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Nine days in the tournament is a lot closer than I thought it would be, mainly thanks to Daeisho beating Terunofuji today, eliminating the chances of a Zensho for the new Yokozuna. 

A lot of the guys expected to be possible rivals for Terunofuji are struggling (mainly Takakeisho and Takayasu). Onosho, Miyogiryu, Endo and Chiyonokuni are all merely one win behind. My personal favourite Ura is struggling, and probably not at 100%. He will face Terunofuji tomorrow. 

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On 9/20/2021 at 9:24 PM, ReiseReise said:

Nine days in the tournament is a lot closer than I thought it would be, mainly thanks to Daeisho beating Terunofuji today, eliminating the chances of a Zensho for the new Yokozuna.

I would have put money on the Zensho after Nakabi, when Terunofuji was almost, almost beaten by one of the few other former champions in the top division but then lifted him up and turned around.

Terutsuyoshi's salt throw is more over than most of the top division, including Terutsuyoshi himself.

Ura is somehow even more ridiculous than Tobizaru, who in turn is a more ridiculous Enho. Hoshoryu has that same level of technique but is far more serious than all three. He's been pulling some great throws off. Kiribayama is almost in that bracket for the smirk after the henka he pulled on Mitakeiumi.

Miyogiryu (lol) still in the hunt? I'm expecting him to turn back into a pumpkin any second now.

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Live on senshuraku and Miyogiryu (lol) is the sole remaining hunter of Terunofuji as I'm watching live. It's out of his hands, though, even if he beats Meisei today, he needs Shodai to topple the Shin-Yokozuna for a shot at the Yusho in a playoff. 

Both Ozeki got winning records already, which cleared Takakeisho from kadoban. After a rough start, this did not look certain, huge comeback after looking very injured. 

Ura went makekoshi, but with a respectable 7-8 after a few bad streaks in between. 

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Miyogiryu (lol) enters pumpkin mode as called by yours truly@DangerMark

Terunofuji Yusho without really doing anything. Mitakeumi beats Takakeisho for a 9-6 score, his usual good, but not outstanding sanyaku self. It's worth noting that the has five kachi koshi in a row in sanyaku. 

Terunofuji and Shodai close the tournament with a final match that has no impact on the overall result, but surely for their retirement funds and their pride as competitors. Terunofuji cements his status as head of the pack with a controlled yorikiri win. 

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Wow. Some of his records were utterly ridiculous; and I find an argument that I came across that he wasn't the greatest because he never had a proper rival at his own level unpersuasive. He had such a rival in Asashoryu and was doing pretty well in the head to head until Asashoryu went and bottled someone. But this is a Hakuho eulogy, he was ridiculous, the best, never beaten until the fan pointed the wrong way.

Still, I guess we should all be so lucky to have a last fight as good as that last one against Terunofuji.

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I really don't think there is going to be a next / another Hakuho, for various reasons, not least for him being a generational talent. It seems more likely we enter a period with a "primus inter paris" time of situation where there is a "best wrestler" around in Terunofuji, but him winning is not an absolute foregone conclusion.

On Hakuho's retirement: The sumo association is making it hard for him to stay in Sumo and is getting called out for it, which is a good thing. It's a really ugly side to this fascinating phenomenon that I'd be glad to get rid of. 

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  • 1 month later...

Basho is off to a good start with some of the top guys performing well, namely Mitakeumi, Takakeisho and Terunofuji all getting out of the blocks with a 3-0 start. Same for some guys low on the banzuke like returnee Abi, Hokutofuji and Aoiyama. Oh, and Ura started off with 3-0 aswell. 

Down at Juryo 11, Enho is at a 2-1 winning record for the first time in ages. I hope he can continue and stop the decline. 

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At the halfway mark, both Terunofuji and Takakeisho are 8-0. Takakeisho looked to have lost to Ichinojo today, but a video review revealed that the big Mongolian had grabbed his opponents hair and pulled on it, resulting in a DQ. Terunofuji has a streak of securing kachi koshi on Day 8 for the last four tournaments in a row. 

Trailing the top duo are Mitakeumi and Abi, who is wreaking havoc down the ranks after his forced break for violating Covid Protocol. Mitakeumi will have tough matchups in the second week, it will be interesting to see if they start bringing Abi up for tougher opponents early or wait for the final three matches. 

Still mathematically in the hunt at 6-2 are:

Tamawashi, Ura, Hokutofuji (like Abi quite underranked), Sadanoumi

 

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Yeah Hokutofuji is having a grand old time now that he's severely underranked. Very happy I took him in Kachi Clash.

Terunofuji honestly doesn't look like losing at all. His combination of good defense and nearly inhuman strength allows him to just be patient with pretty much everyone.

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The tournament was already decided before today, Terunofuji being guaranteed one win ahead everyone because he overcame the energetic Abi in the Day 14 main event. Abi had beaten Takakeisho on Day 13.

The final match of the tournament put Terunofuji against Takakeisho and it was a good show by both men, put the Yokozuna prevailed, securing his first career Zensho. 

There will be special prizes for Abi, Takanosho and URA 😃

Mitakeumi turned in a fine 11-4 performance from Sekiwake, which would spark faint conversations about a possible Ozeki run, if he wasn't Mitakeumi. 

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  • 1 month later...

I almost forgot this started tonight. There's something that's become very relaxing about staying up to a stupid part of the night to watch large men smash into each other.

Akua just got thrown in a way that I am pretty sure violated the laws of physics.

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