Harumafuji leads with a right-handed slap to the face that lets him slip his left arm under and get the belt grip he’s aiming for. Tamawashi tries to shake him off with an arm lock, but Harumafuji’s grip is too strong. With good low posture, the Yokozuna bulls forward and takes Tamawashi over the edge of the ring. Tamawashi is in a precarious position at 5-7, while Harumafuji stays mathematically in the title hunt with ten other wrestlers tied for second place at 8-4.
Nobody panic, nobody panic, NOBODY PANIC! With all the three-loss wrestlers losing today, Goeido maintains his two-win lead over the pack despite dropping his bout to the always-tough Shohozan. But the pack is enormous, with ten wrestlers at 8-4, including definite contenders Harumafuji, Yoshikaze, Kotoshogiku, and Onosho. If Goeido loses again in the next couple of days, it could make his final-day match-up with Yokozuna Harumafuji reeeeeeaally interesting. But until then, NOBODY PANIC!!
Takakeisho sets up the same rhythm that helped him beat Yokozuna Harumafuji, but Yoshikaze turns the tables and yanks him down. Is that getting hoisted by your own petard? Yoshikaze is glad to have his eighth win under his mawashi, and Takakeisho still has a few days left to earn his makekoshi, finishing the day at 7-5.
Brutal tachiai by Kotoshogiku today. Pretty sure ‘Giku’s forehead smashing into his chin stunned poor Chiyotairyu, and his knees go out from under him. He’s a little wobbly getting up, but he looks ok after a few steps. Kotoshogiku earns his eighth win, and both men finish the day at 8-4.
There have been few bright spots for Tochinoshin this tournament, but today’s victory over Hokutofuji is one of them. Despite losing the tachiai and getting pushed back to the tawara, Tochinoshin reaches his long arm over Hokutofuji’s back for the left-handed overarm grip. A posture reset gets him low enough to add the underarm grip on the right side, and then he just out-muscles his opponent, slowly turning his body and dumping Hokutofuji out of the ring by uwatenage (overarm throw). Tochinoshin earns his third win, and Hokutofuji falls to 4-8.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Aoiyama, dude, that’s totally unnecessary. After Hakuho was chided last year for an extra shove that sent Yoshikaze crashing onto the ring judge (breaking his leg), I’m pretty sure everyone took notice that this kind of behavior won’t be tolerated. This late push by Aoiyama is egregious and unacceptable, and I expect he’ll earn a stern rebuke from the elders.
Arawashi (M9) is the highest-ranked wrestler Asanoyama has ever faced, and he is not ready for the amount of energy his senpai brings to the bout. Arawashi shows a mix of grappling, throws, and mobility that highlights the difference in skill level and strength between the two men. It’s the left-handed overarm grip that does most of the damage, and Asanoyama seems perplexed that a smaller wrestler is slinging him around the ring so easily. Still, Asanoyama has had a great first tournament so far, and both men finish the day at 8-4.