- Fantasy Basho
Nagoya 2019 Day Eight Review
Let's consider how each rikishi stands on the pivot day of the Nagoya basho. Is the second week going to be better or worse?
Y1e Kakuryu 8-0
Kakuryu has had some notable second half fades in the last two years, but he looks solid so far and the good thing about being an undefeated Yokozuna after Day Eight is you do indeed control your own destiny.
Y1w Hakuho 8-0
See above about being an undefeated Yokozuna. Of course, Hakuho is battling a bad right biceps, and his sumo has been less than reassured. You certainly don't want to bet against the greatest ever, but he's not in ideal shape.
O1e Goeido 3-5
Three wins is where Goeido will land for this tournament, as he is going Kyujo with an arm problem. He will join Tochinoshin as a kadoban (on probation and needs eight wins to avoid demotion) Ozeki in Aki, leaving the possibility of one Ozeki standing in November.
O1w Takayasu 7-1
As the last remaining Ozeki and being one behind the leaders, Takayasu is best positioned to take his first yusho if anyone falters. The good news is he controls his own destiny, as his last three matches are likely the Yokozuna in some order and then Mitakeumi (since the other Ozeki are kyujo.) The bad news is it sure looked like he hurt his right elbow by withstanding Tamawashi's kotenage attempt on Day Eight.
O2e Takakeisho 0-0
Kyujo from Day One. Will be a Sekiwake in Aki.
O2w Tochinoshin 0-6
Kyujo from Day Five. Will be kadoban in September.
S1e Mitakeumi 6-2
Like his fellow half-Filipino rikishi Takayasu, he is well positioned to take a yusho if he wins out. In Mitakeumi's case, he will need to beat Takayasu and Kakuryu and Hakuho as well as not faltering against anyone else.
S1w Tamawashi 1-7
Tamawashi's nightmare basho could ease up over the second week, and it certainly can't get much worse. He does have to face both Yokozuna still, so winning out and getting a surprise kachi-koshi seems like a long shot.
K1e Abi 3-5
The basic fact of being a Komusubi is that your first week sucks. Abi has faced all the other Sanyaku wrestlers still standing besides Mitakeumi, who he gets Day Nine. His wins are against a Maegashira in Shodai, fellow Komusubi Ryuden, and a fusen win over Kyujo Ozeki Tochinoshin. He will probably relish seeing lower ranked wrestlers, but five more wins is a struggle.
K1w Ryuden 3-5
Ryuden is actually done with his Sanyaku fights and now will only face Maegashira. Some of them are pretty frisky and he needs to go 5-2 to keep the rank, but it isn't too crazy to imagine.
M1e Asanoyama 3-5
Day Eight got Asanoyama his first non-Sanyaku opponent in Endo, who he beat. A second consecutive Yusho is out of range, and now he needs to work hard to fight for a kachi-koshi and a Sanyaku debut for Aki.
M1w Hokutofuji 5-3
Hokutofuji is sitting in a great position for a Sanyaku promotion. His five wins all came after losing his first three, and he looks confident, steady, and assured. He has the ability to reach Ozeki status if it all comes together, and his opening three losses were against Takayasu, Kakuryu, and Hakuho. Maybe the rikishi with the best second week outlook.
M2e Aoiyama 3-5
Aoiyama's level is right about here, which means he is always likely to lose to Sanyaky wrestlers and beat most Maegashira. He almost seems destined to wind up at 8-7 or 7-8.
M2w Endo 3-5
Endo has settled into this space, where he is a game competitor for the top ranked rikishi, but always the underdog. He's gone repeatedly at the start to a mae-mitsu grip that is in the absolute front of his opponent's mawashi. That at least makes things interesting to watch.
M3e Shodai 4-4
Shodai's chaotic, tachiai-less sumo has him at even after eight days. He gets Takayasu on Day Nine, then sees his dance card clear up as he has faced all the Sanyaku except Ryuden. You never really know what your going to get with Shodai, but it works just often enough.
M3w Daieisho 3-5
Daieisho has looked game all basho, but like he doesn't have enough to cope with the best of the best. He seems like he's flailing more with each passing match.
M4e Meisei 2-6
Meisei has fit the mold of big winner that makes a big jump up the rankings and subsequently gets hammered.
