Kyushu 2021 Day Two
Sukuinage. Terunofuji won over Daieisho with a beltless arm throw, which he needed to do. Daieisho perfectly prevented the Yokozuna from grabbing his Mawashi. It did not matter, because Terunofuji could still do the throw.
Match of the Day
Maegashira #6 West Tamawashi versus Maegashira #5 West Hoshoryu
This was, for reasons we will get to, not a GREAT match. But it did have the potential to be, because Tamawashi began the match by eating up Hoshoryu with oshi-zumo. At the bales, Hoshoryu managed to stop Tamawashi's momentum and actually grabbed the older man's belt. Then he executed what seemed to be a glorious backwards twisting throw. However, the gyoji pointed to Tamawashi and there was no Mono-ii, although the replay seemed to show Hoshoryu didn't step out.
Terunofuji took another win after a lower ranked rikishi who gave him more than he could handle. If that pattern continues, the musubi no ichiban will be wildly exciting for fifteen days. In reality, Terunofuji will have some easy wins, because he is so powerful he can win even win Daieisho mauls him for 15 seconds and sends him backwards. Terunofuji is still the favorite, even though he hasn't had a textbook match over two days.
Other rikishi appear to be a threat still. Takakeisho has won two in a row with his trademark shove the hell out of the other guy sumo. Mitakeumi has been his efficient, effective best self. Lower down the Banzuke, Hokutofuji is showing he is worth a higher rank at full strength. Abi has been doing his disruptive tsuppari to great effect. These four men could all be undefeated well into the second week.
Yet upset candidates abound across Makuuchi. Shodai and Ichinojo are uneven wrestlers, but they both could topple anyone on any day. The upper Maegashira ranks are filled with rikishi who are either up-and-coming wrestlers who want to make a mark or solid veterans who know how to win. Hoshoryu versus Tamawashi seemed to be a collision of just that dynamic, and had a weird ending because of it. Tamawashi knew how to handle the youngster, but Hoshoryu had more of an ability to do something spectacular. That type of match can happen each day.
As the sole Yokozuna, Terunofuji has a weird position. On every single day's Torikumi, Terunofuji will be in the final match. Additionally, his opponent in each of those final matches will be absolutely gunning for him. Over the next week or so, a series of Maegashira will have a chance at a kinboshi and a signature win. In the second week, he should be in matches that will help decide the yusho race. He doesn't get a simple match on paper.
In the dohyo, Terunofuji always could have an easy match. He is powerful, huge, and focused. He needed to readjust against Kiribayama on Day One, while Daieisho nearly pushed him to the edge on Day Two. He still won both matches. One of these days, he will be able to grab a mawashi and escort someone out of the dohyo in a matter of seconds. That's why he got to Yokozuna in the first place.