(Thanksgiving Holiday commentary hiatus)
This is a fantastic example of good old-fashioned blue-collar sumo, just two guys locked up in the middle of the ring trying to figure out who’s stronger. Hokutofuji comes out on top, surviving an armlock throw and using his own belt grip to sling Chiyonokuni off balance, ending with a shove to Chiyonokuni’s chin that sends him backwards out of the ring. Great effort from both wrestlers.
Nothing fancy here, just two dudes trying to knock each other out. Mitakeumi comes out on top, literally, crushing out Chiyonokuni with authority. Great bout.
Great setup and execution by Chiyonokuni, taking the fight hard to Shohozan before a perfectly-timed yank on the back of Shohozan’s head. And right after absorbing a big slap to the face, too. Way to keep your head on straight.
Way to take it to the big guy! Chiyonokuni uses a barrage of attacks to the neck and chin with excellent accuracy to wear down Kaisei until he can knock him down.
Fierce battle between two motivated wrestlers, Kotoshogiku hoping to add to his win total and return to the top sanyaku ranks (komusubi and sekiwake), and Chiyonokuni still hunting his eighth victory. Chiyonokuni shows great mobility and energy, stopping Kotoshogiku with a violent tachiai before jumping sideways to try and get behind his opponent. He charges in with a stiff-arm to the face, getting a right-handed overarm grip in the process that helps him defend against Kotoshogiku’s final charge. Right at the edge, with his foot in the extra space of the toku-dawara, Chiyonokuni spins on a dime and drops Kotoshogiku with that right-side grip. Uwatenage (overarm throw) for the win.
Fantastic match-up between Chiyonokuni and Takekaze, showing a good mix of full-on tsuppari (open-palm thrusts/slaps), grappling, and belt work. Takekaze uses a knee-buckling outside leg sweep to get his left arm deep around Chiyonokuni’s belt, securing the right-handed belt grip shortly after. His left arm is high underneath Chiyonokuni’s right, keeping it away from his belt, so Chiyonokuni has to stretch his left hand for the overarm belt grip in order to get some kind of leverage. Chiyonokuni pulls hard with the left hand, breaking Takekaze’s left-handed grip and slinging Takekaze around towards the edge of the ring. But Takekaze returns the favor, using the momentum to his advantage and twisting down hard with his right hand to crumple Chiyonokuni to the clay. Official technique is kirikaeshi (twisting backward knee trip), but I didn’t see Takekaze use his knee at all behind Chiyonokuni’s leg. To this amateur’s eye it looked more like a shitatehineri (twisting underarm throw), but I don’t have access to the slow-mo replays or the decades of experience it takes to make the official call.