Nagoya Day 2 Highlights

As we mentioned in the lead up to the start of the basho, this was the first tournament following the end of Asanoyama’s 1 year suspension, which saw him drop from Ozeki down to Sandanme 22. Day two was his first match, which he won decisively. I expect he will work his way back through the ranks, and we may see him take the Sandanme yusho this month. If he still is backing Ozeki quality sumo, he should make a fast march up the banzuke.

Maegashira 16w Daiamami has gone kyujo with an injury to his left ankle. As a result, Chiyomaru got a fusensho, or default win. It is possible for Daiamami to return later in the tournament if his ankle improves.

There is still trouble in the Ozeki ranks, as yet again only a single one managed a win today. I worry we may have 2 Ozekiwake for September.

Highlight Matches

Hidenoumi defeats Nishikifuji – Hidenoumi continues his absolute dominance over Nishikifuji, increasing his career record to 4-0. Hidenoumi took control at the tachiai, moving forward with power and then pulling Nishikifuji down. Both men end the day at 1-1.

Yutakayama defeats Onosho – Onosho was in control of this match, overpowering Yutakayama from the start. But it may be the case that yet again, Onosho’s questionable balance robbed him of a chance to win. As he was driving Yutakayama out, Yutakayama was able to thrust Onosho down in the fraction of a second before he himself stepped out. The judges wanted to review it, but upheld the gyoji’s decision. Yutakayama improves to 2-0.

Oho defeats Tsurugisho – Tsurugisho attempt at a left hand frontal grip at the tachiai missed, and from that moment on, he was struggling to find any offense. Oho drove forward with pressure as close as he could get to center mass, but managed to bring Tsurugisho down. To me it looked like Tsurugisho’s right knee gave out, but it was ruled an uwatenage. Both end the day 1-1

Chiyoshoma defeats Myogiryu – Chiyoshoma went for a pull immediately from the tachiai, but had to haul on Myogiryu’s multiple times to get him off balance. It did, eventually, work, and Chiyoshoma improves to 2-0.

Ichiyamamoto defeats Takarafuji – Takarafuji had an open road to put Ichiyamamoto out of the ring and win the match, but was off balance and could not deliver. What resulted was a standing stalemate at the center of the dohyo that rolled into a Takarafuji attack combo. As Takarafuji was driving Ichiyamamoto out, Ichiyamamoto managed a throw at the bales to bring Takarafuji down first. Ichiyamamoto improves to 1-1.

Kotoshoho defeats Terutsuyoshi – Terutsuyoshi tried a diving tachiai, but Kotoshoho was prepared and captured him and took control of the match. Terutsuyoshi responded with a left hand inside grip, but Kotoshoho used that grip as the fulcrum for a kotenage, giving him his first win at Nagoya for 1-1.

Midorifuji defeats Meisei – Meisei attempted to overpower Midorifuji, and it nearly worked. Meisei came out strong at the tachiai, and moved Midorifuji back three times, the forth charge, Midorifuji stepped to the side, circled away and pused Meisei out. Excellent reactive sumo, both end the day 1-1.

Chiyotairyu defeats Shimanoumi – Traditional Chiyotairyu sumo, stand him up, then slap him down. He picks up his first win of Nagoya and is 1-1.

Nishikigi defeats Kotoeko – Nishikigi stayed compact and forceful, shutting down any route Kotoeko was trying to open to attack. What won the match was Nishikigi’s grip change that set up the throw, putting Kotoeko on the clay, Nishikigi now 2-0.

Okinoumi defeats Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin gets his left hand outside grip at the tachiai, and gets to work. Okinoumi counters with a morozashi double inside grip, and inch by inch works Tochinoshin back, stepping him over the bales while the former Ozeki was looking for the power to try a lift. Both are 1-1.

Hokutofuji defeats Tobizaru – Hokutofuji has never lost to Tobizaru, and that did not change today. I liked how Hokutofuji kept changing attack plans, not letting Tobizaru settle into offense or defense. As a result, Hokutofuji commanded the match, and finished it with a flying yorikiri that sent Tobizaru out into the stands to say hello to the local population. Both are 1-1.

Aoiyama defeats Endo – For fans who wonder about me describing Aoiyama’s big attack as the “V-Twin”, you can see it in action today. Both hands up in a simultaneous thrust. It absolutely blasted Endo back and left him no chance to escape or recover. Aoiyama picks up his second win and is 2-0.

Wakamotoharu defeats Sadanoumi – The two traded heavy pushes at the start of the match, with Wakamotoharu transitioning to an improvised shoulder hold, which Wakamotoharu used to toss Sadanoumi off of the dohyo. He picks up his first win and advances to 1-1.

Ura defeats Abi – I guess I would call what Ura did a “lateral tachiai”. I think Abi was expecting some shenanigans, but found himself out of position and off balance. Ura lunged back in and struck center mass, propelling Abi immediately out. Nice henka variation, Ura improves to 1-1.

