Day 2 has some great matchups, some great clashes of sumo style, and one first-time meeting. Keep in mind, dear readers, Act 1 is where we knock the ring rust off the rikishi, and start to see who is hot and who is not. On to the matches!
What We Are Watching Day 2
Wakatakakage vs Daishoho – Wakatakakage has a habit of taking Daishoho’s walking-around money—he comes into this day 2 match with a 3-1 career advantage. I expect Daishoho will try to stay mobile and keep the man-of-many-syllables away from his belt.
Daishomaru vs Nishikigi – As one of our commenters pointed out, Nishikigi has a lot of tape on his left ankle, which, coupled with his poor eyesight, leaves him at a bit of a disadvantage for Kyushu. Things get no better on day 2 when he meets up with Daishomaru, who holds an 11-2 career advantage.
Chiyomaru vs Terutsuyoshi – A great big man / little man match early on day 2. Chiyomaru’s surprising mobility (for his bulk) is always a wildcard, but Terutsuyoshi’s size makes it easier for him to get inside Chiyomaru’s defenses.
Kagayaki vs Takanosho – Kagayaki frequently suffers crippling bouts of ring rust, and I think this will be another basho where he struggles to get comfortable in his sumo. As always, his fundamentals are good, but his consistency has suffered since last summer. To me that normally indicates some kind of nagging injury.
Shimanoumi vs Ishiura – Ishiura ran out of dohyo on day 1, and I hope he can fare better against Shimanoumi, whom he has yet to defeat.
Chiyotairyu vs Shodai – I actually think this could be a solid match. Shodai has uncanny “cartoon sumo” physics some days, and should he be able to survive Chiyotairyu’s tachiai, we could see the Acme kit make its first appearance this November. [These two usually meet much higher up the banzuke, and the head-to-head is almost even at 5-4. -lksumo]
Kotoshogiku vs Yutakayama – Battle of wounded knee here, with Yutakayama’s seeming to be doing fairly well, and Kotoshogiku working to get a bit more sumo from his. A local hero, Kotoshogiku may get a nice lift from the crowd, who are going to always cheer him on.
Tsurugisho vs Shohozan – Tsurugisho looked remarkably focused, intense and ready to fight on day 1. He goes up against another local favorite, “Big Guns” Shohozan. Maybe it’s the local fans, but Shohozan looked nice and fierce on day 1.
Sadanoumi vs Kotoeko – Interesting match as both of them will work toward being the one to set the form and tone of the match. Sadanoumi on the mawashi and Kotoeko with oshi-zumo. Even 3-3 career record.
Aoiyama vs Onosho – Oh let me see. Giant rikishi who loves to slap people down vs a compact and stout fellow who tends to get too far forward of his feet. Does anyone else think there is going to be a nice tadpole-shaped mark on the dohyo?
Enho vs Ryuden – Oddly enough, a first-time match. I am really interested to see what kind of an opening Enho deploys here, as Ryuden is enough of a technician that I am sure he has war-gamed out Enho’s normal attack modes.
Takarafuji vs Tamawashi – Takarafuji will be working a plan of staying on his feet, with his balance stable, and waiting for Tamawashi to over-extend or over-commit. Takarafuji’s task will be tough, as Tamawashi is a master disruptor.
Kotoyuki vs Tomokaze – I really don’t want to see Tomokaze apply more weak-sumo pulls. Can he win with it? Yes, clearly he can. But it’s really boring sumo.
Meisei vs Endo – Ok, lets just have the NHK guys interview Endo every day. Or Meisei, you take the interview room by getting your first win. Do Endo a solid and keep him away from that guy with the microphone.
Mitakeumi vs Hokutofuji – Oh goodie. This one promises to be rough and rapid, with what I am going to assume is our first use of the handshake tachiai this basho. I am going to guess Mitakeumi goes for an early slap down, and misses, forcing him to actually battle Hokutofuji. I am really looking forward to this match.
Myogiryu vs Tochinoshin – Come on Tochinoshin. Most of the sumo world wants you to get your rank back. Myogiryu is one tough, fast rikishi, and he knows how to take you down (10-12 head-to-head). Will we see the sky-crane today?
Goeido vs Okinoumi – I am going to be looking to see if Goeido can use that ankle today. He had it rebuilt by surgeons a couple of years ago, and I am sure they were cringing when they saw him twist it as he fell. While there are many titanium screws and pins involved, there is only so much damage that ankle can take.
Takakeisho vs Asanoyama – I think by Hatsu 2021, we may be thinking about Asanoyama trying for Ozeki, so this is his chance to show Takakeisho he’s going to be a contender. Takakeisho will try to take the fight mobile and stick to thrusts and pushing, Asanoyama will go for the mawashi. Whoever dictates the mode for this match will likely carry the day!
Abi vs Takayasu – Abi will work primarily with his right arm, and Takayasu will be protecting his left, and likely avoid a yotsu battle, A great scientist once said, “Perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything!” We will see about that.
Daieisho vs Hakuho – The Boss is going to be the man to beat for the first act, and Daieisho has only slim hope not to end up in one of Hakuho’s frequently photographed “Flying Lessons”. Daieisho has yet to take a match from the Yokozuna in 4 attempts.