November 2017, Day 3, Onosho v Takayasu

Onosho has Ozeki Takayasu on the ropes, scrambling to regain his balance after a good shove to the head sends him sideways. But Onosho’s eyes go wide and he pounces too eagerly, his feet slipping out from under him to a disappointing loss. Takayasu stays perfect at 3-0.

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November 2017, Day 1, Chiyotairyu v Takayasu

Back in action after missing most of last tournament due to injury, Ozeki Takayasu seems to be taking it easy on the first day against Chiyotairyu. He’ll need eight wins to avoid demotion from the Ozeki rank since he’s on kadoban status (no exceptions, even for injury), but he looks solid enough in this second-and-a-half of action.

September 2017, Day 14, Arawashi v Yoshikaze

This one takes a while to get going, but doesn’t disappoint once the action begins. Several false starts interrupt the pace of the initial charge, so on the third try when they both get their hands down, it seems like neither Arawashi nor Yoshikaze are really ready. But the ref lets it go, and boy do they go. Both men pivot on one foot and crash out of the ring, each trying to pull the other to the ground an instant earlier than himself. The ref calls it for Arawashi, but the ring judges want to talk it over and decide that the wrestlers touched down simultaneously, so we get a re-do. This time the bout starts without a hitch, but Arawashi’s charge is much stronger and he knocks Yoshikaze back a step. Yoshikaze charges in without looking up and falls into a headlock, failing to move his feet forward when Arawashi pulls him down to the dirt. Arawashi finishes the day at 9-5, Yoshikaze at 8-6.

September 2017, Day 8, Tochinoshin v Onosho

Tochinoshin clearly is not at 100%, but Onosho doesn’t cut him any slack. Staying nice and low, and keeping his opponent in front of him, Onosho pushes hard against Tochinoshin until the perfect time to pull back. Tochinoshin can’t move his feet fast enough to stop his fall, and Onosho improves to 7-1, still tied for the tournament lead.

September 2017, Day 4, Terunofuji v Onosho

The list of undefeated wrestlers in this tournament is getting shorter, but Onosho keeps hanging in there with the other four. He continues to show great confidence in his bouts against the best of the division, charging head-on into Terunofuji’s chest and standing up the Ozeki with a hand to the neck, before pulling down hard to drop Terunofuji to the clay. Onosho moves to 4-0 along with M1 Kotoshogiku, M3 Chiyotairyu, M9 Takanoiwa, and M11 Daieisho.

September 2017, Day 4, Endo v Yutakayama

Endo finally gets his shiznit together against a game opponent in Yutakayama. Yutakayama is in his second-ever tournament in Makuuchi after getting bounced down to Juryo last time around, and he’ll have to put together a string of wins to avoid the same fate this September. But back to Endo, he shows good resolve from a precarious position at the edge of the dohyo that usually sees him let off the steam and give up. Nice to see him fight back and get the win. Yutakayama has a great bout up until the very end, when he makes the common mistake of pushing too hard without keeping his feet stable and underneath him. Endo moves to 3-1, Yutakayama 1-3.

September 2017, Day 3, Mitakeumi v Shohozan

See, I told you Mitakeumi would figure it out. Today Mitakeumi keeps his weight centered over his feet to defend against Shohozan’s always-fierce pushing attack. Without overextending himself he uses one mighty shove against the chin to lift Shohozan’s head backwards before pulling down hard on the arms and dropping his opponent to the dirt. With a spate of injuries depleting the ranks of contenders in the top division, Mitakeumi could challenge for the title if he manages to stay focused.