I would like to call to order the emergency Ozeki council committee of the sumo fans organizing group. Dear members, we have an Ozeki problem. Through injury, booger eating or just plain bad luck, our Ozeki corps is showing a losing record in the “easy” portion of their schedule. This will not do at all. Their combined score is now a dismal 2-7, and frankly I think its high time someone fly to Japan, buy a round of beers with these fellows, and straighten them out! I nominate Tachiai creator, Andy, to undertake this important task.
That being said, day 3 was the first day where I thought we saw some really exciting matches. The ring rust is coming off after 3 days of scrubbing, and maybe by the middle weekend we can get some high quality fights out of the San’yaku as well.
Midorifuji defeats Kotokuzan – Midorifuji latches on his left hand shallow with some kind of death grip, and its wild to watch Kotokuzan throw everything he can to dislodge him, but none of it works. Midorifuji goes to 2-1.
Kagayaki defeats Azumaryu – Azumaryu had the better tachiai, but that was all he could bring to the match. Kagayaki stayed low, kept his power focused center mach and moved Azumaryu around as he pleased. Kagayaki now 2-1.
Ichiyamamoto defeats Yutakayama – This battle of the unbeaten surprised me a bit, as I was looking for stronger defense from Yutakayama. Instead it was Ichiyamamoto who commanded the offensive side of this match, breaking Yutakayama’s balance then sending him tumbling into the front row. Ichiyamamoto improves to 3-0.
Oho defeats Chiyotairyu – Well, at least we did not see Chiyotairyu try to pull today. Instead he was about 80% normal power forward into to tachiai. Oho evaded well on the second step and delivered a tsukiotoshi as Chiyotairyu rushed by. Oho improves to 2-1.
Sadanoumi defeats Meisei – Meisei was working hard to shake Sadanoumi the entire match, and was able to break contact twice. But the challenge when fighting Sadanoumi is the speed he can move forward is somewhat unmatched. Meisei’s lateral motion eventually cost him his balance, and Sadanoumi took him down to finish 2-1.
Aoiyama defeats Myogiryu – Surprised these guys went chest to chest at the tachiai, I was looking for a hearty oshi battle. I think both of them were a bit befuddled as well, but Aoiyama went to work and took the match with a kotenage, ending the day with a perfect 3-0.
Chiyoshoma defeats Okinoumi – Chiyoshoma uses a bit of Abi-zumo right at the start, and gets Okinoumi on the move, gets his left hand inside, and wastes no time setting up a throw. Chiyoshoma made it look easy today, and is at 2-1 as a result.
Kotoshoho defeats Nishikigi – This excellent match had Nishikigi in control for most fo the match. He established a solid battle hug on Kotoshoho early, and kept pressing forward. But what made this excellent was Kotoshoho’s fighting determination to stay in and stay on his feet no matter what. Each time Nishikigi looked to have him done, Kotoshoho would fight back. As Nishikigi surged forward a final time, Kotoshoho rotated and threw him down. Great sumo, and excellent fighting spirit from both men, Kotoshoho moves to 2-1.
Terutsuyoshi defeats Tochinoshin – A most surprising sumo match. If you can imagine, these two traded turns lifting each other and carrying each other to the tawara. I am sure no one was more surprised that Tochinoshin, who felt his feet leave the clay as Terutsuyoshi took a couple of steps forward. He could not carry Tochinoshin out, and settled for a yorikiri instead. Terutsuyoshi ends the day 2-1.
Wakamotoharu defeats Shimanoumi – We finally get to see some fight from Shimanoumi, who aggressively maintains a dominant role in the majority of this match. Wakamotoharu tries repeatedly to get a mawashi grip and change to yotsu, but Shimanoumi’s footwork prevents Wakamotoharu from closing in. Wakamotoharu finally lands a left hand outside, and wastes no time loading a throw. Wakamotoharu takes the match to increase his score to 2-1.
Ura defeats Kotoeko – Good defense today from Ura, he absorbed a fairly fierce set of volleys from Kotoeko, and waited for a clear route to begin a thrusting attack. Once Ura had his target, it was three big thrusting combos to get Kotoeko out. Both end the day 2-1.
Tobizaru defeats Takarafuji – For the first time in 5 tries, Tobizaru was able to beat Takarafuji. I am guessing maybe something is injured. Takarafuji started strong, but could not set his feet, so maybe a lower body problem? Tobizaru ran him out to take a 3-0 score at the end of the day.
Tamawashi defeats Onosho – If you want a big power thrusting battle, this was your match. I was impressed by how well Onosho was keeping his balance in the face of Tamawashi landing some big combos. The set up for the tsukiotoshi was so fast, it is quiet easy to miss, but just world class set up from Tamawashi, and there is nothing that Onosho can do but try to enjoy the ride. 3-0 for Tamawashi, he is looking very good this May.
Hoshoryu defeats Hokutofuji – We had Hokutofuji low, thrusting center mass, and moving forward strongly. But then Hoshoryu’s agility was employed, and suddenly Hokutofuji was thrusting against empty air. Hoshoryu’s tsukiotoshi caught him from the side, sending Hokutofuji into the front row. Hoshoryu improves to 2-1.
Abi defeats Takanosho – Traditional Abi-zumo opening double arm thrust, but Takanosho seems to just blast right through it, and Abi is in trouble. Abi throws whatever comes to mind into the fight, but is not moving forward. Left with just a centimeter of space before the bales, Abi tries a tsukiotoshi, and manages to stay in just a moment longer than Takanosho to pick up the win. Abi ends the day at 2-1.
Wakatakakage defeats Endo – Well, Endo, that was crap. He went for Wakatakakage’s head at the tachiai, looking for an immediate pull down, and that went exactly nowhere. With Wakatakakage on offense, Endo tried an escape, that was crap too, leaving Wakatakakage to clean up the mess and put Endo face down on the clay. Wakatakakage advances to 2-1.
Daieisho defeats Shodai – Daieisho continues his dominance over Shodai, taking control at the tachiai, and landing thrusts more or less at will against to Ozeki. It was a quick walk to the side of the dohyo, and an immediate exit for Shodai. Daieisho picks up his second win to end the day at 2-1.
Kotonowaka defeats Mitakeumi – Mitakeumi supplied all of the forward power today, but was played at the edge by a really deft move by Kotonowaka to side step the Ozeki’s final charge. It was close enough to require a monoii, and the replay was not entirely conclusive. But as sometimes happens in sumo, they said “good enough” and gave the white star to Kotonowaka. He remains unbeaten at 3-0.
Takayasu defeats Takakeisho – Takayasu, out thrusting Takakeisho? Ok, first, glad Takayasu could pick up his first win of the basho. But Takakeisho is seriously not even close to his normal self. There was not power, no forward drive. Ouch. Takayasu improves to 1-2.
Terunofuji defeats Kiribayama – I am thankful to see a traditional Terunofuji match. His opponent grapples, strains to move him or get any advantage, and the Yokozuna just holds firm, and takes his time. When he is good and ready, he tosses Kiribayama to the clay. Some fine offense from Kiribayama, but this was Terunofuji’s day. He finishes 2-1.