Kyushu Day 4 Highlights

Wakatakakage defeats Terutsuyoshi. It was a quick oshi-battle with Wakatakakage proving strongest, slapping Terutsuyoshi to the edge and ushering him back, off the dohyo, yorikiri. It was a costly win as Wakatakakage was visibly in pain after the win. He had seemed to twist his right ankle. Wakatakakage is undefeated but now uncertain for tomorrow. Terutsuyoshi is 2-2. The next five bouts are a snooze fest, so I’m not bothered if you skip down to Shohozan/Kotoshogiku.

Daishoho defeats Nishikigi. The two locked in immediately on one another’s belt with a strong tachiai. Daishomaru was stronger with his left-hand grip and was able to work Nishikigi out for the yorikiri win, his first of the tournament. Nishikigi fell to 2-2 while Daishoho got his first win of the tournament.

Daishomaru defeats Chiyomaru. Daishomaru executed a subtle sidestep on the tachiai, catching Chiyomaru off-guard. Daishomaru used the considerable combined momentum to keep the pair moving forward until the bright chartreuse mawashi of Chiyomaru was out for the oshidashi win.

Ishiura defeats Takanosho. Ishiura’s quick slap to Takanosho’s face on the tachiai seemed to disorient Takanosho. Ishiura engaged low and effectively leveraged Takanosho out. Yorikiri.

Chiyotairyu defeats Kagayaki. Chiyotairyu got the best of the tachiai, duplicating Ishiura’s tactic of the slap at the tachiai. It seemed to catch Kagayaki half-asleep because Chiyotairyu was just much more active and forceful, guiding the golden Kagayaki out over the bales, stage left. Yorikiri.

Shodai defeats Shimanoumi. Shodai remains undefeated at 4-0. He was the bigger man and played his game. He absorbed Shimanoumi’s tachiai and used his size advantage and solid yotsu grip to push Shimanoumi out. Yorikiri.

Shohozan defeats Kotoshogiku. Shohozan’s half henka disrupted Kotoshogiku’s usual bumpety, bumpety game plan. Kotoshogiku recovered and locked in for a lean-fest. After a few seconds of leaning, Shohozan struck Kotoshogiku with a swift kick with the right foot and then twisted around and threw Kotoshogiku with a beautiful uwatenage in the first actual makuuchi match of the day.

Sadanoumi defeats Yutakayama. After the excitement of the Shohozan/Kotoshogiku battle, Sadanoumi put me back to sleep with a quick, easy win over Yutakayama. Sadanoumi got the better of the tachiai and walked Yutakayama out. What else? Yorikiri.

Tsurugisho defeats Onosho. In the second makuuchi bout of the day, Onosho started in with some tsuppari but Tsurugisho wasn’t having any of it, reached out for Onosho’s head, and shoved him to the clay. Hatakikomi.

Enho defeats Kotoeko. Kotoeko did not want to let Enho submarine him and get a belt grip, forcing the two into an oshi tsuppari battle. This worked to Enho’s advantage as he was much more aggressive and Kotoeko was just trying to react and deflect. When Enho charged, Kotoeko pulled but Enho maintained his balance, kept the lavender mawashi firmly in front. One final shove from the bales sent Kotoeko into the first row of spectators.

Aoiyama defeats Tamawashi. This was a textbook Aoiyama bout. The tachiai was solid with neither man really gaining an advantage. Aoiyama pushed Tamawahi’s head up and then used his reach to grab Tamawashi’s head and pull him down as he pulled back to the tawara. Hatakikomi.

Kotoyuki defeats Ryuden. This was a textbook Kokoyuki bout. He overpowered Ryuden with fierce tsuppari. Ryuden could not figure out a counter attack and the Penguin cast him from the playing surface, into the crowd. Next time, have a game plan, Ryuden. It’s not like Kotoyuki is a puzzle. Everyone knows what tricks he’s got.

Meisei defeats Abi. Meisei shifted right at the tachiai and I thought this was his undoing because Abi read it well and the tactic brought Meisei close to the tawara. But he stayed low and almost coiled. That seemed to give him enough purchase and leverage to work against Abi who was far too high. Meisei struck out from that coil, again and again at Abi’s high stance, forcing the komusubi off the dohyo.

