Ozeki: Sumo’s second highest rank. It’s an elite group that have made it to this level, and today those that have or have worn the Ozeki rank took it in the pants. Ozeki are some of the most motivated and ambitious rikishi in the sport, they have to be to get to Sekiwake, and then press for 33 wins. But today’s action on the clay saw the Ozeki, and at least one Ozeki hopeful, lose their matches. Brutal stuff.
Ichiyamamoto defeats Okinoumi – Ichiyamamoto set up his tsuppari train, and kept landing blows against Okinoumi’s chest. The pressure was enough that Okinoumi tried a pull, and that ended his offense, and three steps later, the match. Ichiyamamoto improves to 6-3.
Kotoeko defeats Atamifuji – Atamifuji attacked well, getting a right hand inside grip, and taking Kotoeko to his chest. He looked to be in control, and set about getting Kotoeko backed up to the tawara. Atamifuji rotated to throw, and Kotoeko collapsed the move, sending Atamifuji onto his back. Nice come from behind win for Kotoeko, and he is 5-4.
Kagayaki defeats Kotoshoho – Kotoshoho showed that he had the better attack form, getting his hands inside and pushing Kagayaki with good effect. As Kotoshoho moved to deliver a finishing push to Kagayaki, Kagayaki was able to set to the side, sending Kotoshoho out. Kagayaki improves to 6-3.
Oho defeats Onosho – Solid match, beautifully played by Oho. He allowed Onosho to open with his big forward attack, and even to absorb the follow up attack too. By that time, Onosho was over committed, too far forward, and ripe for defeat. Oho steps to the side, and gives Onosho a shove from behind to take the match. That’s win number 8 for Oho, and he is kachi-koshi for November.
Hiradoumi defeats Aoiyama – Hiradoumi was clearly paying attention on prior days. He endured Aoiyama’s hitting about the head and neck, stepped inside and pushed Big Dan around. This did not take too much effort once he was able to make contact, and he put Aoiyama out by oshidashi. Hiradoumi now 6-3.
Azumaryu defeats Takarafuji – Probably the best match for Takarafuji thus far, he was able to get a left hand inside grip, and lock up Azumaryu chest to chest. From that stalemate, both men tested each other out a bit, but mostly stayed in the center of the ring for a good amount of time. But in time Azumaryu lifted and marched forward, carrying Takarafuji over the tawara. Azumaryu advances to 5-4.
Myogiryu defeats Chiyoshoma – Myogiryu immediately set up a right hand outside grip, and Chiyoshoma responded with a weak pull attempt before settling in chest to chest. Myogiryu took a moment to consolidate his position, then lifted and moved forward, carrying Chiyoshoma out from the side. Myogiryu now 6-3.
Endo defeats Terutsuyoshi – As with Takarafuji, this is the closest Terutsuyoshi has come to actually competing so far this November. He had a couple of good combos, and genuinely had Endo working to overcome his attacks. But Terutsuyoshi paused for a moment, Endo settled into the match, then counter attacked from the side, driving Terutsuyoshi out and dumping him into the salt basket. Endo with the much needed win at 3-6.
Ryuden defeats Takanosho – Takanosho with a strong initial effort, but Ryuden sets up a strong left hand frontal grip, and he is easily able to lift Takanosho up, and run him out. Easy payday for Ryuden who is now 6-3.
Nishikigi defeats Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin came out of the tachiai to find Nishikigi immediately at his chest with a right hand inside grip. Rather than place his own hands, Tochinoshin tried to pull, and that took him out of match. Nishikigi improves to 4-5.
Nishikifuji defeats Abi – Nishikifuji expertly gets in between Abi’s thrusting attacks, get a hold of an arm and pulls. Abi is completely disrupted, staggers forward, off balance. Nishikifuji finishes him with a push from the side, and Abi is knocked out of the leader group. Both end the day 7-2.
Hokutofuji defeats Ichinojo – Hokutofuji getting low and attacking big Ichinojo from underneath never gets old. He does it with such flair, and a little flourish at the end. Ichinojo lands in the front row with an audible thud, as Hokutofuji improves to 6-3.
Meisei defeats Takayasu – Impressive sumo from Meisei, he kept Takayasu off balance, and out of sync with his offense. By the time that Takayasu started to set up a grip and get himself in fighting position, Meisei already had him one step from the tawara. Takayasu drops out of the leader group, and Meisei advances to 5-4 by spoiling the spoiler on day 9.
Kiribayama defeats Kotonowaka – Kotonowaka genuinely did not look ready to fight as Kiribayama gave him two good volleys, and Kotonowaka did not really respond. Kiribayama established a hold, and still Kotonowaka did not look ready to fight, so Kiribayama threw him to the clay, taking the win and is now 6-3.
Tamawashi defeats Ura – Ura gets in some mischief at the tachiai, and nearly upends Tamawashi with a leg grab. But Tamawashi breaks contact and snaps into his attack form. Three quick moves later, he throws Ura down with the seldom seen kimarite gasshohineri, a clasped hand twist down. Ura hits the deck and is make-koshi while Tamawashi improves to 2-7.
Hoshoryu defeats Sadanoumi – Well, Hoshoryu, that was some weak sauce, sir. Not quite a henka, but close enough. He picks up his 8th win and is kachi-koshi.
Midorifuji defeats Wakatakakage – Trouble came early as Midorifuji set up a double inside grip on the second step after the tachiai. Wakatakakage worked hard to break contact, probably too hard, and lost his balance. At the moment he was unweighted, and attempting to recover, Midorifuji presented one of his delightful katasukashi, and Wakatakakage hits the deck. That “oof” noise you heard was Wakatakakage’s Ozeki run gasping for air.
Wakamotoharu defeats Mitakeumi – Wakamotoharu endured Mitakeumi’s initial disrupting attack, and kept contact, getting a left hand inside grip on Mitakeumi’s belt. At that moment, Wakamotoharu had the initiative, and chose to lift and push forward. Mitakeumi was able to resist for a moment, but lost traction and stepped out. Mitakeumi’s return to Ozeki joins Wakatakakage’s Ozeki bid in the emergency room, Wakamotoharu now 5-4.
Daieisho defeats Shodai – Daieisho continues his dominance over Shodai, now 14-8. Daieisho delivers a quick opening combo, raising Shodai up, then repeats adding pressure, which walks Shodai back. On the final shove, Shodai seems to go soft and just embrace his defeat. Both end the day 4-5.
Tobizaru defeats Takakeisho – Oh wow, Tobizaru was able to out push Takakeisho. I even thing I saw that crazy flying monkey use a volley of the old “wave action tsuppari”. A tough day in Ozeki and former Ozeki land indeed, and Tobizaru improves to 5-4.