May 2017, Day 15, Ichinojo v Chiyotairyu

Chiyotairyu defeats The Glacier with the world’s slowest matador side-step that still manages to confuse Ichinojo as he stumbles on by. Both men finish the tournament with winning records – Chiyotairyu at 9-6, and Ichinojo at 8-7.

May 2017, Day 15, Daishomaru v Ura

Ura, man, that’s kinda not cool. Everyone knows your tachiai is a little weird, you don’t charge forward with full effort, and that’s part of your style. But today you literally stepped backwards. Granted, hooking under the leg of Daishomaru and swinging him out with the beltless arm throw was a nice finish. But your 11-4 record is going to mean a good promotion next tournament, and it’ll be interesting to see how some really top-notch wrestlers handle your unorthodox sumo. Good luck!

May 2017, Day 14, Harumafuji v Goeido

After a thundering tachiai from both men sends vibrations through the dohyo, Goeido takes over and pushes Harumafuji all the way to the other side of the ring. Harumafuji gets his foot planted in the cut-out tokudawara and escapes to the side, but when he charges forward he comes in too low and Goeido slaps him down. It’s all academic as Hakuho has already clinched the championship, but Goeido earns his ninth win of the tournament, a good sign after a losing record last time out. Harumafuji, finishing the day at 11-3, will go up against fellow Yokozuna Hakuho tomorrow on the last day.

May 2017, Day 14, Terunofuji v Hakuho

It’s an epic bout with the tournament on the line, with Ozeki Terunofuji needing to defeat Yokozuna Hakuho to have any chance at a championship. A win by Hakuho today will separate him from the second-place wrestlers by two losses with only one day remaining, guaranteeing him his 38th title. Hakuho fakes the face slap, opting to go in and meet Terunofuji head on at the tachiai. From there on out it’s a tactical battle, with Terunofuji doing a fantastic job staying low and fighting off the Yokozuna’s arms. But Terunofuji can’t get a belt grip either, and eventually Hakuho’s strength is too much to overcome. Hakuho pushes out Terunofuji, taking him over the edge with an extra shove to let him know who’s boss. Congrats to Hakuho, finishing the day still perfect at 14-0, and winning the top-division championship no matter what happens tomorrow.

May 2017, Day 14, Shodai v Takayasu

There aren’t many wrestlers who can push Takayasu back at the tachiai, and Shodai isn’t able to do it today. But he fights back through Takayasu’s strong slaps, reaching under with his left arm just as Takayasu secures the overarm grip. Shodai leans hard into Takayasu’s body to counter the throw, and manages to keep horizontal long enough for Takayasu to touch down first. The win gives Shodai a 9-5 record. Takayasu, at 11-3, will face Ozeki Terunofuji tomorrow on the last day.

May 2017, Day 14, Tochiozan v Yoshikaze

Tochiozan has really underperformed this tournament. From the M4 rank, I expected him to easily earn a winning record. But he earns his ninth loss against a motivated Yoshikaze, who does well to fight through Tochiozan’s defenses and wrap up his waist at the edge. Yoshikaze earns his kachikoshi, finishing the day at 8-6.

May 2017, Day 14, Toyohibiki v Chiyoshoma

Toyohibiki takes three steps forward before going airborne, wading right into the armlock throw of Chiyoshoma. Chiyoshoma takes one step forward and one step back before setting his feet and cranking on Toyohibiki’s arm, using the heavier wrestler’s momentum against him.