Myogiryu will likely join Terunofuji at sekiwake on the strength of his 8-7 record at komusubi. But he does have competition in the form of Tochiozan’s 10-5 record at M1. The sekiwake position is very important since it means that wrestler gets a bit of a reprieve during the first week. Does anyone know if Tochiozan will leap over Myogiryu into sekiwake?
The last time a komusubi had an 8-7 record and was not promoted was when Toyonoshima had 8 wins in Fall 2011 but repeated at komusubi in November. In that case, there were three sekiwake who all finished strongly. Kotoshogiku and Kisenosato had 12-3 records and then-sekiwake Kakuryu had a 9-6 record.
For this tournament, though, there will be at least one opening at sekiwake since Okinoumi will be demoted. Maybe there will be three sekiwake this May, Terunofuji and both Tochiozan and Myogiryu? In that case, Ichinojo and Takarafuji would probably both pick up the dreaded komusubi slots, and face the ozeki and yokozuna gauntlet during the first week. Tochinoshin & Toyonoshima will probably snag top maegashira positions, also facing a rough first week against sanyaku opponents.
With these three weak ozeki and these very strong up-and-comers, it will make for a very interesting first week. It would be nice to have several 7-0 rikishi contending going into week 2.