Tamawashi defeats Wakatakakage – Tamawashi’s first hit was a bit one, and caught Wakatakakage in between steps, and he fell to the clay. Sorry about the Ozeki run sir, it’s harder than it looks. Tamawashi improves to 2-0.

Ichinojo defeats Daieisho – I admire Daieisho’s brass, going straight into Ichinojo. But a healthy rested Ichinojo is a force of nature. Daieisho is merely baggage in Ichinojo’s festive romp and is quickly ejected. Ichinojo improves to 2-0.

Takakeisho defeats Hoshoryu – Takakeisho opened with a brutal neck attack, and left Hoshoryu off balance and out of step. The resulting move was labeled a throw, but that would never happen with Takakeisho’s tiny stump arms. I not with some trepidation that we have not seen any wave-action tsuppari from Takakeisho in a long time. Takakeisho improves to 1-1.

Takanosho defeats Shodai – Takanosho lands a nodowa, grabs Shodai bodily and tosses him out like last night’s sushi. I am not sure what has robbed Shodai of it’s sumo, but I am willing to set up a go fund me to buy it back for him. Takanosho improves to 1-1.

Kotonowaka defeats Mitakeumi – At least for now, Kotonowaka, is showing so very good sumo, and he’s collecting Ozeki scalps. This is usually a sign that he will contend for a durable berth in the named ranks soon. The challenge being that the san’yaku is occupied by some very capable rikishi. Maybe Ichinojo can help him clear some of that out. Mitakeumi had some good power in today’s match, but could not find a way to turn it into any kind of effective offense. Kotonowaka wrapped and bagged him up, and took the match to improve to 2-0.

Terunofuji defeats Kiribayama – This was a much more satisfying match. Terunofuji wrapped up Kiribayama, shutting down Kiribayama’s offense and passivating him. The Yokozuna then went to work grinding down his stamina. As Kiribayama tired, Terunofuji improved his grip until he had enough advantage to walk Kiribayama out. Terunofuji improves to 1-1.

6 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 2 Highlights

  1. These first two days are some of the sloppiest sumo I can ever recall to open a basho. Day 2, especially, is among the worst efforts I’ve ever watched. It goes beyond ring rust to sheer mental laxity and just plain lack of motivation. Shodai looks like he doesn’t even belong in the paid ranks, much less the named ranks. I’m sure the July heat plays a part, but a lot of it seems to be rikishi mailing it in (Shimanoumi) or buckling under pressure (Wakatakakage) or age (Takarafuji). I worry for the immediate future of the sport, though the long-term looks rosy once the new wave of young guns makes it to the top division. For now, though, we get to suffer through mediocre tournaments.

    • I agree it was sloppy sumo, pretty much across the board with the exception of the final bout. It’s been frustrating to see Takarafuji lose two in the same way. Maybe age/injury has robbed him of the stamina he needs for his usual patient style.

      Ichinojo is the one bright spot so far, if he gets to 4-0 I’ll start to believe…

  2. Ura made me laugh. Glad to see Terunofuji taking his time and winning, and Ichinojo doing well. Takarafuji tried hard, hope he can get wins this time.

    My friend was at the world games in Alabama. Wild stuff with the lightweight championship – apparently the Egyptian wrestler won over the Ukrainian but had his medal taken away for doing a celebratory backflip on the dohyo, the crowd was in an uproar, Osunarashi (as coach) went ballistic, cops came, they declared a rematch… My friend thought the Ukrainian won the rematch but it was given to the Egyptian… Later the Ukrainian did a backflip too….

    • Though other reports I have seen don’t doubt that the Egyptian actually won the rematch too.

      Then apparently the other Egyptian wrestlers didn’t compete after that. Not sure what happened there.

  3. Hokutofuji, although an oshi guy, today he fought good with the belt.
    Kotonowaka, while being pushed back towards the tawara, the way he turned the table and pushed Mitakeumi out was amazing. After watching the replay number of times, I am still not sure, how he managed that.
    Ichinojo, looked unstoppable and not surprised if he reaches Sanyaku.
    Kiribayama, tried to maintain sideward stance to avoid Terunofuji from getting comfortable hand position to push him, very impressive. As he lacks power, he compensate it with his techniques.
    Ichiamomoto style looks similar to Abi, but not as effective.

  4. I am not sure I like this bulkier version of Ura that much. He has power and he is still somewhat unpredictable. But not as much as before. Of course, the reason why he went for bulk and more standard sumo is clear, but I miss those WTF moments… I hope something weird will happen. Other than that, I really like ichinojo in full hulk mode. You could see real shockwaves propagating through daiesho today. Some of the hyped guys are really underperforming but kotonowaka is a pleasure to look at and… I cannot wait for kototebakari vs asanoyama. Boy, I missed him… and winding the clock back one year I could barely stand him. Thus is sumo, in the end you need the best ones to fight each other.

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