Some fans may be wondering why Yokozuna Kisenosato and Kakuryu announced they were going kyujo Thursday morning Japan time. The fact of the matter is the NSK is building the torikumi (order of battle) for the start of Aki, and it was time for the walking wounded to decide if they wanted to give it a try, or sit out from the start.
Much to my surprise, Hakuho has not declared one way or the other yet. Just to be clear, I do not expect him to be present on day 1 of Aki, but I think that he may be struggling with that decision. He did in fact declare to his fans at Natsu “I am back!”.
I believe the Torikumi for days 1 and 2 are being published in the next 8 hours or so. Some of the matches we can expect in the first two days (my guess)
- Hakuho vs. Tamawashi – If Hakuho starts Aki, we can see how banged up the dai-Yokozuna is early.
- Tochiozan vs. Harumafuji – You might be tempted to assume that Harumafuji will fold and spindle Tochiozan, but Tochiozan has made some useful adjustments to his sumo.
- Takayasu vs. Tochinoshin – Big and strong vs strong and big. This could be a sumo battle for the ages as these two love to use brute strength.
- Goeido vs. Kotoshogiku – Goeido has been looking dailed-in back to his 2.0 setting, and a likely match against Kotoshogiku will be speed vs strength.
- Terunofuji vs. Aoiyama – Terunofuji is a far cry from the light schedule Aoiyama enjoyed in Nagoya. This match will sort reality from fiction in about 5 seconds.
- Mitakeumi vs. Chiyotairyu – Chiyo who you say? Believe it! I expect Mitakeumi to pick up where he left off in Nagoya.
- Shohozan vs. Yoshikaze – Big guns vs the Berserker. Yoshikaze has been opening very strong in recent basho, before he gets banged up by the end of the first week. We might see some exotic kimarite.
- Shodai vs. Ura – I am going to assume that Ura is in rough shape, and I am just going to hope that Shodai fixed has tachiai.
- Ichinojo vs. Takakeisho – Ok Takakeisho fans, his road back can start with the huge Mongolian.
Please feel free to add your day 1 / 2 torikumi guesses in the comments.