And then there was one. Our first bout today is that of our final two undefeated wrestlers in Jonokuchi. After Takataisho’s defeat of Dairinzan and Takahashi’s win over Toshunryu, the two faced each other yesterday. Takahashi bullied Takataisho out for a very quick win. The yusho is now his to lose. If he does falter, we will have a playoff on senshuraku between any remaining 6-1 wrestlers.
Waiting in the wings would certainly be Toshunryu who seemed to want to take out his revenge on poor Kotofuno. The way he approached this tachiai, and hatakikomi attempt, it looked like he wanted to bury Kotofuno with the squid that’s buried in the middle of the ring. Yeesh. Fortunately for Kotofuno, Toshunryu’s attempt failed but he was sadly still no match for the tsuppari that followed.
So, what’s left? Well, we’ve still got a good deal of entertaining bouts. For the second and third videos, we’ve got Ikazuchido, fighting two nights consecutively. He’s got the athleticism and flexibility but not quite the form and technique, so his style’s a bit hectic at the moment and the bouts seem a bit disjointed but they’re certainly action-packed and entertaining.
First, he took on Toramusashi. The difference in styles here is apparent as Ikazuchido had little response to the forceful tsuppari of Toramusashi. Ikazuchido kept trying to power through and force a yotsu-style grapple, but he sure took a beating in this match. At one point, he got shoved half-way back across the dohyo. Toramusashi then rapidly moved in to finish him off with oshidashi.
Next, he faced Najima. Now this allowed for a very evenly-matched yotsu-battle as both men battled to get a solid grip on his opponent’s mawashi. In the end, Najima prevailed with an uwatedashinage, made more flashy by yet another Ikazuchido cartwheel. As he moved toward the edge, Najima nearly lost his balance but his foot plants along the straw bales. That may have given him the leverage to execute his throw. In both cases, their technique seems rather raw. A lot of shuffling around and I feel that both men missed a couple of chances to execute trips but both, along with guys like Gaia and Byakuen, make for fun bouts.
Lastly, we go up to Jonidan to watch Rinko take on Tatsuosho. Rinko and his brother Hayashiryu had high hopes in Jonokuchi but came up in a very challenging group. Up in Jonidan, Rinko’s form seems to be coming together nicely, as we see in this bout. We all love that forward-moving sumo, amirite?