I know I was very upbeat about day 3 action, and rightly so. But if I look at 4 for, it has even more potential for great matches. I don’t know if I am just pumped up for Aki (I usually am) or if the field is sorted in such an order as to make good matches possible this time. Some of the ones I really like are:
- Nishikifuji vs Takanosho
- Tochinoshin vs Hokutofuji
- Takarafuji vs Ura
- Kiribayama vs Hoshoryu (wowsers!)
- And the big potato
- Terunofuji vs Meisei
Set the DVR, chill the sake, its time for high amplitude sumo!
What We Are Watching Day 4
Terutsuyoshi vs Azumaryu – As much as I wanted Abi to compete this September, I am enjoying our daily visitors from Juryo. It’s like a classic highlight reel of past familiar names. Today its Azumaryu, and he bring a 1-2 record into his top division contest, matching Terutsuyoshi’s 1-2. At this point, the Isegahama man needs to start finding wins before he has a deficit so great he can’t avoid a posting to the Juryo barge at the end of the basho. He does have a 5-2 career lead over Azumaryu, so hopefully that helps.
Chiyoshoma vs Hiradoumi – First ever match, as we have hot-streak Hiradoumi coming up against Chiyoshoma, who has been fighting well. I would have to say that Hiradoumi likely has the edge, as right now his sumo seems to be some of the best on the dohyo. Hiradoumi is not afraid to go chest-to-chest, which is how I see Chiyoshoma starting this match.
Mitoryu vs Yutakayama – Both of these guys have majority losing records right now, with Yutakayama still working hard for his first win of September. It’s early days, but it would be a shame to see Yutakayama relegated back to Juryo come November for the first time since mid 2021. Working against his chances today is Mitoryu’s 3-1 career advantage.
Ichiyamamoto vs Tsurugisho – Should be a pick up win for Ichiyamamoto, as Tsurugisho has yet to win against shin-Abi in 5 attempts. The combination of long arms and effective ranged attacks shuts down most if not all of what Tsurugisho might bring to a match.
Okinoumi vs Oho – Another great first time match. This is Oho’s best ever top division sumo, and I am eager to see him get a chance against the sumo professor in the form of Okinoumi. With a vast catalog of sumo moves, and almost two decades in professional sumo, he’s going to find any weakness in Oho’s sumo, and make him pay.
Kotoshoho vs Ryuden – I can’t believe we are about to start day 4 and Kotoshoho does not have even a single win yet. I would suspect an injury, and if so this is just going to be a daily parade of misery for the fellow. With just a single win himself, Ryuden could certainly use the white start, should it turn out that way.
Nishikifuji vs Takanosho – Yet another high interest first time match. Nishikifuji has done really well so far, but today he’s up against what is more or less Sekiwake grade sumo. This will be a tall order for him to overcome, and I an curious to see if he tries something unexpected at the tachiai to try and throw Takanosho off his plan.
Chiyotairyu vs Kotoeko – These two are performing well below what they are capable of. Kotoeko at 0-3, and Chiyotairyu at 1-2. So far Chiyotairyu has been on-brand with his sumo, and I think he still stands a decent chance of kachi-koshi a week from Sunday. I am a bit more concerned for Kotoeko who fights like a wild man, but has yet to pick up his first win. They share a 7-7 career record.
Tochinoshin vs Hokutofuji – From a battle of two guys on the down and out to this possible barn burner. They share a 6-6 career record, but that really only works when Hokutofuji is fighting well. Right now, oh boy is he fighting well. It’s going to be tsuki vs yotsu today, and I won’t be surprised to see Tochinoshin have Hokutofuji in a vice-like left hand grip while Hokutofuji has his left hand on Tochinoshin’s throat. Prepare for high aggression combo sumo ahead!
Myogiryu vs Onosho – Maybe, just maybe, Onosho has resolved his balance problems and can fight a bit closer to his normal level. If so he is going to blast Myogiryu out of the ring with a brutal thrusting attack at some point before 30 seconds go by. He holds a 11-3 career record against Myogiryu, and I think we may see that dominance continue today.
Wakamotoharu vs Endo – Sadly, the days when Endo could be considered a contender are likely past. At one point he was the “next big thing”, how fitting to pair him with a hot shot younger fellow with a searing 3-0 record and plenty of room to move higher up the banzuke. They have split their two prior matches, with Endo taking the prior match in Nagoya. Maybe he can be a speed bump on Wakamotoharu’s act 1 run for 5.
Aoiyama vs Sadanoumi – Its about time for Aoiyama to win a match. I am almost certain he has undercarriage problems given his performance, but he is usually able to put up a strong fight against Sadanoumi. He has an 11-8 career advantage and has taken 3 of the last 4 matches.
Nishikigi vs Takayasu – Time for the next big stop on the “Magical Mystery Tour” for Nishikigi – former Ozeki Takayasu. He has faced Takayasu 4 times, and has never beaten him. So I am going to guess his day 4 match is going to be more of the same. Takayasu comes into Aki with an extended rest period thanks to COVID kyujo rules, and has been fighting like we have not see in a few years.
Takarafuji vs Ura – I am not sure why Takarafuji is 0-3 to start day 4. But he’s undoubtedly ready for Ura to conjure some mystical sumo from the elastic realm where only stretch Armstrong can be a Yokozuna. I expect Takarafuji to be very cautious, but try to capture Ura with at least one hand hold somewhere on that slippery fellow’s body. Good luck!
Daieisho vs Ichinojo – Ichinojo fade out? Well, he has 1-2 start, and he seems to be reverting back to his normal less genki form. This goes to show how much good that extended period of rest and training did him in the lead up to Nagoya. He could still do quite well, and have at least 8 wins, but I think he has his work cut out for him to try again for the cup. He holds an 8-5 career record against Daieisho, whose pusher-thruster sumo seems to just bounce off the surface of the Snorlax.
Kiribayama vs Hoshoryu – Oh good, two high agility, high mobility rikishi who have been willing to ready deep into the sumo lexicon to win, facing off head to head. Bonus points that they have matching 2-1 records and a career history that stands at 4-4. This could be a very good match indeed.
Wakatakakage vs Midorifuji – One of these day, Wakatakakage is going to win his first match. Why not today? Well, it seems like a fair bet, save that we saw Midorifuji uncork some serious chaos-sumo against Shodai day 3. If he can do it again, will Wakatakakage be able to keep up? This is their first ever match, so we will learn much then the gyoji points his gumbai.
Tobizaru vs Mitakeumi – Oh, flying monkey, when will thou become consistent? Purveyor of sometimes brilliant sumo antics, you struggle on days when you cannot conjure up your WTF moves. You have never beaten Mitakeumi, so for today we will settle for you taking a jog out into the crowd again, which is also the hallmark of your matches.
Tamawashi vs Shodai – Tamawashi looks to be all out of gum. Buckle up Shodai.
Takakeisho vs Kotonowaka – I was delighted we saw a burst of the old power out of Takakeisho day 3. We have not seen him send someone that far down range in a long time indeed. Much as I dig Kotonowaka, I really do want to see Takakeisho dominate this basho. So with any luck we may get too see a couple of volleys from the Ozeki today. Takakeisho holds a 3-1 career record over Kotonowaka.
Terunofuji vs Meisei – I could say (in Texican) “Terunofuji a-gonna ween this one!” But if we look at recent history, we see that Meisei has beaten him twice. No, not in the old days when he was a Sekiwake or Ozeki the first time. Since he has been a Yokozuna. So I hope to see Terunofuji make his feet impossibly heavy today, and keep Meisei from getting to the side or to far underneath. Caution is urged.