Well, the Asanoyama vs. Asonoyama dream playoff for the Makushita yusho isn’t going to happen. And the one who dropped the ball isn’t Ms56 Asonoyama, who extended his record to 6-0. Instead, former Ozeki Asanoyama (Ms15e) was drawn into a high-mobility oshi bout by Ms28 Yuma, got overly eager to finish his opponent, and lost to a thrust-over at the rope. There went his chance of immediate promotion to Juryo, and he’ll have to try again in November. Yuma should face Ms36 Daiseiryu (6-0) next, with the winner either taking the title outright or going into a playoff with Asonoyama.
So any promotions will now come from the Ms1-Ms5 Makushita joi. Ms1w Roga (4-2) is kachi-koshi and should be a lock for a long-awaited Juryo debut. Five rikishi at the Ms3w-Ms5w ranks have 3-3 or 4-2 records and need to win their final bouts and get favorable banzuke luck to make it to the salaried ranks.
2 thoughts on “Makushita Surprise”
I know some disagreed with me at the time, but you could see this coming. His sumo was a bit careless early in the tourney, and against a determined opponent with opportunity in front of him something like this was inevitable.
If Terunofuji couldn’t make it back undefeated in the lower ranks (injured though he was), I didn’t think Asanoyama would either. But this will be good for him. He knows it’s not going to be just ceremonial now.
Inevitable is too strong I think; after all, Abi went undefeated in Makushita twice, and I don’t think he’s a better wrestler. But yeah, there’s very little margin for error. Even with a 95% chance of winning each bout, the probability of winning all 7 is only 70%.