The Boss Is Back
It’s with great joy I welcome all the Tachiai readers back to our tournament coverage. The final basho of 2016 kicks off on Sunday in Fukuoka, and it is back to the seat cushions with potential. As Andy and I have been writing for the past week, there are any number of compelling threads woven into this epic sporting event.
Notable Matches, Day 1
Gagamaru va Toyohibiki – Gagamaru performed terribly during the Aki basho. He was not demoted back to Juryo mostly because Aki Juryo was an absolute train wreck. Hopefully he can perform better down at the bottom of Makuuchi.
Ichinojo vs Sokokurai – I am eager to see how a higher Ichinojo performs. Sokokurai is no slouch either, so this one has a lot of potential even thought its towards the bottom of the line up
Shohozan vs Chiyonokuni – Chiyonokuni is another rikishi who may have gained more weight than his technique can handle, where as Shohozan seems to be comfortable at a massive scale.
Takayasu vs Endo – Endo was on a hot tear during Aki, helped in part by his being lower down the banzuke at Maegashira 13. Now he is promoted 10 whole ranks to Maegashira 3. Takayasu needs 12 wins for Ozeki. Advantage Takayasu
Yoshikaze vs Terunofuji – Terunofuji may still be playing injured, and Yoshikaze tends to take a lot of damage, but looked solid on Jungyo. I give a slight advantage to Yoshikaze for this one.
Aoiyama vs Kisenosato – Clash of the bulky, with Kisenosato bringing more technique, and Aoiyama brining more strength. Both of these rikishi have a limited book of kimarite, so it could be a lot of slapping and a bunch of hugging. I give advantage to Kisenosato.
Goeido vs Tochiozan – We will see early if Goeido will be a contender at Kyushu. Tochiozan dropped from Komusubi at Aki to Maegashira 1, and has not been very dominant lately. I expect Goeido to attack strong and try to put Tochiozan quickly.
Hakuho vs Okinoumi – Hakuho is freshly back from surgery and recovery, but probably strong and rested. Okinoumi is nursing a horrific personal injury, and my be better off going kyujo. But these sumo guys are tough, so Okinoumi faces the boss straight out of the blocks. Hopefully the EMTs are ready.
Harumafuji vs Tamawashi – As stated in the prior torikumi thread, what says “congrats on making sanyaku” more than a face full of clay delivered by Harumafuji?