It’s early evening in the central US, and I am eager for sumo. The top division is still 8 hours away, so I am going to find some way to spend the time. I know, watch sumo! If you have not checked out Herouth’s fantastic post, you can find it just below this one, or click here!
What We Are Watching Day 2
Kyokutaisei vs Ichinojo – I am still expecting Ichinojo to at least eek out a 8-7 kachi-koshi from this far down the banzuke, and day 2 is the time to start that campaign. He has been able to win 3 of the 3 prior matches with Kyokutaisei, which are this year. So chances are good he can dominate the much smaller man from Hokkaido.
Shimanoumi vs Hoshoryu – First time facing Shimanoumi for young Hoshoryu. Shimanoumi wants to bounce back after a very shabby 5-10 in July, and his day 1 loss to Tobizaru is not helping his cause. I am keeping a close watch on Hoshoryu, as he is going to be largely untested against most or all of his top division opponents.
Tobizaru vs Shohozan – I have high hopes for this match, as both rikishi have high mobility, and “Big Guns” Shohozan is probably looking to deliver some punishment to the flying monkey. Hopefully Tobizaru can execute his opening gambit before Shohozan sets the cadence and form for the match.
Kotoshoho vs Kaisei – Kaisei tends to have hot or cold basho, and its far too early to tell which way this one is going to go. He typically stays close to a 7-8 / 8-7 line, so he man win today. No knock against Kotoshoho, but there is just enormous amounts of Kaisei to manage! Sometimes, in sumo, being enormous is an effective strategy.
Meisei vs Kotoshogiku – Big question – will Kotoshogiku feature more tape on day 2? Are his knees doing better? Is he a mandroid sent from a future world where an automaton Kotoshogiku is the only thing that can defeat robot Hakuho? Which ever reality he comes from, he will have a his mind set on giving Meisei a brutal battle hug.
Sadanoumi vs Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu has a distinct advantage at Aki. Coming from Kokone heya, he has a broad set of training partners at or near his skill level. I think this may not pan out to an advantage against Sadanoumi. Sakaigawa has Myogiryu and and (I think) former Ozeki Goeido. If Sadanoumi can keep his feet in the first 5 seconds, he can make use of his superior speed.
Kotoeko vs Onosho – I really really want to see if Onoshi can execute that tuned up tachiai again. Readers are aware I am hoping he becomes a regular in the joi-jin, as he is a natural foil for Mitakeumi and Takakeisho. He is evenly match (5-6) against Kotoeko.
Tokushoryu vs Enho – Enho is small enough he can disapear underneath that enormous forward protuberance that counts as Tokushoryu’s most visible feature. This may account for Enho’s 5-2 career advantage. One has to assume that what Enho must do is like trying to juggle an enormous ziplock bag full of ham.
Wakatakakage vs Aoiyama – Oh no, Wakatakakage! It’s your first ever match against Big Dan, and you may not be ready for what may happen. Aoiyama will distract you with his pasty white body parts jiggling and flailing about. All the while his massive arms are delivering stone-breaking blows against your head and chest. Good luck!
Takayasu vs Ryuden – Out of their 4 prior matches, Takayasu has only taken 1 from Ryuden. The Takadagawa man seems to have the former Ozeki’s number, but I suspect Takayasu is genki this time out. Today’s match should give us a better look at how he is doing.
Kagayaki vs Takarafuji – Takarafuji may try to blunt and mis-direct Kagayaki, who will have a tough time with his fundamentals based sumo, which Takarafuji has shown for years he can execute with skill. The career record (4-7) shows a clear Takarafuji advantage.
Yutakayama vs Kiribayama – Yutakayama had strong offense on day 1, but made a tactical mistake in his attempt to pull. Maybe that was just first day nerves, or maybe it’s an indication that Yutakayama is not at full strength, and finds himself lost for the last 10% of energy needed to finish a match.
Tochinoshin vs Terutsuyoshi – Big stuff Tochinoshin is likely to struggle with this match, even though he bests Terutsuyoshi in height, mass, reach and many other categories. But Terutsuyoshi has speed and just outright moxie on his side. I expect Terutsuyoshi to stay mobile and keep Tochinoshin off his belt.
Myogiryu vs Endo – Coming off his win against the top ranked man in the tournament, Endo takes a turn against M3 Myogiryu. What can be maddening for Endo fans it that one day he can completely dominate a match against a top competitor, and the following day drop a match that is comparatively less challenging. The two have a 5-6 career record.
Shodai vs Tamawashi – Can Shodai keep it going? He has a 4-9 career deficit against strong. mobile Tamawashi. Tamawashi tends to strike and move with great effect (we saw this day 1), but Shodai can unleash random, unexpected sumo that more often than not takes care of business. Will we see another effective Shodai tachiai?
Daieisho vs Hokutofuji – I suspect Hokutofuji comes into Aki with a fair amount of ring-rust, and we may not see him up to full fighting power until closer to day 5. He has had Okinoumi to train against, but the big man from Shimane looked rather rusty day 1 as well.
Terunofuji vs Mitakeumi – Oh goodie! A rematch of the final day match from July, can Mitakeumi settle the score? I would give Terunofuji a slight advantage today if his head is in this match. There was some indication on day 1 that he’s not nearly as focused as he was in July. (Apologies for the inaccuracies of the prior version of this post)
Asanoyama vs Takanosho – Hey, Ozeki! Get it together. Settle in and fight like you are back in the rank and file. You have beat Takanosho twice today, and you can do it again today. Just stay low and let him spend his energy early, then clean him up.
Okinoumi vs Takakeisho – I think I would put Okinoumi in the ring-rust category, as he looks to be a half step slower than July. Meanwhile, Takakeisho has had to fend off Takanosho every morning and sometimes at lunch the whole year. Takakeisho with a 6-3 career advantage.