Goodness me, there are some delightful looking matches queued up for today. Personally, I want to see Tobizaru vs Terutsuyoshi result in blood and organs strewn about and the NHK cameras panning the ceiling, while the Abema guys keep rolling video. I think that if you want to see fireworks today, the best chance is going to be Shodai vs Hokutofuji. I fully expect Shodai to finally produce some fine Acme cartoon sumo soon, and who better to use it against than Hokutofuji.
What We Are Watching Day 3
Daiamami vs Tokushoryu – Juryo 2 Daiamami may have hoped for a quick return to the top division with a solid score this September. But a 0-2 start put that on a big block of ice. It it’s any consolation, he faces Tokushoryu today when he visits the top division, who is also off to a cold start. Tokushoryu has a solid career advantage, but that may only count when he is fighting well, which he is not.
Ichiyamamoto vs Chiyomaru – Ichiyamamoto’s long arms are sufficient to reach around Chiyomaru’s spherical chanko reserve tank, and establish mawashi holds against his mighty roundness. This may help account for Chiyomaru’s 0-2 career deficit against Ichiyamamoto.
Chiyonokuni vs Yutakayama – Yutakayama, give up the love affair with the nodowa for now. Your size let you use that as a primary weapon in Juryo, but may not take you far in the top division. I fully expect Chiyonokuni to big Yutakayama a right proper pounding today, possibly picking up his third win if Yutakayama does not engage with vigor.
Kaisei vs Chiyonoo – I really liked Kaisei’s form against Tsurugisho on day 2. Huge and moving forward with strength is an unbeatable combination in sumo, and when Kaisei is on his sumo, he can plow nearly any man from the dohyo.
Tsurugisho vs Tochinoshin – Tsurugisho, I think you put on too much weight. It’s really cut down your attack speed, and you are now at a ponderous bulk that makes it easier for opponents to get out of your frontal quadrant and attack from a flank. With Tochinoshin’s bum knee, attacking at an angle is on the menu, so just beware.
Kagayaki vs Kotoeko – I look at this match and just know that Kotoeko is going to maybe pick up his 15th consecutive loss. Kagayaki seems to have finally straightened out his sumo, and is fighting well. Sure, the “center mass” target box on Kotoeko is kind of small, but I have faith that Kagayaki will find it early and use it well.
Chiyotairyu vs Endo – This strikes me as an even match for the most part, regardless of their ranks. Endo finally looked like himself on day 2, and I hope we get to see that same level of cunning sumo today, too. Chiyotairyu’s tachiai seems have been dialed back a bit from its normal cannon ball form, and he’s thinking his way through his matches a bit more. This one has potential.
Myogiryu vs Hidenoumi – I favor Myogiryu in this one. Not only does he hold a strong career advantage over Hidenoumi, Myogiryu seems to be opening Aki with strong sumo. The career record does show that Hidenoumi has taken the last two in a row, so another one with potential.
Okinoumi vs Aoiyama – A match of long serving veterans. Both are over 35, both are in the latter part of their sumo careers, and both are having a rough start to Aki. They have 28 career matches, with Okinoumi have a distinct 17-11 advantage.
Tobizaru vs Terutsuyoshi – Good golly! This one has battle deluxe written all over it. Terutsuyoshi bashed the stuffing out of Ura on day 2, and I wonder if we are going to see more of that kind of sumo against Tobizaru today. I very much believe that Tobizaru would return in kind. Get the bandages ready…
Ura vs Onosho – Ura is looking decidedly flat at the start of Aki. His tachiais have been tentative, his sumo vague and minimally aggressive. But I think Onosho is going to struggle with Ura today, as Ura’s sumo does not accommodate Onosho’s preferred “mega thrust” attack.
Shimanoumi vs Takarafuji – Takarafuji should control this one from the start, and will likely shut down any offense Shimanoumi may try to deliver.
Tamawashi vs Daieisho – Daieisho can still deliver oshi/tsuki sumo at a frantic pace, but to my eye it’s lost quite a bit of its power. I contrast that with Tamawashi whose advancing years may have slowed his pace of attack, but has removed none of its power. For today, I think power will carry the match.
Chiyoshoma vs Kotonowaka – Kotonowaka has never dropped a match to Chiyoshoma, and I don’t see any reason for that to change today. A kachi-koshi at this rank would be a nice achievement for young Kotonowaka, and I look forward to see how he fares against some of the named rank rikishi.
Takayasu vs Kiribayama – Normally I would say, “Time for Takayasu to pick up a few wins”, but Takayasu is not yet fighting well, and Kiribayama is. Takayasu holds a 4-1 career advantage, but Kiribayama won their last match, at Nagoya, in solid fashion.
Wakatakakage vs Meisei – I was excited to see Meisei at Sekiwake, but so far he has not been able to produce much if any offensive sumo. Wakatakakage, in contrast, dispatched both Komusubi and seems to be working toward higher rank for November.
Mitakeumi vs Hoshoryu – Mitakeumi needs to get his sumo dialed in, and stop messing around. Hoshoryu is noticeably better with each no basho, and it’s clear he has the potential to be a mainstay of the named ranks soon, if not now. So this will be a nice test match. Their only prior fight was 2 months ago and went for Mitakeumi.
Ichinojo vs Takakeisho – Under normal conditions, Ichinojo represents nothing but square acreage to deliver overpowering tsuppari, leaving him a ripe, juicy target. But even in his COVID weakened state, I think Ichinojo may have the upper hand today against Takakeisho. Both men are 0-2, and 8 wins looks a long way from here.
Shodai vs Hokutofuji – Which Shodai shows up today? I want it to be the day 2 Shodai with the solid defense and the breakable ottsuke. The good news is that Hokutofuji’s lower body could care less. Even if Shodai can shut down Hokutofuji’s upper body thrusting offense, his legs and feet will find some way to make it competitive.
Takanosho vs Terunofuji – Takanosho actually has a 4-3 career advantage over Terunofuji. At this point, what are you going to do? The Kaiju hungers for more! With onigiri-kun being the next plate on the conveyor belt.