Aki Day 8 Highlights

The Kyujo Banner Defeated More Rikishi Day 8, and Is Currently Leading The Race For Kanto-Sho, Having Beaten Two Yokozuna and an Ozeki

The Aki carnage continues, as we lost two more competitors at the start of day 8. We now know that Yokozuna Kakuryu withdrew due to injury to his medial collateral ligament (MCL) which is the connective tissued that runs through the center of the knee and connects the thigh bone to the lower leg. We hope it’s not serious. We also had Myogiryu pull out of the tournament with an injury to his right calf muscle. We have written extensively on sumo’s injury and training problems in the top division, but old institutions are slow to change. We hope that Myogiryu can bounce back soon.

This leaves Ozeki Goeido as the top ranked man in the tournament, with the badly injured Tochinoshin holding up the #2 slot. I am sure that injured Ozeki Takayasu is cursing his misfortune right now.

In the yusho race, it has been greatly simplified for the moment, both Okinoumi and Meisei won, leaving them as exclusive #1 and #2 while the rest of the 1 loss crowd added a second loss today. It appears that the scheduling team are done giving Okinoumi easy opponents, starting on day 9 with the somewhat questionable Ryuden. Readers should note that Okinoumi is a high-skill veteran that is more than up to the task of beating more or less anyone still in competition at this point. It’s his yusho to lose now. Be prepared for a possible Cinderella story in the making.

Highlight Matches

Tokushoryu defeats Ishiura – Tokushoryu read Ishiura’s intent to henka, and played it perfectly, capping it with a dismissive look of disgust at his opponent. Ishiura falls out of the group within range of Okinoumi.

Tsurugisho defeats Tochiozan – It’s odd to say that Tochiozan lost due to balance and footwork, but Tsurugisho performed an excellent push and pull combo at the tachiai to lay the veteran down on the clay. Tochiozan is in dire need of a rally before he finds himself on boat down to Juryo.

Kagayaki defeats Toyonoshima – Toyonoshima drove for and secured the inside position at the tachiai, but his body and foot position was poor, while Kagayaki kept his hips over the arches of his feet, and his shoulders square. A shrug and a push and Toyonoshima went reeling for the bales.

Shohozan defeats Takagenji – Shohozan took initiative, then gave it to Takagenji who could not keep himself balanced. Takagenji has had his ups and downs, but he’s been a mess this September, and with good cause.

Daishoho defeats Azumaryu – I am going to guess that Daishoho has finally found his sumo again, and is starting to fight like he wants to. Azumaryu had a soft, almost non-existent tachiai, and although he tried to load a throw against Daishoho, he could not complete and Daishoho escorted him out.

Nishikigi defeats Enho – Nishikigi successfully blocked Enho’s attempt to go in and under, and left the fire-pixie switching the plan B. But Nishikigi, to his credit, continues to shift and attack at Enho’s center-mass. One of the better “Beat Enho” matches in a while, Nishikigi used a simple and effective plan to win.

Yutakayama defeats Kotoyuki – Kotoyuki showed some great strength and timing today, although Yutakayama won the tachiai, Kotoyuki drove for and got the inside position for his thrusting attack. Kotoyuki’s gambit forced Yutakayama back, but Kotoyuki did not survive Yutakayama’s pivot at the tawara to rescue the match.

Okinoumi defeats Onosho – Onosho took the fight to the yusho race leader, but Okinoumi keep the distance close enough that Onosho could neither maneuver with much effect, nor push with much force. Having boxed Onosho, Okinoumi used his body to ram Onosho back and out. Okinoumi has, in the past, faced a few really ugly health problems, and I marvel at his performance thus far. Tomorrow he starts climbing the torikumi, facing Ryuden in a test of how far the man from Shimane is going to take this.

Sadanoumi defeats Kotoshogiku – It looked like Kotoshogiku was not quite sure what he was going to do at the tachiai. Hit and shift? But Sadanoumi took away any room he had to recover by attacking furiously and keeping the former Ozeki from getting his feet set for defense.

