Day 13 is in the record books, and once again this Wacky Aki rose to the challenge of giving us a defining WTF day of sumo. First and foremost, Goeido lost to Takakeisho. Not in some grand epic battle, he seems to have fallen down. Then there was the rather impressive cluster of rikishi 2 wins behind Goeido. 10 of them actually. All but 2 of them lost their day 13 matches. That’s 8 rikishi who had a chance to claim the yusho, done and out in one day.
But because Goeido lost and Harumafuji won, we move yet closer to the enticing Senshuraku Showdown, as Harumafuji will face Goeido on the final match of the final day. There are still plenty of strange things that can happen tomorrow, day 14, but for now it looks like the yusho may be decided by the outcome of that match.
Or will it? Who’s that over in the corner looking happy and doing shiko while humming a jaunty tune in his head? It’s none other than the happy rikishi, Asanoyama. You see, he also won his match today, and he is also one behind Goeido now. Should he win again on Saturday, he is a yusho contender for the final day should Harumafuji defeat Goeido. Quite unlikely I would say, but what kind of sumo magic would it be if this young rikishi at the very bottom of the banzuke (M16e) could take the Emperor’s Cup in his first Makuuchi basho? The Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan would smile for sure.
Below is video via Twitter of Goeido suffering his catastrophic Slippiotoshi
17 thoughts on “Additional Thoughts On Aki Day 13”
A slip, sure, but Takakeisho “earned” that slip; I wouldn’t call it an unforced error. They really went at each other and when you put your opponent under pressure, good things tend to happen.
Without a doubt, Takakeisho was giving him the business. But Goeido lost traction, and that’s too bad as I think it was avoidable.
I’d say Takakeisho did more than earn Goeido’s slip — he directly caused it by shoving Goeido’s shoulders as Goeido was sliding his left foot across the dohyo. The pressure of the shove planted Goeido’s foot unexpectedly and broke his balance. It happens almost exactly at 0:07 in the above video.
Life is all about choices, I wonder if Goeido was imagining something like his Kisenosato fight during Aki 2016.
Note the hit and shift strategy until Kisenosato is open briefly, where Goeido pounces and drives him backwards.
Ah. Retreat, retreat, sidestep, retreat, retreat. Darn, this is Kisenosato, the roly-poly toy. No other options. Attack!
Jelly legs due to nerves?
Goeido was backpedaling and pulling instead of being aggressive and coming forward. That’s what led to him ending up in the position he was in. He was doing everything he could to get away from Takakeisho and his momentum, and Takekeisho’s hands, caused him to go off-balance and fall. Unfortunately, it seems this is the default Goeido strategy when he’s under pressure. If he doesn’t henka, he dodges people to try to make them miss and fall. It’s a much, much less rewarding strategy for victory when other rikishi expect it. I am definitely curious to see what sort of sumo Goeido uses tomorrow.
I think that Shohozan match yesterday was telling in a few ways to support this view. First it definitely showed that Goeido does default to that defensive posture during big matches, and it also shows that Shohozan (and by extension probably all of the others at this point) kind of know it so they aren’t going to fall for it so easily. Goeido tried to slap him down at least twice when Shohozan really wasn’t moving forward at all. The fact that he also got punished later when he did decide to move forward (Shohozan I think baited him into it pretty well) can do nothing but reinforce this fear he has of being aggressive when the pressure is on. I think Goeido is in trouble these last 2 matches, but you don’t get to be an Ozeki without having talent so we’ll see if he can adjust.
Excellent point, and one of the reasons that Hakuho spanks him frequently is he knows this and uses it to get Goeido into “safe” mode. Thanks for the insight.
Allow me to be the first one to congratulate Asanoyama on his inevitable first Makuuchi Yusho! Surely no other outcome would be more befitting of Wacky Aki.
Also, thank you to the karmic forces of the universe for the poetic justice of making Goeido slip in his haste to jump out of Takakeisho’s way. When your sumo consists mostly of horizontal broad jumps, at some point gravity is going to bring you back to Earth. Literally.
The gods of the dohyo do not like henkas and have been watching closely.
I think the only ending more fitting for the Wacky Aki than “Asanoyama, Maegashira 16 east, first ever Makuuchi basho, Yusho winner and happiest man in sumo” would be a thirteen-person playoff.
That would really be worthy of Yaketi Sax.
This would make Reddit wet itself.
And in case anyone was wondering, this did not seem to be Goeido 2.0 today, rather the buggy Goeido 1.5.1 release master candidate that had some kind of dodgy malware pre-installed.
Nah, Goeido Millenium Edition.
I hope we don’t see Goeido Bob before it’s all over.