We’ve got a great day of action here for you to close out the first Act of the Kyushu basho. Unfortunately, several fan favorites are still searching for their first win. Lots of surprises in store. Let’s not dally and just get to the action.
Selected Juryo Bouts
Daiamami defeated Enho: Oshitaoshi. Daiamami seemed to be the nervous one coming into this bout but he played Enho perfectly. He kept the spritely lad at arms length and expertly shut off access to the dohyo. It’s surprising to think that someone could be “cornered” in a circular dohyo but that’s exactly what Daiamami was able to achieve. With nowhere for Enho to go, Daiamami gave a simple shove to send Enho sprawling backwards. Both men are 3-2.
Daishoho defeated Kinbozan: Uwatenage. Kinbozan semms hurt bad enough to need to go kyujo. He was unable to press forward with his left leg and unable to use his left arm. After the tachiai, he latched on with his right and kind of hung, limply on Daishoho for support. Daishoho simply used his leverage, twisted, and threw Kinbozan…who then finally used that left hand to touch the dirt and keep himself from falling. Both men are 2-3.
Chiyonokuni defeated Tochimusashi: Tsukidashi. Chiyonokuni hit Tochimusashi so hard at the tachiai, both men were almost knocked off their feet. While Tochimusashi was still trying to figure out which city he was in, Chiyonokuni recovered his senses first and flew back across the dohyo into his opponent, blasting him over the tawara. Chiyonokuni
Akua defeated Churanoumi: Oshidashi. Akua was dominant at the tachiai. He quickly, and forcefully, shoved out Churanoumi who had no time to counter, much less mount an offense. Akua looks determined and improves to 5-0.
Atamifuji (3-2) defeated Kagayaki (2-3): Hatakikomi. Kagayaki bloodied Atamifuji, leading with that head at the tachiai. Atamifuji seemed stunned, trying to stay upright while Kagayaki methodically drove forward, cutting off escape routes, forcing Atamifuji backward to the tawara. At the tawara, though, Atamifuji brought down the hammer and Kagayaki fell to the dirt. Both men started the day at 2-2 but Atamifuji improved to 3-2 while nursing his bloody nose. Kagayaki fell to 2-3.
Tsurugisho (5-0) defeated Azumaryu (2-3): Yorikiri. I don’t understand the weak harite at the tachiai. I’ve seen Hakuho do it, sometimes, too. It’s like a reminder that, “I could have slapped you but I just wanted to check if you shaved this morning.” Tsurugisho served up one of these touchy-feely “harite” while Azumaryu focused on locking in on his opponent’s belt. Once Tsurugisho got the morozashi, it was curtains for Azumaryu.
Ichiyamamoto(4-1) defeated Hiradoumi (3-2): Hatakikomi. Well executed Abi-zumo here from Ichiyamamoto. Repeated tsuppari, those strong forceful thrusts to keep Hiradoumi upright and off the belt. As Hiradoumi tried to advance through the torrent of slaps, Ichiyamamoto shifted and Hiradoumi’s momentum carried him over the bales.
Okinoumi (2-3) defeated Terutsuyoshi (0-5): Kainahineri. “Nokotta, Nokotta!” Okinoumi and Terutsuyoshi engaged at the tachiai and locked in together with Okinoumi twisted to his left and Terutsuyoshi to his right. Okinoumi was the aggressor, driving Terutsuyoshi around the ring and eventually back to the tawara but he couldn’t quite finish him. Then, it was like a light-switch and Okinoumi snapped and shifted the other way, rolling Terutsuyoshi over. Okinoumi picked up his second win while Terutsuyoshi is winless. These Isegahama boys are hurting.
Oho (4-1) defeated Kotoeko (3-2): Tsukiotoshi. Kotoeko had one plan, launch into Oho’s face and shoulders with everything you’ve got. Oho seemingly just tried to survive. As the pair moved across the ring, Oho just tried his best to stay in, a couple of times almost stepping out. Kotoeko tired, though, and suddenly wrapped Oho up for a grapple. That was a mistake because Oho then flung the smaller man from the fighting surface by his lavender mawashi.
Onosho (4-1) defeated Chiyotairyu (1-4): Oshidashi. Chiyotairyu got his elbow up into Onosho’s face and tried to mount an attack with his right hand but Onosho simply pushed forward and easily walked Chiyotairyu out.
Aoiyama (2-3) defeated Kotoshoho (3-2): Hatakikomi. Aoiyama sumo was greater than Kotoshoho sumo. It was as simple as that. Kotoshoho tried to push Aoiyama out but Aoiyama just kind of walked around the tawara, slapping Kotoshoho back and occasionally going for a pull. The final pull worked. Simple as that. Kotoshoho needed to be either much more powerful or he needed another tactic. I got the sense Aoiyama could have weathered the shoves all day.
