As we discussed in the preview, there’s a lot of action and drama building across the banzuke. In makuuchi, the big story is our big men – Takakeisho and Terunofuji. The joi-jin are performing well as a result of the tumult up top so we should have a great contest…not just for the yusho but for longer term advancement. We very well could have no changes or shuffling in the sanyaku ranks for Hatsu with several joi-jin also carrying over and earning a slot in the Thunder Dome.
We also have drama building in the lower divisions as a new generation of wrestlers hope to join the fray. So I thought I’d bring you a couple of those bouts as well.
Lower Division Yusho Races
Great footwork and a nice little escape act from Wakakaneko against Adachi. Wakakaneko is the only “rookie” left undefeated in the Jonokuchi yusho race. He joins three veterans battling for that division’s title.
Up in Jonidan, Ofukasawa from Naruto-beya made quick work of his opponent. He heads a twelve-man slate of undefeated which includes Hagiwara and KENHO! The big man deserves big letters. We can expect more fun Darwin matches this week.
Takeoka also obliterated Chiyotenfu and picked up his kachi-koshi.
Taiyo had to work a little harder but still dominated Daihisho.
Hokuseiho picked up his kachi-koshi against Nihonyanagi. With the strong shove on the false start, I thought Nihonyanagi would try for a pushing/thrusting attack to counter Hokuseiho’s strength on the belt. But once Hokuseiho got that belt, Nihonyanagi locked in as well. He gave Hokuseiho a scare, lifting him, but Hokuseiho stayed cool and got the uwatenage win.
Things will heat up in Sandanme as these young up-and-comers battle it out! We’ll see both Hokuseiho and Taiyo in separate fights tonight tonight. Will they face each other later this week?
Roga stays perfect and joins a crowded field of eight wrestlers with perfect records in Makushita, including Naya who likely secured his slot in Juryo with his win yesterday. Both are set to battle in their very next Day 9 match. Oh, this will be good. In today’s bout, though, he wrapped up Nakazono quickly. Nakazono tried to retreat but Roga stayed right with him and won with an uwatenage at the edge.
Ura defeated Chiyootori. The pink mawashi went for the leg-pick early and missed. Chiyootori pivoted and forced Ura back to the edge. The tawara seemed to give Ura the leverage and strength he needed to drive forward. Once he got Chiyootori going in reverse, it was all over. Oshidashi.
Shimanoumi defeated Chiyomaru: Chiyomaru was the aggressor, shoving and slapping at Shimanoumi but Shimanoumi maintained his ground in the center of the ring. With excellent footwork, he was able to cut off Chiyomaru and corner him at the edge, easing him out Yorikiri.
Hoshoryu defeated Ichinojo: Early in the bout Hoshoryu secured a morozashi. He wore Ichinojo down and slowly worked his compatriot to the edge and out. Excellent patience and endurance from the young gun. Yorikiri.
Kotonowaka defeated Yutakayama: Yutakayama pounced, driving Kotonowaka to the edge. Kotonowaka used what leverage he could get from the straw bales to push back at his aggressor. Kotonowaka executed a well-timed side step, slipping right along the bales, catching Yutakayama off-balance as he pressed forward. Kotonowaka then came in behind and forced him out. Okuridashi
Chiyoshoma defeated Kaisei: I was wrong. Chiyoshoma didn’t pull a henka. Instead he shoved Kaisei to the edge, taking aim mainly at Kaisei’s head, forcing him high. He dominated the larger man, shoved Kaisei to the edge, spun him around and shoved him out from behind. Okuridashi
Akua defeated Enho: A young Enho fan in the stands knew what was going to happen. Enho took Akua head on. Akua quickly secured a migi-sashi, a solid right-hand grip on Enho’s mawashi. While Enho was still fishing for a solid grip, Akua pulled Enho and spun him down to the floor. Enho makekoshi. Uwatehineri
Ryuden defeated Chiyotairyu: Wow, I called this pretty well. Ryuden forced a belt battle, effectively negating Chiyotairyu’s preferred style. Early on, both men had solid belt grips and tussled around the center of the ring. Ryuden forced Chiyotairyu’s arm off his belt and held it out. With his footwork he worked Chiyotairu to the edge and out. Yorikiri.
Aoiyama defeated Sadanoumi: Aoiyama got his V-twin back from the shop. Effective, powerful tsuppari from the tachiai, forced Sadanoumi back and out. Sadanoumi had no desire to weather those blasts and force a belt battle. I could not have been more wrong. Tsukidashi.
