I’ve been quite pleased with how this basho is playing out. It is the first one in a long time with an interesting yusho race, and a potential yokozuna promotion (merited or not) to boot. The top three storylines I am following mid-basho are:
Storyline 1: The 4 way yusho race: Hakuho, Kakuryu, Baruto, and Shotenro. Here are some scenarios:
Baruto faces Hakuho and beats him. Kakuryu maintains his momentum and we have a yusho play-off between Kak and Bart – Bart will come into that scenario at a disadvantage, having lost his only bout this basho to Kakuryu.
Baruto loses to Hakuho. Hakuho loses to Haruma. Kakuryu loses to … someone? Who, though? The three of them come into the final day with 13-2 records. In that scenario, Kakuryu would have already beaten both those rikishi once this basho.
Shotenro wins the yusho as WWF style women smack the aging audience in Osaka with folding chairs and dance provocatively inside the ring (I give these two events equal probabilities of happening).
Storyline 2: Kisenosato fails to get his kachikoshi
This is a storyline unlikely to play out, but at 5-4 it is a remote possibility.
Storyline 3: Takanoyama’s impending demotion
Takanoyama is sitting at 3-6 right now at M16. After Montana’s report yesterday, I will be following this guy in Makuuchi while he lasts. Rooting against all hope that he pulls out a kachikoshi… or at least prolongs his makekoshi by as many days as possible.
What storylines are you following?