November Tournament: Day 6

Suddenly, all eyes are on a Giant killer — Takayasu? Wait, what? Wow.


Takayasu’s victory over the previously unbeaten Hakuho creates a brand new story line leading into Day 7 of the November Tournament. Takayasu benefited earlier this week from Harumafuji stepping out of bounds, so he picked up a gold star. It was actually the third he’d won off Harumafuji. But today he picked up potentially the biggest win of his career so far by knocking off Hakuho. Recently, Oosunaarashi was able to knock off two yokozuna in a row – particularly remarkable as it was the first two yokozuna he’d faced – but senior yokozuna Hakuho was able to put him in his place. Since both have had great matches together. It’s good to see Oosunaarashi’s aggression up against Hak.

Not only does Takayasu’s win put Hakuho’s 32nd yusho into doubt, it also raises the possibility that, should he pull off another stunning upset tomorrow against Kakuryu, Takayasu can claim gold stars from all three yokozuna in the same tournament. History is not with him. He’s faced Kakuryu 8 times and has only won twice, once when Kakuryu was sekiwake, and again as ozeki. Can he dethrone the yokozuna?

If Takayasu does pull it off tomorrow, the yusho would be a wide open contest as there are now seven wrestlers with one loss: from low-ranked maegashira like Sokokurai, Arawashi and Kyokutenho, middling maegashira Okinoumi, Toyonoshima, and Tochinoshin, ozeki Kisenosato, and now super-zuna Hakuho. The next few days should feature loads of great matchups.

Harumafuji and Kakuryu both won, Kakuryu having avenged himself against Ichinojo in a marathon bout that could leave him exhausted. Kisenosato’s one loss came after just such a grueling victory. For his part, Kisenosato was able to win a close one against Tochiozan, the outcome decided after a monoii.

Aoiyama (4-2) has been FIERCE. I like this Aoiyama. He was able to hand Ikioi his fifth loss. He’s not had much success against Goeido in the past, losing 9 of 10 meetings, but he’s been strong this tournament while Goeido has struggled a bit. I’m still hopeful for Ikioi to get kachi-koshi after he’s been through the sanyaku gauntlet. He’s got Ichinojo (3-3) tomorrow and surely a hungry Kakuryu after that but things should ease off a bit.

Goeido and Kotoshogiku have been struggling early in this tournament, and both stand at 3-3. Like Ikioi, they should benefit from weaker opposition in the second half of the tournament.

Kyokutenho will face a challenge in Endo who has struggled of late but is very talented and certainly capable of the win.


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