Aki 2021: Jonokuchi Match Day 4

Two Jonokuchi leaders have locked in their kachi-koshi, winning records. Yesterday, Setonoumi punched his ticket to Jonidan with a convincing, Abi-style win over Ariake, which I’ve got below. In reviewing data on their careers, I had found Setonoumi to be a clear oshi/tsuki-style wrestler to the point where he seems allergic to yotsu-style sumo. He started his Grand Sumo journey just over a year ago in Osaka. All of his wins come from oshidashi, tsukidashi, hatakikomi, oshitaoshi, and hikiotoshi. He’s also been fairly successful at keeping others off his belt, only losing once to yorikiri and another to yoritaoshi.

Ariake, on the other hand, is an experienced veteran with more than a decade of experience under his belt. (In sumo, that phrase doesn’t quite provide the same meaning, does it? Anyway, let’s not dwell on what’s under anyone’s belt.)

Back to Ariake, he actually prefers belt work. He’s got 50 wins using yorikiri to 33 losses. But he’s not as one dimensional as his opponent, having won 39 oshidashi bouts (but losing 45). However, he didn’t get much of a chance as Setonoumi launched into some blistering tsuppari, followed by a quick pull-down. Chalk up another hatakikomi.

Mifuneyama joined Setonoumi tonight with an easy win over Jonidan’s Shoryudo. I would expect the two to face each other, possibly Tuesday. In that case, we’d have a clear leader with several guys 1-loss back with a chance to stay in the hunt during the final two days.

A bout with Mifuneyama will be a brawl as Mifuneyama is another oshi-man. He’s a more accomplished challenge for Setonoumi because he’s spent the bulk of the past decade battling it out in Makushita, falling into Jonokuchi due to injury. However, he is susceptible to hatakikomi, having lost 27 bouts to getting slapped down. Likely the most interesting matchup in Jonokuchi this tournament.

The Araiso Method

In the two-loss bracket, Araiso-beya’s Kato may join the others in Jonidan if he keeps up his aggressive run here. Tonight he had a wild back-and-forth with Takatairiku.

Byakuen joins the crew at two losses as Watanabe contained and overwhelmed the Tatsunami sparkplug. Several guys from last tournament are doing well in Jonidan as Kiryuko and Hitoshi got their kachi-koshi. Mogamizakura is another of this year’s recruits who has already got that all-important fourth win.

I don’t want to give the impression that these low-ranked bouts are a bunch of walk-over, easy wins. As the competition went through Jonidan, there were several hard falls.

Yoshinofuji got his bell rung, falling back and hitting his head against the tawara and seemingly knocked out for a few seconds. Immediately the blue-jacket brigade came in to assist. Yoshinofuji was clearly uneasy with his footing and Abema thankfully cut to an ad.

I’m sharing that because this is quite a welcome improvement and the first-aid training needs to continue. I’m not going to provide footage of that particular incident. Another hard slam came in mid-Jonidan with Nakao lifting Akinishiki and slamming him to the edge of the dohyo. Thankfully, Akinishiki popped up quickly and seemed no worse for wear though he may rethink his choice to wrap both legs around his opponent. Another Yori-ta-OUCH-i.

Lots of action to go as we start week 2!

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