Hoo boy. We get right to it today. I think there are four prospects with any shot for the Jonokuchi yusho in this basho and the Kyokai paired them up on the first match day. If they have the winners of these two bouts fight together on Match Day 2, we may end up with the decisive bout on early in Week 1, or end up late in Week 2 with a heated race and no undefeated wrestlers. The video starts with a nice little establishing shot from inside the arena there in Osaka. Ain’t it great to be back?
First up, I’ve got Sadogatake beya’s Kototebakari against Toseiryu. As I noted on Twitter, Kototebakari is Kotoshoho’s younger brother. Josh reminded me that Kotoshoho also used the same shikona early in his career (derived from their last name, Tebakari). There is just a wee family resemblance here, don’t you think?
Back on the dohyo, he squared up with Toseiryu and won with solid, fundamental sumo. He stayed low and met his opponent head-on. After establishing a grip on Toseiryu’s belt, he tried to spin while forcing him down but Toseiryu maintained his balance and wrapped Kototebakari up. Unfortunately, his grip was tenuous and far too high, up around Tebakari’s shoulders. The Sadogatake disciple had a Kotoshogiku-like grip on the mawashi, backed him to the bales and dropped Toseiryu with a thud.
Next, Daiseizan faces Wakanosho. Daiseizan is Arashio-oyakata’s nephew. His debut is just one of a number of storylines from the stable. His opponent, Wakanosho, was a successful high-school sumo wrestler and a finalist in the high-school championships. Daiseizan had a bit of a size advantage but Wakanosho’s competitive sumo experience showed in today’s bout. He stayed low and forced Daiseizan back with a blitz of tsuppari, before a clever side-step allowed him to get in behind his opponent and finish him with a shove.
Both Toseiryu and Daiseizan certainly have the build for sumo and while they were outmatched today, I’m sure they’re well on their way to eventual promotion to Jonidan after this tournament is over.
Later tonight in Makushita, Shishi will take on Yutakasho. A few bouts later, Roga will face off against Shiden, back from his non-suspension. I’ll try to include video of those bouts tomorrow.