Meisei defeats Kotoeko – Kotoeko had only one brief burst of offense, but the match was really all Meisei, who picks up the white star and remains 1 behind Okinoumi.

Shimanoumi defeats Terutsuyoshi – I have to applaud Terutsuyoshi’s effort here, his sumo was strong and powerful, but he managed to get just a bit too far forward as he tried to put his whole weight on Shimanoumi’s belly to force him out. Shimanoumi had the skill to swing Terutsuyoshi around for the loss.

Ryuden defeats Daieisho – Yep, its about time for Ryuden to rally. Daieisho made him work for it, and his thrusting attack was well executed, but ultimately off balance. Ryuden gave ground and used the tawara to pivot the off-balance Daieisho to rescue the win. Although Ryuden has long legs, he tends to keep a very low, wide stance that tends to frustrate his opponents (as it did today).

Asanoyama defeats Aoiyama – I got happy when Aoiyama opened up with the big V-Twin thrusting attack at the tachiai. I thought, “Yeah, here we go, Aoiyama is back into his sumo”. But Big Dan seems to be a bit hurt, and Asanoyama is that good. An attempt by Aoiyama to pull Asanoyama down left him chest to chest with the Natsu yusho winner, and that was all it took. Aoiyama put up some resistance, but quickly realized he was done, went soft and prevented any injury.

Hokutofuji defeats Abi – Hokutofuji chances out of the silver mawashi, and just like that his sumo seems to spring back. This is one of the things I really love about Hokutofuji: you can beat his upper body bloody, but his lower body seems to be an independent creature, moving forward relentlessly no matter how much damage his face and chest sustain. Abi lands blows like summer rain, but nothing stops Hokutofuji’s advance. I want to see Hokutofuji vs Okinoumi in week 2, should it please the Great Sumo Cat.

Endo defeats Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu looked like he was out for blood today, that was some forceful sumo applied with conviction. Endo took it all in and kept fighting for his opportunity, and when it came he made Chiyotairyu taste the clay.

Takakeisho defeats Mitakeumi – Some fans wonder what happened to Mitakeumi today, but did you see it? The “Wave Action Tsuppari” attack at last. The first massive double arm shove landed before Mitakeumi could finish his tachiai. Then again and again. There was really nothing for it at that point. Takakeisho’s one moment of weakness was an attempt to slap down Mitakeumi, but man from Nagano could not exploit that brief opening. 4 More to go, please hurry. Sumo is terribly short of workable Ozeki right now.

Tomokaze defeats Goeido – I guess this is what we get from Tomokaze now? Yes he is winning, but as we have seen over and over again, the guys who are always pulling eventually get figured out. I guess he can and should enjoy it while it lasts. I was hoping for a contender.

Tochinoshin defeats Shodai – Tochinoshin had the good fortune of landing a right hand mawashi grip, and never let go. This drastically reduced the amount of chaos Shodai could generate, and I think was the key to his win. As with his prior matches, the damage to that heavily bandaged knee prevents him form his normally enormous forward strength. If he can make his 8, I am going to consider it a petty miracle. But he has just enough room to probably do it.

Aki Day 8 Preview

Welcome to Nakabi – the middle day of the basho. For folks with insomnia, or living in countries other than the US, NHK World Japan will be broadcasting the last 50 minutes of Makuuchi live. So do consider joining their stream if you have a chance, the coverage is always fantastic.

Where do we go from here? The leader in the yusho race, the undefeated Okinoumi, has yet to face any high ranking rikishi. But I would say for this basho, that might not be much of a threat depending on who he draws. Tachiai has been talking about the transition period longer than most sumo media (the Japanese sumo media included), but this is a tough basho all around. Sure there are some great competitors, but we really don’t have the “wall of sumo” at the top ranks that any rank-and-file yusho hopeful must overcome to lay hands on the cup. Maybe if we ask nicely and behave ourselves, lksumo might try to forecast who Okinoumi might have to face in week 2.

