We close out act 2 with a day of surprises. Surprising winners, surprising kimarite, surprising dance moves from the yobidashi, and a surprising on-air call from one of the great public figures in sumo.
Akua defeats Yutakayama – Yutakayama starts with good power, and decent targeting. But he’s exclusevly going against Akua’s face and throat, and leaving his chest wide open. Akua gets underneath and shuts Yutakayama’s attack down. As Yutakayama’s arms come to his chest to defend, Akua grab and pulls, sending Yutakayama sprawling forward for his 7th loss. Akua improves to 6-4.
Tochinoshin defeats Kaisei – These two dispensed with the formalities, and immediately assumed a left hand outside / right hand inside yotsu stance. From there it was a contest of strength, and somehow Tochinoshin overcame whatever problems he had to lift Kaisei just enough to gently move him out by yorikiri, improving to 3-7.
Ishiura defeats Shohozan – As expected, Ishiura delivered Shohozan’s 8th loss to mark him make-koshi at his home basho. Shohozan started with some offensive sumo, but Ishiura got first to the side, then behind, and it was okuridashi time. Ishiura improves to 5-5.
Hokutofuji defeats Sadanoumi – Hokutofuji gauged Sadanoumi’s tachiai as “to fast, to far”, and took action. After meeting the initial hit, he stepped aside, and used both hands to assist Sadanoumi forward, to win by hatakikomi. That’s the 8th white start for Hokutofuji, and he is kachi-koshi for November.
Terutsuyoshi defeats Chiyomaru – Low speed tachiai from Terutsuyoshi, he took the shallow attack, and landed a left hand frontal grip. Chiyomaru had just enough time to realize he was in trouble, but before he could defend Terutsuyoshi swung him to the clay. Short and clean, the win advances Terutsuyoshi to 4-6.
Hidenoumi defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki had control of the early portion of the match, focusing blows and pushing against Hidenoumi’s upper body. To his credit, Hidenoumi stayed focus, on his feet and kept working to get chest to chest with Kagayaki, and eventually was rewarded with a right hand inside grip. Kagayaki attempts an arm bar / arm-breaker throw, which leads to a Hidenoumi rally and a forceful oshidashi. Points to the yobidashi for the masterful evasion move. Hidenoumi improves to 6-4.
Kotoeko defeats Chiyonokuni – Kotoeko was denied any kind of grip or body position by Chiyonokuni volley of thrusts. Kotoeko tried at least twice to attack, and was repelled each time. He found himself low, and spotted Chiyonokuni open, and lunged to plant a double hand push on Chiyonokuni’s mawashi, sending him into the front row of cushions. Second win of the basho for Kotoeko, he improves to 2-8.
Abi defeats Tobizaru – Tobizaru had to have known there would be no mawashi grip today, and instead committed to throwing every thrust he could at Abi. It was actually effective for the first few seconds of the match, even giving him advantage for a brief moment. But this just seemed to motivate Abi to improve his targeting, grabbing Tobizaru’s face. It’s two volleys from there and Tobizaru is out, with another yobidashi escape move. Get that guy a mawashi! Abi improves to 9-1.
Ura defeats Kotonowaka – Oh, how I had missed having Ura in the top division for those years of injury and recovery. For those of you new fans, he used to do this stuff every day. Rikishi hated to face him because he was going to do some crazy stuff that made them look foolish and clumsy. Kotonowaka is having none of it, so he just stands up and immediately goes defensive / “keep away from me, ya pest!” Ura goes grab and tug, making sure everything is solidly attached to Kotonowaka’s frame. Attack high, attack low, grab an arm, reach for that knee, he’s everywhere at once. Kotonowaka bars Ura’s right arm. Clearly he has not watched footage from the TWO PRIOR DAYS. Up comes the opposite hand, and it’s the third blazing katasukashi in a row. Ura’s 8th win, he is kachi-koshi for November. At least we can assume that Abi won’t try that hold against Ura day 11.
Shimanoumi defeats Chiyotairyu – Sort of the “ultimate funnel match”, that needed a Shimanoumi win, and he got it. He withstood Chiyotairyu’s powerful opening combo, kept his feet and kept focused. It took a bit of time to overcome Chiyotairyu, with the opening coming as Chiyotairyu attacked high, leaving Shimanoumi as route to center-mass to push Chiyotairyu for the win. Both end the day 5-5.
Tamawashi defeats Aoiyama – Man, what happened to Big Dan Aoiyama? A solid 3-0 start, and then nothing but losses for the last 7 days. The match was all Tamawashi, with Aoiyama putting up only token defense. Kachi-koshi for Tamawashi at 8-2.
Chiyoshoma defeats Endo – There were suspicions that this could be a big fight, and I am delighted the two of them decided to give it a try. Excellent hit at the tachiai by Chiyoshoma robbed Endo of his frontal grip attempt. High marks to Chiyoshoma for his combo attacks, he never gave Endo a moment to do anything other than react. It was Chiyoshoma who landed a grip first from the side, and rather than let Endo reciprocate, he kicked Endo’s left foot out from under him, sending him backward onto the clay. A glorious susoharai leg sweep. I am really enjoying the upgraded Chiyoshoma, he improves to 6-4.
Okinoumi defeats Takanosho – Takanosho – too much enthusiasm to try and pick up that 5th win in a row. Okinoumi responds well, and gives him a close up look at the tawara with a hatakikomi, improving to 4-6.
Wakatakakage defeats Daieisho – Wakatakakage avoids make-koshi with a henka. Daieisho assumed a bit too much, and found his opponent not where he expected him, both end the day 3-7.
Ichinojo defeats Myogiryu – Myogiryu also attempts to slip to the side at the tachiai, but Ichinojo is ready. He captures Myogiryu, circles behind and runs him out like a man ejecting his daughter’s dirt-bag boyfriend. Ichinojo improves to 4-6.
Onosho defeats Kiribayama – A great moment in sumo broadcasting, as Murray Johnson refers to Kiribayama losing by “Slippotoshi”. My compliments to Murray and the great Kintamayama. Onosho improves to 4-6. I eagerly await its inclusion in the official kimarite later this century.
Takarafuji defeats Mitakeumi – Readers, do you know what happened here? I am still trying to piece it together. Everyone was hoping that Mitakeumi had his sumo together, maybe double digits, maybe one more try for Ozeki. Then this… Takarafuji, who only had 3 wins so far, gets his defend and extend sumo going, and shuts down Mitakeumi. Takarafuji picks up a surprising, but well earned win to improve to 4-6.
Shodai defeats Takayasu – Shodai won this, and how he won it is really sort of the story of his Ozeki career. He quickly gets in trouble, and puts all of his effort into evading Takayasu as best he can. He tries some cartoon sumo, he tries “Wall of Daikon”, and Takayasu is still in charge. He catches Takayasu at just the right moment and runs forward. Takayasu realizes he’s out of space, and pulls, in response Shodai does this little leap to keep himself airborne just long enough to Takayasu to be out. Yep, that’s a win. Shodai improves to 6-4.
Meisei defeats Takakeisho – Takakeisho seemed to be lacking most of his attack power today. Not sure if it was just an off day, or if some of his chaotic dismounts this November are starting to take their toll. The loss knocks Takakeisho out of his tie for the lead, as Meisei advances to 5-5.
Terunofuji defeats Hoshoryu – Well, Hoshoryu went for an inside grip. It was all fun for the moment, but Terunofuji loves those double arm bar holds. He used Hoshoryu’s grip as a fast route to squeeze the stuffing out of the Maegashira 5, and then tossed the husk out of the ring. The Yokozuna remains undefeated and alone atop the leaderboard now at 10-0.