Day 4 already! Good lordy lord! Well, can’t say I didn’t warn you.
Meanwhile, it’s snowing in Japan. A lot!
What We Are Watching Day 4
Yutakayama vs Azumaryu – With all of the former top division rikishi now in Juryo, each match this week seems like some kind of 2019 / 2020 reunion. Today its Azumaryu back for a visit. He will have his hands full with Yutakayama, who holds a 4-2 career advantage, and is fighting well enough to be likely to hit kachi-koshi if he does not pick up an injury.
Hoshoryu vs Sadanoumi – At some point, Hoshoryu will pick up his first win. Today may be that day, as he has never lost to Sadanoumi. Sadanoumi has an advantage in mass, but Sadanoumi’s normally excellent speed will hold no advantage over Hoshoryu. With Hoshoryu eager to put a win on the board, this can be quite the battle.
Akiseyama vs Midorifuji – Midorifuji seems to employ some really entertaining sumo, bordering on gymnastic at time. He will have his hands full today against Akiseyama, who holds a 3-1 career advantage. Both men are 3-0, so only one undefeated will remain.
Akua vs Kotonowaka – Kotonowaka seems to have a solid recipe for beating Akua, as in their 3 prior matches Akua has won zero. Sure, he puts up a good fight, but always seems to have just not quite enough power to overcome Kotonowaka’s offense. Akua’s only chance is to stay mobile, which at his size is a tall order.
Ichinojo vs Kotoeko – Kotoeko, who is no fly-weight fellow, is about half of an Ichinojo. In fact, Ichinojo has not lost to Kotoeko (noticing a theme here…), and with the Mongolian behemoth fighting well this January, I see no reason for that to change.
Terutsuyoshi vs Aoiyama – We finally got to see Big Dan fire up the V-Twin, and now I hope he’s warmed up and ready to bludgeon his way through the lower ranks. Terutsuyoshi’s primary hope – some manner of henka. You know it, I know it, and hopefully Aoiyama knows in. In fact it’s the only way that Terutsuyoshi has found to rack up a win thus far against Big Dan is just that.
Meisei vs Shimanoumi – Meisei has a tidy 3-0 start to Hatsu, and he will have a tough fight against Shimanoumi to make it 4. Although Shimanoumi took his first loss on day 3, he still seems to be in good form and fighting well. They have split their 6 prior matches.
Myogiryu vs Tobizaru – Its time for Tobizaru to unleash his inner primate, we need a mad monkey man match, and Myogiryu makes a perfect mark. Hit and shift, attack and dodge. I want to see some crazy stuff that makes elderly sumo fans uncomfortable. I want to see the Abema commentators at a loss for words. Give us Tobizaru-zumo!
Ryuden vs Kiribayama – Ryuden and his perpetual motion posterior have yet to score a win. Maybe if he were not moving his hinder around, he could focus his energy on a forward attack. Sure he won the only prior match he had with Kiribayama, but right now Ryuden has a goose egg for his first number, and nothing but black stars.
Tokushoryu vs Kagayaki – I would like to speak to the odd person in Japan who stole Terasawa’s mawashi. You know, the one with the remains of his dear, deceased pet bunny rabbit tucked in the bands of cotton. Look, I have a case of Yebisu and and a dozen coupons to Popeye Beer Club and Yoshinoya if you can pull a daring caper at Takadagawa heya. Here’s the plan. Kagayaki goes to get his gear together for day 4 at the Kokugikan, and wouldn’t you know it, his black, goth mode mawashi is nowhere to be found. You don’t even have to keep it, just dump it in the Sumida river and we call it good.
Tochinoshin vs Endo – I want to see if Endo can do that power-crouch again today. I am sure that it would put his nose about groin level against the likes of Tochinoshin. Certianly a view I would never intentionally set up for myself. But Endo has shown for years he is dedicated to his craft, and willing to do what is needed to advance the cause of Endo, Oitekaze heya, and the glory of sumo. Double points of Tochinoshin grabs him and holds him in a perpetual tea-bag stance for as long as he can manage.
Okinoumi vs Tamawashi – I don’t think we will get a repeat of Tamawashi’s boisterous heave-ho today against Okinoumi. More likely a nice grapple, struggle and push sort of watch with a fairly short duration. But who knows, maybe Tamawashi is still fired up from day 3.
Daieisho vs Mitakeumi – Yes, brilliant match set up here. Let’s take the guys who have been spanking the Ozeki and make them fight. I am sort of curious to see just how genki Daieisho is this January, and if he can overcome his 5-8 career deficit against Mitakeumi.
Terunofuji vs Takayasu – Well, Takayasu does have a 10-7 advantage, but I am going to not pay that too much heed, as today’s Takayasu is a chaotic mess, and today’s Terunofuji is a steely-eye sumo monster with designs on returning to Ozeki. Both of these guys have the skill to dominate everyone in the tournament this January, but their bodies have been heavily degraded by years of accumulated injuries. Good luck guys, try not to hurt each other.
Hokutofuji vs Takanosho – I want to see if Hokutofuji’s nose has swollen to the size of a casaba melon after his day 3 win, I hope it’s not too bad, because it was bleeding like crazy following the match. He’s up against Onigiri-zeki, who in spite of taking his first lost should be considered quite formidable this tournament.
Asanoyama vs Onosho – Grim tidings: Onosho is on one of his hot streaks, and Asanoyama is looking like he has damage to his rack-and-pinion system. With just a single win, Asanoyama is getting into a tight spot if he wants to try and win his 8 and clear kadoban. That being said, I hope Onosho gives him a rough, tadpole fight.
Kotoshoho vs Shodai – Interestingly enough, first ever match for these two. Shodai tends to dominate this kind of situation, where he can deploy whatever cartoon sumo he comes up with. Frankly, it’s been too long since I had a WTF moment watching Shodai fight, so I hope today we see some kind of improvised kimarite.
Takakeisho vs Takarafuji – What are we going to do with you Takakeisho? It looks to me as if you cannot summon the wave action attack, and now all of the joi-jin knows you are fighting at ⅓ tadpole power. Don’t let Takarafuji grab you today, or it’s 0-4 for you.