Such is the time we live in.

Aki Leaderboard

Leader: Okino-freaking-umi
Chasers: Mitakeumi, Meisei, Ishiura
Hunt Group: Goeido, Takakeisho, Abi, Endo, Asanoyama, Myogiryu, Enho, Tsurugisho

8 Matches Remain

What We Are Watching Day 8

Ishiura vs Tokushoryu – Tokushoryu is up from Juryo to face a surprisingly refreshed and refreshing Ishiura. I am keen to see what kind of strategy he uses against his big, round opponent.

Tsurugisho vs Tochiozan – First time meeting for these two, and I am going to give an edge to Tsurugisho whose sumo seems to be ascendant, where Tochiozan seems to be fading out.

Kagayaki vs Toyonoshima – Kagayaki has lost 2 in a row, and each time he has been forced to deviate from his typical “focus on the basics” style and react to his opponent’s sumo. If Toyonoshima can dictate the terms of the match, he has a chance.

Shohozan vs Takagenji – Takagenji may be a write-off for Aki, if for no other reason than his off-dohyo world is a huge distraction. I am going to predict that Shohozan will probably pick him off today.

Azumaryu vs Daishoho – Veteran Azumaryu has a 1-3 record against Daishoho. But Daishoho only got his first win yesterday, and is fighting very poorly. I hate to label this another “battle of the broken toys”, but that does cross my mind.

Nishikigi vs Enho – I think Enho is hungry to stay in the yusho hunt, and he’s is going to take advantage of Nishikigi’s relatively slow sumo to tie him up and drop him.

Yutakayama vs Kotoyuki – Will we get the “out for fun” Kotoyuki today, or the “I am going to make you eat my mawashi” one? The big question for Yutakayama at the mid-point of Aki is: how is that knee holding up?

Okinoumi vs Onosho – Ok, Okinoumi is undefeated, and they are continuing to bottom-feed him. I don’t blame either rikishi, but as an Onosho fan, I have to say that he’s not quite the “red menace” he has been in the past. How about Ryuden instead? Or Abi? Or even Endo? I guess that is reserved for next week.

Kotoshogiku vs Sadanoumi – Both are going to want to grapple on this match, and I think it will come down to belt or armpit hold. If Kotoshogiku can get the mawashi, we all know what comes next. So possibly Sadanoumi aims high. Kotoshogiku aims low.

Meisei vs Kotoeko – After a cold start, Kotoeko has won 3 of the last 4, and I think he will possibly take Meisei out of the pack that is one behind Okinoumi.

Shimanoumi vs Terutsuyoshi – Both rikishi are 2-5, both are in dire need of wins, and both have been struggling daily during September. Terutsuyoshi has a 4-2 advantage over Shimanoumi, but right now neither of them is fighting anywhere near their normal level of intensity.

Takarafuji vs Myogiryu – These two have an 18 bout career history, so I think the 13-5 lead that Myogiryu holds might be an indicator.

Daieisho vs Ryuden – I had thought going in that at Maegashira 5, Ryuden would be at a comfortable rank. But he has not been able to produce wins. Daieisho is not doing much better, but has intensity on his side.

Asanoyama vs Aoiyama – Can we please see more Aoiyama V-Twin thrusting attack again? It’s much more compelling than the pulling nonsense he has used most of Aki. Asanoyama is going to want to get that left hand outside grip at the tachiai again, and Aoiyama is going to try to give him a big meaty palm to the face.

Abi vs Hokutofuji – The matches between these two are pretty ugly. You have Hokutofuji wanting to go for the nodowa, and Abi doing the double-arm shoulder thrusts. The result is usually a traffic jam of hands and elbows that can get jumbled up. Abi is fighting better right now, but continues to put his balance further forward than is prudent at times.

