- Fantasy Basho
Natsu 2021 Day Two
Ishiura won by Okuridashi, the rear push out. Although really, he did a mini-henka. Ishiura went to the side of the much, much larger Chiyomaru, grabbed his mawashi, and pushed on the Eternally Round ones hip.
Match of The Day
Komusubi East Mitakeumi versus Ozeki 1 West Takakeisho
These two are even over their career. They were weirdly even on the dohyo on Day Two. Takakeisho had the initial advantage, but he never quite got the moment that resulted in a win. Mitakeumi kept parrying and parrying and parrying Takakeisho's attacks. Finally, Mitakeumi turned it around to give the final shove to Takakeisho.
The to-plan basho that Day One appeared to be showing us went completely to hell on Day Two. Ichinojo and Takarafuji should have given us a premonition something weird was happening, because they stalled out for an inordinate amount of time without either seeming to gain any advantage. Without spectators, their heavy breathing was ominous. This felt like a slow motion battle towards a boring yorikiri. Instead, Ichinojo pulled out a surprising shitatedashinage, or pulling underarm throw.
Then the suprises kept coming. Archetypal pusher Daieisho needed a powerful yoritaoshi, with a belt grip, to actually put away Kiribayama. Chiyonokuni was giving Takayasu his all, verging on the upset, until he moved sideways and easily down. Tobizaru did pull off the upset in a solid grapple with Takanosho. Meisei turned Asanoyama around at the bales for his upset. Terunofuji managed to withstand a hard-charging Hokutofuji. Shodai was not so lucky against Wakatakakage, who steadily shoved out the Ozeki. Then Mitakeumi got the upset in the musubi no ichiban.
The top of the Banzuke is remarkably even, with the non-Yokozuna Sanyaku wrestlers all getting at least 7 wins last time out. The top 3 Maegashira, Wakatakakage, Hokutofuji, and Meisei, all had Sanyaku level performances in March. The top 11 wrestlers all had the ability to make a dent in this tournament. Tobizaru so far has shown the 12th ranked wrestler is in a similar position. This basho could be a bloodbath for the whole two weeks.
With the number of upsets on Day Two, the anything-could-happen quality of sumo is coming to the fore. Maybe that anything-could-happen quality is only with the current very odd situation of no Yokozuna, an even Ozeki corps, and a deep raft of sekitori after that. Still, that's the way this basho is set up. Prepare for chaos.
And prepare for an odd shape to the basho. Terunofuji could run away with it, of course. Even though he's won his first two matches, he didn't just overrun his opponents. The straight ahead Day One was followed by an upset heavy Day Two. What Day Three, Day Ten, and Day Fifteen hold are unclear. Yet they'll probably be remarkable.