Nagoya 2019 Day Three Recap
Three days does not a basho make, but it is about the point where you can begin assessing how each rikishi looks so far. Final records are not going to reveal themselves by multiplying the current one by 5, but you can evaluate performance. So let's give everyone a thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumbs in the middle.
Y1e Kakuryu (3-0)
Thumbs up. The master of reactive, counterattacking sumo is on his game. Of course, he's usually run into problems in the second week.
Y1w Hakuho (3-0)
Thumbs up. He doesn't look like the old, super dominant Hakuho. He also hasn't looked like he would lose, either.
O1e Goeido (2-1)
Thumbs in the middle. An Ozeki should be 3-0 after three matches, but he's on the positive side of the ledger.
O1w Takayasu (2-1)
Thumbs in the middle. Maybe he should get some extra credit for having two torinaoshi in two days, but what applies to Goeido applies to Takayasu.
O2e Takakeisho (Kyujo)
Thumbs down. He is missing the whole tournament with an injury after all.
O2w Tochinoshin (0-3)
Thumbs down. He is not missing matches with injury, but has the same win total as Takakeisho. He also is probably injured, as he can get no leverage with his lower body. This is problematic for someone whose best sumo involves lifting his opponent off the ground.
S1e Mitakeumi (2-1)
Thumbs in the middle. He shouldn't have lost to Endo on Day One. His last two matches are full thumbs up.
S1w Tamawashi (0-3)
Thumbs down He has looked off his game, and it's very difficult to say why.
K1e Abi (1-2)
Thumbs in the middle. He was thumbs down until his commanding win over Shodai on Day Three.
K1w Ryuden (2-1)
Thumbs up. He has beaten both Takayasu and Tochinoshin, and his only loss was to Kakuryu. Apparently a sumo style based on making the other guy as uncomfortable as possible can work at the highest level.
M1e Asanoyama (1-2)
Thumbs in the middle. He is under water right now, although his two losses are to the two Yokozuna and he didn't look terrible in either match.
M1w Hokutofuji (0-3)
Thumbs down. Hokutofuji seems to be continuing his role as being the loser in highly interesting matches.
M2e Aoiyama (2-1)
Thumbs up. Being very big, very smart, and very capable of side stepping your opponent just right works really well.
M2w Endo (1-2)
Thumbs in the middle. When he can land his new favorite mae-mitsu grip right in the front middle of his opponent's mawashi, he looks okay.
M3e Shodai (2-1)
Thumbs up. As has been said before, if Sumo started standing up, Shodai would be a Yokozuna by now. It doesn't, but Shodai's tachiai-less style is working well enough so far.
M3w Daieisho (1-2)
Thumbs down. Daieisho needed to find a new level this basho, and after three matches that seems unlikely.
M4e Meisei (0-3)
Thumbs down. Meisei is facing more difficult competition than ever before, and it shows.
M4w Ichinojo (2-1)
Thumbs up. Ichinojo hasn't been the unstoppable monster, but he's been working hard and fighting back. When you're the biggest guy in the division, that goes a long way.
M5e Kotoshogiku (3-0)
Thumbs up. He's been fading over recent tournaments, but if he performs like this, he can fade and still be good. Notably, he hasn't always been winning with his signature arms under his opponent belly bump maneuver.
M5w Takarafuji (1-2)
Thumbs in the middle. Could Takarafuji be anything but thumbs in the middle.
M6e Chiyotairyu (2-1)
Thumbs up. Shimanoumi deflected his powerful tachiai on Day Three, but Chiyotairyu still looks on point.
M6w Shimanoumi (1-2)
Thumbs in the middle. Shimanoumi has had to deal with unexpected challenges at his highest rank ever, and he has coped okay enough to hold his own. He hasn't won as much, though.
M7e Myogiryu (2-1)
Thumbs up. Myogiryu needed to arrest his slide down the banzuke, and he at least has won two of three.
M7w Tomokaze (3-0)
Thumbs way up. Tomokaze hasn't just won all three matches, but has looked effective and dominant the whole time.
M8e Onosho (1-2)
Thumbs down. Onosho keeps getting himself too far forward and falling on his face. This is particularly problematic for a pusher-thruster.
M8w Okinoumi (1-2)
Thumbs down. Okinoumi owns a kabu, or elder name, and he might be needing it sooner rather than later.
M9e Shohozan (1-2)
Thumbs down. Shohozan is looking more and more like the kind of aging sekitori who can no longer rely on his former power and athleticism.
M9w Daishoho (0-3)
Thumbs down. Daishoho is at his highest ever rank, and it is showing a little too much.
M10e Kotoeko (2-1)
Thumbs up. Kotoeko is at his highest ever rank, and he is doing quite well.
M10w Takagenji (3-0)
Thumbs way up. Takagenji has made his presence felt during his Makuuchi debut. He has been efficient, effective, and powerful in all three matches.
M11e Yoshikaze (0-3)
Thumbs down. Unfortunately, Yoshikaze is kyujo for this tournament. He is headed for his post-wrestling career as a coach, most likely.
M11w Nishikigi (1-2)
Thumbs down. Despite a win on Day Three, Nishikigi has overall looked lost and like he needs to find successful sumo once again.
M12e Tochiozan (1-2)
Thumbs down. Tochiozan is another veteran who seems to be aging before our eyes with each match.
M12w Kagayaki (2-1)
Thumbs up. After a few miseable basho, Kagayaki looks much more skilled and effective this tournament.
M13e Chiyomaru (1-2)
Thumbs in the middle. Perhaps a gigantic belly is a guarantee of a middling record in the lower portion of the Banzuke.
M13w Sadanoumi (2-1)
Thumbs up. SImple efficiency turns out to be fairly effective lower down the Banzuke.
M14e Toyonoshima (0-3)
Thumbs down. Toyonoshima now seems very much like he just can't compete in Makuuchi.
M14w Enho (3-0)
Thumbs up. Enho's submarining and spinning sumo is working very, very well so far in Nagoya. Of course, he was on fire early in Natsu, too. Still, he's been exceptional so far.
M15e Yago (1-2)
Thumbs down. Yago is still a little off, and he seems to have no ability to produce solid offense.
M15w Kaisei (1-2)
Thumbs down. Kaisei is very big and very talented, but he has been out of sorts for his Nagoya matches. He is particularly struggling to beat men much smaller than he is.
M16e Kotoyuki (1-2)
Thumbs down. One win is nice, but he really needs a winning record at this rank.
M16w Terutsuyoshi (3-0)
Thumbs up. The gigantic salt throw is working again! Or maybe he's realized he needs to be extra tricky to get a winning record at the top level.