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  • Fantasy Basho

Nagoya 2023 Day Four

Public League Leaderboard

Scores from Fantasizr.

Notable Maneuvers

Sukuinage. Asanoyama was getting pushed back by Onosho, but somehow managed to take his right arm under Onosho's left to execute a beautiful beltless arm throw before stepping out. It would be textbook, except others probably shouldn't try it.

Match of the Day

21 Maegashira #7 East Takayasu versus 25 Maegashira #9 East Takanosho

Takayasu and Takanosho went back and forth almost like it was prearranged, except you probably wouldn't awkwardly smack each other or slip quite as much as they did. The basic fact of the match was they kept coming back to even, whether one tried to slap or shift sideways or grab the mawashi. Eventually, it was Takayasu who kept his feet longest and won with a slap down.


The biggest news of Day Four is that Terunofuji is out for the rest of the Nagoya basho. That wasn't shocking news after his two straight losses, although that doesn't change the impact of a missing Yokozuna. Every Sanyaku wrestler just got a theoretically easier slate from here on out. Terunofuji wasn't going to be at his full power, which is why he is not participating anymore. Not facing the Yokozuna is still an opportunity.

The other big news is that Kirishima has returned to the basho after sitting out the first three days. He got a win over Kotonowaka, after the Komusubi seemed to really want to throw him. Kirishima kept his feet and sent Kotonowaka out, earning his first win as an Ozeki and as Kirishima (his newly adopted ring name.) He could, in theory, win the rest of his matches, end up at 12-1-2 and win if everyone else loses the right matches. Likely, he's here fighting for eight and avoiding immediate kadoban status.

The non-Yokozuna, non-Ozeki portion of the competition continued its curiosity. The three undefeated rikishi are Nishikigi, Takayasu, and Gonoyama. In May, Nishikigi started 1-6, Takayasu missed 10 days through injury, and Gonoyama was in Juryo. None of that trio were exactly obvious powerhouses before the basho started. These also aren't exactly surprises, because Nishikigi is on a 12 match win streak, Takayasu has been great when he's healthy recently, and Gonoyama did go 14-1 at Juryo #1 East.

Nishikigi actually took Daieisho out of the ranks of the undefeated on Day Four. He once again felt the momentum and shoved his opponent aside, but doing it to the runaway train that is Daieisho makes it seem more real. Nishikifuji fell off the undefeated group because he lost to Tamawashi by a yorikiri of all things. Endo picked up his first loss by putting his toe out before sending Aoiyama over the tawara. There is a much stronger chance wrestlers will fall back in the yusho race than keep winning the rest of the basho.

The matches will keep forcing the yusho race to thin out. Gonoyama will see the surprisingly 3-1 Kotoeko on Day Five. Takayasu sees the 1-3 but strong-looking Hiradoumi. Nishikigi will face the 3-1 Sekiwake Wakamotoharu. The undefeated rikishi are probably going to be favored, but they don't get it easy. No one gets it easy on any day, and that's part of what makes sumo fun.

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