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Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

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Presently Shodai looks more like a legit Ozeki than Takakeisho does - who would have thunk a week ago?

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Posted (edited)

I think there's a good chance that the supposedly frustrated bump of the wall after beating Kotonowaka for win #8 was Takakeisho being pumped to have cleared kadoban. Since that point he hasn't looked as determined and he's lost 3x in a row to opponents he has head-to-head advantages over. Wouldn't be surprised if Mitakeumi easily beats him tomorrow.

Shodai vs WTK, Takayasu vs Abi, and Hoshoryu vs Kotonowaka are all good matches - looking forward to day 15!

Edited by Katooshu
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Posted (edited)

He hasn't been one of the stars of this basho, but Kiribayama could end the tournament with 10 wins at M4 and a victory over the yusho winner (the only maegashira to beat either leader); also handed Mitakeumi his only week 1 loss. Not bad. Wonder if he'll be up for a conditional sansho, or if he just hasn't made enough noise for it.

His technique is on point, but seems lacking in raw strength at times. If he can bring that up it could take him to the next level where he is a more steady sanyaku presence. 

Edited by Katooshu
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Posted (edited)

Shodai has won 12 of their last 13 meetings. That's pure domination. I don't think Takayasu messed up or obviously let the pressure get to him - Shodai is just a nightmare for him generally and had the motivation of needing an 8th win.

If Takayasu doesn't win the yusho people are going to say that he blew it and that he choked again, etc......but that assumes that he should win it if he's on form and keeps his composure, which I don't agree with. WTK has impressed me more this basho and is capable of winning the tournament even with Takayasu performing to 100 percent. Kotonowaka has been excellent too.

Edited by Katooshu
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Posted (edited)

Now it is certain that Wakatakakage will finish this basho as at least a runner-up, so I queried the SumoDB to find how many achieved it in their Sekiwake debuts. 12 rikishi did and only Futabayama had finished with a yusho. For 9 of them it was part of their successful Ozeki runs (*I'm not sure about Kagamisato, he did make Ozeki 3 basho later). So I'm excited about Wakatakakage's performance tomorrow and in Natsu basho

Edited by Chiyotasuke
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3 hours ago, robnplunder said:

And Mitakeumi's disappearing act in 2nd half of a basho happens again. 

Meh. It's still going to be a respectable ozeki debut. And I don't know how realistic an immediate yokozuna run was. 

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2 hours ago, Hakuryuho said:

Wakatakakage really deserves it over Takayasu, 
he faced stronger opposition overall and won their h2h convincingly.

I don't agree his schedule was stronger except by rank. Takayasu didn't face Takanosho, Ura and Meisei who, besides Akua, have been the absolute worst this basho.  The only really poor one Takayasu faced was Sadanoumi.  Wakatakage won't face a kadoban Shodai either who probably immediately went out partying after getting his 8th win. His only saving grace is he won the H2H.While Takaysu gets a 7-7 Sekiwake who's finished 24-6 the last 2 basho with 2 Jun Yusho for his 6th sanyaku opponent. From M7.  One of Wakatakakage's 6 was Takanosho.  

Wakatakkage deserves it, but it doesn't change the fact Takayasu got shafted on scheduling. 

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6 hours ago, Kaninoyama said:

Hopefully ex-Kisenosato doing NHK commentary duties today won't jinx his former heya mate. 

I thought the same thing, at least it wasn't day 15.

3 hours ago, Kaninoyama said:

Crap

I said the same thing, just a different four letters :-}

I like Wakatakakage also, but I think this is Takayasu's last chance. 

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We've been talking about a changing of the guard for yonks, ever since Hakuhō started going on his one-off-every-three-bashō cycle, but with Terunofuji out of the picture and three first-timers challenging for the yūshō, this bashō is the first where it's truly felt like a new generation of sumō.

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3 minutes ago, Rocks said:

I don't agree his schedule was stronger except by rank. Takayasu didn't face Takanosho, Ura and Meisei who, besides Akua, have been the absolute worst this basho.  The only really poor one Takayasu faced was Sadanoumi.  Wakatakage won't face a kadoban Shodai either who probably immediately went out partying after getting his 8th win. His only saving grace is he won the H2H.While Takaysu gets a 7-7 Sekiwake who's finished 24-6 the last 2 basho with 2 Jun Yusho for his 6th sanyaku opponent. From M7.  One of Wakatakakage's 6 was Takanosho.  