Asanoyama defeats Myogiryu Solid tachiai and Myogiryu immediately went on the attack but he couldn’t generate any effective momentum against the man mountain. Asanoyama practiced patience and fundamentals while Myogiryu feverishly bounced around like Roger Rabbit. Asanoyama stayed composed with his arms wrapped around Myogiryu

Daieisho defeats Mitakeumi. Mitakeumi laid into Daieisho from the tachiai with some forceful tsuppari. But Daieisho weathered the outer bands of the hurricane and countered by stepping forward into the eye of the storm where the battering stopped and he was able to lock in with both hands on Mitakeumi’s mawashi, turning the tables and forcing him out. The first entertaining yorikiri bout of the day.

Tochinoshin defeats Takarafuji. Both guys are belt guys, so after a solid tachiai, the two settled into a grapple at the center of the dohyo. With the sky crane out of service, the Georgian needs a bigger bag of tricks and he sure found an effective one. He reached up behind Takarafuji’s neck (yes, he has one) and executed a great twisting neck throw. Kubihineri. I’m impressed.

Takakeisho defeats Endo. This matchup is a total contrast of styles; Endo’s a solid belt guy while T-Rex can’t reach belts. On the tachiai, Endo tried to reach in to get a belt grip but Takakeisho forced him away in, I think, the best sign that he does still have power in those thrusts. With the bout being fought on Takakeisho’s terms, Endo was at a disadvantage. As he tried again to lean in and get a belt hold, Takakeisho slapped him down for the hatakikomi win.

Hokutofuji defeats Takayasu. All the drama and pre-match staring lasted longer than the fight! Hokutofuji shifted left after a firm tachiai. The shift was perfectly timed as Takayasu had just started to charge forward again. Finding nothing there he grasped out wildly to try to get a hold of something to arrest his momentum. Hokutofuji used that momentum to thrust the ozeki into the crowd. Oshidashi.

Hakuho defeats Okinoumi. This was like an old Hakuho/Harumafuji matchup: a great belt battle. Okinoumi did more than just try to hang on. Twice he tried to initiate an attack, trying to lift the Yokozuna. Hakuho countered by guiding the action to the edge and then pivoting the pair over the edge, with the Boss landing on top of an exhausted Okinoumi.

So, the yusho race is led by Shodai with Wakatakakage limping into tomorrow. What is this world coming to? Let’s face it, there’s not a yusho race, yet. See where we stand at Day 10 and how many wrestlers have their kachi-koshi in the bag then. There will be no zensho and 12 may be enough to take the Cup. The race is open and Kotoshogiku’s just about the only one out of it.

23 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 4 Highlights

  1. Tochi- wow! Definitely impressive, almost makes me hope. And he proved that Takarafuji does indeed have a neck! I watched by means of Kintanayama, who of course remarked on this- I was waiting for it.

  2. Everyone overhyping Tochinoshin’s Kimarite. It’s the same desperate move he always uses at the end of his losing bouts, this time it just happened to work.

    • A bit harsh even if there is some truth to it. However his right knee looks to be at least in working condition and maybe that’s enough to get through this tournament and gather 8 wins. I just doubt he will be able to get 10.

    • I am not sure. Normally he tries a pull down, hatakikomi? Neck pull down. This match he had his left hand trapped inside, and unlike previous bouts where he bets the farm on shifting to get the left outside and usually starts moving backwards and desperately pulling, this time he kept a stable base and worked with what he had.

      it won’t work with a more mobile rikishi, but this bout was the perfect scenario. I’m just amazed he found the neck!

  3. I suspect that something is up with Tamawashi’s toes. They’re bandaged a bunch and his sumo isn’t normal at the moment.

    Dang, Hokotofuji executed his tachiai perfectly today. Hello, armpit! Goodbye, Takayasu!

    Ansanoyama had a “Shodai-esque” tachiai today (standing up and absorbing his opponent’s attack) and it was effective. It’ll be interesting to see how often he does that in the future.

