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  • Fantasy Basho

Kyushu 2022 Day Fifteen

Yusho Arasoi

12 wins

02 Ozeki East Takakeisho

11 Maegashira #1 East Takayasu

28 Maegashira #9 West Abi

Abi beats Takayasu and Takakeisho in three way playoff

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Scores from Fantasizr.

Notable Manuevers

Henka? Was it an actual, full-blown sidestep that Abi used to beat Takayasu in the first playoff match? He engaged briefly before going sideways, but it wasn't exactly Abi's usual two-handed thrust to the throat right at an opponent.

Match of the Day

Maegashira #1 East Takayasu versus Maegashira #9 West Abi

These two had a regulation match that either would give Takayasu the yusho if he won or a playoff if Abi won. With that pressure, they produced a classic. Abi did his usual both hands to the upper chest and throat, which Takayasu seemed unbothered by. Then Abi begin his tawara dance. Seemingly, he always came around to planting his feet to face Takayasu head on. Then they would engage in a slapfest once again. This should have benefited Takayasu, sumo's marathon man, but Abi just never gave up. Eventually it was too much, and Abi knocked Takayasu out, over, and down the side of the dohyo.


Kyushu 2022 will go down in history as Abi's first yusho, but how it will be remembered is difficult to say in the immediate aftermath of Day Fifteen. There were so many things happening this basho, and especially on Day Fifteen that it can be remembered as THAT basho for so many different reasons. Takayasu had the chance to win once and lift the Emperor's Cup for the first time, but he lost to Abi in regulation. Takakeisho made it a three-way playoff (the first in 28 years.)

Then the playoff may become infamous. Abi went sideways against Takayasu, although he didn't immediately fly to the side. Takayasu also seemed surprised that Abi would do such a thing. This is the problem with something being legal but looked down upon. When a wrestler who "should not" be doing a henka does it, an opponent gets surprised by an easily defended move. Takayasu bent over on the dohyo will likely be the lasting image of Kyushu, and the background will be a match that was less than thrilling.

Of course, one more match had to happen. Takakeisho needed to win twice in a three-way matchup, but Abi didn't give him the shot. The relentless, athletic, and difficult Abi that was there before he got injured recently was on full display. He won his last five matches in regulation to get into a playoff position, while also needing two playoff wins. He did it, while Takayasu once again could not win a yusho and Takakeisho couldn't quite grab the Yokozuna chance another time.

Apart from the yusho, there were many other notable aspects to Kyushu. Hoshoryu fell off the pace, but now has a shot at an Ozeki promotion in 2023. Fellow youngsters Oho and Hiradoumi established themselves as future star performers. Kiribayama and Kotonowaka showed they are the near future of Sanyaku. Chiyotairyu retired abruptly. Remarkably, Terutsuyoshi managed a zenpai basho, wherein he did not win a single solitary match. All of that took place over the last fifteen days, among much else.

Yet we got a three-way playoff to decide it all, and the playoff had two notable matches. In the end, Abi stood alone with the Emperor's Cup. That's what goes in the record books, and Abi joins the list of winners. Of course, the journey is half the story, and it was a surprise to see Abi in with a chance at the end and he was maybe third favorite before the sumo began on Day Fifteen. But he stands tall at the end.
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