Wakatakkage deserves it, but it doesn't change the fact Takayasu got shafted on scheduling. 

The "7-7 Sekiwake who's finished 24-6 the last 2 basho" is 1-5 in his last 6 bouts, Wakatakakage faces an Ozeki who is 7-1 in his last 8 bouts.
Do you really think Shodai will phone it in when he's fighting the musubi no ichiban on senshuraku, especially when there's usually a yokozuna around for that bout?
I really don't think it's realistic to assume he's not going to try to get the copious amounts of envelopes the last match on the final day usually provides.

Also Takayasu didn't face "really poor" opponents because they were pretty much all ranked in the middle of the banzuke, a place notorious for having even scores on average.

Besides Sadanoumi with a 4-10 at M8w he faced Okinoumi who is 5-9 at M7w, , Chiyoshoma 5-9 at M8e. Takarafuji 5-9 at M5e. Shimanoumi 7-7 at M10 (!), same as Aoiyama. 
Meaning half of his wins have been against subpar opponents with mostly subpar records or close to it.

When it came to san'yaku opponents, Takayasu is 3-2 thus far, Wakatakakage is 3-1.
 

 

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I’m really hoping for a retirement following this basho. Hokutofuji’s mawashi. The thing looks absolutely foul. It is unbecoming and needs to go.

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59 minutes ago, since_94 said:

I’m really hoping for a retirement following this basho. Hokutofuji’s mawashi. The thing looks absolutely foul. It is unbecoming and needs to go.

Why are you picking on Hokutofuji, and what's unbecoming about it? 

Lots of sekitori sport grotty looking mawashi - I noticed Takayasu's looked particularly grubby on day 1. 

When I started watching again just over 6 years ago Hakuho's looked ancient. One of my first ever questions on this forum was whether it was black or brown. The answer was dark brown, but bits of it were black and parts of the fold at the top had bleached to light tan.

Comes across to me as being the done thing, especially as they're known to just have them hung out to dry and brushed by their tsukibito.

Maybe some of them do more than that to keep the colour bright, but mostly only new mawashi look clean.

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7 minutes ago, RabidJohn said:
1 hour ago, since_94 said:

I’m really hoping for a retirement following this basho. Hokutofuji’s mawashi. The thing looks absolutely foul. It is unbecoming and needs to go.

Why are you picking on Hokutofuji, and what's unbecoming about it? 

Lots of sekitori sport grotty looking mawashi - I noticed Takayasu's looked particularly grubby on day 1. 

When I started watching again just over 6 years ago Hakuho's looked ancient. One of my first ever questions on this forum was whether it was black or brown. The answer was dark brown, but bits of it were black and parts of the fold at the top had bleached to light tan.

Comes across to me as being the done thing, especially as they're known to just have them hung out to dry and brushed by their tsukibito.

Maybe some of them do more than that to keep the colour bright, but mostly only new mawashi look clean.

I haven't noticed enough of him this bashō, but there's also the possibility that he's just wet the underside of his mawashi enough to prevent yotsu-types from getting a good grip on it, he being an oshi practitioner and all. The zones "at issue" looked a bit too consistently uniform to be wear and tear.

His misfortune to pick a colour that contrasts "very well" when it's wet...

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

I'm actually glad Shodai won that one. Takayasu still has the yusho in his hands, so hasn't been too harmed by the loss, while Shodai clears kadoban with a day to spare, and I like Shodai enough that I wanted him to make it to 8. 

Not to mention, more drama on senshuraku!

I wanted Shodai to fail to clear kadoban. The recent scheduling changes mean that he often doesn't get to face in-form sanyaku opponents at the end of a basho. His bouts are often skipped because he himself has performed poorly in the first week. It feels like he has only hung on to the rank because he has been bad enough to avoid certain matchups.

13 hours ago, Jakusotsu said:

I really like the new way of torikumi. This disregard of traditions on so many levels provide much more exciting final bouts than they used to, even though some "mandatory" matchups don't happen anymore.

It's like they've been watching Bench Sumo. One thing Jejima does, is move up some of the mandatory matchups so that the under performing sanyaku have already met their better performing colleagues and the genki sanyaku are still available for Maegashira Yusho hopefuls.

11 hours ago, Katooshu said:

Shodai has won 12 of their last 13 meetings. That's pure domination. I don't think Takayasu messed up or obviously let the pressure get to him - Shodai is just a nightmare for him generally and had the motivation of needing an 8th win.

