Is Nishikigi for real? Takayasu is cleaning up against mid-maegashira. But Nishikigi is tearing up sanyaku. What is this? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Nishikigi is still only half-way to sweeping up sansho prizes, much less talk of yusho. There’s a lot of sumo remaining. But what an impressive start!
Roga (2-3) defeated Bushozan (1-4): Bushozan launched forward at the tachiai but Roga was quickly able to secure a grip on his belt and drive forward, forcing Bushozan over the bales. Yorikiri.
Endo (4-1) defeated Takarafuji (3-2): Endo drove Takarafuji to the edge and then shoved him, forcefully, to send Takarafuji over the edge. Oshidashi.
Ryuden (1-4) defeated Hakuoho (3-2): Hakuoho seemed uncomfortable with a left-hand inside grip and struggled to generate any offense. Ryuden took advantage and worked Hakuoho to the edge and over. Yorikiri.
Shonannoumi (4-1) defeated Aoiyama (2-3): Aoiyama’s tsuppari was not very effective at moving the makuuchi debutant. Shonannoumi shrugged off Aoiyama’s attack, moved inside and secured a belt grip. From there, he quickly walked Aoiyama back and out of the ring. Oshidashi.
Daishoho (1-4) defeated Chiyoshoma (2-3): Useless henka attempt from Daishoho. But Chiyoshoma’s early tsuppari was ineffective and even when Chiyoshoma acquired a belt grip, he was unable to budge Daishoho. Daishoho, on the other hand, was finally able to use his weight and gather up his strength to move forward and he drove Chiyoshoma over the edge. Yorikiri.
Kotoshoho (2-3) defeated Tsurugisho (1-4): Kotoshoho pressed forward and shoved Tsurugisho over the edge. Oshidashi. Tsurugisho immediately cradled his left arm. He had used his upper-body strength yesterday but if that’s sapped with a left arm injury, he may be toast with no offensive options.
Gonoyama (5-0) defeated Kotoeko (3-2): The strength of Gonoyama’s tachiai was enough to stagger Kotoeko, drawing appreciative gasps from the crowd. Kotoeko was not able to corral Gonoyama, who used his tsuppari effectively to chase Kotoeko around the ring before slapping him down. In truth, Kotoeko was over-extended and off-balance as he tried to re-engage, so he slipped to the dohyo easily. I’m not sure whether Gonoyama’s slap down even connected. Hatakikomi.
Myogiryu (2-3) defeated Takanosho (0-5): As Myogiryu pushed forward, Takanosho’s left leg buckled. They called it Tsukiotoshi. The way Takanosho went down, I would have been tempted to call tsukihiza but Myogiryu had been generating a good bit of forward pressure.
Kinbozan (3-2) defeated Nishikifuji (3-2): Simple shift of direction from Kinbozan and a quick slap-down. Textbook hatakikomi.
Hokutofuji (4-1) defeated Sadanoumi (1-4): Hokutofuji’s ottsuke, paired with his effective tsuppari left Sadanoumi struggling to find a way inside. When Hokutofuji got Sadanoumi spun around, it was an easy pushout from behind. Okuridashi.
Tamawashi (4-1) defeated Onosho (1-4): Onosho did a good job driving Tamawashi back to the edge but Tamawashi did a better job of pivoting, grabbing the belt (what?) and forcing Onosho over the edge. Yorikiri. Yes, Tamawashi with a yotsu-style win.
Takayasu (5-0) defeated Hiradoumi (1-4): Takayasu drove forward and when Hiradoumi resisted, pressing forward with all of his weight, Takayasu stepped aside and executed a beautiful, forceful slapdown. Hatakikomi.
Ura (3-2) defeated Oho (2-3): From a master class in how to execute a slapdown, to a master class in how to defeat a slapdown. Oho drove Ura to the tawara and then pulled, trying a slapdown. Ura just moved forward with Oho and accelerated, driving Oho into the third row of VIP seats. Tsukidashi.
Hokuseiho (3-2) defeated Asanoyama (3-2): Hokuseiho executed his sumo well against a very strong opponent. Hokuseiho attempted a throw, and while it didn’t force Asanoyama down, it was successful at forcing Asanoyama to the edge. Hokuseiho tried to shove Asanoyama over but Asanoyama resisted. However, Hokuseiho kept up the pressure and forced Asanoyama to step out. Yorikiri.
Midorifuji (1-4) defeated Mitakeumi (0-5): A lengthy grapple at the center of the ring. Mitakeumi couldn’t get the power needed to drive Midorifuji back. Midorifuji eventually relented, dropped his resistance and pulled and shoved Mitakeumi to the ground. Tsukiotoshi.
Kotonowaka (3-2) defeated Shodai (2-3): Once Kotonowaka got Shodai in a bear hug, Shodai was toast. You don’t need a belt grip to execute yotsu-zumo and this was an excellent example. Kotonowaka held Shodai right under the armpits in a bear hug. Yorikiri.
Hoshoryu (4-1) defeated Abi (3-2): Abi’s henka-slapdown attempt failed. So he followed up with his standard tsuppari driving Hoshoryu to the edge. But it was Hoshoryu who demonstrated the proper way to leverage misdirection. “Henka are so pedestrian, dude. You’re basic.” He shifted so effectively, Abi was shoving nothing but air and crumpled to the ground when Hoshoryu reappeared behind him. Okuritaoshi.
Nishikigi (5-0) defeated Wakamotoharu (3-2): Nishikigi is in the zone. Which one of these guys was on the Ozeki run? He had a significant weight advantage and used it to drive Wakamotoharu over the edge. Yorikiri.
Daieisho (4-1) defeated Meisei (2-3): That was Daiei-zumo. Well done. Oshidashi.
Tobizaru (2-3) defeated Kirishima (1-2-2): Kirishima came out strong but Tobizaru resisted and drove the shin-Ozeki back and into the front row. Yorikiri.