September 2017, Day 5, Terunofuji v Shohozan

Shohozan’s still nursing a big welt on his eyebrow from Day 1, but again he leads with his face at the tachiai against Ozeki Terunofuji. Terunofuji’s height advantage gives him a strong kime (double-overarm arm lock) position, and he tries to stretch Shohozan out like a piece of taffy. But Shohozan pulls the old “I’m a cat that doesn’t want to get picked up” move and makes his torso incredibly long, hanging in there with an underarm belt grip until he can maneuver Terunofuji over the edge of the ring. Nice work by Shohozan to pick up his third win. Terunofuji is now in dire straits, falling to 1-4 in a tournament where he must get eight wins to avoid demotion from Ozeki status.

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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 2, Terunofuji v Kotoshogiku

‘Giku’s on fiyaaah! Maybe without the pressure of maintaining his rank, without having to worry about performing up to everyone’s expectations and preserving his legacy, maybe that’s freed him up to have fun and bust some heads. He’s looked good taking out two Ozeki in a row, and he probably gets no small measure of satisfaction beating the men up at his former rank and proving he can still compete. Today’s victim is Terunofuji, who, like Goeido, is also on kadoban status and in danger of losing his Ozeki rank should he lose 8 or more bouts this tournament. Things aren’t looking good for Terunofuji, as he falls to 0-2.

May 2017, Hakuho Yusho compilation

Yokozuna Hakuho wins the May 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, earning his 38th top-division championship with a perfect record of 15-0. Over the course of fifteen wins he used seven different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (5), hatakikomi (2), uwatenage (2), uwatedashinage (2), yoritaoshi (2), uwatehineri, and oshidashi. Congrats to the champ!

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, 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 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.