If Takayasu doesn't win the yusho people are going to say that he blew it and that he choked again, etc......but that assumes that he should win it if he's on form and keeps his composure, which I don't agree with. WTK has impressed me more this basho and is capable of winning the tournament even with Takayasu performing to 100 percent. Kotonowaka has been excellent too.

I agree. Takayasu not winning the yusho is not blowing it, he'd simply be the second best rikishi this basho.

10 hours ago, Rocks said:

.While Takaysu gets a 7-7 Sekiwake who's finished 24-6 the last 2 basho with 2 Jun Yusho for his 6th sanyaku opponent. 

The one thing I don't like about Day 15 is that Takayasu's opponent will have a lot more motivation to win than Wakatakakage's.

Edited by Sakura
that -> than
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Katooshu said:

Of everyone in the top division, Kagayaki has the ugliest, clumsiest looking sumo to me, though with 34 tournaments in the division he's obviously got some ability.

I really wish he'd start incorporating more grappling into his repertoire, he's got the build for it. Balance is his biggest issue, sometimes it's like he has banana-peel shoes on, but he seems to fare better when he can get a hold of his opponent.

5 hours ago, Katooshu said:

He hasn't been one of the stars of this basho, but Kiribayama could end the tournament with 10 wins at M4 and a victory over the yusho winner (the only maegashira to beat either leader); also handed Mitakeumi his only week 1 loss. Not bad. Wonder if he'll be up for a conditional sansho, or if he just hasn't made enough noise for it.

His technique is on point, but seems lacking in raw strength at times. If he can bring that up it could take him to the next level where he is a more steady sanyaku presence. 

I've always seen him as the darkhorse when compared to other similar rikishi like Hoshoryu or WTK. He's rough around the edges, but with a bit of polishing, I could see him going on his own Yusho run one day.

Edited by Iwayama
correcting peal to peel
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4 hours ago, Katooshu said:

His technique is on point, but seems lacking in raw strength at times. If he can bring that up it could take him to the next level where he is a more steady sanyaku presence. 

And sometimes he can lift Chiyomaru out of nowhere which is possibly due to good joints rather than muscle strength. He should take good care of his knees!

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33 minutes ago, Iwayama said:
5 hours ago, Katooshu said:

He hasn't been one of the stars of this basho, but Kiribayama could end the tournament with 10 wins at M4 and a victory over the yusho winner (the only maegashira to beat either leader); also handed Mitakeumi his only week 1 loss. Not bad. Wonder if he'll be up for a conditional sansho, or if he just hasn't made enough noise for it.

His technique is on point, but seems lacking in raw strength at times. If he can bring that up it could take him to the next level where he is a more steady sanyaku presence. 

I've always seen him as the darkhorse when compared to other similar rikishi like Hoshoryu or WTK. He's rough around the edges, but with a bit of polishing, I could see him going on his own Yusho run one day.

There was one bashō, shortly after Kakuryu's retirement, where he sort of woke up and was giving everyone a run for their money. That was the basho where he was second only to Takayasu for bout length, and that extra time on the dohyō really allowed him to show off a pretty good range of techniques. Since then he's been quiet and taken an MK or two, too, but I agree he's definitely someone who might get a dark horse (har har) yūshō and could be the next lower sanyaku regular.

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I rarely expect Shodai to show up for his important matches. Post-kadoban clearing yet again? My money is that we'll see Week One Shodai on senshuraku. 

Still, I'm cheering for Takayasu to grab this one, because it's probably one of his last, best shots, and the Waka kid has looked pretty good for a while now and I'm sure he'll get lots of chances in his future. 

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I hope my mind played tricks on me today, but for a second, Takayasu's face looked like it did after the final match of Kyushu 2018. I really hope this didn't break his spirit. 

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7 hours ago, Katooshu said:

He hasn't been one of the stars of this basho, but Kiribayama could end the tournament with 10 wins at M4 and a victory over the yusho winner (the only maegashira to beat either leader); also handed Mitakeumi his only week 1 loss. Not bad. Wonder if he'll be up for a conditional sansho, or if he just hasn't made enough noise for it.

His technique is on point, but seems lacking in raw strength at times. If he can bring that up it could take him to the next level where he is a more steady sanyaku presence. 

I have a feeling he'll be skipped over this time due to the Kotonowaka-Wakatakakage-Takayasu trio. I'd be happy to be wrong though. 

