May 2017, Day 15, Terunofuji v Takayasu

Ozeki Terunofuji’s all like, “You’re gonna be Ozeki next tournament, Takayasu, but until then I outrank you. You go ahead and try that arm throw from the right side, I’ll clamp on an armlock and introduce you to the ground.” And Takayasu’s all like, “OK, you made your point, my arm’s a little sore now, but don’t forget that I’ve beat you more times than you’ve beat me. I’ll see you in July.” Terunofuji finishes 12-3, Takayasu 11-4. But Takayasu still holds the edge in head-to-head bouts with Terunofuji, eight wins to seven.

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.

May 2017, Day 13, Terunofuji v Tochiozan

Ozeki Terunofuji handles Tochiozan fairly easily, switching from a left-handed overarm grip to a left-side armlock that rolls Tochiozan to the clay. Tochiozan falls to his eighth loss, while Terunofuji still has slim hope of a tournament championship, needing to beat Yokozuna Hakuho tomorrow to have a chance.

May 2017, Day 13, Ichinojo v Tokushoryu

Props to Ichinojo for hanging in there today and pulling off a nice come-from-behind win. The left-handed underarm grip keeps him in the bout, helping him defend against Tokushoryu’s overarm throw attempts, but it’s an armlock throw from the right side that finishes off Tokushoryu at the edge. Both Ichinojo and Tokushoryu go into the last two days with a 7-6 record.

May 2017, Day 10, Tamawashi v Endo

The first six times Endo met Tamawashi, Endo emerged victorious. The last five times, the script has flipped. Whether Tamawashi has deciphered the puzzle or Endo’s just mired in mediocrity, there’s not much he could have done today against a tough armlock that sends him stumbling off the dohyo. He rubs his elbow a couple of times to make sure it’s still bending the right way, and contemplates his seventh loss of the tournament. Tamawashi, on the other hand, improves to 7-3.

May 2017, Day 10, Yutakayama v Ishiura

Ishiura spends much of this protracted battle trapped in a headlock by Yutakayama. Yutakayama keeps his left arm wrapped around Ishiura’s head, preventing Ishiura from utilizing the death grip he’s got with his own left hand on Yutakayama’s belt. Leaning on Ishiura’s back, Yutakayama forces a stalemate with a good right-side armlock that makes it hard for Ishiura to contract his left arm and move his big opponent. Finally taking the initiative, Yutakayama powers forward, and Ishiura slides back before setting his feet and somehow twisting Yutakayama around, reversing the position. But Yutakayama keeps the momentum going in his favor and cranks with that armlock, slinging Ishiura off the dohyo like he’s tossing out the bath water. Winning technique is kotenage (armlock throw). Ishiura falls to 5-5, Yutakayama sits at 2-8.

May 2017, Day 4, Tochinoshin v Ura

Ura is entertaining even in defeat. Spectacular bout today against Tochinoshin, who plays the part of the lumbering giant trying to grab onto his elusive and much smaller opponent. Ura doesn’t even move forward at the tachiai, he just stands up and then looks for an opening, trying to stay out of Tochinoshin’s grasp. Showing his famous agility and speed, Ura ducks under Tochinoshin’s slap to try for a leg, but Tochinoshin finally clamps down on Ura’s left arm and uses his right leg for extra leverage on the throw. Ura goes flying through the air, and the referee calls it for Tochinoshin. A conference of the ring judges decides that even though Tochinoshin’s hand touched first, Ura’s body was flipped over and the position was impossible to recover. (This is a rarely-applied ruling called “shinitai” or “dead body.”) Winning technique is kotenage, or armlock throw.