Bruce’s Day 4 Roundup


Kise-Day4

While day 3 may have been a bit bland and pulpy, day 4 recovered with a zesty blob of wasabi served up fresh and feisty. Almost every match was a real battle, with both rikishi giving it their all with vigor and stamina. Great day to catch the full torikumi via Kintamayama’s YouTube channel!

It’s clear that a handful of rikishi will be in position to challenge for the cup, and it’s really an exciting and surprising mix.

Clearly the favorite today would be Hakhuho. The Boss looks to be in solid form, and he has thus far dismantled all challengers. With Harumafuji out of the basho, he only needs to worry about Goeido and Takayasu.

Oh? The Ozeki corps? They are in fact dominating as well. Both are undefeated, and both look to be able to stay that way for the next few days until they get into week 2. Goeido is in top form, in fact he is in similar spirit to his Aki 2016 performance. Strong, fast, unstoppable. Takayasu is more tenuous, he has come close to defeat a couple of times, but managed to pull it out.

Then, if you can believe it, Ichinojo! Yes it’s only week one, but its so wonderful to see Ichinojo back to a bit of his old self. For recent sumo fans, this guy used to be the next kaiju.

Rounding out the undefeated list, it’s none other than Uncle Sumo! How wonderful is that? Aminishiki, all the way down at Maegashira 13, is undefeated. Thus far he has not had to really work too hard, as everyone who has faced him has handed him a win. Of course this is because Aminishiki is very experienced, highly skilled, and like all great athletes, makes it look easy.

On the down side is Kisenosato. His failure to dispatch Takakeisho underscores the fact that he is only partially recovered. Note in his match today how he protects his left side. This is especially acute as Kisenosato is left hand / foot dominant.

Highlight Matches

Ryuden defeats Kotoyuki – Up from Juryo for the day, crowd favorite Ryuden shows us why the folks who get to watch Juryo matches love him. The match with Kotoyuki was fast paced, frantic and unpredictable. If NHK shows this match today, don’t miss it – he’s likely to be in Makuuchi soon.

Aminishiki defeats Myogiryu – Some false start nonsense before the tachiai, and frankly Aminishiki did not quite land his right hand, but once they launched, Uncle Sumo used the same push-then-pull tactic that has won the last three.

Kagayaki defeats Daiamami – Excellent effort from both men, Daiamami got turned around in the post-tachiai struggle for grip, and Kagayaki was quick to force him out. Kagayaki can really bring some excellent sumo when he is on his game.

Okinoumi defeats Kaisei – I am starting to hope that dear Okinoumi has found a way to manage his chronic injury. His sumo, while not Nagoya 2016 level, is looking better.

Ikioi defeats Endo – This was not a long or elegant match, but these two went at it with gusto. The ending was a bit more of a collapse than a throw, but excellent effort all around.

Daieisho defeats Asanoyama – Something must be in the chikara-mizu today, everyone was really putting in massive effort, these two included. Daieisho took control at the tachiai, applying a series of nodowa, and keeping Asanoyama high and off balance. Daieisho in the end overpowered Asanoyama at the tawara for the win.

Chiyomaru defeats Shodai – I get the feeling Shodai decided he was getting too soft, and decided it was time to do sumo again. Though he lost he really put his back into it today, giving Chiyomaru a heck of a fight, including a valiant and successful last stand at the tawara. But Chiyomaru had this one dialed in, and turned Shodai’s pressure at the edge into an opportunity to pull him down.

Tochinoshin defeats Takarafuji – Another excellent strength sumo match up, and Takarafuji should be commended for keeping it close. Its clear that Tochinoshin is trying to keep pressure off of his damaged right knee, so he needs to bank every win he can get. In this match he seems to be fighting nearly one-legged.

Ichinojo defeats Arawashi – Massive effort from Arawashi, who nearly had this section of the Eshima bridge out a couple of times. But each time, Ichinojo would rally and block his kimarite. As Arawashi was setting up his third attempt to end the match, he stepped out just as he was cocking a throw, giving the match to Ichinojo.

Kotoshogiku defeats Terunofuji – It’s just getting depressing to watch Terunofuji lose every day. He’s hurt, he can’t do sumo, and there is no way he is getting his Ozeki hanko back any time soon. We do get to see Kotoshogiku hug-n-chug for the first time this basho. The old bulldozer can still bring it down.

Yoshikaze defeats Onosho – As predicted, the Berserker had a lot of pent up frustrations that he brought to the match, and deposited on Onosho’s face. Both of them were batting each other like tabbies jacked up on weapons-grade catnip, but the tadpole was no match for the master.

Mitakeumi defeats Chiyonokuni – Messy, messy match, from the matta at the front end to the rubbery collapse into a heap at the edge that concluded it. It’s clear that Mitakeumi is only about 80%, but that tadpole shape is a tough one for Chiyonokuni.

Goeido defeats Tamawashi – This habitual matta garbage from Tamawashi is probably going to receive some attention from the Kyokai, because it’s getting really old. Of course he is trying to throw Goeido off his tachiai timing, because we all know that Goeido is going to rip into you before you can even stand up. But the matta flurry did not have that effect, and Goeido won rather convincingly.

