Aki 2021 Day Six
Technically speaking, Terutsuyoshi won by the simple yorikiri. Yet he sent Hidenoumi over the edge by ducking down and grabbing his leg, which meant he was really aiming for the ashitori, or leg pick.
Match of the Day
Maegashira 5 East Chiyoshoma versus Maegashira 1 West Takanosho
Chiyoshoma has looked out of his element in Aki, while Takanosho has looked injured. This match was appropriately chaotic. They awkwardly engaged, had a minor slapfest, spun around each other, and then Chiyoshoma really should have won. Instead, the spinning got to him a little too much and he went over the edge.
And then there was one. On Day Six, just one rikishi remains undefeated, and it is appropriately the shin-Yokozuna Terunofuji. He defeated a game Wakatakakage by absorbing the initial offense and then bottling up the arms for a kimedashi. It wasn't Terunofuji just manhandling an opponent, but it was a key example of why he is dominating.
That's not to say a Terunofuji yusho is inevitable. 5 rikishi sit just one loss back, and this early a 2 loss deficit is not insurmountable. Mitakeumi has two yusho for a reason, despite his inconsistency. Meanwhile, Kiribayama once again beat a high-ranking competitor by out-working Ozeki Shodai in a tough match. Neither man is fighting like he will lose again. Further down, Onosho has been dominating the rikishi around him. Myogiryu and Chiyonokuni are less likely to keep their performance up, but all they need to is win their next match.
Trending in the opposite direction, Takakeisho once again looked like his legs are betraying him. The Ozeki was pushing Tamawashi back, but when the big Mongolian reversed the momentum of the match he couldn't help it. Takakeisho not only went out of the dohyo, but awkwardly off the dohyo. He definitely is struggling, but he also is desperately clawing to get his 8 wins.
There has been remarkable parity between the lower Sanyaku and the upper Maegashira. They keep proving that anyone of them could win, even when their basho has been less than ideal. The upper Maegashira are going to finish running through the Sanyaku slots very soon, and then they must face each other.
A few more non-Sanyaku wrestlers need to face Terunofuji before the traditional Yokozuna trip through the top ranked men. The identity of those wrestlers are key. Terunofuji will be favored to win each of these matches, but he also won't be a lock to win. Right now, Terunofuji is doing just what he is supposed to. Each day brings another challenge, and he has to be on the top after fifteen days. We have nine more for everyone to work on toppling the Shin-Yokozuna.