The chaos we have come to expect from Aki continues in full force, with whatever mischievous kami is in attendance really having some fun with it now. Who else would be the instrument of his torment but Shodai? Shodai’s Ozeki career went on the skids, and in the dark recesses of sumo twitter, there were rumors that he had maxed out his line of credit with the Acme store. The same place where Wile E Coyote gets his favorite tools. But it seems September is a new day, and cartoon sumo is back on the menu.
Atamifuji defeats Chiyoshoma – I am impressed by Atamifuji’s defense in this match. Chiyoshoma was putting up some really good attack combinations today, and Atamifuji kept his feet, kept cool and stayed in the match. Once they locked up chest to chest, I was looking for a Chiyoshoma move to throw with that left hand mawashi grip. Atamifuji was looking for it too, and when Chiyoshoma made his move, Atamifuji converted it into a sukuinage. Brilliant sumo, and Atamifuji is 4-0.
Daishoho defeats Aoiyama – We finally got to see some forward power out of Big Dan today, but as soon as Daishoho counter attacked, it was clear that Aoiyama was not going to be able to defend. Daishoho got him on the move without too much trouble, and had him out a few steps later. Daishoho improves to 2-2.
Kagayaki defeats Kotoshoho – An outright thrusting battle, it was good to see Kagayaki able to shut down the inside lane and turn off Kotoshoho’s attack route. He then countered well, disrupting Kotoshoho’s balance and dropping him to the clay. Kagayaki now 2-2.
Tsurugisho defeats Nishikifuji – Nishikifuji’s opening nodowa failed to raise Tsurugisho, and resulted in Tsurugisho getting a left hand around Nishikifuji’s body, and a right hand mawashi grip. This was all Tsurugisho needed to lift and shift Nishikifuji back and out by yorikiri, advancing to 3-1.
Myogiryu defeats Takarafuji – Takarafuji started the fight in good form, able to tangle up Myogiryu’s arms and shut down his offense. Myogiryu was able to counter and break contact, getting behind Takarafuji in the process. The resulting okuridashi sent Takarafuji into the zabutan, with both ending the day 2-2.
Hokuseiho defeats Sadanoumi – I give points to Sadanoumi, he put maximum effort into getting Hokuseiho off balance an in a position to be thrown. But there is just too much of the guy, and each time Sadanoumi had him starting to go over, he recovered. After the 4th or so attempt, Hokuseiho decided to try it himself, and his enormity granted him the leverage to do what Sadanoumi could not, deliver the throw. The uwatenage gave Hokuseiho his second win, and he is now 2-2.
Kinbozan defeats Mitakeumi – Color me disappointed that the chaos that tends to haunt Aki is not going to conjure a 4th Mitakeumi yusho, it would have made people’s head melt. Mitakeumi tried for a pull on the second step, and Kinbozan ran him out, to stay perfect at 4-0.
Endo defeats Midorifuji – Endo finally gets his first win of September. Midorifuji opened strong, but Endo was able to get his hands at center mass, and push with force. Midorifuji collapsed over the bales for an oshitaoshi, and Endo is 1-3.
Takayasu defeats Hiradoumi – Takayasu was a flurry of flailing hands and feet in this match. He never let Hiradoumi get a single sumo move in past the tachiai, and dumped him over the west side of the dohyo with an okuridashi. Takayasu now 3-1.
Oho defeats Kotoeko – Joining the first win club today is Oho. Kotoeko had the pressure on with a right hand inside body hold, but lined up off center as he put Oho’s back to the tawara to finish him off. In that moment of imbalance, Oho deftly swung him over and tossed him into the salt basket. Both men end the day 1-3.
Gonoyama defeats Ryuden – Shin-Goeido is really lighting it up, and I am over joyed. While all the talk on social media is about wether ex-Hakuho or ex-Kisenosato will spawn the first Ozeki deshi, check this guy out. Of course when you have Ryuden trying time and again to put a hand on the back of Gonoyama’s neck and pull him, it helps quite a bit. I would have think he could have stopped that on the second failure, but.. no! Gonoyama stays on his feet, stays low and keeps moving forward. Classic sumo technique, and he’s now 3-1.