Takayasu defeats Shohozan – Shohozan decides to let Takayasu do what he does better than anyone: lock up an opponent and use his inhuman endurance to wear them down. I am sure that just after they went chest to chest, Shohozan was sorry he did it. The burly Ozeki can and probably does maintain that position against the teppo pole overnight, while sleeping. After Shohozan got tired of holding up 400 pounds of Ibaraki beef, it was easy enough to put him out of the ring.

Takakeisho defeats Kisenosato – Back to worry over Kisenosato, he was favoring his left side, and Takakeisho took full advantage of it. If this is just “I have not done honbasho sumo for 6 months” he will snap in soon enough, but if he’s still injured, it’s time to go kyujo.

Hakuho defeats Chiyotairyu – That was two giant handfuls of struggling rikishi that Hakuho bested today. For a few seconds, Hakuho seemed to be struggling to decide how best to contain Chiyotairyu, but once he got inside of Chiyotairyu’s grip, it was time to put the rikishi out. Hakuho is looking unstoppable… again.

11 thoughts on “Bruce’s Day 4 Roundup

  1. Kotoyuuki – Ryuden. AMAZING bout. While picking up his prize money, Ryuden looked like he was about to either cry or sneeze. This is his first ever win against a Makuuchi opponent, so he can be forgiven for being a little emotional.

    Takekaze – Nishikigi. Another excellent bout! I really thought Nishikigi had it for a moment there, but his high grappling position didn’t give him the leverage to force Takekaze out.

    I love Aminishiki’s response to a matta. That little hand gesture that says “no, no, it’s fine, I was probably going to henka anyway”. I hope he gets his kachi-koshi; that would be nice to see.

    Kagayaki recovers from a bad position at the tachi-ai. He’s very eager to prevent Daiamami from getting a belt grip, and looks for the sukuinage – although he doesn’t get it, he’s able to maneuver behind Daiamami and simply push him out from behind. Good tactics from Kagayaki!

    Chiyomaru – Shodai. Wow 😀 Shodai manages a very credible looking tachiai! After tying up with Chiyomaru, he tries for the morozashi, manages the grip change, but gets gaburi’d to the edge before he can get a proper grip on the mawashi. Then, rather than try to push him over the bales, Chiyomaru goes into reverse and drags him down.

    Now that I think about it, maybe Shodai’s tachiai problem is nervousness? Against Chiyomaru, he can be sure of a well-cushioned impact.

    Tochinoshin still can’t transmit power to ground as well as he used to, but he’s finding ways around it. This time, he pulls off a nice throw. While this was called as a yoritaoshi, there was definitely a knee pick in there. More like this, please, he was a damp squib last basho.

    Ichinojo and Arawashi put on a nail-biter. Ichinojo gets pushed around but just will. not. quit. Eventually, Arawashi puts a foot out while trying for a shitatenage, which isn’t the most satisfying ending, but I’m happy to see Ichinojo pick up another win!

    Kotoshogiku picks up an unsurprising win against a Terunofuji who really should just go kyujo and save himself the embarrassment already. He’s barely performing at Maegashira level, never mind Ozeki. Nobody wants to watch this shit.

    Onosho is, as I predicted, being a bit more cautious at the start of the bout. Not cautious enough, and this is his third loss in a row in the same fashion. This wasn’t an unforced error by any means, though, and the bout was very enjoyable to watch. While 1-3 isn’t a great record, I wouldn’t count Onosho out – with the exception of that embarrassment against Kisenosato, he’s actually looked very strong in all his bouts so far. He had Takayasu in real trouble yesterday, and looked evenly-matched against Yoshikaze today.

    Goeido – Tamawashi! Let’s see one of the two awesome-looking Ozeki go- Oh. Matta.

    Well, that’s fine, this happens sometimes. NOW we’ll see some- Matta.

    Thankfully, the henka I was worried about doesn’t happen. Goeido keeps up the pressure, withstands a dizzying number of blows to the head, and is quick to pull Tamawashi down when he tries to go in low.

    Shohozan – Takayasu. These two are 5-5 in their previous bouts. They lock up hard on the tachiai, and it looks like Shohozan is pressing in hard with his right arm on the outside of Takayasu’s left, stopping him from getting the left inside grip, but it’s not enough. Once Takayasu has that, he wants the right outside grip too, and keeps grabbing for it but can’t quite manage it, instead forced to keep his right arm tucked up into Shohozan’s armpit to control his arm. After a full minute of very little change in position, Takayasu apparently just goes “fuck it, I’m big” and forces Shohozan out anyway.

    Takakeisho picks up another kinboshi, and Kisenosato did not look like a yokozuna there. He was getting bullied around the dohyo.

    Chiyotairyu – Hakuho. I like Chiyotairyu, and while I don’t think he’ll win, I want him to show what he can do, and not just get flattened straight away.

    …oh, well. Maybe next basho. Hakuho is ludicrously fast and has a morozashi in the blink of an eye. Chiyotairyu, to his credit, lasts a surprisingly long time against the dai-yokozuna once in such an unfavourable position, but the end is a foregone conclusion.

    Liked by 3 people

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