Is the ring rust off yet? For some, not quite. Several wrestlers still appear to be gathering their bearings but a few are really shining. I love to see the start that Myogiryu has gotten, along with Terunofuji. With the exception of Kotoyuki, who does not seem his sanyaku-self, The Great Wall of Kotos is performing very well. But the story of the tournament so far has to be the shin-Ozeki, Asanoyama, and his excellent performances so far.
Meisei defeated Kotoyuki: The visitor from Juryo weathered the barrage of blows, landed a number of his own body blows, and pushed Kotoyuki out quickly. Kotoyuki falls to 0-3. Oshidashi. Meisei is 3-0 and starting to make a good case for promotion.
Terunofuji defeated Chiyomaru: Chiyomaru shoved Terunofuji and attempted a hatakikomi pull but Terunofuji wasn’t falling for it. He went right in for a belt grip and as soon as that left hand found purchase, he pulled Chiyomaru’s card. Uwatenage. Terunofuji is undefeated at 3-0.
Kotoshoho defeated Nishikigi: Kotoshoho dominated Nishikigi from the start, landing solid body blows and completely overwhelming his opponent. Oshidashi. A great 3-0 start. Nishikigi backed straight out to his second loss.
Kotoeko defeated Wakatakakage: Wakatakakage hit strong with his tachiai, forcing Kotoeko back to the tawara. Kotoeko used the tawara to arrest his backwards movement. He then took the opportunity to secure a right-handed belt grip of his own and force Wakatakakage to exit, stage left. Yorikiri. Wakatakakage falls to 0-3, Kotoeko 2-1.
Takayasu defeated Kotoshogiku: Kotoshogiku gets off to a great start, pushing Takayasu back at the tachiai. Takayasu worked his way into Kotoshogiku’s belt and from there owned things. He pushed Kotoshogiku across the dohyo and out. Yorikiri. Kotoshogiku picked up his first loss while Takayasu improved to 2-1.
Kotonowaka defeated Shohozan: Kotonowaka kept his cool after Shohozan’s staredown and then the introductory slap at the tachiai. He pivoted, using Shohozan’s momentum to bring him to the straw barrier. Another quick shove and experience bowed to youth. Oshidashi. Kotonowaka undefeated while Shohozan’s third straight loss has put him into quite the hole at the start of this tournament.
Sadanoumi defeated Shimanoumi: Sadanoumi started with some strong thrusts but Shimanoumi weathered the intial tempest. Sadanoumi abandoned the thrusting attack and reached in for Shimanoumi’s belt. Belt grip nicely secured he quickly worked the orange mawashi back out and over the edge. Yorikiri. Shimanoumi’s still seeking a win while Sadanoumi improved to 2-1.
Myogiryu defeated Tochinoshin: A quick one from Myogiryu. Myogiryu allowed Tochinoshin no time to try anything, immediately securing a left-handed grip, shifting to the side. The force of the tachiai carried Tochinoshin forward and Myogiryu added pressure to keep Tochinoshin moving forward and out. Yorikiri. Myogiryu remains undefeated while Tochinoshin earned his second loss.
Tamawashi defeated Kaisei: Kaisei knew this would be a pushing thrusting bout, getting great movement backwards from Tamawashi. Tamawashi’s own thrusts were ineffective against the bigger Kaisei, so he shifted left and then right, slapping down Kaisei as he tried to give chase. Hatakikomi. Tamawashi 3-0 and Keisei got a hard-fought second loss.
Chiyotairyu defeated Ikioi: Chiyotairyu’s powerful tachiai forced Ikioi to cede ground. More forceful thrusts as Ikioi tried to hang on but Chiyotairyu blasted Ikioi out. Tsukidashi. Chiyotairyu is now 2-1, Ikioi 1-2.
Ishiura defeated Terutsuyoshi: Henka from Ishiura to get a grip but Terutusyoshi snuffed it out and turned around, getting a piece of Ishiura’s belt in return. But Ishiura used the belt to keep up the attack, over powering Terutsuyoshi, and pushing him out over the edge on the other side. Yorikiri. Terutsuyoshi handed his first loss, Ishiura picking up his first win.
