A light schedule today on our lower division ones to watch. Most of our crew saw action on day 3, and it was a non-stop lower division battle. For those following at home below are the results. I was especially bothered to see that Wakaichiro lost his rematch against Wakakinsho. But the young Texan had his balance a bit forward, and Wakakinsho knew what to do. He is still showing better physical health, and greatly improved form. Hoshoryu lost his match, and fans should be ready to come to grips with the fact that the top end of Makushita is, in some ways, tougher than Juryo. Sure they only fight 7 matches, but the competition is literally survival of the fittest. One only has to see what happened to Gokushindo as an example.
Highlight Matches – Day 4
Naya vs Chiyoarashi – Naya is on a slower, but mostly upward trajectory than his rival Hoshoryu. A year from now, it’s possible that the slower rise may result in Naya having a more confident, longer lasting posting to the salaried ranks. His second match is a preview of the struggle he will be in the thick of should he resume his climb, as he faces former Juryo man Chiyoarashi. Chiyoarashi has twice had to drop out of competition for several months due to injury, the most recent in 2015, and he is fighting to regain a slot in the top of Makushita, and a chance to try for a return to Juryo.
Kenho vs Tokio – In his day 2 match against Toshonishiki, Kenho seemed to get a surge of power and blasted his opponent off the dohyo in what I swear was an upward arcing path. Kenho has a lot of physical problems with his joints due to his ponderous body, and so I think most rikishi think of him as this soft, squishy practice doll. But when Kenho is healthy, there is little to do when that much rikishi comes on a rampage. Young Tokio is a slight fellow, and last time they matched (Aki 2018) Kenho played the part of a eastbound freight train to Tokio’s West Texas Armadillo.
Terunofuji vs Amakaze – I know Herouth and myself are screaming “no no no!” At this match. Two beloved rikishi who have sat our hurt for months, who are not actually well yet, who are trying to save their careers. So, hey – let’s have them fight! Sometimes you have to wonder where these ideas come from. Anyhow, I want them both to win, as I want them both back and in fighting form. My desire for this match is that neither of them get hurt.
Hattorizakura vs Houn – As if to underscore the WTF nature of day 4, one of the few rikishi who can ever claim that they lost to Hattorizakura will face him again. Houn holds a (what am I saying here..) 4-1 career advantage. For those watching at home, a Hattorizakura win requires you to drain your glass. Plan accordingly.