Chiyotairyu vs Endo – Readers know that I am usually not a fan of henkas, but I am hoping Endo does the sumo world a favor and lets Chiyotairyu get a face full of salt and clay.

Mitakeumi vs Takakeisho – To me this is “the” bout today. With the yusho race some sort of circus, Tochinoshin looking at Ozeki doom, the real story line left to play out is can Takakeisho make his 10 and return to Ozeki. I think this match is possibly the decider in that run, and Takakeisho holds a 4-7 career deficit. A note to readers, we have still not seen the “wave action tsuppari” attack. Time to bring out the primary weapon, tadpole.

Tomokaze vs Goeido – First time meeting, and I would love to see Goeido continue his “3 seconds and your are finished” sumo form. Congrats to Tomokaze for his kinboshi and all that, but his sumo has been cheap and sloppy for most of the basho. I only point this out because we have seen his “good” form (Nagoya) and we know what he is capable of.

Tochinoshin vs Shodai – Is this the saddest match in all of day 8? Both are 2-5, Tochinoshin is too hurt to fight, and I am going to guess Shodai may be highly demoralized at this point. As I sometime do, I suggest these two skip the dohyo and go to Popeye in Sumida for a LOT of beer instead.

Kakuryu vs Tamawashi – I am still sticking to the idea that Big K is hurt, but trying to hang tough for the fans. If Tamawashi up-ends him, it may be the signal it’s time to go kyujo.

Aki Day 7 Preview

Welcome to the middle weekend! For this basho it is clearly a time when the doors will come flying off of this basho, as we once again are riding the bucking beast of the “Wacky Aki”. How crazy might it get? Lets look at some potentials

  • Kakuryu is injured, pulls out and we are left with a “nokazuna Aki” – Well, given that Big K is not looking genki, he may in fact be hurt. This would open things up wide for yet another lower ranked yusho winner. Although I do like how Asanoyama is looking right now
  • Tochinoshin is in no condition for real sumo – Every day he’s using evasive, seat of the pants sumo to try to get any win he can. If he had the health and body condition to deploy they sky crane, we would see it every day. I am very sad that his path to 8 is looking so hard.
  • Takakeisho took an unexpected fall (note the Aki pun..) – While it was most likely an accidental tangle with a piece of errant footwear, the fall on day 6 might have been trouble for that knee. He needs 5 more to take Ozeki back, and we all want him to get there before Asanoyama starts his first try.
  • Enho – I don’t care what anyone says, I think he could actually compete for the yusho. He has his own quantum universe that supports his sumo, and it seems to just be growing in strength. As soon as Okinoumi takes his first trip to the clay, the drunken barnyard brawl for the yusho is on (currently 8 rikishi at 5-1 or better).
  • If Andy called it, I am going to give up all hope – Part of that 5-1 crowd is none other than Endo. Should the Great Sumo Cat be in such a mood, the post-yusho interview would probably be the most painful since “Satonoasha the Mute” won the 23rd contest between the Yayoi and Jomon champions around 429 AD.

Looking at the list above, I may need to visit Mitsuwa for more sake.

Aki Leaderboard

Please don’t let it be Endo… Please don’t let it be Endo… oh please oh please oh please

Leader: Okino-freaking-umi
Chasers: Mitakeumi, Takakeisho, Endo, Myogiryu, Meisei, Enho, Ishiura
Hunt Group: Kakuryu, Goeido, Abi, Asanoyama, Tamawashi, Tsurugisho

9 Matches Remain

(Little voice in Bruce’s head) Hey, at least its not Shodai 6-0…

What We Are Watching Day 7

Chiyoshoma vs Azumaryu – Dear old Chiyoshoma comes to visit, and what a pleasant surprise! He comes with his winning record at Juryo 2. Might he be sizing up the chances for his return to the top division? Azumaryu hopes to change his fortunes in the first match of the top division.

