Seiyashi

Aki Basho 2021 - Discussion Thread (Spoilers!)

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Mmmhhh Teru blew it. The yokozuna does not look invincible anymore, after Daieisho broke his streak. Hope he's not injured or something.

Props to Takakeisho for clearing kadoban after that bad start. He's got guts, this guy. Kinda similar to March when he was shaky during the first half of the basho and recovered to become in the yusho race (mathematically) and finished with 10 wins. This confirms that I predict badly as I was expecting him to go ozekiwake again and Teru zensho, haha.

Onosho yusho? (Sigh...)

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Alas, there goes our hope for a Myogiryu yusho.

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It was nice to see Akua pull off those kakenage, but he should know that can't be effective always, and even less if you try it on 4 consecutive days

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I hate to be cynical about this, but I'm partially convinced that the breakup of the expected matches between senior sanyaku are at least in part a scheme to make sure that kadoban Ozeki get KKs.  I had at first thought maybe they had waited on announcing the torikumi until after the matches, because it makes a lot more sense to break up Shodai-Takakeisho once they're both 8-4, but comments in this thread show that it was announced beforehand.  Add in the fact that Takakeisho is 13-0 against Myogiryu and Myogiryu had more wins at the time of scheduling and thus should possibly have been put against the Ozeki with more wins at the time (and not by rank), it heavily suggests at least part of the aim was to make sure Takakeisho gets his 8th win.  We saw the same thing with Shodai last time.  There is a real dearth of Ozeki, and I really think they're dreading the possible situation where they're left with less than 2 Ozeki total, given Hakuho won't last long and Terunofuji might also be forced to retire fairly soon, it'll be 2 years before Asanoyama comes back, Mitakeumi continues to be mediocre, and there's no one else that's really knocking on the door.  They're going to do all they can in terms of reasonable scheduling to make sure Shodai and Takakeisho keep their rank, and for the most part it's also justifiable given how many times people not at the top of the banzuke have won the yusho the last few years (Asanoyama, Tokushoryu, Terunofuji).  (Of course, the easy thing to was schedule Shodai-Takakeisho and get Shodai to not try too hard since he was already KK, but I think they're serious about moving away from yaocho.  And Shodai was (and is) also in the Yusho race sorta.)

Again, I hate to be so cynical, but the evidence seems to point in that direction. 

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I just realized, 2018 Tochinoshin would have been a big challenge to 2021 Terunofuji.

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1 hour ago, Joaoiyama said:

I just realized, 2018 Tochinoshin would have been a big challenge to 2021 Terunofuji.

Now, if only we could invent a time machine... Never mind beating 2021 Terunofuji, I think 2021 Tochinoshin would be happy just to have his 2018 knees back.

Edited by Seiyashi
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23 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Now, if only we could invent a time machine...

Oh, yeah. Where's Akebono when you need him?

Edit: On a more serious note, when I squint at Terunofuji's dohyo-iri, I can see traces of Akebono there.
(yeah, different style, I know, but still...)

Edited by Jakusotsu

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I’m just happy this Basho turned out not to be the bust it was seeming to be when it started. These last days are going to be a lot of fun 

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Major respect for Takakeisho for pulling it back after that start, I was 100% sure he'd loose the rank. Mitakeumi and Shodai both managed to look extremely convincing yet totally out of depth within a single tournament multiple times. Amazing. 

I really enjoyed a lot of the matches so far. 

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It feels uncomfortably like the current Yokozunae will retire and the cast of aspirants will be: Shodai, Takakeisho, Mitakeumi, Hoshoryu?, ...

If Terunofuji hadn't made his miraculous comeback, we'd be facing that scenario immediately after Hakuho's intai. 

If no dominant rikishi "show up" from below for several basho, Makuuchi could look like Eternal Juryo, with a rotating cast of 11-4 Yusho winners.

[I'm assuming that none of the above names will be "the guy" who dominates as Yokozuna].

Can the SF historians recall examples of this situation in the past?  What happens to break the spell?

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On 15/09/2021 at 00:04, Benihana said:

Next banzuke the absolute unthinkable will happen. There will be only one Ozeki, his name will be Shodai and he might stay the sole Ozeki for quite a while. I love sumo (Jumpinginecstasy...)

Yaaay, reverse jynx worked...

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9 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

I'm trying to make sense of what is happening this tournament, to Terunofuji in particular.

 Is he overthinking things now that the weight of his new status is bearing down on him?

Maybe you’re overthinking things. :) 

He’s 10-2, not 2-10. He’s doing just fine. No, better than fine—excellent. Most debut Yokozuna would kill for that record by this point. He’s already bettered Harumafuji and Kakuryu’s debuts and equaled Asashoryu’s. One more win puts him level with Hakuho’s.

Sometimes people lose, even Yokozuna. And it’s not as if he lost to nobodies: Daieisho has won a yusho and Meisei is a Sekiwake. Besides those defeats he has been fighting dominantly and most guys can’t seem to figure out how to beat him.

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Really amazing that Meisei managed to win against Terunofuji by actually getting close to him. The yokozuna has looked absolutely invincible on the belt lately, and everybody's game plan against him has just been to keep enough distance for him to not get that grip. Daieisho won against him by getting in low and pushing up while Teru was too upright, but Meisei actually dared to go for a belt play against him. Congrats to him for pulling it off.

Edited by dada78641

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Some late basho drama! Although looking at the 1-off pack, I struggle to see any of them yusho-ing, and all 4 are in tough matches tonight that they could lose. I think it should come down to Teru, Takakeisho, and Shodai, and I suspect Teru will pull through. 

