Aki Day 4 Highlights

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.

Highlight Matches

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.

10 thoughts on “Aki Day 4 Highlights

  1. I hope I don’t jinx Nishikigi when I saw his late-career rise to sanyaku and present performance at that level is making me really happy.

    I dislike Ryuden on a personal level and love to cheer against him. (I had high hopes for Oho yesterday…) All hail Gonoyama’s immaculate balance!

    Love to see Onosho do Onosho things against a taller opponent.

    I’m pretty indifferent to Hokutofuji in general. His start this basho was exciting especially considering his jun-yusho last time but I find I don’t mind Daieisho putting dirt on him.

    Yesterday I saw on twitter that Oguruma-oyakata had diagnosed Hoshoryu with shin-ozeki-itis and that seems accurate based on today’s performance — Hoshoryu keeps making errors on which his opponents at this level are quite capable of capitalizing. Today it was leaving his elbows high when pushing on Shodai’s upper body at the edge, which — as Tamawashi will tell you — leaves you vulnerable to the parry. Tamawashi’s nodowa technique — elbows right up against the opponent’s chest as you push your opponents head back and up from below — was called for.

    I’m a Takakeisho fan from way back and today I remembered why. His problems with robustness may prevent him from ever getting a rope but when he’s fit he does justice to his ozeki rank.

    Abi-zumo may never get Abi to ozeki but the fact that it can make a mess of ozeki opponents is the reason why he’ll never abandon it.

  2. “Abi drops Kirishima like a leaky diaper bag” Parenthood has expanded your stock of images: I love it!
    As for wackiness, will all those who predicted that after four days Takakeisho would be 3-1 and Hoshoryu 1-3 please raise their hands.

    • My hand is firmly … not raised. Do I enjoy Takakeisho’s sumo? Not that much, but that’s one tough butterball, so I have immense respect for his sumo.

  3. Though I’ve only been enjoying Tachiai for about the two years or so I’m going to miss Bruce’s commentary. I’ve adopted many of his go to phrases and nicknames, like Grand Tadpole, Original Tadpole, Big Dan, etc as my own and have really enjoyed the humorous takes like “wall of Daikon,” etc. Will any of the other writers take up the job of Basho summaries and previews once Bruce signs off? Not sure my life will be complete without having a place to read about the matches, or the humor. I can always just see the results on the Sumo Kyokai website, but the commentary really does get me ready to go and watch the highlight broadcast with a sense of anticipation and foreshadowing that I can’t get by simply knowing that rikishi x defeated rikishi y by such and such kimarite. Anyhow, thanks Bruce and Team Tachiai!

    • Thank you, those are very kind words and I appreciate them. I leave the door open to return once my life is a bit less stupid.

  4. WTF Hoshoryu!!! Losing to Shodai? Really?

    Keiko is over boy. Wake up and get it in gear because, while I’m a big fan, so far your sumo sucks. What you’re doing belongs in the Complementary Cannon Fodder/Also-Ran M11-M17 area of the banzuke. This ain’t Ozeki sumo your delivering son.

    We, your fans, expect you to be an ass kicker not an ass muncher.

  5. I’m disappointed in the commentary about Hokuseihu’s match with Sadanoumi. The giant violently threw Sadanoumi down. It was 100 percent unnecessary as the match was ending in the giant’s favor anyway. I’ve played DVR catch-up since I was out of town and TV from Day 3, but I also noticed the giant was deliberately rough in another match, too. I will never favor a sumo wrestler who engages in violence in the ring. It’s revolting and it’s hard to believe that he’s being taught by the possibly the best-ever.


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