The day 4 preview will hopefully match what I am looking for in the day 4 matches. Swift, kind of ugly, and highly entertaining.
What We Are Watching Day 4
Akua vs Shohozan – I am beginning to think I won’t get to see Shohozan play “little bunny fu-fu” with anyone. Gone are the days when he and Yoshikaze would leave each other bloody on the home town clay just for the hell of it. Sadly he’s 0-3 against Akua, so not too hopeful here.
Daiamami vs Sadanoumi – Daiamami up from juryo with a 0-3 record that smells as bad as his Makushita mawashi did the day before he retired it. Worse yet, he has never beaten Sadanoumi in 4 tries. Get out the Lysol, folks. It may be messy.
Kaisei vs Abi – Oh this is one of great interest. The large self-propelled monument known as Kaisei is going to take on Abi-zumo 1.5. As one of our valiant commenters pointed out (quite correctly) Abi seems to be attacking at closer range now, and the force x distance math has really dialed up the force per blow. Remember, accelerate through your opponent’s body for maximum energy transfer.
Kagayaki vs Chiyomaru – Both of these guys have crummy 1-2 records, and even though its the first act, I can tell some of the schedulers are already salivating at the thought of setting up funnels this weekend. I would not like to see these guys herded into a 7-7 death march, so they need to get winning, or get losing. Thankfully one of them gets their second win today.
Yutakayama vs Chiyonokuni – Also in 1-2 disappointment roster, this pair. They are both capable fighters, so they need to buckle down and brawl. I give an edge to Chiyonokuni (5-2) if for no other reason that Yutakayama seems to think he is about to win, and loses mojo right before he takes a loss.
Kotonowaka vs Ishiura – Do you spot a theme? It’s 1-2 time again, and I have to go with Ishiura, if for no other reason that I think Kotonowaka is hurt. He’s been moribund for a while now, and it’s a real shame.
Hokutofuji vs Terutsuyoshi – Oh yay! Next match of great interest. Terutsuyoshi may yet come face to face with Hokutofuji’s indomitable lower half. If that sounds anatomically impossible, you may yet be surprised. Frankly, if Hokutofuji is not double digits at the end of day 15, it will be a huge miss for him.
Aoiyama vs Chiyotairyu – When the mega-fauna clash, even the trees get scared. Thankfully they don’t grow in the Fukuoka area. But it seems to me that with Aoiyama pretty darn genki at 3-0, they are more or less feeding Chiyomaru to him, as they want to bash another of the hapless 1-2 herd. These two have a 20 match career history with Aoiyama holding a 13-7 advantage.
Kotoeko vs Hidenoumi – Oh they are having some fun, with the 3-0 vs 1-2, lets try 0-3 vs 1-2. The 0-3 door mat being played by perpetual max effort / low score champion, Kotoeko. I want him to start winning some time soon. Maybe today he can overcome his 4-9 career deficit against Hidenoumi? Nah…
Ura vs Tobizaru – You may have guessed, it 3-0 vs 1-2 again, with Ura set to play a game of “pull my finger” with sumo’s flying monkey. Word to Tobizaru – don’t pull his finger.
Chiyoshoma vs Tamawashi – Having run fresh out of 1-2’s, it’s time to play with the 2-1’s. What is it with these guys and numbers? Do they have all of the Jonidan and below down in the basement on treadmills powering some kind of crypto mining rig? Anyhow, its Chiyoshoma from the Star Trek mirror universe, where he is the most straightforward, hinkaku rikishi in early 21st century sumo. (How else can you explain this?) at 3-0 taking a stand against ace brawler Tamawashi. I have enjoyed Chiyoshoma’s 3-0 run so far, but if he takes down Tamawashi, well, I will look for evil Spock to show up next.
Takayasu vs Shimanoumi – Yes yes, we get the joke guys, its bloody goroawase up and down the banzuke. Now 0-3 Shimanoumi can face 2-1 Takayasu. Will Takayasu take the time to get that pose of his and force Shimanoumi to grapple for minutes at a time? Can Shimanoumi even take that much hamburger helper? It’s got to be like hugging Grizzly Adams….
Hoshoryu vs Endo – When you run out of 3’s go back to your 1-2 parade of guys that need a win. Are you surprised to find both Endo and Hoshoryu at 1-2 heading into day 4? Both of these guys have the potential to be cleaning up. Endo won their only prior match, so he may have a slight edge. Hoshoryu seems to have gained some weight, and may be struggling to adjust to his new higher mass.
Okinoumi vs Takarafuji – Another pair of 1-2, both of whom are solid journeyman rikishi. They will go chest to chest early, but that’s where it gets murky. Takarafuji holds a slim 15-11 career lead, but neither one of them has really hit their stride yet.
Takanosho vs Kiribayama – And around we go again with the number 3, its 0-3 Kiribayama against 1-2 Takanosho. Takanosho has an 8-1 career advantage, but its about time for Kiribayama to rack up his first win. He’s fighting better than his 0-3 score would indicate, and he’s fighting better than his historical norm. So I am looking for Takanosho to take a loss.
Mitakeumi vs Ichinojo – Oh man, what fun this one is going to be. Mitakeumi has been fighting very well, and Ichinojo is doing well enough. If Ichinojo can keep from going soft and stepping out, this clash of the “bigs” is going to get heavy fast. I like Mitakeumi in this fight, but only narrowly.
Myogiryu vs Meisei – Meisei finally showed us some sumo day 3 against Okinoumi, and I would give him a bit of an advantage today over Myogiryu, who took down both endurance champs this November. I just think that Meisei is sharper / faster / harder in the hit and move sumo that these two use when they fight each other.
Shodai vs Wakatakakage – This would seem to be a clear advantage for Ozeki Shodai, but he struggles against fast, agile Wakatakakage. I would love to see Wakatakakage get inside, get past that flabby abdomen, maybe get to the side and really put some leverage on Shodai. With any luck, such a situation would force him to bring out some of his cartoon sumo, which we have seen very little of in the past 6 months.
Daieisho vs Takakeisho – A pair of frantic pusher thrusters hitting each other rapidly with overpowering force? Sign me up! I know that Daieisho could really use a win, but thus far Takakeisho seems to be 100% in the sweet spot of his sumo. I predict much froaking in the Tokiwayama lillypond tonight.
Terunofuji vs Onosho – The ultimate WTF match, its unbeaten and for the moment unassailable Yokozuna Terunofuji against winless junior tadpole Onosho. The question is not the outcome, but the process, and will Onosho have any bones left when it’s all done.