Alright, they’re not in direct competition this time but I still believe the question from last tournament carries over. This question also ties into Bruce’s previous post because I believe the next Japanese yokozuna is currently a maegashira. Not sure whom, though.
Regardless, last tournament Endo was blasted with both barrels of sanyaku. He survived with a 7-8 record. His kinboshi against Hakuho and very impressive performance against the Ozeki were certainly deserving of special prizes if he’d been able to pick up another win.
On the other hand, Shodai GOT the special prize on the face of his fantastic 11-4 showing. However, his schedule was nowhere near the strength of Endo’s. This makes me want to study a way to implement a strength of schedule handicapping system to see where these guys really stand. I’m giving Endo the edge in this. I hope he has another strong performance and remains among the upper third of the maegashira. At this point, I don’t know if there’s really anyone among the rank-and-file strong enough to take on a sanyaku position for more than a tournament or two.
One thought on “Hatsu Story 3 – Endo vs. Shodai 2”
The Sanyaku ranks are really a meat grinder, so I was surprised to see Takayasu actually survive a few tournaments without a losing record. I am eager to see if he bounces back from his make-koshi in Kyushu.
Both Endo and Shodai need some of the older guys to retire. There was this huge wave of sumo super-stars that showed up around the same time, and now they are all 31+ and starting to have repeating mechanical injuries. I wonder if 2017 may be a year we see a wave of these fantastic and highly skilled sumotori start to retire. If that happens, it’s going to be wonderful to see everyone scramble for rank.
With Shodai at Sekiwake, he is going to get pounded like a bucket of new year’s mochi. He had a really strong outing in Kyushu, but now is the test to see if he can produce consistently.
Endo at Maegashira 4 has an easier ride, but there are quite a few spoilers in the M3-7 range that may be having a good basho this January. Endo has great public appeal, and I know the crowd loves him. Hopefully he has been improving.