    Speaking of Shodai, this basho will do wonders for his confidence. That’s a good thing and I’m glad to see him succeed.

    Wakatakakage made the mistake of tensing his legs when he landed on the floor. Ouch. I hope he’s just tweaked his ankle and not really injured it. He’s doing really well.

      • If he’s out for a month and back fighting in juryo in January that would be great news. I was fearing something much worse.

        • the only shining lights to that so far for me – Hokutofuji off to a great start, Shodai well, nuf said, then Kyokutaisei, Kaisei, Kizakiumi in Juryo all having a lovely start… okay, mental health check done – all balanced sort of hehehe

  4. I’m still thoroughly impressed at how commanding Asanoyama can be. For being a fairly young kid he’s got a lot of talent and a lot of power. I look forward to watching him grow.

    Tochinoshin shouldn’t have even let the match get to the point of an emergency throw. It’s Takarafuji for christ sake, I know the man is a defensive God nearly but still he shouldn’t be giving the Bear that much of a problem. It just further underscores Tochinoshins condition. Let’s hope the big man can dig REALLY deep and grab those 10.

    I almost enjoy watching Hakuho age. The older he gets the more interesting his bouts get and the more enjoyable and suspenseful they are to watch. No matter what anyone says though, he’s probably one of the most talented and decorated men in sports alive and active currently. I’d like to see anyone else his age try the stuff he does.

    As my name describes…I’m a Giku fan of measure. It’s hard watching the Bulldozer slow it down. He’s gone from the Jackrabbit speed to nearly Turtle. I’m hoping he can gambarize in front of his home crowd and at least throw up a Kachi. Love ya big man. Keep fighting strong.

  5. My favorite part of the matches is watching Hakuho after one of his wins. He seems to like putting his hands on people right after victory. Sometimes it’ll be the ref, sometimes it will be one of the attendants. Today he put his hands on the shoulders of the lady in the first row, You could tell she was absolutely overjoyed by this gesture. God only know what he may have said to her. What a hoot. You know she’ll tell that story for years to come.

  6. Watching at Hakuho and Okinoumi was like looking at an object and its mirror image. Both are same height – about 6′ 2″, and same weight – about 350 lbs. They had slightly different colored mawashis and without that it was hard to tell who was who. Okinoumi even did a shimmy like Hakuho as he was squatting right before the tachiai. They had similar grips and moved similarly on the dojo. I wasn’t sure who was going to win until the very end.

    • Forgot to mention the big elbow sleeve on the right hand of Hakuho and left hand of Okinoumi, and the little wrist sleeve on the opposite hand of both. After the bout, their records were also mirror images 3-1 and 1-3.

  7. Here’s what happened to Wakatakakage: He impelled Terutsuyoshi off the dohyo in the direction of the sitting Nishikigi. Nishikigi extended his arms to prevent Terutsuyoshi from slamming into him. As he did so, Nishikigi also extended his legs. Wakatakakage’s momentum also carried him off the dohyo in Nishikigi’s direction. His foot landed on Nishikigi’s extended foot, causing Waka’s ankle to twist. After painfully making his way into the tunnel leaning on his tsukebito, he ended up being hauled away in the oversized wheelchair. Let’s hope that it’s nothing more than a twisted ankle.

    As for Tochinoshin, after his victory, when the camera stayed on him as he was waiting to serve water to the next competitor, it was evident how much these bouts are taking out of him. He looked pretty used up.

    Similarly, concerning Takakeisho, after his victory, as he was seated beside the dohyo, he was flexing his injured pectoral muscle — he seemed to be feeling some discomfort there.

    Boy, the way Ikioi is looking right now, I think he could be making hay in this makuuchi field!

  8. Tsurugisho is like Ichinojo but with a basic grasp of sumo technique – another kachikoshi beckons (he’ll get injured now I’ve said that)

    • Tsurugisho is the other shining light in my Oguruma gloom pit…. have been a fan of this funny big man for a while – he’s now letting his sumo speak for itself (he doesn’t lack confidence by any means) – looking forward to a solid n steady rise to the to – just how far who knows…

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