A unsurprising and predictable day of sumo. Everyone was in normal form today, right down to Chiyoshoma’s fluid henka against Aoiyama. Of course tomorrow is nakabi, and we are likely to see at least kachi-koshi awarded on the middle day, and possibly one make-koshi (Kotoeko) as well.
Akua defeats Kaisei – Just like a regular match, but maybe a bit slower. When these super big guys fight, the force goes up, but sometimes the speed goes down. I think the matta ruined Kaisei’s timing, which may have been the point. Akua certainly needed the win, and they both finish at 3-4, and are in the funnel for now.
Chiyonokuni defeats Shohozan – Shohozan making me sad again today. This was THE match where he should have brought out the “Big Guns”. Chiyonokuni was egging him on too, but for whatever reason we did not see the home town guy break out the big hits that have been the hallmark of his sumo. They traded swats, with Chiyonokuni connecting a lot, and Shohozan not. That final head but resounded across the hall, and staggered Shohozan. Chiyonokuni finished him with a shove out to improve to 4-3.
Sadanoumi defeats Kagayaki – Sadanoumi was low and inside at the tachiai, as Kagayaki focused on Sadanoumi’s face and neck. Kagayaki’s attack was not really paying off, and Sadanoumi found clear room to shove him back. Sadanoumi was able to get a hand hold, and Kagayaki’s double arm lock hold really did not pay off, as Sadanoumi continued to move forward, picking up the win to improve to 5-2.
Chiyomaru defeats Yutakayama – Yutakayama was too far forward from the start, making it easy for Chiyomaru to goad him into dialing up the pressure, and then stepping to the side. Chiyomaru improves to 3-4
Hokutofuji defeats Abi – Points to Hokutofuji for tangling up Abi early. Abi seemed content to take and hold a nodowa, but making himself a static target. But he was well forward on his right (his most used arm), Hokutofuji helps him move forward with a grab of that right arm, a pull and step to the side. Hokutofuji’s lower body again really brings the offense, and its tough to think a guy that burly and round can move like that. Abi hits the deck for his first loss of November, Hokutofuji improves to 5-2.
Tochinoshin defeats Ishiura – Ishiura went chest to chest at the tachiai, but was rather high the whole time. This gave Tochinoshin every opportunity to set up a minimal offense, which turned out to be good enough. Tochinoshin picks up a much needed second win to improve to 2-5.
Chiyotairyu defeats Kotonowaka – Its rare to see Chiyotairyu consent to go chest to chest. Missing was his big-power tachiai, or his immediate slap down maneuver. Kotonowaka attempted some kind of twist down move, and it released just enough forward power to allow Chiyotairyu to rush forward, taking Kotonowaka out. Chiyotairyu improves to 5-2 in an atypical match for him.
Hidenoumi defeats Terutsuyoshi – I am not sure if Terutsuyoshi had some kind of match plan for today, but he really did little more than get inside at the grapple, and search for some kind of path to throw Hidenoumi. Hidenoumi for his part kept his stance wide, his hips square to his opponent, and when Terutsuyoshi went to change up his grip, swing him to the clay. Hidenoumi improves to the quite respectable 5-2.
Chiyoshoma defeats Aoiyama – I expected a henka today in this match, and Aoiyama should have as well. That twist, spin and drop was beautifully executed. Chiyoshoma improves to 4-3.
Shimanoumi defeats Tobizaru – After opening with 5 straight losses, it looks like Shimanoumi found the last 20% of his sumo. He looked strong, focused and aggressive today, and he gave Tobizaru no room to generate any offense. Shimanoumi improves to 2-5.
Hoshoryu defeats Kotoeko – Kotoeko nearly caught Hoshoryu out of position and off balance on the second step. But as has been the case for the last few basho, he just can’t find a way to convert that to any kind of working offense, and Hoshoryu recovers and attacks with poise and focus. Kotoeko 0-7, Hoshoryu improves to 3-4.
Tamawashi defeats Takayasu – Takayasu back to using “Wild Man” sumo today, and we know what that gets him. Tamawashi is quite ready for his roaring charge and poor balance, connecting early and pushing with force. Takayasu never has a change to change his mind, and is out 3 steps later. Tamawashi improves to 6-1.
Endo defeats Ura – This match was almost comical in the overflowing amounts of caution both men displayed. Neither wanted to commit to an offensive choice, and the moment Ura tried, he found himself too low. A quick hikiotoshi finished whatever plan he had, and Endo picked up the win to improve to 4-3.
Takanosho defeats Daieisho – The kimarite was listed as hikiotoshi, but it looked to me like Daieisho lost his footing at the tachiai, and fell forward for a loss. Takanosho improves to 4-3.
Ichinojo defeats Wakatakakage – Wakatakakage put all of his hopes on a left hand mawashi grab at the tachiai. This encounters a big forward shove from Ichinojo that not only disrupted that grab, but launched Wakatakakage back, and make this a 2 hit match. Ichinojo improves to 3-4.
Onosho defeats Meisei – There may be hope for Onosho yet. This was a quick thrust forward, a thrust up into an immediate hatakikomi. Onosho timed it quite well, and as a result we saw almost no offense from Meisei today. Onosho improves to 2-5.
Mitakeumi defeats Kiribayama – I had hoped that Kiribayama would start to get it together starting pretty much now. But he buys Mitakeumi’s combo without reservation. Tragic mis-estimation of Mitakeumi’s lateral mobility and speed, Kiribayama found himself pushing air with Mitakumi beside him thrusting him down. Mitakeumi improves to 6-1.
Takakeisho defeats Okinoumi – Damn close to denshamichi today from Takakeisho. After a matta, it was clear that Okinoumi’s timing was completely off, and the Ozeki caught him without having set his feet for defense. Takakeisho remains undefeated at 7-0.
Shodai defeats Takarafuji – Takarafuji opened strong, and had a narrow window to complete the win, but today Shodai remembered to use the “Wall of Daikon” and rallied. You can see the point where he switches it on. Shodai improves to 4-3 as he continues toward being crowned “Shin-Goiedo” for now.
Terunofuji defeats Myogiryu – The correct answer was “face first via kotenage”. Terunofuji improves to 7-0.