Tochinoshin defeated Meisei: Meisei’s body was pitched far too forward as he tried to secure a belt grip. Tochinoshin attacked from above and shoved Meisei’s head down to the clay. But he was able to do it without a sidestep tachiai. Hatakikomi.
Endo defeated Chiyonokuni: Chiyonokuni did his best to keep Endo away and shoved him back to the edge. But Endo rallied with the leverage and dove under Chiyonokuni’s attack. As Chiyonokuni pivoted, his right foot landed outside the ring as Endo pushed forward. Yorikiri.
Takarafuji defeated Kotoeko: No lavender energy today. A solid tachiai from Uncle Takara blasted Kotoeko half-way to the bales. Takarafuji then secured a solid belt grip with the right hand. With the left under Kotoeko’s armpit he was able to keep Kotoeko from securing his own belt grip. With Kotoeko’s right arm flailing around, it reminded me of Terunofuji’s battle yesterday. Takarafuji drove forward, through Kotoeko, and forced him over the edge. Yorikiri.
Tokushoryu defeated Tamawashi: Gah! Three wrong in a row here. Tamawashi pounced from the start, looking good, shoving Tokushoryu’s face back. Tokushoryu weathered the storm and in retreat, slipped to the side. As Tamawashi’s momentum carried him forward, Tokushoryu pushed him down to the clay. Hatakikomi.
Kotoshoho defeated Terutsuyoshi: Terutsuyoshi tried a henka. So much for the battle I was eager to watch. Kotoshoho snuffed it out perfectly, and shoved Terutsuyoshi to the ground. No need for a pull. Push him down while moving forward. Oshitaoshi.
Okinoumi defeated Kagayaki: Let’s make it five bad calls in a row. Okinoumi proved that I’m the one on a schnide. With a solid tachiai that secured praise from Wakanohana himself, Okinoumi quickly wrapped up Kagayaki’s belt and forced him to the edge. Kagayaki tried to rally from the edge but yotsu is not his game. Okinoumi kept up the pressure and forced him out. Yorikiri.
Wakatakakage defeated Kiribayama: Wrong again. Kiribayama got a great grip. Both dug in for a great battle. With Wakatakakage’s arm lodged under his arm, Kiribayama pounced with a kotenage attempt but Wakatakakage maintained his footing. Wakatakakage countered well, forcing Kiribayama forward and out. Oshitaoshi.
Daieisho defeated Terunofuji: Maaa…ne… When it rains it pours. Daieisho did not let Terunofuji anywhere near his belt. Beast-o Mod-o muted. As Daieisho circled counter-clockwise in retreat, Terunofuji continued to pursue but couldn’t attack. Daieisho escaped to the center of the ring and from here he launched his own attack, forcing Terunofuji back and over the edge. Oshidashi.
Takayasu defeated Onosho: Takayasu and Onosho engage in a solid tachiai and Takayasu did his homework. Onosho pitched too far forward and Takayasu shoved him to the ground. Hatakikomi.
Mitakeumi defeated Tobizaru: Tobizaru impressed me, standing his ground against Mitakeumi…for a while. Solid tachiai from Mitakeumi drove Tobizaru backwards. Mitakeumi followed up with a quick belt grip and pressed forward but Tobizaru demonstrated just how slippery he can be by ducking back to the center of the dohyo. Mitakeumi stayed calm, and as the two settled down into a grapple, he pounced quickly with an overarm throw. Thus, flying monkey goes flying. Uwatenage.
Myogiryu defeated Takanosho: A rather one-sided brawl here. As Takanosho seemed focused on knocking Myogiryu’s arms away, Myogiryu just kept pressing forward pounding on Takanosho. Yes, he couldn’t keep his arms there long before they’d be pushed away, but the blows were connecting and quite effective in sending Gingko nut’s favorite rikishi backwards. Pretty soon, Takanosho was up against the edge and Myogiryu cast him from Asgard. Oshidashi.
Takakeisho defeated Hokutofuji: Hokutofuji was overeager today and spoiled my upset call. Hokutofuji dove deep to get Takakeisho’s belt at the tachiai but Takakeisho’s thrusts forced Hokutofuji off. Rather than a “pull” Takakeisho’s well-timed pivot pushed him to the side. Hikiotoshi.