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I love when tournaments dangle the possibility of a tomoesen three-way playoff on the final day.  Deep down, we all know that it won't happen, but if by some absolute miracle it does, it would put to rest the question of who really deserved this championship!

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Hakuryuho said:

The "7-7 Sekiwake who's finished 24-6 the last 2 basho" is 1-5 in his last 6 bouts, Wakatakakage faces an Ozeki who is 7-1 in his last 8 bouts.
Do you really think Shodai will phone it in when he's fighting the musubi no ichiban on senshuraku, especially when there's usually a yokozuna around for that bout?
I really don't think it's realistic to assume he's not going to try to get the copious amounts of envelopes the last match on the final day usually provides.

Abi may be 1-5 his last 6 but he's still got to win to make his KK.  He has 7 wins. All, of which came against guys M4 or better. His only losses against guys doing poorly are Onosho and Tarkafuji, M3 and M5.  Shodai is 7-1 his last 8, but he has 8 now. Given he has made double digit wins exactly once as Ozeki it's hard to say he's highly motivated to get those extra wins. If he has any motivation it will be because of those envelopes and given he leaves more envelopes on the dohyo for his opponents to pick up than anyone except maybe Endo I wouldn't put a lot of stock in that.  I think an M7 facing a 7-7 Sekiwake for a chance to win the yusho has a bit of a harder time than a Sekiwake facing an Ozeki going for his 9th win for the same. Especially when that Ozeki is Shodai. 

10 hours ago, Hakuryuho said:

Also Takayasu didn't face "really poor" opponents because they were pretty much all ranked in the middle of the banzuke, a place notorious for having even scores on average.

Besides Sadanoumi with a 4-10 at M8w he faced Okinoumi who is 5-9 at M7w, , Chiyoshoma 5-9 at M8e. Takarafuji 5-9 at M5e. Shimanoumi 7-7 at M10 (!), same as Aoiyama. 
Meaning half of his wins have been against subpar opponents with mostly subpar records or close to it.

I'd like to know how guys 7-7 on day 15 are sub-par or close to it. They are literally 1 win from a promotable record. Both Takayasu and Wakatakakage have had 4 wins against guys with no shot at a KK on day 15. Only one which Takayasu faced has less than 5 wins, 4 wins. 3 of those that Wakatakakage faced have 4 wins OR LESS. Ura lost to an injured guy who last won 12 days ago. Meisei, an M3, lost to a 4-9 M13 Choyamaru! Wakatakakage's sub-par opponents weren't just poor, they were abysmal. 

10 hours ago, Hakuryuho said:

When it came to san'yaku opponents, Takayasu is 3-2 thus far, Wakatakakage is 3-1.

True, and one of Wakatakakage's wins was against Takanosho. 2 of those wins came in the first week with zero pressure of leading for the yusho. Yes, he faced 6 tough opponents his last 6 days. But 2 of those were Takaysu and Kotonowaka, a M6 and M7. Yes, they were right in the thick of the race but they are still not even joi and he's a seikiwake. Takayasu will face 6 sanyaku the last 6 days of a basho. While leading. You know who has to do that? Yokozuna have to do that and they're the only ones that should ever have to. Sure as heck a 32 year old  M7 shouldn't have to just because he used to be an Ozeki over 2 years ago. Takayasu hasn't even come close to choking  or fading this basho. He won't lose to any opponent who isn't ranked at least 8 slots above him all while leading for the yusho. Wakatakakage can't make that claim. 

It's garbage. All of 25 maegashira have won a Yusho in the era of 15 bout basho. That's 70 years, barely over 1 every 3 years. That's rare enough without the guy having to do a Yokozuna's schedule for the last 6 days. 

Edited by Rocks

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Checking the final day matchups of the contenders:

Kotonowaka - Hoshoryu

Takayasu - Abi

Wakatakakage - Shodai

On paper, Takayasu appears to have the easiest matchup against a faltering Abi, while Kotonowaka against an always game Hoshoryu fighting for kachikoshi and WTK against a resurgent Shodai in the final match would appear to be tougher going, although there's a possibility that Shodai checks out having freed himself from Kadoban. 

If I had to wager, I'd anticipate we'll see a wrestle off between Takayasu and WTK for all the marbles, which wouldn't be a bad endgame at all. 

 

 

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My hunch is Shodai is a no show, Abi fights like a cornered wolverine to get his KK, and Kotonowaka remains consigned to irrelevancy. 

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