Kyushu 2021 Day Fourteen
Tsukiotoshi. The thrust down usually isn't that remarkable, since it mostly involves hitting someone from the side and sending them over. But Hokutofuji managed to use it against Ichinojo from a stalemate by pushing the bigger man up to make him off balance, then over to the ground in one motion.
Match of the Day
Maegashira 5 West Hoshoryu versus Komusubi West Kiribayama
These two up-and-comers were mostly fighting for pride, but they put on one heck of a show. After locking up early, neither had an outstanding grip as both were leaning awkwardly. That meant each man began trying odd techniques, beginning with Hoshoryu going for an assortment of leg trips. After they turned each other around a few times, Hoshoryu got the leverage to bull-rush the bigger Kiribayama out for a simple yorikiri.
Terunofuji will win his second straight yusho. With his Day Fourteen win over Abi, Terunofuji secured the Emperor's Cup. This will be two in two for Terunofuji as a Yokozuna, further establishing his dominance over sumo. He is the sole Yokozuna, and he is performing like it. Terunofuji has no blemishes on his record, and he will be fighting for his first career zensho yusho on Sunday.
Abi did all he could do against Terunofuji. He landed his two handed attack to the neck, which stood Terunofuji up. Abi then had the Yokozuna going backwards at the bales. One hard push could ended it. Instead, Terunofuji stood his ground and blew up Abi's attack. As soon as Terunofuji moved forward, Abi was off balance and quickly went over to the clay. This was one more match where a rikishi gave the Yokozuna everything, and Terunofuji still managed to strongly turn the tables.
Day Fifteen won't have any excitement for the yusho race, but plenty is still to be settled. Takakeisho is the man who could put dirt on Terunofuji on Senshuraku. He can't make Yokozuna next time, but a win would show Takakeisho is a Yokozuna threat for 2022 if he stays healthy. (Those ominous words are permanently attached to him.) Mitakeumi could get 11 wins by beating Shodai, which would also make the start of an Ozeki run a theoretical possibility. In the rest of the Sanyaku, Meisei, Ichinojo, and Kiribayama all have losing records. Meisei is fighting to keep his slide down to Komusubi. Takanosho will join Sanyaku with his 10 wins, and Daieisho and Wakatakakage need their eighth win to be promoted back up on Day Fifteen.
The promotion and demotion situation with Juryo is also somewhat unclear. Two slots were always available, since Hakuho has a ghost position and Asanoyama is still suspended. Shohozan's kachi-koshi means he must go down as well. If Kaisei fals to Endo, he should go down. Kagayaki's awful basho should see him go down, too. But there may not be four rikishi to promote. Tsurugisho and Wakamotoharu are over .500 at Juryo 1 and will be joining Makuuchi in January. Bushozan could get 8-7 on the final day at Juryo 3, while Ichiyamamoto is already at 12 wins from Juryo 4. Everyone else will be a stretch.
At the end of Day Fifteen, Terunofuji will be receiving all the prizes and the adulation while he lifts the emperor's cup. That was the safe bet leading up to the tournament, and he has delivered. He didn't give up a kinboshi, and his worst case scenario will be having one loss to an Ozeki who has an even record against him. That should tell us the most about how the basho will shape up in January.