The middle weekend of any basho sometimes feels like a festival. Nobody is make-koshi yet, and everyone has a chance to slug it out for wins. Great day of sumo, ending with a bit of comedy. Let get it going!
Chiyonokuni defeats Kyokutaisei – Kyokutaisei’s start of the match: “Hey, lets get some sumo going…” Chiyonokuni’s start of the match: “I am going to take that head clean off first…” Kyokutaisei: “umm, left hand inside?” Chiyonokuni: “That head’s still on there, someone get a crowbar” Kyokutaisei: “hidariyotsu..?” Chiyonokuni: “Clearly you are an evil Juryo robot, and must be dispatched, I will come by later to take care of that head”. Chiyonokuni advances to 5-2.
Ichiyamamoto defeats Daiamami – I am sometimes surprised by matches where one rikishi takes early advantage, while the one forced to follow adopts the attack plan of the leader. Ichiyamamoto got a solid neck and face attack going early, and Daiamami tried to respond it kind, but that’s just not his brand of sumo. They went chest to chest, but there was no hope for Daiamami, who got a trip across the tawara for his troubles. Ichiyamamoto improves to 5-2.
Ura defeats Tsurugisho – The Ura Brand™ super low attack worked today, and he was underneath and in against Tsurugisho. From there, that inhuman grip strength latched on to Tsurugisho’s mawashi and Ura charged headlong for the east side. Tsurugisho did not have a prayer and went immediately out. Ura improves to 4-3.
Kagayaki defeats Tokushoryu – Tokushoryu was slow off the shikiri-sen, and in this match that made all of the difference. Kagayaki connected a double arm thrust to Tokushoryu’s neck, and knocked any offense Tokushoryu may have had in mind completely out of the match. A quick grapple and move to the to tawara, and Tokushoryu was out. Kagayaki improves to 4-3.
Ishiura defeats Kaisei – Ishiura uses the best possible plan for him, quick into the tachiai, circle to the side and attack while Kaisei is still trying to get all of his massive body into the match. With Ishiura behind, he throttled up and ran the big Brazilian out for an okuridashi win, advancing to 4-3.
Chiyomaru defeats Terutsuyoshi – I don’t know what ails Terutsuyoshi, but it’s robbed the sumo world of one of the most dynamic rikishi we could count on for a great match. I do hope he can heal up and come back soon. Chiyomaru expertly contains and restrains him, and packages him for crating and shipment. Chiyomaru advances to 3-4.
Tamawashi defeats Chiyonoo – Tamawashi had all the mojo in this match, and was in the process of running Chiyonoo out of town when Chiyonoo tried a last moment hikiotoshi, and it may have worked. A monoii was called, but the gumbi was affirmed, giving Tamawashi his 5th win.
Shimanoumi defeats Tochinoshin – Shimanoumi wisely starts by attacking from his left, focusing power against Tochinoshin’s damaged knee. Points to Tochinoshin, he does look like he’s trying to fight it out now, and puts up a solid counter attack. But Shimanoumi is merciless against Tochinoshin’s weak side, even at one point trying a leg pick against that bandaged leg. Tochinoshin tries to spin up some uwate, but Shimanoumi reverses the flow and tosses Tochinoshin across the bales. Shimanoumi improves to 4-3.
Kotonowaka defeats Hidenoumi – Kotonowaka continues to excel. Readers know I am thrilled to see him finally comfortable enough in the top division for him to bring some of the sumo that got him here in the first place. Hidenoumi got morozashi at the start – Kotonowaka went deep and over Hidenoumi’s shoulders and pulled him down. Kotonowaka advances to 6-1, one win behind the leaders.
Kiribayama defeats Aoiyama – Kiribayama keeps himself too close to Aoiyama for Big Dan to fire up the V-Twin, and keeps his arms too tangled up for Aoiyama to set up any kind of grip. Kiribayama works a left hand inside hold, and eventually turns it into a throw to b ring Aoiyama down. Kiribayama improves to 5-2.