Tokushoryu defeated Ryuden: Yushoryu quickly dispatched Ryuden. A left hand grip and he was able to snap Ryuden forward. Losing his balance, Ryuden instinctively put his hands down to catch himself. Hikiotoshi. Both men are 1-2.
Abi defeated Enho: Enho lost his balance at the tachiai with help from Abi’s right forearm to the chin. Enho tumbling out backwards to the front of the dohyo. Oshitaoshi. [Copy/Paste] Both men are 1-2.
Hokutofuji defeated Aoiyama: Aoiyama was off-balance from the beginning. Strong tachiai from Hokutofuji who keeps his head down and the thrusts coming, backs Aoiyama up and out. This bout was about footwork. Hokutofuji moved with a purpose. Controlled steps. Aoiyama’s feet were all over the place and eventually swept over the side as he was trying to keep his balance. Oshidashi. Aoiyama is 1-2. Hokutofuji improved to 2-1.
Kiribayama defeated Kagayaki: Pushing thrusting attack from Kagayaki forced Kiribayama into retreat. Kiribayama weathering the blows as he throws a few, ineffective ones of his own. Kiribayama used his left to deflect Kagayaki high and get back into a belt grip. From there, Kiribayama turned the tables. With Kagayaki’s center of gravity up too high, Kiribayama used the leverage from the belt to push him backwards and out. Yorikiri. Kiribayama 1-2 while Kagayaki picked up his first loss.
Takarafuji defeated Daieisho: Daieisho worked Takarafuji back with a strong tachiai. Powerful thrusts gave Daieisho the advantage but wild, off-balance footwork cost him. One missed thrust which Takarafuji parried successfully turned Daieisho around. Takarafuji seized the moment to push Daieisho out from behind. Okuridashi. Daieisho stumbled to his first loss while Takarafuji is now 1-2.
Mitakeumi defeated Onosho: Onosho had an excellent tachiai, getting in under Mitakeumi, and forcing him back. Mitakeumi knew he was in trouble so as he got forced back he brought his arms up around Onosho’s head. With a sudden twist he threw Onosho down as they both tumbled out. Excellent adaptation from Mitakeumi. Kubinage. Mitakeumi undefeated, Onosho hopes for a first win tomorrow.
Takanosho defeated Shodai: Shoulder blast from Shodai at the initial charge. Shodai put his head down and revved the engines, full steam ahead…but before tying down his cargo. In the tumult, Takanosho got lose to the right and as Shodai passed, Takanosho gave a final shove from behind. Okuridashi. Shodai picked up his first loss and Takanosho earned his first win.
“Kinki is a region, not a way of life.”Murray Johnson, the Legend
Asanoyama defeated Yutakayama: Through tears of laughter, I composed myself in time for the tachiai. Asanoyama, on the other hand, was composed from the beginning of this bout. Yutakayama’s thrusts were many but fizzled in the bosom of Asanoyama. Asanoyama earned his position at center stage with great power and excellent footwork, forcing Yutakayama to the edge, looking in. While he wasn’t able to land a belt grip, he had control under Yutakayama’s arms and forced the junior Sekitori back and out. Yorikiri. The Ozeki is undefeated. Yutakayama 0-3.
Okinoumi defeated Takakeisho: Takakeisho gained the advantage at the tachiai with a strong blast. Okinoumi staggered back a step but not as far as the tawara. Takakeisho was unable to get much wave action going. An ill-advised pull by Takakeisho was met with a solid blow to the head by Okinoumi. The cumulative effect meant Takakeisho fell down. Oshitaoshi. Both men are 2-1.
Hakuho defeated Endo: A strong shoulder blast from Hakuho. No extracurriculars on the initial charge, just power. Right arm secured under Endo’s left armpit, Hakuho shoved his opponent to the point that Endo’s left leg came up off the ground. The Yokozuna then drove through the rank-and-filer to finish him off. Endo collapsed in a heap while Hakuho took a celebratory lap down the hanamachi. Extraordinary. Oshidashi. Endo falls to 1-2 while Hakuho leads the pack at 3-0.