Ishiura vs Yutakayama – I maintain high hopes for Yutakayamaa’s long-term performance, but it’s clear he’s struggling right now. Ishiura not only holds a 4-2 career advantage over him, but also seems to be fighting better than he has in about 2 years.

Takagenji vs Daishoho – Daishoho has yet to win a single match, and he’s neck-and-neck with Aoiyama for the first to make it to make-koshi. Takagenji needs to start racking more wins if he’s going to stay in the top division, regardless of what is going on in his messy personal life.

Shohozan vs Tochiozan – Battle of the hardened vets, both of them come in at 3-3, and lots of history rolled into a shockingly even 12-13 career record. Both of them look like they are feeling the years on the dohyo weighing them down thus September.

Tsurugisho vs Enho – I think this is an Enho bellwether match. He has never beaten Tsurugisho in 3 attempts, and Tsurugisho comes in with a solid 4-2 record. If Enho can prevail, I think we may see a break-out performance from the fire pixie, and I am sure the crowd will love it.

Kagayaki vs Meisei – Meisei has the momentum right now, so I have to say he’s favored in my book. Kagayaki has had some straightforward matches (he likes those) that have gone silly in the middle and ended in a loss. Sort of the benchmark for Aki thus far.

Sadanoumi vs Nishikigi – I am not sure why they double arm bar hold keeps working for Nishikigi, but it sure seems to be his “thing”. He has used it before against Sadanoumi, and I would expect we will see it Saturday too.

Toyonoshima vs Kotoyuki – Both of these rikishi have dug some fairly good sized holes for themselves in terms of score. I think for Toyonoshima it may end up being insurmountable, as a lot of his competition in the bottom half of the banzuke seems to be fighting well.

Onosho vs Takarafuji – This is an excellent test match for the recovering Onosho. Although he is still only maybe 80% of his pre-injury self, he seems to have gotten in touch with his sumo again. Both men come into the match 3-3, and with a nearly even career record.

Kotoshogiku vs Terutsuyoshi – First time match up between these two. Kotoshogiku seems to struggle with busy small rikishi, and I think that is exactly what he is going to get in Terutsuyoshi.

Okinoumi vs Myogiryu – Sole leader at 6-0 goes up against a worthy challenger in 5-1 Myogiryu. The two have a long history (11-10) and a win by Myogiryu today would blow the yusho race wide open. An Okinoumi win would knock one of chaser back.

Shimanoumi vs Kotoeko – Both men are 2-4 coming into today, and both need desperately to rally. Although Shimanoumi comes in with a 1-5 career disadvantage, I think he has been fighting better this September.

Ryuden vs Asanoyama – I seriously think Asanoyama is on the path to greatness, if he can stay healthy. He continue to surprise the upper ranks on any given day, and his strength and stamina are slowly improving. With many of the old guard getting toward the end of their careers, he is one to watch.

Hokutofuji vs Aoiyama – A match of overwhelming sadness, 1-5 Hokutofuji goes up against winless Aoiyama. I am not sure what took the meatballs out of the fellow’s chanko, but they seem to be running on broth only.

Abi vs Endo – Komusubi battle ahoy! I dread and fear Andy’s preposterous sounding pre-basho forecast of an Endo yusho, so I am counting on Abi-zumo to save the world from that outcome.

Chiyotairyu vs Takakeisho – This would have the potential to be a battle supreme, but Chiyotairyu is not moving well, and his big tachiai is considerably reduced. But that still leaves the problem of Chiyotairyu’s overwhelming mass. Time to see if Takakeisho re-injured that knee.

Mitakeumi vs Shodai – Even though Mitakeumi comes in with a 5-1 record, I think Shodai is going to pip the Sekiwake today. I grouse about Shodai more than I should, but against some opponents he is unpredictable and dangerous. I expect the Mitakeumi army to be out in force on Saturday to cheer on Nagano’s favorite rikishi.