As far as how much changed on day 12 - there are so many different angles to look at it. It's true that 8-4 group inched closer, but at the same time the loss between Teru and his closest pursuers remained the same, except that the pursuers now have less time to catch up.

Edited by Katooshu

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8 hours ago, Taliesin said:

Imagine if Takakeisho who got his 8-th win goes kyujo right now... Some interesting reactions would follow.

I'd be surprised if he doesn't go kyujo tomorrow, since he has already done this exact thing in July 2020.

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On a hot streak of 6 wins in a row (and 8 out of last 9), plus a yusho still an outside possibility, I'd be surprised if he pulled out now. Maybe he was rusty as much as anything at the beginning. 

Edited by Katooshu
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32 minutes ago, Masunofuji said:

I'd be surprised if he doesn't go kyujo tomorrow, since he has already done this exact thing in July 2020.

 

30 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

On a hot streak of 6 wins in a row (and 8 out of last 9), plus a yusho still an outside possibility, I'd be surprised if he pulled out now. Maybe he was rusty as much as anything at the beginning. 

The optics wouldn’t be great given how they’ve seemingly worked the scheduling to give the Ozekis an outside chance at the yusho and they’ve skipped the all-Ozeki clash to do so. He may not care, but I doubt it would be looked on favorably if he dropped out at this late stage.

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11 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

I'm trying to make sense of what is happening this tournament, to Terunofuji in particular.

Is he overthinking things now that the weight of his new status is bearing down on him?

Is he overwhelmed/distracted by all the extra stuff he has to do as a Yokozuna?

Is he perhaps injured, as some have already speculated?

Have some of his opponents gone on a steep learning curve, and figured out the most effective way to handle him?

Is he missing the sense of competition that Hakuho inspired in the last tournament?

Whatever it is, he better regroup and regroup fast!  While I am happy for any wrestler who ends up winning the Cup, I want to see Terunofuji win his debut tournament as a Yokozuna – in part because I also want to see Waka III break the curse of his failed predictions.

I think this is just a typical Terunofuji performance. He's never gone zensho, he always loses at least a couple. He has two 13-2 yushos and three 12-3 yushos. He has always had holes in his game that smart opponents can exploit, because, despite being extremely skilled, he relies too much on being stronger than everyone else. Hence the fact he gives up morozashi all the time. He is a brute force kind of rikishi and as we have seen with Tochinoshin, that only works while you can exert the brute force to the fullest ability. This is why I think his Yokozuna career will be relatively short, because he won't have the luxury of dropping down to the maegashira ranks once his knees start to really play up...

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11 minutes ago, Morty said:

I think this is just a typical Terunofuji performance. He's never gone zensho, he always loses at least a couple. He has two 13-2 yushos and three 12-3 yushos. He has always had holes in his game that smart opponents can exploit, because, despite being extremely skilled, he relies too much on being stronger than everyone else. Hence the fact he gives up morozashi all the time. He is a brute force kind of rikishi and as we have seen with Tochinoshin, that only works while you can exert the brute force to the fullest ability. This is why I think his Yokozuna career will be relatively short, because he won't have the luxury of dropping down to the maegashira ranks once his knees start to really play up...

Part of me wonders also how much of Terunofuji’s recent dominance has been that he’s *new* to the top division. By that I mean he was away for more than two years, so for many of the guys he’s a relatively unfamiliar opponent who perhaps they haven’t yet worked out. Obviously he’s no Enho—a guy whose style isn’t backed up with equal substance—but there are exploitable flaws in Terunofuji’s fighting style that other rikishi will eventually figure out the more they face him. This and his health will be things to keep an eye on over the next year or two.

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That really was a great aggressive win by Meisi. With a surging Takakeisho, this is getting interesting. Teru's knees looked extra painful.

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All his yusho have been 12 or 13 wins (his last yusho he lost 3 of the last 5), and it seems like he's on track for those numbers again. I'm not sure it's much more than him having a lot of technical gaps that are difficult to keep unexploited for a full 15 days. That and possibly a bit of fatigue from the previous matches.

He has never been a Hakuho type of monster who can bulldoze through an entire tournament.

Edited by Katooshu

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For some added perspective:

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Query.aspx?show_form=0&group_by=rikishi&having=1&form1_rank=y&form1_wins=15

In the modern 15-day basho era, only 20 yokozuna have ever won a zensho, starting with Futabayama (#35). That means that a yokozuna going zensho is at best a 50% thing, so it's not much of a knock on Terunofuji that he doesn't stay perfect.

What might be interesting is whether or not he has a significantly higher 12-3 or 13-2 win rate compared to other yokozuna, which might support the view that he doesn't stack up super well against other yokozuna but is dominating only where no one else can (not denying he really stepped up his game to ensure his promotions, though). But methinks it's a bit early to tell.

Edited by Seiyashi

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If there's normally a shin-Yokozuna hangover in their first basho, Terunofuji is already outperforming that. He's currently on pace to finish Y-J-Y over his last three bashos. If he collapses over his last three matches, then there's a conversation to be had, but it's waaaaaaaay too early to be pressing the panic button on him.

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1 hour ago, Morty said:

He has always had holes in his game that smart opponents can exploit, because, despite being extremely skilled, he relies too much on being stronger than everyone else.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/wNSh7iqmRbE?autoplay=1

I'll always remember this particular match as one where Terunofuji looked completely outclassed by a journeyman maegashira in the tournament that propelled him to Ozeki the first time.  Tokushoryu always had him off center from right after the tachiai, and controlled the entire flow of the bout, never letting Terunofuji get his footing and take command of the situation.  Also, Tokushoryu is something of a bane to him, being up 5-1 against Terunofuji, though with all of those bouts being before his comeback, and only the linked one in the Makuuchi joi.

Edited by Gurowake

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