With Andy’s apt description of the GoeiDOS 2.1 upgrade described below, what is there left to say? Another day with few surprises in the top division, but some entirely watchable sumo with plenty of matches to enjoy. It’s clear that both Ichinojo and Tochinoshin are in good form, and Goeido has yet to revert to “bad” form yet. Let’s go straight to the highlights.
Natsu Day 2 Highlights
Nishikigi defeats Myogiryu – Myogiryu opened strong, but Nishikigi rallied with considerable strength and prevailed. I wonder if his precarious position on the banzuke motivates Nishikigi to higher levels of performance.
Kyokutaisei defeats Aminishiki – Uncle Sumo tries a henka, but Kyokutaisei reads it correctly and overpowers the aged rikishi, winning with a susoharai leg sweep. Hopefully Aminishiki did not pick up an additional injury.
Sadanoumi defeats Tochiozan – Word in the practice sessions leading up to the basho was that Tochiozan was in fantastic condition and performing very well. He seems to be genuinely struggling in the first two days.
Takekaze defeats Aoiyama – Aoiyama opened strong and kept up the pressure, which was probably a mistake. Takekaze got Aoiyama moving forward, and then got out of his way.
Arawashi defeats Ishiura – Ishiura attempts a henka, and Arawashi is ready for him, grabbing him with his wide spread left arm and reeling him in for a quick push out. Ishiura needs some new tricks.
Okinoumi defeats Takakeisho – Takakeisho opened strong, and got some mighty shoves into Okinoumi, but Okinoumi returned the favor. As Takakeisho gave ground, he attempted a pull down, but Okinoumi was quite prepared for that, and thwarted his attack.
Daiamami defeats Hokutofuji – Wow, Daiamami made fast work of Hokutofuji who seems to be low-energy and somewhat uncertain of how to regain his former mojo. It’s sad to watch, and I am going to assume its due to some injury we fans don’t know about.
Daishomaru defeats Yoshikaze – Yoshikaze did not look good today.
Chiyoshoma defeats Ryuden – Ryuden took the fight to Chiyoshoma with vigor and strength, but it was all Chiyoshoma, who completely ran this match and finished it with a resounding shitatenage. Ryuden is good, but has more work to do.
Ikioi defeats Takarafuji – Ikioi once again throws caution to the wind, and gives Takarafuji a stiff battle, ending with Ikioi hurling the man with no neck to the clay like a boss. The crowd goes wild.
Kotoshogiku defeats Chiyotairyu – Kotoshogiku was large and in charge today. He paid no attention to Chiyotairyu’s massive bulk and cannon-ball tachiai. It’s good to see that the Kyushu Bulldozer can still be a force of sumo.
Shodai defeats Daieisho – Daieisho opened strong and kept up the pressure on Shodai, who was on the defensive and moving backwards, a lucky pull from Shodai put Daieisho off balance and he could not recover. An ugly win for Shodai, but a white-star none the less.
Endo defeats Yutakayama – Endo struggled more than he should have in this match. That is a sign that Endo is not quite all there yet, and that Yutakayama put his heart into this match. Endo’s win came via a pull down from the edge of the ring.
Tochinoshin defeats Abi – I did not expect Abi to win, but he impressed the hell out of me with the fight he brought to Tochinoshin. Abi’s superior reach was used with great effect out of the tachiai, and frankly caught Tochinoshin by surprise. With the Ozeki hopeful in a strong nodowa, Abi had early control of the match. But Tochinoshin was not to be denied, and remember to go for the belt. Well done to Abi, a glorious loss. Your intro to the joi will be painful, but it’s part of the sport.
Ichinojo defeats Kaisei – A battle of the super-heavies, and as anticipated, it was all about how could do more with their ponderous bulk. Kaisei found the mawashi early, but it seemed to have little effect on The Boulder. After a bit of leaning on each other, Ichinojo stood Kaisei up and marched him out.
Goeido defeats Shohozan – Andy may have been right, the maintenance release Goeido 2.1 may be stable, on line and doing well. He make quick work of Shohozan with many characteristics of the “good” Goeido. Moving forward strongly with lightning speed and no consideration to restraint for the sake of any defense. Please do keep it up Goeido!
Kakuryu defeats Tamawashi – Kakuryu’s reactive sumo takes the day again. It’s not too tough to get Tamawashi to shift his weight quite far forward, and he readily obliged the Yokozuna, who politely encouraged him to exit the ring.
Hakuho defeats Mitakeumi – Hakuho struggled, no two ways about it. Mitakeumi is probably bringing everything he can to his sumo this outing, but I am starting to come around to Kintamayama’s point of view that “The Boss” is not quite healed up yet.
9 thoughts on “Natsu Day 2 Highlights”
Surely must be something wrong with Hokutofuji, he offered zero resistance whatsoever today.
Loved the Tochinoshin – Abi bout, what a spirited fight by Abi and Tochinoshin looked like he was trying to restrain a hysterical teenager before finally managing to carry him out.
Although there’s a lack of upsets, the good news is that there are plenty of strong candidates with Kakuryu, Goeido, Tochinoshin and Ichinojo all looking good. And Hakuho’s bound to be there or there aboutd despite a shaky start!
Had the EXACT same thought about the Tochinoshin/Abi bout XD
I am not so sure my man Hokutofuji is still injured. I think maybe he lost his sumo while injured and hasn’t found it yet. He looks weaker, slower, and stupider out there–much as it pains me to admit it. Not sure if he bottoms out in makuuchi or juryo before he finds it again.
But find it again he will! I still believe in you, little Fist of the North Star Crashing Down on Mt. Fuji!
I worry you could be correct. It bothers me quite a bit, as I think he could be a vehicle for greatness if he can find his way.
Abi is definitely in for a bunch of similar bouts with the Joi in the coming days. He’s used to controlling a match with his long arms and, as we saw today, the members of the Joi can work around that strategy.
My lowlight for Hatsu so far is Dr. Takasu and his helicopter commercials. Maybe this is some sort of strange commentary over male body image, plastic surgery and sumo.
Ichinojo has looked exceptionally genki over the last few days, and hasn’t been sleeping on his opponents as much in his bouts. Perhaps knowing he’s the biggest boy in the sandbox is giving The Boulder enough confidence to bring the fight to his opposition.
What struck me about Hakuho was his superb sense of the exact location, measurement, and extent of the dohyo.. I’ll bet he’d be deadly in the dark. I also think he is very concerned about winning, which can be very distracting. He probably reads all those folks who say he’s over the hill.
(And I still weep over the absence of Harumafuji.)
Kakuryu sure looks in control. His reactive sumo is fun to watch. Tamawashi looked a little confused when he found himself out of the ring not long after the bout started.