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It was hard to see a lot of him over the last years to be frank. When I restarted watching he was out for basically 2017, he had three good tournaments in 2018, then three good tournaments in 2019 and one complete (and decent) tournament in 2020. 

I liked the guy a lot and was happy to see him put a few Yusho on his tally, but I wish he had quit as soon as he had sorted out the citizenship deal. 

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The Basho enters senshuraku weekend. 

Takayasu in the lead with 10-2

Runners Up: Asanoyama, Terunofuji at 9-2

There are seven Rikishi in third place with eight wins. Among them Takakeisho, who cleared kadoban today after a shaky tournament start. 

Tomorrow, Takayasu faces Wakatakakage, Asanoyama squares off with rival Ozeki Takakeisho and Terunofuji battles Shodai, who needs one more win for his kachi koshi.

After a 2-4 Start, this is an unexpected chance for Shodai I assume. He beat Takayasu yesterday, maybe he can play spoiler to Terunofuji's hopes aswell? He can foil Asanoyama aswell, since the Ozeki match ups will be part of the next few days matchups. 

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I feel like posting this as fair warning because clips of this kind of thing tends to get around online in video form and not everyone wants to see it, but a few minutes back Sandanme #65 Hibikiryu went down awkwardly face first and was either KO'd or had a serious neck injury, and I am not exaggerating that this kid was laying there totally motionless face down in the dirt for several minutes before any meaningful help showed up. And then they rolled him over, no neck brace or anything. If you couldn't see him breathing you'd have been excused for thinking he was dead.

I've watched a ton of combat sports, I've seen thousands of hours of football, and I'm a huge hockey fan so I've seen some fucked up injuries. But the way this one was handled was beyond anything I've ever watched, it was pretty awful to see the absolute non-response live on a stream.

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The injury-handling in sumo is - unfortunately - still in 1600-something. Nothing good to say about stuff like this, it's a huge flaw in the system itself. 

In "result-news": Abi wins the Makushita Yusho in his return to the dohyo with a 7-0 score. He is working his way back towards the Sekitori level after almost getting kicked out of Sumo for repeated misbehaviour. 

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Posted (edited)

At day 10, Takayasu was up by two wins at 9-1 and looked dominant. At day 14, he has crumbled, is 10-4 and dependant of what happens in today's main event to at least remain co leader with Terunofuji. It was heartbreaking to watch Takayasu after his match today, two very similar losses back to back aswell. 

Edit: Miyogiru is now 6-8 and makekoshi after a 5-0 start. 

Edited by ReiseReise
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A thrilling new high point in a career defined by choking. I do not think Takayasu is mentally capable of winning a tournament. Just to pile it on, if he had won the last two that got away from him he'd be on a very real Ozeki run.

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That wasn't a choke anymore, but a downright collapse. From 9-1 to 10-5, today losing to Aoiyama. 

The crisis of an Aoiyama playoff participation was averted, because Terunofuji fended off the serious threat of Takakeisho (who would have forced his own way into the playoff). Yusho and Ozeki promotion is a thing for the big guy, incredible comeback! 

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That was a really, really good tournament overall. Lots of guys wrestling well and a title race that comes right down to the last day. Plus the guys I like in juryo (Chiyomaru, Ishiaura, motherfucking URA, Enho) all had good winning scores.

Terunofuji is just unreal. Takakeisho honestly blasted him pretty good at that tachiai and it still didn't matter. He just wanted it that much, I don't know that it comes down to much else.

Tobizaru is fucking great. More of him please. Meisei also really looked like a guy that belongs with the big boys in this tournament.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Kotoyuki just announced intai a few days ago at age 30. He had started Sumo in 2008 and had been in salaried levels since September 2011, only dropping out of Juryo in March, with his top rank being Sekiwake. After undergoing surgery, his health didn't improve far enough, so retirement was probably the right call. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We go again this Sunday.

Looks very likely we're doing another fan-less basho. Hakuho we already knew is out but we can add to that Aoiyama (bad back), Ryuden (violated COVID protocol), and Midorifuji (I didn't see what his deal was). 

Hopefully all four Ozeki can wrestle well. Shodai should be motivated since he absolutely needs the wins, at least. Any of the Ozeki winning would theoretically set up a good storyline for July with Hakuho's probable swan song, but who knows at this point.

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It will be very interesting to see how much is in Terunofuji's tank. His knees are reportedly acting up again. 

Takakeisho seems far from 100% aswell. Shodai has his hands full avoiding demotion I'd assume. Maybe it will be Asanoyama's time? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Terunofuji has been wrecking shit so far, 8-0. Takakeisho looks mostly great aswell at 7-1. Asanoyama is a big disappointment, I have to say. He looses a lot, and badly for the most part. 

