Things Can Only Get Better
With day 8 blessedly fading in the past, it’s time to look forward to the final week of the Kyushu basho. I am fairly sure where as Aki was a never ending parade of goodness, much of the best stuff will happen in the last week.
To review the state of play: Yokozuna Kakuryu remains the sole leader, undefeated at 8-8, with the other two Yokozuna, Hakuho and Harumafuji 1 loss behind. Also 1 loss behind is the surprising and delightful Ishiura. Oh what fun a 4 way playoff between that crowd would be!
Goeido’s Yokozuna run – done and buried. Takayasu’s Ozeki run – done and buried. Hakuho’s undercarriage – likely still damaged and hopefully healing. Terunofuji – still banged up but somehow managing to win quite effectively.
Ishiura vs Hokutofuji – I am still waiting to see if Ishiura draws against upper Maegashira, maybe Shodai, Endo or Yoshikaze? Hokutofuji is doing well enough, so I am guessing this will be a match worth watching.
Chiyotairyu vs Arawashi – Chiyotairyu’s thrusting attack vs Arawashi’s throws, yeah, this has potential. Both rikishi are good candidates for kachi-koshi, so consider this a preview of a higher level brawl at the New Year’s basho.
Chiyoshoma vs Ikioi – After the head-butt to the face on Sunday, I am sure Ikioi had some dental work to do. With luck the novocain will still be active as I am guessing Chiyoshoma and Ikioi will slap each other around for a while.
Takekaze vs Shodai – Fairly sure Shodai will end up kachi-koshi at this point, now he’s shopping for how big of a boost he takes up the banzuke for January.
Goeido vs Kisenosato – Battle of the fallen titans. This match fills me with sadness for what both men had within their grasp but let slip away. With any luck, they will take out their frustrations on each other.
Takayasu vs Kakuryu – Speaking of sadness, Takayasu has not been on his sumo, and his Ozeki run for November is a failure. But he is more than capable of defeating Kakuryu, and the sumo world will once again sing his praises. Just don’t let him back up on you, future Ozeki Takayasu. Hug that pudgy Mongolian Yokozuna and show him some Tagonoura compassion!