Abi (4-1) defeated Takanosho (2-3): Hatakikomi. Not to be outdone by Ichiyamamoto or Aoiyama, Abi pulled and forced Takanosho down. Abi-zumo. Simple as that.
Chiyoshoma (2-3) defeated Tochinoshin (2-3): Okuridashi. No henka here. I’m a little surprised. Instead, we got a solid tachiai and both men locked up for a grapple. Chiyoshoma worked Tochinoshin to the edge, then suddenly Chiyoshoma tugged Tochinoshin to the left while he jumped back and got behind, pushing him out from the back.
Myogiryu (3-2) defeated Endo (1-4): Okuridashi. The Endo ATM coughed up another stack of envelopes today. Myogiryu brought his hands down hard on the back of Endo’s head at the tachiai. This almost brought Endo down but as he struggled to maintain his balance, Myogiryu just followed, letting Endo’s momentum carry him off the dohyo.
Ryuden (3-2) defeated Takarafuji (0-5): Okuridashi. Three Okuridashi in a row. Wow. Ryuden got up a strong headwind, blowing the Takarabune back to the tawara before a sudden shift of direction allowed Ryuden to get in behind and usher Takarafuji out. The ships in Isegahama harbor are starting to look as aged and banged up as Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
Nishikifuji (3-2) defeated Hokutofuji (2-3): Hatakikomi. Nishikifuji had enough of my naval references and wanted to get back to celebrating Hatakikomi Day. So he quickly yanked Hokutofuji down at the initial charge for a quick win.
Sadanoumi (3-2) defeated Nishikigi (2-3): Oshidashi. Well, that was power. Sadanoumi pressed forward perfectly into a pulling Nishikigi, forcing the latter to lose his balance and crash off the dohyo.
Kotonowaka (2-3) defeated Wakamotoharu (3-2): Oshitaoshi. Kotonowaka used his powerful left hand on Wakamotoharu’s right shoulder to quickly, and roughly spin the middle Onami brother to the floor.
Daieisho (3-2) defeated Kiribayama (3-2): Hatakikomi. A solid, forceful tachiai and an aggressive Kiribayama powerfully drove Daieisho back to the tawara. Just when Kiribayama thought he was going to win, Daieisho reminded him that it was Hatakikomi Day! Hurray!
Takayasu (4-1) defeated Tamawashi (1-4): Yorikiri. I was expecting a great oshi/tsuki battle here. What the hell? Both men locked each other up by the mawashi after a bruising initial clash. Takayasu was clearly more comfortable with this arrangement, quickly driving Tamawashi back and off the dohyo.
Wakatakakage (3-2) defeated Ura (0-5): Oshidashi. Ura tried power sumo as he was matched up with someone relatively close in size. He needed to do something new, having never beaten Wakatakakage. At the edge, Ura brought his hand down and went for a pull. However, Wakatakakage was prepared and maintained his balance as he drove forward into the retreating Ura. Both men flew across the dohyo, tumbling to the other side. Mono-ii. Video replay confirmed that Ura’s foot touched out first and he’s still searching for that first win against Wakatakakage.
Mitakeumi (4-1) defeated Tobizaru (3-2): Tsukiotoshi. You’ve got to see this one. My words would fail to do this bout justice. I saw today from Mitakeumi what I wanted to see from Shodai. WILL. Back against the wall, facing a tough loss, he was determined to win. At that final moment, he twisted and shoved Tobizaru down to the floor.
Frankly, I was shocked to see Tobizaru locked up, toe-to-toe with Mitakeumi. I mean, this was a bout where I was really impressed with both men. I never would have thought I’d see Tobizaru take on a guy like Mitakeumi on the belt. If he keeps this up, he’ll beat Wakatakakage to Ozeki.
Hoshoryu (4-1) defeated Midorifuji (2-3): Kawazugake. Hoshoryu locked up Midorifuji. As Midorifuji tried to get a better belt grip, Hoshoryu expertly brought his foot around and forced both men back. Well, frankly, that’s a kimarite you just have to see for yourself.
Meisei (2-3) defeated Shodai (2-3): Yorikiri. Meisei showed all of the aggression and power here. The only thing Shodai seemed concerned with was making sure he didn’t land on one of the fans as he tumbled off the dohyo. I would struggle to point out what offense Shodai attempted in this bout and yet you still get the sense that he was the more powerful of the two on the dohyo. That if he’d given an ounce of effort, Meisei would have been toast. Tobizaru will make for a more capable Ozeki one day.
Takakeisho (3-2) defeated Ichinojo (2-3): Oshidashi. Ichinojo’s a little too eager, jumps early. But it’s Takakeisho with the side-step…almost a henka there from the Ozeki? Then, as he pushed forward, he was doing almost more with his legs than with his arms. We didn’t really see wave action and I felt I was seeing more gabburi hip action there. Interesting.