(Thanksgiving Holiday commentary hiatus)
No drama here, as Chiyotairyu gives up the morozashi (double under) position to the Yokozuna right at the tachiai, and has absolutely no chance to recover. Hakuho does his job and moves to 4-0, tied for the early tournament lead with Ozeki pair Goeido and Takayasu, M4 Ichinojo, and veteran M13 Aminishiki.
Someone had to win this bout between two 0-3 ex-Ozekis. Terunofuji continues his downward slide, showing little strength or effort and getting dominated by Kotoshogiku. His only display of emotion is a small head shake after the loss, but there shouldn’t be anything mysterious to him about it. He needs to find the fire again.
Juryo wrestler Ryuden (cool name, btw) has been in professional sumo for over ten years, and he has his first bout in the top division today. He doesn’t waste the opportunity, taking on tough-as-nails Kotoyuki and absorbing some punishment before getting both arms around Kotoyuki’s waist and walking him over the edge. Good job staying on track after Kotoyuki’s spin move halfway through, too.
Yokozuna Kisenosato loses the tachiai to Chiyotairyu, getting driven back off the shikiri-sen. But he keeps his composure, fights back, keeps his feet moving, and quickly takes Chiyotairyu out the other side of the dohyo. Nice posture at the end, not getting overextended. Kisenosato is 2-1.
A battle at the Sekiwake rank today, and Yoshikaze comes out top to earn his first victory of the tournament. Terunofuji seems to lack power – his tachiai is lackluster and he has no answer for Yoshikaze, who stays busy to get underneath Terunofuji’s center of gravity and walk him out for the yorikiri win. Former Ozeki Terunofuji falls to 0-3.
What’d I tell you? The only consistent thing about Endo is his inconsistency. He looks great for the first 9/10 of this bout, good sharp tsuppari thrusts and a solid base. But suddenly Shodai gets both hands under Endo’s arms and Endo can’t drop his hips quickly enough to defend. He loses the positional battle and loses his first bout of the tournament.