Aki 2021 Day Nine
Ipponzeoi. Wakatakakage had Hoshoryu nearly out, then attempted to grab his right leg. That gave Hoshoryu opening few others would take, as he grabbed Wakatakakage's right arm and threw him over his shoulder for the win. (Although he needed a mono-ii to set the gyoji straight.)
Match of the Day
Maegashira 4 West Daieisho versus Yokozuna West Terunofuji
It takes luck to beat a Yokozuna, but also the ability to capitalize on that look. Terunofuji went for a left hand grip on the mawashi, but only got Daieisho's sagari (the fringe hanging in front of the mawashi.) That is not a great way to establish leverage, and Daieisho made sure Terunofuji never could get a grip of any kind. Daieisho made sure he could get inside and pushed the Yokozuna out for the first kinboshi on Terunofuji's record.
Day Nine was shaping up to make the Aki basho incredibly boring. Myogiryu, the one 7-1 rikishi coming into Day Eight, dropped his second match of the tournament. Then Mitaekumi, who was the biggest threat among the two loss rikishi by rank, lost in an uneventful match against Kiribayama. Even though Shodai and Takakeisho both won, keeping some pride in the Ozeki ranks, that didn't threaten the yusho race.
And then Daieisho pulled the upset. Terunofuji was always unlikely to go through the whole basho undefeated, but this was a bit of a shocker. Daieisho is a former yusho winner and very talented. Still, he came in 5-3 and was not always showing his best form. Terunofuji just couldn't find a way to beat Daieisho on Day Nine. Nothing about the match suggested some new secret to beating the shin-Yokozuna, but a loss is a loss.
The Aki basho is still Terunofuji's to lose. While he could have opened a huge lead with a win, Terunofuji still leads the basho as the sole rikishi with a single loss. The immediate chase pack is also entirely made of surprise yusho candidates. Onosho, Okinoumi, Myogiryu, Endo, and Chiyonokuni are all solid veterans who are fighting in a way to compile win totals. Yet only Okinoumi and Endo have ever had jun-yusho in their career, and the last one was 4 years ago. These are not men who had strong odds for a yusho before the basho.
Daieisho's upset does prove that anything can happen still, and Shodai and Mitakeumi loom at two wins. Those are former yusho winners who have put up double digit wins on multiple occasions. They also still need to face the Yokozuna. If Terunofuji keeps stumbling, they could pose a threat. On the other hand, both Shodai and Mitakeumi are notable for inconsistency. That is not the pair of rikishi most likely to win out.
Perhaps Kiribayama is the largest threat. The Misty Horse Mountain is at 6-3, and he has already faced all the active Sanyaku wrestlers. In theory, his basho is going to get much easier over the next six days. He will only face Maegashira and could take advantage of the Sanyaku beating each other up. Yet Kiribayama still needs to gain two wins just to make a playoff against Terunofuji, who he has lost to all four times they've faced each other. Terunofuji can lose this basho, but a few things need to come together for anyone else.