M4w Ichinojo 5-3
Ichinojo hasn't been the unstoppable monster he looks like at his best, but he also hasn't been giant pushover who falls apart at any sign of trouble. The middle ground Ichinojo who can redirect a fight is a great long term development.
M5e Kotoshogiku 4-4
The former Ozeki has recently started well and faded. Kotoshogiku's fade might be picking up sooner than usual in Nagoya, and his athleticism is falling further and further behind his skills.
M5w Takarafuji 2-6
Takarafuji can't be this far away from dead even. Someone check where the solidly effective sumo robot went.
M6e Chiyotairyu 5-3
Chiyotairyu's big belly and fearsome tachiai have gotten him some places, but it should also be noted on Day Eight he won a Mawashi battle (!) against Shohozan (!!!).
M6w Shimanoumi (4-4)
Shimanoumi has acquitted himself fairly well at his highest ever rank. Probably one who will be on the kachi-koshi/make-koshi line for the rest of the basho.
M7e Myogiryu 6-2
Myogiryu looks as good he has in awhile. He has probably entered the phase of his career where the difference between 100% healthy and dealing with small injuries is critical.
M7w Tomokaze 6-2
Tomokaze needs just two more wins to continue his streak of never having a losing record. More importantly, he's on a pace to put together double-digit wins and really make his way up the Banzuke.
M8e Onosho 4-4
Onosho hasn't looked good for all of Nagoya, so he should probably be thankful he's got four wins. Some of them were damn lucky, but it also shows that Onosho's power is fearsome even when he is off-balance and flailing around.
M8w Okinoumi 4-4
Okinoumi has been standing his ground and outworking his opponent. He might get overwhelmed by some younger and more athletic rikishi, but he also is winning just as much as he is losing.
M9e Shohozan 4-4
Shohozan has decided to deal with a loss of strength and power as he ages by turning into a mawashi man. Whether this works because the notable pusher-thruster is surprising people or he has unseen grappling skills is unclear.
M9w Daishoho 3-5
Maybe slightly overranked here, Daishoho certainly still looks like he belongs in Makuuchi. He could even still pick up his kachi-koshi, although it's an uphill battle.
M10e Kotoeko 4-4
Kotoeko always puts up a good fight and seems even in any matchup. Fittingly, he's even with his record.
M10w Takagenji 4-4
Takagenji was 3-0 and 4-1 in this basho. In some way, he's gotten figured out by Makuuchi veterans. It's also fair to say his first few days showed he has the size, skill, and athleticism that taking him head on is a fool's errand for many people.
M11e Yoshikaze 0-0
Kyujo from Day One. Here is hoping this isn't the last we've seen of Yoshikaze in Makuuchi.
M11w Nishikigi 3-5
Nishikigi's double arm hold doesn't work like it used to. He is a rikishi needing a new move or two to make noise again.
M12e Tochiozan 2-6
It's rough to say, but Tochiozan might be a veteran staring at the end of his career before too long.
M12w Kagayaki 5-3
Here is the Kagayaki who looked so promising in his early Makuuchi career. Sometimes young rikishi need to learn they are big and strong enough to just hold their own, and Kagayaki is doing that so far in Nagoya.
M13e Chiyomaru 4-4
He is what he is, very big and very round. That apparently is once again good enough to stay in lower Maegashira.
M13w Sadanoumi 5-3
How far can veteran savvy take someone in the lower part of the Makuuchi Banzuke? 5 wins in eight days apparently.
M14e Toyonoshima 3-5
Toyonoshima is probably not really a Makuuchi wrestler anymore, but he also isn't a pushover, either.
M14w Enho 5-3
Is Enho having another fade from early success in this basho? He was at 5-1, so he needs to get back to submarining his way to victories in a hurry.
M15e Yago 3-5
Yago has not looked very good, often generating little to no offense. At least he hasn't completely crumpled.
M15w Kaisei 1-7
Kaisei looks like a mess. Reports are he has an injured arm, but everything looks out of whack. He is headed straight down to Juryo.
M16e Kotoyuki 5-3
Kotoyuki barely slipped into Makuuchi after being one of the few solid Juryo performers in May. He's made the most of his opportunity and will be working hard for three more wins.
M16w Terutsuyoshi 6-2
Terutsuyoshi began Nagoya on fire, but has lost two in a row after being at 6-0. He is small, but learned to use his surprising power. He should be able to collect the two more wins to keep his spot in Makuuchi.