For the past few days, a very saturated leaderboard has kept our minds busy with speculations. Will Asanoyama pull through as “less worthy” rikishi fall away? Will we see another bottom rung champion? Will Takakeisho hold it together? Will Shodai finally see the fruits of his labor? Did Onosho’s brief sole lead foreshadow something significant? Will there be a massive playoff? We love playoffs. Or is it going to be someone completely random like… Takarafuji or Wakatakakage?
Such are the type of questions that might define the next few years, or even decade, in the absence of utterly dominant forces like Hakuho. Amid all that, day 10’s action was straight and to the point. Efficiently whittling down the leading contenders into slightly more digestible chunks. In first place we have five; an Ozeki, a Sekiwake, and three middle to lower rank-and-filers. On deck, an Ozeki, and a former Ozeki. Eight rikishi bring up the rear at six wins each. One of these third place contenders is the massive Bulgarian Aoiyama, the winner of today’s Bout of the Day.
Not the most popular rikishi, it shouldn’t be overlooked that Aoiyama has had some of his best performances even with Yokozuna present. Anyway, in contrast to yesterday’s B.O.T.D., here’s what happens when the larger man effectively uses his advantages against a comparatively smaller opponent. Although Meisei did a great job of staying low and using leverage to control the center of the ring throughout most of the fight, once a big man gets his grip, it’s often just a matter of time…
|East||Tale of the Tape||West|
|E. Maegashira #13||Rank||W. Maegashira #7|
|Hidari yotsu-zumo||Style||Migi yotsu-zumo|
|1 win||Past Meetings (5)||4 wins|
|5-4||Record this Basho||5-4|
Aoiyama, kotenage, 6-4.