A bit of a break in format tonight, Iksumo has already talked about some of the headliners, and I will take it upon myself to round out the list. Today we open the second act of the basho. This is where hopes are smashed, and dreams get crushed. We sort the great from the good, and we get to the point where there are a handful of rikishi who can compete for the yusho, and then there’s everyone else.
At least that’s how it normally goes. This is going to be an odd one, as we have one weak but valiant Yokozuna active, a pair of hit-or-miss Ozeki, and a swarm of guys looking to climb the ladder any way they can. We are possibly going to see another rank-and-file rikishi take the yusho this time. Fans, keep in mind the score today is not always going to be an indicator of the score at the end of act 2. Injuries, cold streaks, scheduling freaks and plain bad luck can ruin anyone’s yusho run. Just ask Terunofuji.
But at the close of act 1, we have three rikishi who have yet to taste clay in Osaka: Kakuryu, Shohozan, and Kaisei. Both Ozeki are at 3-2, so unless there is some major hot streak upcoming, both are looking for a kachi-koshi and a generous portion of okonomiyaki when the day is done.
A few questions going into Act 2:
- Will Kakuryu keep going? He went in hurt, but he also proclaimed that as Y1e, he wants to put another portrait on the rack in the Kokugikan. At this pace, he certainly might.
- Can Tochinoshin dominate? The Hatsu yusho winner was the hopeful for many fans coming into Osaka. He had an injury in training that his Oyakata white-washed as best he could. The champ is 3-2 now, which is respectable, but he’s not unstoppable now.
- How long can Ichinojo last? We love watching monster-truck sized sumo daily. But let’s get real. This guy weighs a quarter of a ton. One bad fall and he’s going to be in the hospital as Isaac Newton takes over. I would rather he goes home, cuddles his ponies and eats ice cream. So far, so good. He’s a force of nature.
- Where have you been hiding, Kaisei? He had been reduced to M8 and under for more than a year. Now he’s running on his best sumo in almost 2 years. I am happy to see him having a good tournament! But he is another member of the 30+ cohort who has been dominating sumo for more than a decade.
- What happened to Yoshikaze? Is he hurt? Sick? Depressed? Tired from helping his kids do their homework? It’s almost painful to watch the mighty berserker operate at 70% normal fury.
- What happened to Hokutofuji? He was (and shall be) a big deal. Its pitiful that he is only able to make the roughest, most coarse attempt at his normally excellent sumo.
Some Matches To Watch Day 6
Daishomaru vs Ikioi – Lower down the banzuke we find a pair of 4-1’s. The schedulers want them to contest their might – here we go!
Aoiyama vs Asanoyama – Aoiyama was robbed. Time for us to see if they robbed him of his drive to win, too.
Kotoyuki vs Chiyonokuni – Really? He’s back? ok… Chiyonokuni, time for you to play with Kotoyuki. [Please don’t break him. –PinkMawashi]
Kaisei vs Daieisho – MOAR KAISEI!!!
Abi vs Shodai – Did you see Shodai blast Hokutofuji day 5? It’s like the real Shodai showed up for a few seconds and decided he was not going to take a loss against Hokutofuji. Abi, you may find this interesting.