Tochinoshin vs Daieisho – Fresh from his kinboshi against Kakuryu, Daieisho face the injured relic of Tochinoshin. Tochinoshin is trying to find some way, any way to get more wins in spite of what is clearly overwhelming pain in his knee.

Tamawashi vs Goeido – Goeido has been hit or miss for the past few days, and Tamawashi will not given him much of a chance to set up an attack. So that means Goeido moves early, fast and puts everything into an opening gambit. This is when Goeido is at his best.

Kakuryu vs Tomokaze – Tomokaze surprised Kakuryu in Nagoya, handing him his only loss of the basho. But Tomokaze is looking a lot less genki then he was in July, and seems to be focusing on just getting to 8 any way he can.

Aki Day 6 Highlights

It was a tumultuous day on the clay at the Kokugikan, which left us with a sole undefeated leader – journeyman veteran Okinoumi. The favored rikishi in multiple matches went out, went down, and handed the white star to the other guy. How bad was it? You will know once you watch the video feed. It was the kind of day that makes sumo fans frustrated. There were multiple “non-kimarite” finishes, and the crowning achievement was Yokozuna Kakuryu’s second kinboshi in 2 days. I am going to say the lone surviving Yokozuna may be hurt now, and we may be headed to a “nokazuna” tournament shortly.

Highlight Matches

Takanosho defeats Yutakayama – Juryo visitor and Juryo yusho co-leader puts the doom on Yutakayama with an overwhelming thrusting attack. This is Yutakayama’s forte, but Takanosho just attacks with no quarter.

Ishiura defeats Tochiozan – Ishiura seems to have found a nice “groove”, which looks similar to Enho’s, but is more maneuver / evade based. It’s working well, and today it pushed grizzled veteran Tochiozan back down to 3-3.

Takagenji defeats Toyonoshima – I am happy to see Takagenji get it together enough to win another one. Folks love Toyonoshima, but I am starting to worry he may have reached the end of his run in the top division. Takagenji went left hand inside, and was able to resist Toyonoshima’s considerable forward pressure.

Nishikigi defeats Azumaryu – Nishikigi once again employs that double-arm bar hold that takes his opponents upper body out of the fight. Most rikishi (like Azumaryu) immediately shrug hard to try and break their arms free. It also raises their center of gravity and gives Nishikigi the win.

Tsurugisho defeats Shohozan – Tsurugisho kept trying to pull, but eventually decided to just face Shohozan, who looked uncharacteristically disrupted today.

Onosho defeats Daishoho – Onosho continues to look rough, but he is piecing together enough wins to keep true on a kachi-koshi trajectory. Hapless Daishoho has yet to win a single match.

Enho defeats Kagayaki – I give a lot of credit to Kagayaki, who seems to have tuned his attack to Enho. He shifts his thrusting about 12 cm lower, and manages to put a lot of pressure on the fire-pixie. But Enho calibrates and adjusts rapidly, breaking contact and coming back lower still. He repeats this 2 more times, each time grabbing for a leg, and Kagayaki stops trying to attack and starts trying to get away. Now off balance, Enho picks him off with no trouble. Wow.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Sadanoumi – Terutsuyoshi has had a rough start, but he was on his sumo today. He found Sadanoumi’s unprotected belly at the tachiai, and kept thrusting.

Meisei defeats Kotoyuki – After a strong start, Kotoyuki has gone back to being a bit silly. Granted he was against Meisei, who is fighting well, but any time I see a post-bout jogging tour of the zabuton section, I have to wonder.

Takarafuji defeats Kotoshogiku – Kotoshogiku sets up the hug-n-chug straight out of the tachiai, but Takarafuji know Kotoshogiku’s horizontal hold is poor, and twists at the tawara to send the Kyushu Bulldozer over the edge in a heap.

