The wrestlers in my lower banzuke are a mix of three groups: young up-and-comers, injured vets, guys who aren’t going any higher.
Group 1: Young Up-And-Comers are headlined by Ura and Ishiura. I also include Kagayaki, Takakeisho, Daieisho and Daishomaru in this group. However, I don’t see any sanyaku potential from any of these guys, yet. It will be more likely to see makekoshi records among these guys than 10+ wins. I don’t think any of these guys have reached the level of an Ikioi, Endo, or even Sokokurai. Chiyoshoma is tricky. I want to place him in this group but the guy has skill and may be ready to graduate and become a solid maegashira in his own right. He actually has a winning 2-1 record against all three solid maegashira: Ikioi, Endo, and Sokokurai. He and Kagayaki are probably the two wrestlers who will be fighting for advancement rather than just hoping to preserve their maegashira ranks.
Group 2: is the Injured Vets, led by Okinoumi, Myogiryu, Tochiozan, and Kotoyuki. These are veterans with strong skills who’ve got sanyaku experience when healthy. Okinoumi’s injury is painful and really inoperable if he wants to stay in sumo. He’ll probably try to muscle through for a while, but ouch *hat tip to Celina and Bruce*. The success of either of these guys depends on their injuries more than their skill. They have the ability to clean house down in these lower ranks. As they won’t be 100% but do have experience and skill, they will present great learning experiences for the younger wrestlers. I hope we don’t see any demotions into Juryo from this group and instead see some 10 or 11 win records.
Group 3: Guys who belong here and no higher. I’m not expecting stellar performances from these guys. These guys will bounce around the maegashira ranks, dip into Juryo, but likely won’t go much higher. They’ve been around a while but don’t demonstrate promise for serious advancement or long careers. Gagamaru would be my prototype for this group as he finds himself back in Juryo. Given his round physique, I’ll call these guys the yo-yos. Sadanoumi, Kyokushuho, Chiyoo (if he doesn’t get demoted), and Nishikigi. I’m tempted to drop Chiyoo into Juryo and will check the Japanese news to see if that decision’s already been made.
12 thoughts on “Andy’s Banzuke: Lower Maegashira”
Do you think ishiura will be able to stay in makuuchi?
His health will play a big part of it but I think so. He’s got skill but he needs to really work hard. Chiyonofuji is probably the prototype for a successful little guy.
Okinoumi has some brilliant moments, why is he not consistent? Injury?
Injury, thanks to a tip from Celina. Here’s a link to Bruce’s article about it. https://tachiai.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/kyushu-storyline-9-okinoumi/
Oh my. How can he endure such thing?
Thanks for the reference… I can now consider myself as “a person who is very close to Okinoumi’s intimate parts” ^^
I was thinking more along the lines of Tachiai News Association Chief Medical Correspondent. :)
Hehe that sound pretty good to my ears ^^
Seriously, if dohyo is not elevated, this will prevent many injuries. Why o why not change it? I feel its more dangerous than professionalnwrestling and mma
Tradition. There’s a lot of history and spiritualism around the dohyo and its consecration before each tournament. I put the odds of them lowering the dohyo as similar to the NFL banning tackling.
Man, is so painful to watch the wrestlers fall from Dohyo on each bout. If it was me, I will surely go straight to the hospital, having a fragile body. With those mass, a single fall might break a bone or tear something.
I agree. I don’t think it’s as bruising as American Football, though. I’m not sure if you follow that sport but it’s gotten to the point where injury is so casual. It’s also nice not to have a “SportsCenter” equivalent in sumo; a show actively encouraging injury by highlighting when guys get “blown up”.