Onosho defeats Shonannoumi – Shonannoumi, the trick with Onosho is that he is going to hit you like a truck. Don’t stand there and try to absorb it. Shonannoumi had his stance broken, had his sumo disrupted, and was pushed out on the second attack. Onosho now 4-0.
Ura defeats Tamawashi – Ah, boogers. Tamawashi is likely hurt and really can’t fight so well. At least we get to see Ura pick up a win. He has at most token offensive moves as Ura closes the gap and brings the fight to him. A quick battle for hand placement, and Tamawashi is headed over and down, tumbling face first into the clay. Ura improves to 2-2.
Nishikigi defeats Tobizaru – Nishikigi is showing some very welcome versatility in the past two days. His opponents know he wants to give him his battle hug, and they have both shut down his attempt to grapple. Today we got to see him disrupt Tobizaru’s defense, move him back and toss him out. It’s been a while since Tobizaru did one of his famous jogs through the zabuton to say hello to the fans, but we got one today thanks to Nishikigi. He is now 3-1.
Kotonowaka defeats Takanosho – I am not sure where Takanosho’s offense was today, but it was certainly not on the clay. Kotonowaka sets up right hand inside at the tachiai, and is able to lift Takanosho to the extent he can move him back. Three steps later, he’s out and Kotonowaka advances to 3-1.
Wakamotoharu defeats Meisei – Wakamotoharu got a nice left hand strike and lift in at the tachiai, which looks to have opened up Meisei’s chest. Meisei settled in to defend, but stepped out of the ring as he was trying to set his feet on the bales to stop Wakamotoharu’s advance. It counts in sumo, and Wakamotoharu is now 2-2.
Daieisho defeats Hokutofuji – People may marvel that Hokutofuji was able to beat three Ozeki this week, but suffered his first loss to Daieisho. I think it all comes down to Daieisho’s “brand of sumo”. Hokutofuji was unable to shut down the center thrusting lane, and Daieisho put huge power forward into Hokutofuji’s body. Hokutofuji got stood up, got shoved back, and a final thrust to the chest put him out. Nice work by Daieisho, and he is now 2-2.
Shodai defeats Hoshoryu – Hello, Mitsuwa? Yes, going to need another 10 bottles of Sho Chiku Bai right away. What do you call it when Shodai, and no, not the good Yokozuna Shodai from the universe where Spock has a beard, womps your shin-Ozeki? I call it the Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan having some fun. It’s been a good long while since Shodai has employed “cartoon sumo” to win, but it was great to see him break it out today. Cartoon sumo is where Shodai seems to use the same physics present in shows like Looney Tunes to win. You can watch it a dozen times, and there is no way to explain it. Shodai performs some random body movement, and his opponent just loses. Hoshoryu was all over Shodai, who seemed to be barely able to defend or keep his feet. But as Hoshoryu was moving to send him across the bales, Shodai does some clumsy turn and hop, and Hoshoryu is down! Both are now 1-3.
Takakeisho defeats Asanoyama – If Shodai can bring back cartoon sumo, Takakeisho can bring back the wave action tsuppari. It’s been sorely missed, and it put Asanoyama in a state of imbalance that he could not recover from. I think he may have been shocked with after the second volley, Takakeisho initiated a grapple. Before he could respond, the Ozeki flung him to the clay, picking up his third win to improve to 3-1. Five more to clear kadoban.
Abi defeats Kirishima – Kirishima looked like he was unprepared for Abi-zumo today. He’s fought him 7 times before, and he does the exact same thing ever single time. But that’s the beauty of Abi-zumo, if he can connect with your chin, you are going for a ride. Abi drops Kirishima like a leaky diaper bag, and improves to 3-1.