As grim it is to talk about all the great Sumotori who are facing a lowered rank, the fun part is talking about how those who excelled at Nagoya are set to rise in rank with the arrival of the Banzuke for the Aki Basho in Tokyo, starting September 11th. Although the ratio of winning records to losing records was 2 winners for ever 3 losers, some great wrestlers are going to find new rankings come August 28th.
The upper levels of the top Makuuchi division are the toughest and most competitive. Wrestlers who achieve Komusubi (小結) or Sekiwake (関脇) frequently lose that rank on their first tournament, as they must face all the other San’yaku wrestlers and all Yokozuna. It’s a tough slot. Coming out of Nagoya, the only San’yaku Rikishi with a winning record was Takayasu who went 11-4, who also took home the Ginō-shō (技能賞) / Technique Prize. We can expect him to go from East Komusubi to East Sekiwake in the Aki Banzuke
Noteworthy Predicted Promotions – (Nagoya) East
- Okinoumi – At Maegashira 2, he turned in a minimal winning record of 8-7. But it may be enough to move him into San’yaku as Komusubi
- Shodai – Great to see Shodai get his kachi-koshi (winning record) at Nagoya. Expect to see him towards the top of the Maegashira ranks (1 or 2) from Maegashira 5 at Nagoya.
- Chiyonokuni – Came to Nagoya as Maegashira 9 for the East team, and withdrew after day 13 due to injury. Be he did so with a winning record. He looked in good form and had some great moves in Nagoya, I expect him to be Maegashira 5 or so if he is healthy enough in September
- Takanoiwa – As Maegashira 10 at Nagoya, he was nearly in a 3 way playoff for the wining record (Yusho) of the tournament. He was awarded the Kantō-shō (敢闘賞) / Fighting Spirit Prize. I would expect him also to be around Maegashira 5 in September, where he may find the competition much more intense.
Noteworthy Predicted Promotions – (Nagoya) West
The west had a very ugly record in Nagoya, but there were a few bright spots, all of whom will rise for the September tournament:
- Tochiozan – A solid kachi-koshi at 8-7, look for him to also be elevated to San’yaku, possibly as Sekiwake
- Takarafuji – In addition for a kinboshi for dropping Hakuho, he turned in an impressive 10-5 performance an took home Kantō-shō / Fighting Spirit Prize. He will likely show up in the San’yaku ranks as a Komusubi for September
- Yoshikaze – I have made it clear just how impressive Yohsikaze’s performance was at Nagoya. He was unstoppable. His problem of course is injury. It’s unknown if he will be back for September, but we can hope he is all patched up and ready to go. While I would like to see him at Komusubi, Maegashira 1e is more likely.
- Nishikigi – An up and comer at Maegashira 14 in Nagoya, he was 9-6 and will likely be Maegashira 5 or 6 in the September tournament.
Noteworthy Predicted Promotions – Juryo
In addition to a re-shuffle of the Makuuchi ranks, high performing Rikishi from the Juryo rank will be promoted into the top division in September. Some of the great Sumotori I am expecting to see include:
- Amakaze – Winner of the Juryo division (Yusho) pretty much assures us we will see Amakaze as a Maegashira in September
- Ura – Really looking forward to seeing Ura in the top division. As mentioned in lower threads, he is exciting to watch.
- Gagamaru – A winning record as Juryo 1, he is likely to show up lower in the Maegashira ranks. He comes from the former Soviet republic of Georgia
- Homarefuji – A 10-5 record as Juryo 4 East, he is likely to be promoted to the top division as well