We come into today with Ichiyamamoto in the lead and a massive crowd of dudes one loss behind. There’s really too much to talk about in the chase group, so the focus is on whether Tamawashi can best Ichiyamamoto. Let’s get to the action.
Kotoshoho (7-2) defeated Nishikifuji (2-7). Nishikifuji blasted Kotoshoho with a strong intial charge. But Kotoshoho pivoted, turned Nishikifuji around and forced him off the dohyo. Yorikiri
Tsurugisho (4-5) defeated Kitanowaka (4-5). Tsurugisho was almost too fast and powerful with his hatakikomi attack. He seemed to hit himself with Kitanowaka. He recovered, lifted Kitanowaka and drove forward. Yorikiri.
Takarafuji (3-6) defeated Tohakuryu (2-7). Tohakuryu blasted Takarafuji with tsuppari but his tsuppari mainly seemed to annoy rather than transfer force to Takarafuji. Suitably annoyed, Takarafuji pressed forward into Tohakuryu with his own Oshi-attack, pushing Tohakuryu back and over the bales. Oshidashi.
Ichiyamamoto (8-1) defeated Tamawashi (6-3). Ichiyamamoto blasted Tamawashi clear from the dohyo before Tamawashi had much of a chance to do anything. Wow. It took two blasts to the face to force Tamawashi clear from the fighting surface. Ichiyamamoto kachi-koshi. The field has to play catch-up now. Tsukidashi.
Oho (5-4) defeated Tomokaze (5-4). Slapfest. Oho grabbed Tomokaze’s right arm and pulled him forward and thrust him to the ground. Tsukiotoshi.
Hiradoumi (6-3) defeated Roga (2-7). Hiradoumi nearly got an uwatenage win in the center of the ring but somehow Roga kept his balance. Hiradoumi then pressed forward and forced Roga to fall backwards over the tawara. Ouch. Yoritaoshi.
Churanoumi (7-2) defeated Endo (2-7). This was an entertaining oshi-bout, full of slapdown attempts. In the end, Endo was pitched a bit too far forward. Churanoumi grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him forward to the floor. Katasukashi.
Kinbozan (5-4) defeated Sadanoumi (5-4). Kinbozan’s slow-roll tachiai led Sadanoumi to reset. Once we got going, Kinbozan pressed Sadanoumi back to the edge. At the edge Sadanoumi pivoted to put Kinbozan’s back to the edge…but Kinbozan re-pivoted and threw Sadanoumi over the edge. Utchari.
Hokuseiho (4-5) defeated Kotoeko (2-7). It took two attempts but Hokuseiho was able to lift Kotoeko over the bales. Yorikiri.
Takanosho (4-5) defeated Ryuden (6-3) with a very well timed and well-executed pull. Ryuden was off balance and had no choice but to catch himself with his hands. Hikiotoshi.
Shonannoumi (6-3) defeated Myogiryu (3-6). Shonannoumi was drawn offside, matta. Myogiryu had a healthy initial charge. But Shonannoumi was too powerful with that right-hand, over-arm grip. He drove Myogiryu back across the dohyo and gently ushered the Sakaigawa geezer over the edge. Yorikiri.
Halftime: Shimpan swap, Dohyo Refresh
Mitakeumi (5-4) defeated Midorifuji (6-3). Third time was the charm. Quickly, Mitakeumi drove through Midorifuji and forced him to the tawara. But he couldn’t get him to go over, so he pivoted and tried again. Again, Midorifuji resisted at the bales. The two settled back to the center of the ring. Mitakeumi gathered his strength for another charge and this time drove Midorifuji back and over the edge. Yorikiri.
Atamifuji (7-2) defeated Onosho (2-7). Atamifuji drove Onosho back to the edge and then pulled, Onosho falling to the hatakikomi.
Takayasu (6-3) defeated Tobizaru (3-6). The gyoji and Tobizaru both fled from the bear attack. The good news for the gyoji was that the bear only wanted Tobizaru. Takayasu chased Tobizaru around the ring before cornering him and thrusting him clear of the edge. Before leaving Tobizaru swatted Konosuke for good measure; just had to piss everyone off. Takayasu obliged with some dame-oshi. Probably a bout that all would like to forget. Tsukidashi.
Meisei (2-7) defeated Gonoyama (4-5). A powerful tachiai from both wrestlers followed by a great brawl. Meisei hit Gonoyama at an angle, Gonoyama lost his balance and tumbled forward. Tsukiotoshi.
Shodai (5-4) defeated Hokutofuji (2-7). Power sumo from Shodai in front of his home crowd. There were about twenty fans with identical Shodai towels going crazy in the upper deck as he pushed Hokutofuji over the edge. He didn’t crumble from the force of Hokutofuji’s nodowa. This is the Shodai that I want to see. Oshidashi.
Ura (3-6) defeated Abi (3-6). Abi has confused me. Perhaps he’s losing confidence in his tsuppari? He only needs to look at Ichiyamamoto’s success to see that the strategy can work. But he abandoned his regular tsuppari after the first few thrusts as he and Ura settled into grapple at the center of the ring. Ura was the first to act and pulled Abi forward. Tsukiotoshi.
Wakamotoharu (4-5) defeated Daieisho (5-4). Solid tachiai. Wakamotoharu wasn’t going to put up with much of Daieisho’s blasts. Once Daieisho got going, Wakamotoharu stepped to the left and let Daieisho zoom past. Hakakikomi.
Kirishima (7-2) defeated Asanoyama (1-1-7). After a wild tussle that ranged over the entire dohyo surface, Asanoyama flew forward as Kirishima pulled back. Gunbai Kirishima. Mono-ii. Asanoyama’s hand touched before Kirishima’s foot. Gunbai confirmed. Hatakikomi.
Takakeisho (6-3) defeated Nishikigi (6-3). This was a funny bout. Nishikigi weathered Takakeisho’s initial wave of tsuppari. T-Rex’s thrusts weren’t sufficient to force Nishikigi to the edge. I don’t know why Nishikigi didn’t launch an attack at this point. Perhaps he wanted Takakeisho to tire first? So he basically leaned into Takakeisho’s attack and let him churn. But Takakeisho slipped to the right and Nishikigi flopped forward onto his belly. Hikiotoshi.
Kotonowaka (7-2) defeated Hoshoryu (6-3). Hoshoryu hit Kotonowaka with a strong blast to the face at the tachiai. The two settled into a grapple. After a few moments, Kotonowaka took the initiative, lifted, and drove forward. Hoshoryu fought to stay in at the tawara but Kotonowaka put his weight into it, forcing Hoshoryu to crumple onto the salt basket. Yorita-ouchi.
Well, I guess Ichiyamamoto will be sticking around in the lead for a little while longer. Those howitzers that he fired at Tamawashi today certainly got my attention. Hiradoumi will get his chance to beat the leader tomorrow. Let’s see if chooses to brawl, or try to get inside and neutralize that power-ppari. He’s been having an excellent tournament.
Meanwhile, our Ozeki are just fighting to stay upright. Kirishima is still in the race, joined by Ozeki-wannabe, Kotonowaka, Atamifuji, and…scrolls down…Churanoumi? Kotonowaka took Hoshoryu out in impressive fashion, I must say. Kirishima got a bit lucky. Yesterday, I perked up a bit at Takakeisho’s thrusts, excited to see him pressing Asanoyama back. Today, he couldn’t make any progress against Nishikigi. From the camera angle, you can’t tell if Nishikigi didn’t see the dodge coming or if he had just fallen asleep and flopped forward.