Hopefully many of our injured favorites will be back, healthy. Clearly, Hakuho, Ikioi and Ichinojo were not 100%. But the officially injured Terunofuji, Osunaarashi, Endo, & Jokoryu… Sadly, Osunaarashi, Endo, and Jokoryu will be in Juryo in March. Terunofuji will join Goeido as kadoban.
I wrote previously about last year’s hatsubasho obliterating the rough-and-tumble ranks between Sekiwake and M4. This year produced the same effect, in many cases with the same players. Tochiozan, Tochinoshin, Ichinojo, Aoiyama, Ikioi and Kaisei need to think about changing their New Year’s traditions as they’ll all find themselves tumbling down the banzuke again in March. Ichinojo will be close to – if not at – the bottom of the makuuchi.
Okinoumi will again benefit from the destruction in higher ranks, along with Kotoyuki and Toyonoshima. It’s likely one or two of them will even leapfrog into sanyaku. Yoshikaze, Kotoyuki and Takarafuji are the only rikishi from those higher ranks left standing.