Brief highlights this Saturday, as I must be out this morning to take care of other matters. If you are feeling up to it, pick your favorite or least favorite match of the day, and do your best Bruce imitation in the comments below – thanks!
Atamifuji defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki puts all of his chips on getting his hands inside, and Atamifuji knows it. The double ottsuke trap leaves Kagayaki without a working offense, and he has to suffer a rapid oshidashi. Atamifuji on fire at 6-1.
Nishikifuji defeats Kotoshoho – Kotoshoho still can’t find a good formula to beat Nishikifuji, and suffers his 5th career loss. Nishikifuji executes a quick stand him up, then pull him down to win by hatakikomi, improving to 4-3.
Myogiryu defeats Tsurugisho – I am not the only one in a hurry this morning! That’s a third match that was over before the 4th step, as Myogiryu never lets Tsurugisho full extend into the tachiai, grabs him by the shoulder and throws Tsurugisho to the clay with an express uwatenage. This knocks Tsurugisho out of the leader group, as both end the day 5-2.
Sadanoumi defeats Chiyoshoma – Chiyoshoma remains stuck at one loss after Sadanoumi does a masterful job of keeping him from planting both feet and setting up any defense. A quick yorikiri and it’s 4-3 for Sadanoumi.
Takarafuji defeats Daishoho – Ah poor Daishoho. He so wants to get another win that he puts a lot of forward power once he believes he has broken through Takarafuji’s defenses. But sadly all he has done is lean forward into nothing as Takarafuji slips away and pushes him out from behind. Not the most fluid okuridashi, but quite the combo from Takarafuji to improve to 4-3.
Mitakeumi defeats Aoiyama – Big Dan does fire up a version of his favorite V-Twin attack, but it’s not packing enough power to move Mitakeumi back. After enduring a few volleys from Aoiyama, Mitakeumi digs in and gets his hands on Aoiyama’s chest. We one again see Aoiyama unable to hold ground or withstand forward pressure, and he is out by oshidashi. Mitakeumi now 5-2.
Hokuseiho defeats Kinbozan – Big Hokuseiho continues to be Kinbozan’s bane, as Kinbozan goes 0-5 against the Miyagino giant. In contrast to prior days, we actually see some offensive sumo from Hokuseiho, and it pays off with a much needed yorikiri win. Hokuseiho now 3-4.
Endo defeats Hiradoumi – Endo loses the early battle for hand placement, but keeps driving that left inside until it finds that all too familiar frontal grip. Hiradoumi knows he’s in trouble and doubles down on fighting back, just to have Endo walk him to the bales and toss him down. Yoritaoshi for Endo, and he is now 4-3.
Takayasu defeats Midorifuji – Midorifuji attempts a henka, but Takayasu is able to recover his balance before Midorifuji can make contact. Takayasu quickly gets Midorifuji off balance and drops him face first into the clay as Midorifuji presses forward. Takayasu now 6-1.
Shonannoumi defeats Kotoeko – Shonannoumi was yet another rikishi in a hurry, and he quickly gets Kotoeko moving back. Kotoeko tries to throw Shonannoumi, but finds himself out before he can complete the move. Replays show Shonannoumi touching down first, but picked up the win anyhow, he is now 4-3.
Gonoyama defeats Oho – Gonoyama’s reaction time continues to impress me. He attacks first, counters Oho’s rally, and deftly slips behind faster than a man that size should have the right to do. The okuridashi win take Gonoyama to 5-2.
Ura defeats Ryuden – Ryuden starts early as Ura comes in low and gets his hands in both of Ryuden’s armpits. The hazuoshi is an excellent set up for an uwatedashinage, and Ura follows through, tossing both men out of the ring and into the time keeper. Ura now 4-3.
Takanosho defeats Onosho – Color me delighted that Takanosho was able to dominate this match. He really needed the win. He shut down Onosho’s offense by the third step, and quickly bundled him out, improving to 3-4.
Asanoyama defeats Abi – Abi is able to connect with both hands, but he lacks the power to do much more than make Asanoyama a bit uncomfortable. Asanoyama counters by relentlessly driving forward, and Abi is over the bales still trying to break Asanoyama’s head off. Both are 3-4.
Tobizaru defeats Meisei – It’s almost laughable to see both of these fighters keep the other at arms length for the amount of time it went on. A real push-shove-retreat cadence from both, and it might have gone on longer but Meisei forgot where he was in the ring and stepped out. Tobizaru now 4-3.
Wakamotoharu defeats Hokutofuji – Hokutofuji has now lost 3 of the last 4, a far cry from his opening tour through the Ozeki. Once Wakamotoharu got his left hand inside mawashi grip, Hokutofuji new there were few ways to counter Wakamotoharu’s attack, as he was walked back for a yorikiri. Wakamotoharu now 5-2.
Daieisho defeats Kotonowaka – Watching this match, you might think that Kotonowaka was in control, as Daieisho almost takes himself out more than once. But all that is needed is a single moment of sumo, and Daieisho catches Kotonowaka with his feet misaligned, applies a hearty left hand push from behind the shoulder, and it’s tsukiotoshi time. Daieisho improves to 3-4.
Nishikigi defeats Hoshoryu – Oh dear, never underestimate the current form of Nishikigi. Did Hoshoryu think he could out brute him for hand position or grip? Nishikigi closes the gap, but never gets a battle hug, settling to shove the shin-Ozeki out in rapid order to improve to 4-3.
Shodai defeats Takakeisho – Ah, Shodai, the disruptor. Takakeisho lets him get too close and we see just a moment of the “Wall of Daikon” as it takes out Takakeisho. Shodai used to do that a lot, and it was great to see. Please come back “good” Shodai, we miss you. He is now 3-4.
Kirishima defeats Tamawashi – Of course he did. Tamawashi is a basket case right now. At least Kirishima made it quick. The Ozeki improves to 5-2.