Ura looks on the verge of returning to the Top division. Which is another inspiring Sumo story. Quite the amount of fine bouts today. 

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Ura's been fantastic. Nice to see Yutakayama figuring out some stuff in juryo as well. 

Asanoyama's ankle is definitely bothering him but even that can't excuse everything. It's been about as mediocre as a 4-4 record can be, and I say that as a pretty big fan of the guy. He's usually Mr. Consistency and this tournament has been ugly.

Wakatakakage is the real deal. I don't know if he mounts an Ozeki challenge this year, but he will at some point.

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Soooo the big story at the moment is that Asanoyama's admitted he broke covid protocol in a very similar manner to Abi. 

I'm pretty disappointed, man. Asanoyama is one of my guys. At the very least he's going to lose Ozeki rank for this, and that's probably at the *light* end of what he could be facing.

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I like Asanoyama, I also like Abi and Ryuden. I should stop liking people. 

I'm worried that this might be intai even. Ozeki is close to Yokozuna, Asanoyama not only violated Covid19 protocol, he also lied about it when questioned. This can turn ugly. 

Terunofuji with a rare DQ loss while still looking dominant. Maybe there is a glimpse of hope for Takakeisho. 

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I was wondering if anybody had ever had back-to-back yusho from Sekiwake -> Ozeki in the modern-ish era. It's never happened, no precedent as far as I can tell.  You might start hearing about Futabayama, who yusho'ed at Sekiwake and Ozeki in 1936-37 and wasn't promoted. There's also Chiyonoyama, who won two straight from Ozeki in '49-'50 but wasn't promoted because he was really young, the ranks were wonky and they didn't like him winning his second one at 12-3. Also Tamanishiki, who won three straight while ozeki in '30-'31 but wasn't promoted because fuck that guy, I guess.  Happy ending, all three of them made yokozuna eventually. 

I have two strong opinions today. 1) I still hate Terunofuji and will forever because of that henka 2) if this dude picks up 3 yusho, 2 jun-yusho, two shokun-sho and three gino-sho in a year's time, he is a fucking YOKOZUNA. Any criteria that would say otherwise are built on nonsense (including but not limited to racism).

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He's not going to get promoted after this tournament since it's the first one back at Ozeki but honestly it looks like it doesn't matter. Does anyone seriously want to bet against him in July? I certainly won't. Maybe Hakuho makes me look stupid but I think even he's not immune to that great evil, time. I'll believe he can actually get through 15 days when I see it. Terunofuji won't be a long lived Yokozuna with those time bomb knees, but I feel like him getting there is almost expected now.

Teru's creating a bunch of statistical anomalies, part of that is that historically SO MANY Ozeki would just retire if they lost the rank. No one had even dropped to juryo and come back to Ozeki and this guy was down in fucking jonidan.

Endo beat Takakeisho today which didn't officially end the title race but, you know, basically this one is over. Really good tournament from Takakeisho all the same. Shodai got his 8th win, so he's fine, but he has looked shaky this tournament. Ura won in juryo with the most hilariously gentle boop I think I've ever seen in sumo. 

EDIT: Oh also, Abi wrapped up the Makushita title last night. So he'll be in juryo next tournament. The one other most interesting note from the lower divisions is a new boy called Ishizaki, who got to debut at Sandanme 100 instead of at the bottom because of his university success. Well, he opened in Sandanme with a 7-0, which if I understand correctly means he's going straight to Makushita. He's a little muscly Mighty Mouse kind of dude, fun to watch, definitely a prospect to keep an eye on.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks on the Ishizaki hint. Yeah, the Sandanme 100 starting point is newish and in addition to the Makushita tsukedashi entry (reserved for university champions). Interesting surge of smaller, but notable guys at the moment. 

I have kind of softened on Terunofuji, simply because it's such a great Redemption story and Terunofuji seems to be very reflective about his past. I do think a strong Jun Yusho, maybe a win over Hakuho in July, and we will get a new rope bearer, and rightfully so. A Yusho will put any kind of doubt to rest of course. 

With all that said, I'm now watching live and half expect lightning to strike twice and Endo putting himself into the mix by ragdolling Terunofuji in what would be my personal least expected bout result... Ever. 

Edited by ReiseReise
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Well, it wasn't rag dolling, but Endo and Terunofuji put up a great, short match ending in a great display of technique. After a long monoii Endo gets the nod. He is 11-3 now, Terunofuji at 12-2 and with Takakeisho (also 11-3) left to face tomorrow. 

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