Chiyoshoma defeats Onosho – I am sad that Onosho is only 2-5, but his sumo mechanics need some tuning this July. But the big upside is it was another day of solid, technically sound sumo from Chiyoshoma. As one twitter commentator put it so well, “I like this new no-henka Chiyoshoma who does not act like a dick”. Chiyoshoma 2.0 improves to 4-3.
Hoshoryu defeats Takarafuji – I do like how Hoshoryu communicated, “Yeah, you are just going to lock me up and make me wait, so lets get straight to it” with the tachiai. Takarafuji stood up, caught him and went into defend and extend straight away. Then it was time for Hoshoryu to try him out, a bit of leg trip almost worked, but upset Takarafuji’s balance enough that Hoshoryu had something to work with. Hoshoryu set a foot inside and Takarafuji’s stance, and pushed through again, bringing Takarafuji down. Nice sumo from Hoshoryu, and excellent first match against Takarafuji for him. Hoshoryu improves to 5-2.
Okinoumi defeats Myogiryu – Myogiryu just can’t seem to really push with any power at all. He grapples with Okinoumi directly out of the tachiai, but can’t find any power. Okinoumi tests him out for a moment before he drives him across the bales by yorikiri to improve to 4-3. Myogiryu down to 1-6, and can’t seem to find a win anywhere.
Hokutofuji defeats Chiyotairyu – The tachiai was disappointingly gentle, as I think both expected some kind of jack-assery to happen in the opening moments of the match. With Chiyotairyu’s primary attack avenue shut down, the whole match was a bit of slapping about concluding with a Hokutofuji applying a surprisingly tentative shove. Hokutofuji improves to 4-3.
Wakatakakage defeats Meisei – I watched this one about three times pausing on “good” frames. I really like Wakatakakage’s foot placement in this one. He’s got Meisei high, and he keeps his feet heavy. Meisei is usually better than this on defense, but I am going to chalk this up to Wakatakakage really having a solid match and some spot on technique today. Both men end the day at 3-4.
Mitakeumi defeats Daieisho – Daieisho gets his mega-thrust going, but when you are shaped like Mitakeumi is, that’s really just some kind of odd massage to him. Unable to topple to original tadpole and part time weebil, Mitakeumi starts backing away to let Daieisho over extend, which he is happy to do, and receives a greatly anticipated Daieisho to add to his 1 win misery. Mitakeumi improves to 5-2.
Takanosho defeats Takayasu – Takayasu comes in strong, but gets into trouble when Takanosho counter attacks, and Takayasu can’t maintain traction on the clay. With his feet flat, he gets pushed back to the bales, and is out of territory to defend. Takanosho uses this to full effect, and batters Takayasu off balance, sending him out. Both men end 3-4.
Terunofuji defeats Kotoeko – Terunofuji immediately contains Kotoeko, which seems to trigger Kotoeko’s “Check Engine” light. Terunofuji allows him to struggle for a moment before he carries him out and sends him to the nearest oyakata for the indicated maintence and inspection. Terunofuji improves to 7-0.
Ichinojo defeats Shodai – Can someone please go find Shodai’s Acme box of cartoon sumo? He’s not really an Ozeki without his secret stash of WTF moves, and this is starting to get pathetic. Maybe Yutakayama hid it from him, and he just has not figured out that its under the stairs. Ichinojo left hand outside, carry out service, 2 star review on yelp, that’s Shodai sorted.
Hakuho defeats Tobizaru – I am reminded of the first match between Takakeisho and “The Boss”, but it was less farcical than this number. Tobizaru clearly wanted no part of fighting Hakuho, and kept a ridiculous amount of distance in a Shonanzakura (formerly Hattorizakura) display of sumo timidity. Well, may as well link Herouth’s send up, with Tobizaru clearly playing the role of Tuco.