6 Wild Predictions for Nagoya 2022
We have mere hours before the sumo starts, but you can still sign up for Fantasy Basho on Fantasizr before the Nagoya tournament begins. While you wait, look at these wild (read: probably wrong) predictions.
Before the Natsu basho, I made a post called 6 Wild Predictions for Natsu 2022. Overall, I’d say two-and-a-half were right. (Takayasu did have a bad basho. Midorifuji got 9 wins at lower-Maegashira. Wakatakakage didn’t kills his Ozeki run, but did put it on life support. One more loss and he would need a miracle.) A wise man may say that would be a sign to never do it again.
But it’s more fun to make wild predictions than retreat back to safety. Maybe this time a full half will be right. Here are 6 wild predictions for Nagoya 2022.
It’s Terunofuji’s basho to lose, and it may not be interesting. If the Yokozuna mounts the dohyo, he is the hands down favorite. As a Yokozuna, he has the right to not mount the dohyo and come back in September. Yet he won when less than 100% in May. If he is healthier, no one looks like they can stop him.
The good Ichinojo will show up. There are two Ichinojo’s, and both demonstrate just how big he is. Sometimes, he is a step too slow, can’t recover from going backwards, and is unable to conduct offensive sumo. With a basho off due to a stablemate’s COVID diagnosis, he may be fresher. That may mean the good Ichinojo who is overwhelmingly big and strong, with a tendency to toss people aside.
Hoshoryu will get his wake up call. The 22 year-old Komusubi has not had a stand-out basho, but has steadily climbed the banzuke by being better than average. He does, however, still lack an outstanding basho where he dominated most of his opposition. Largely, this is because he has so many tricks that he doesn’t have a go to move. He will struggle for that reason and then find a killer Plan A.
Atamifuji will be promoted to Makuuchi. He is 19 years old, been in sumo less than two years, and has had only two basho in Juryo. Yet if he can get 10 plus wins from his Juryo #6 East slot in Nagoya, he has a chance. Daiamami came up after an 11 win basho from the same rank last time. With his combo of size and ability, the long-term smart proposition will be to avoid underestimating Atamifuji.
Wakamotoharu will have a terrible basho. Someone always seems to be way above their heads in rank, and it’s hard not to point to Wakamotoharu on the Nagoya Banzuke. Although he’s won 9 matches in his three Makuuchi basho so far, he’s also at a career high rank for July. As a 28 year old who is still a relative newcomer to Makuuchi, it doesn’t bode well.
Onosho will rack up a big win total. The “if healthy” tag probably needs to be added here, since Onosho is at Maegashira #15 East because of an injury in May. But Onosho is much better than lower Maegashira. At his best, he’s been a Sanyaku wrestler. Even in his best recent form, he was consistently in upper Maegashira. He should dominate around here.
We’ll check back to see just how wrong these predictions are. Enjoy the sumo when it begins soon!