These Jonokuchi bouts are amazing. There’s a great mix of wrestlers and capabilities, some hijinx, and some great bouts. Several of these wrestlers will be fighting for sekitori slots in the next year or two while some will likely just be happy to have a pretty fun job. I hope you will enjoy! I clearly have to work on my editing but that will improve.
The Winners’ Bracket, Part 1
As noted in the post about Match Day 1, there were 19 wrestlers with one win. That was narrowed to 10 tonight with the final two bouts from Match Day 2. Let’s start with the first half of the action yesterday. Mukainakano completely overwhelmed Byakuen. Oshidashi.
Next up, Kiryuko faced Hitoshi. This was a great bout. First, we got some harite from Hitoshi with the left, then a hefty shove to the face with the right, and a stomp with the right foot. He’s come out guns blazing! As he pressed forward, Kiryuko went low for an underhand grip of the front of Hitoshi’s mawashi. This left Hitoshi high, reaching over Kiryuko’s body to get a grip of the back.
As they tussle, Kiryuko regained some real estate and worked the pair to the center of the ring. Hitoshi’s right leg strayed a little far forward, so Kiryuko went for the trip. At this point, I’m not sure how much of a grip Hitoshi had with that left hand, or whether he was just trying to get Kiryuko off his belt. His right was trapped and likely has little purchase for a few moments. Hitoshi tried to press down but Kiryuko advanced, forcing Hitoshi close to the tawara but also leaving an opening to a belt grip. As Kiryuko advanced, Hitoshi rotated until Kiryuko launched his final charge, using all that force to thrust Hitoshi clear from the dohyo. Yorikiri. A deep bow as he headed down the hanamichi…and is that a big ole bruise, already, on the right cheek?
Our next bout featured a recruit from last year, Fujimusashi, against a more experienced veteran in Kokuryunami. Fujimusashi was eager and quickly found a belt grip but Kokuryunami corrals him and twists him down at the edge. Sukuinage.
A Match for Shonanzakura?
In between the yusho-race bouts yesterday, we got hijinx. Young Kato was not quite into this and got chastised by the shimpan. After a matta where Chiyofuku just got tired of waiting, they reset. On the second try, Kato just curled into a defensive position, “not the face, not the face!” then turned around and got shoved out. Cue sheepish look at the shimpan, “Are you gonna make me do it again?” I’m not the only one eager to see when he faces Shonanzakura. If I get enough interest, I’ll post the video. I want to keep these videos limited to the yusho race to keep it a bit under control.
The Winner’s Bracket, Part 2
The rest of the Winner’s Bracket bouts were rather one-sided matches, foreshadowing better matches in coming days as the chaff are separated from those with promise. I have a feeling Miyagi will work his way back into the group.
Abe’s initial charge was too much for Tamanotora and he won by yorikiri. Tamanotora did not go quietly into that good night and tried to counter attack…but he also tried to make sure he would land somewhere convenient. Asasorai worked his way quickly inside and in a flash, tugged down on Kyokutaiga’s mawashi, Enho-style. It was so sudden, it almost looked like Kyokutaiga’s head even hit the clay.
Taniguchi had a clear size advantage in this bout and Kirinohana did not have the power or skills to counter. Taniguchi ushered Kirinohana out quickly. Mogamizakura is a big guy. 187cm, 142kg. With a bit more skill, he will rise. Today, though, he didn’t need much skill as he forced Sawanofuji back as if he were doing butsukari. Asahimaru got to visit Jonidan and fought against an opponent in Kirimaru who is likely headed for Jonokuchi. Asahimaru made quick work of the 36-year-old veteran.
Tonight, there were only two bouts featuring yusho contenders. Arikawa met up with Shunrai. Shunrai hit Arikawa at the tachiai, and Arikawa receded quickly back, and over the tawara. Lastly, we had Takatairiku against Mihonoumi. Takatairiku attempted to really lay into Mihonoumi with some powerful tsuppari… but ended up just laying down at his opponent’s feet. “Slippari” is not quite as good as slippiotoshi, is it?
The Coming Days
There will be five bouts between the ten remaining undefeated Jonokuchi wrestlers on Days 5 and 6. They can’t pit Shunrai, Kiryuko, or Kokuryunami against each other so my guess is they will pair them off with Mukainakano, Mihonoumi and Abe, respectively. Asasorai and Taniguchi would be an interesting matchup, though I’d pip Asasorai for the win. Lastly we’ve got Mogamizakura and Asahimaru.