Okinoumi defeats Shimanoumi – Really straightforward match that gave Okinoumi his 6th consecutive win, and by the end of the day, sole position atop the leaderboard. Shimanoumi got a left hand inside position at the tachiai, but Okinoumi had control of this match from the start.

Myogiryu defeats Chiyotairyu – I have not seen the wall-buster, canon-ball tachiai from Chiyotairyu yet this basho, and as a result he is 1-5. His balance is always poor, and with a lack of forward energy, its easy for Myogiryu bring him down.

Kotoeko defeats Ryuden – It’s time for the first WTF match! We have Kotoeko fighting well, and a moment of Ryuden’s hand on Kotoeko’s mage, but hey, they keep fighting. Kotoeko gets morozashi, but Ryuden man-handles the smaller Kotoeko out. Everyone gathers to conclude with bow, but Kotoekgo gets the envelopes? Yeah, seems Ryuden put a toe out. Kimarite is listed as isamiashi, which is ancient Yayoi for “Stink Foot”.

Tomokaze defeats Shodai – By the end of this match, fans might conclude that the Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan was really hitting the cat nip. Again we see Tomokaze bring the weak sumo with “all pulls all the time”, but he manages to get Shodai in flight before he can try any of his cartoon sumo. But you have Tomokaze taking a good solid wrench during the final pull on Shodai’s mage as well. So we get a monoii, but its gumbai-dori. I give up, these guys should have tried again as this bout was a slop fest.

Abi defeats Aoiyama – Big Dan Aoiyama continues to struggle, and today its against Abi. Aoiyama is soft at the tachiai, and Abi more or less toys with him for a second before stepping aside and letting the Aoiyama sail past. Excuse me, sir? A bit more sumo please.

Mitakeumi defeats Hokutofuji – Hokutofuji’s handshake tachiai once again fails to find its mark, and leaves his center-mass wide open for Mitakeumi to attack. Attack he does, and Hokutofuji finds his narrow window for any offense quickly taken away, and a heartbeat later he is over the tawara.

Endo defeats Takakeisho – Endo had the upper hand on this one, as he closed in on Takakeisho and went to work while Takakeisho seemed to try a desperate pull down. But the important element of this match is in fact the kimarite: tsukihiza. As Endo was working to set up a throw, Takakeisho’s knee (the bad one) collapsed out from under him. Maybe he stepped on the gyoji’s sandal? Any way you slice it, more slop.

Asanoyama defeats Goeido – But the Great Sumo Cat was not done, oh no indeed. Asanoyama shows us his Yusho performance was a prelude to the future of sumo, as he grapples Goeido, shuts down his offense and extends his career record over the Ozeki to 3-1. As the match raged, the Gyoji took a dive over the East side, with the Tate Gyoji desperately rising to take over the match but slipping and falling down himself. Goeido looks to have Asanoyama pinned to the edge but in fact Asanoyama has Goeido locked for a throw. Ignore the gyoji antics and watch some first class yotsu-zumo from these two today.

Tamawashi defeats Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin’s hurt, and is getting no chance to set up his lift-and-shift sumo any more. With Tamawashi you are in for an oshi-battle, and at first it looks like Tochinoshin had secured his much needed 3rd win. But once again the Great Sumo Cat, now bombed out of his mind on sumo and cat nip, summons the monoii, who identify that Tochinoshin likewise has a case of “stink foot” and awards the match to Tamawashi. Dead body? Stink foot? Corn clog in port 7? This match has it all.

Daieisho defeats Kakuryu – Anyone who has cats knows, they can be jerks. When mine gets in a mood, he will start knocking things off of shelves just to watch them break. I am going to assume this was the general disposition of that mystical kami I call “The Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan” today. Kakuryu had control over this match, until a poorly considered attempt to pull left his chest open, and Daieisho attacked with precision and vigor. This is 2 kinboshi dropped by Kakuryu in 2 days. He has in the past gotten mentally off of his sumo when he starts to lose, so lets see if he can get it back under control.