A short preview today, as I am pressed for time. I do hope that the matches turn out well today, as sumo fans could use a nice weekend of giant asian men smashing into each other and tossing their sumo chums around.
What We Are Watching Day 7
Mitoryu vs Tokushoryu – We continue the banzuke imbalance, and today its J1E Mitoryu to visit the top division. He is the first in line for promotion if he gets 8 wins, but he comes to his Saturday in Makuuchi with a worrisom 2-4 record. If its any consolation, he faces 1-5 Tokushoryu who may find himself on the wrong side of a Juryo swap in November.
Ichiyamamoto vs Tsurugisho – Ichiyamamoto (1-5) has a hurt knee, and he’s in no condition to take on a 200kg rikishi any day soon. He won their only prior match which was in Nagoya 2 months ago. After going kyujo for a day with a fever, Tsurugisho (3-3) has won his last 2 in a row.
Kagayaki vs Chiyomaru – The first high interest match, in spite of the massive weight difference between the two, Kagayaki is even with Chiyomaru over his career at 7-7. Its anyone’s guess how this one will turn out, and the mystery just doubles my curiosity about this match.
Kaisei vs Tochinoshin – 23 match history between these two grizzled veterans, and both of them are having a poor 2-4 start to Aki. Since re-injuring his knee and losing his Ozeki rank, he has only beaten Kaisei once. So there is a good chance that we will see him dominate Tochinoshin today.
Yutakayama vs Kotoeko – I still have hopes that Yutakayama can achieve at least kachi-koshi in his return to the top division. His sumo seems sloppy and one dimensional these days, and maybe that comes from his primary training partner being Shodai. He tends to use whatever sometimes works against Shodai. Sadly because Shodai is not characteristic of the rikishi he faces, his sumo suffers a bit. He and Kotoeko are largely tied over their 9 match career, so its an even bet who is going to get what out of today.
Endo vs Chiyonokuni – Oh is this one high interest, it’s a 5-1 oshi-zumo grumpy badger against Endo, who should be dominating a bit more than he is this far down the banzuke. Given that I think both of them are under-ranked, this is a fun and interesting test match to see which one is more genki. If Chiyonokuni stays mobile, his chances of winning go up.
Chiyonoo vs Hidenoumi – From high interest to beer break time (at least for me). This is more or less a Juryo match, as thats where these two have spent most of the past 6 years. Recalling back to the quality of competition in the top division, I am not sure either of these two elevated their sumo so much as the field is quite flat now, in terms of competitive ability. Who knows, ready to be surprised.
Chiyotairyu vs Terutsuyoshi – Both have a 3-3 record going into day 7, they have split their career matches at 2-2, and both are rightly known for staking their match on whatever they can put into their tachiai. For Chiyotairyu that is a lot of forward power, for Terutsuyoshi, it’s some sort of lateral move.
Shimanoumi vs Myogiryu – Myogiryu has only lost to Tobizaru thus far, and I am going to say that I don’t think Shimanoumi has a large chance of success today. More likely it’s going to be win #6 to add to Myogiryu’s 5-1 career advantage.
Aoiyama vs Onosho – Onosho may look forward to fighting Aoiyama, as once he gets Big Dan centered, he can push with everything he’s got against that ponderous bulk. While it only seems to work half the time, its easy to see the junior tadpole enjoying himself in this one.
Ura vs Okinoumi – I find this difficult to believe, but its the first ever match between these two. I have to guess that Okinoumi will try to prevent Ura from putting the match on pause, and setting up one of his acrobatic moves. I give a slight edge to Okinoumi, even though I am an Ura fan.
Tobizaru vs Takarafuji – Takarafuji, Mr Defend and Extend, does quite well against Tobizaru. His style of shutting down his energetic offensive moves, and pinning him to a fraction of the dohyo confounds Tobizaru, and he has yet to find a way to overcome it. In spite of his slightly better record in Aki, I expect him to struggle today.
Daieisho vs Kiribayama – I am looking for Kiribayama to dominate today. He seems to be having a break-out tournament, and frankly at this point I want to see him kachi-koshi on day 9. Certainly Daieisho has the chops, speed and power to take Kiribayama down, but right now the trend favors the Mongol.
Takayasu vs Takanosho – Takayasu’s pitiful 2-4 record is likely to take more damage today. Out of their 5 prior matches, Takayasu has only bested him once, their very first match. Since then it’s been a solid run of 4 white stars. If Takayasu were showing good sumo, I could at least have hope for a solid fight, but I am not holding my breath.
Chiyoshoma vs Meisei – Meisei win. Chiyoshoma make-koshi on nakabi
Mitakeumi vs Ichinojo – I have to say that Andy’s bi-monthly favorite yusho pick, Mitakeumi, is doing what he needs to to be a contender into week 2. His sumo has been sharp, and he’s shown quite a bit of power in most of his matches. Ichinojo could win this match, if he fights with gusto, but given his 2-4 record this September, I think it’s not likely.
Wakatakakage vs Takakeisho – This is starting to get ugly. Takakeisho needs to win 6 of the remaining 9 matches to keep his rank. It’s possible, but unlikely. Should he just go kyujo now and focus on November and 10 wins? Or will he just slog through and hope for the best.
Shodai vs Tamawashi – Which Shodai mounts the dohyo today? How do we get the good one to show up every day from here on out? With Takakeisho clearly on the bubble, we need Shodai to be strong and get his eight before the last weekend. Tamawashi has a 9-6 career over the human daikon, so this is going to be a real battle.
Kotonowaka vs Terunofuji – I think Kotonowaka is going to be a solid mainstay of the top division for years to come. So he needs to get used to being tossed about by the resident kaiju. Good luck, kiddo, try to stay on your feet, and be careful of a lift rather than a throw.