish this tournament.

    I was happy to see a strong tachiai and quick, controlled win from Takayasu. I was also interested to see Kotoshogiku’s approach to Hakuho. He either didn’t get a chance to start his hug-and-chug, or he was immediately looking for a *failed* alternative. I think he was looking for a longer belt battle but Hakuho’s dominant self saw an opening early and dumped him.

    It’s really interesting to see so many great early matchups with so many solid guys lower on the banzuke (and looking relatively healthy to start the tournament).

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I thought that the quality of the sumo on show today was disappointing, with a lot of messy matches which would not have looked out of place in one of those pro-wrestling “Botch-a-Mania” compiliations. The only sanyaku guy who really looked to be on top of his game was Goeido.

    Andy is correct about Ichinojo who fought like a 400lb Mongolian Mongoose today: maybe the big lad read those comments about how he was going to get battered at M4 this time around.

    The other wrestler I really thought looked up for it was Chiyoshoma. He had a matta/no matta start but then pulled off a very nifty move to see off my favourite Tochinoshin.

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  3. The throw by Aminishiki was a thing of beauty. Takekaze looked like his time in Makuuchi might be running out. Asanoyama picked up right where he left off at Aki, as did Endo. Ikioi continues to look unconvincing, and Shodai still looks lost. Given his size, Ichinojo is hard to beat when he actually does sumo, which I hope he continues to do.

    The Ozekiwake Terunofuji is in trouble. No way is he getting to ten wins, and he might as well pull out and work on proper recovery and rehab. Neither of the other Sekiwake looked convincing, but at least Mitakeumi walked away with a win.

    Goeido was aggressive, but a more experienced opponent would have taken advantage of his overcommitment, as Takakeisho nearly did. Takayasu looked like an Ozeki, and should have no trouble clearing his kadoban status.

    Tamawashi seems serious about regaining his San’yaku rank, while Kisenosato looked tentative. Hakuho looked like, well, Hakuho. He looked like he could easily have handled Kotoshogiku in a straightforward yotsu battle, but saw the opportunity for an easy throw and took it.

    And, if there had been any doubt, Onosho is for real!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First off – for those watching the highlights, who watched through the “Sumopedia” feature – did you see the NHK World Premium mention at the end? I am trying to now figure out how to get this in America.

    A strange day. I am really sad for my favorite rikishi Ikioi, who just continues to be sloppy. I feel like you don’t see Aoiyama get too many throws in.

    I would love for sumodb to track mattas (does it?) – Tamawashi has a long history of making his opponent uncomfortable and trying to unsettle him at the tachiai and we saw that again today. When he tries that on Hakuho he gets a filthy stare down, but he clearly rattled Kisenosato. I’m just surprised he didn’t also get a throat attack in.

    The way Terunofuji landed on that knee makes me think he may only have two or three days left.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ha – I meant Tamawashi – I thought he would try and execute a throat attack early to throw Kisenosato off, as he used to really rely on that to get his opponents high and drive them out. I’ve sensed that beyond his strength, Kisenosato has also lost poise since his injury and he would be a good opponent to exploit with that tactic

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  5. BTW, hat tip to frequent commenter Asashosakari for posting Hattorizakura’s loss today! Ishihara just basically waits for him to run into his arms, picks him up and carries him to the other side of the bales.

    It looks like Hattorizakura is sporting an excellent new black mawashi!

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    • I also noticed that Kagiyaki, and Kaisei too, seemed more powerful and a bit more agile today. Here’s hoping that behavior continues!

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  6. Here’s my commentary after watching Jason’s sanyaku videos but prior to reading anything written here:

    Terunofuji stands up to Hokutofuji’s tachiai, figuratively and literally, but it’s not enough. Hokutofuji’s arms are inside; the left one is up over T’s shoulder but H works it down and once he gets his left hand into T’s armpit he has the leverage he needs to power T off the dohyo.

    “Big Guns” Shohozon is out-muscled and out-hustled by Yoshikaze but pulls out the win with an impeccably timed desperation tsuki-otoshi. Reversals like this show why one must be an exceptional sumotori to accumulate the win totals needed for promotion to ozeki.

    Tochiozon tries a similar desperation move against Mitakeumi but can’t put it together before flicking his left foot out of the ring. An unfortunate angle of view causes the gyoji to miss the slip.

    “A nice healthy grunt there from Takayasu has he starts his engine,” says the commentator. Takayasu barely breaks a sweat slapping down Chiyotairyu.

    Goeido 2.0 gets revenge on Takakeisho with a straight blast off the tachiai.

    Kisenosato falls to Tamawashi. It didn’t look to me like weakness in Kisenosato’s left upper body was the direct cause of the loss, so fair play to Tamawashi.

    Hakuho makes short work of Kotoshogiku in classic GOAT style.

    Onosho shifts his belly back and to his right just enough to rob Harumafuji of needed support while simultaneously bomping him on the back of the neck with his left arm. As Harumafuji’s hands touch down Onosho overbalances and stumbles at the gyoji in alarming fashion but recover his balance before knocking the gyoji off the dohyo. A weird win on multiple levels.

    Liked by 1 person

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