Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sumo - Quick November Basho 2012 thoughts

Sumo - Quick November Basho 2012 thoughts

I just watched most of the November Basho from 2012 through youtube but I wasn't really writing stuff down. So, I will just give some quick thoughts on the tournament.

The Yokozuna
- Hakuho(Yokozuna) was pretty much the man here. He won the basho and should have gone 15-0, but he had a weird hiccup and lost the one match. I swear that the match he lost was fixed as him and his opponent both stalled for a while and after Hakuho tapped him on the side, he lost. Hakuho appeared to put up no fight in losing and it definitely seemed like something was off. Aside from that, he was on a different level than anyone else. No one seemed to give him too much trouble and it was overall a great performance.

- Harumafuji(Yokozuna) is the newest Yokozuna and this was his debut tournament as a Yokozuna. It wasn't a good one though. He went 9-6 which is an awful record for a Yokozuna. I don't really know what happened, but it should be noted that few Yokozuna do good in their first basho. He appeared to still be at an Ozeki rank and he has to be careful because he will have huge problems if he can't crack 10 wins next time.

The Ozeki
- Baruto got demoted during this tournament, due to two straight tournaments with a losing record. However, he got a losing a record because he got injured and had to forfeit all remaining matches. I really don't like people getting demoted because of injury and I thought this was really unfair, especially since he might have had a long shot at becoming a Yokozuna earlier in the year. His knee looked pretty bad and I'm curious to see if he can come back at full strength.

- Kotooshu was at 9-6 and wasn't particularly impressive, minus the odd Hakuho win. The announcers pointed out his odd habit of falling with his opponents, which can't be good longterm. I always seem him as an underacheiver because he has the height and could put on more weight to be more of a force.

- Kotoshogiku had a disappointing tournament. He started out well but he slipped and got side stepped to take a few losses. He was in his hometown and should have done better.

- I don't have alot of thoughts on Kakuryu but Kisenosato looked good out there.  He had a good tournament at 10-5 and looked pretty strong. Hopefully, he improves even more next tournament. Alot of people are expecting him to become a Yokozuna within the next year.

The Others
- Shohozan was one of the big highlights of the tournament. He had some really nice wins, got a promotion and showed alot of fighting spirit. He is definitely is going to be one to watch.

- Tochinowaka went 13-2 after a 7-0 start and looked pretty good. He has the height and is surely going to be someone to watch for in the future. I definitely think he will be a long term prospect, but he is a little akward with his height.

-Masunoyama is fun to watch and a really sympathetic figure. He is absolutely huge, but he has a breathing problem and appears like he is going to die after 15 seconds. I have to feel bad for him because his body is just not meant for this.

- Aoiyama was one of the better looking guys out there until his injury. He looked like he might have been a challenger for the win but the injury took him out. I'm really interested to see what he does in a week as the next tournament begins.

- I didn't see much of Takanoyama, but I'm interested to see what happens with him. He is Czech, tall and very thin for a sumo. His technique is great and he's great to watch.

Overall, it was a fun basho with some good stuff in it. It's definitely worth a look if you are interested. If you would like to watch Sumo in English, I recommend checking out this youtube channel as Jason provides daily coverage and commentary and is a joy to watch:

I may do more sumo and better sumo in the future, but it depends on time and availability. I'm looking forward to the January Basho, so lets see how things go and maybe sumo will become a common feature on ProWresBlog.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I used to watch the ESPN Sumo Digests from many years ago, but haven't seen any in a while. Jason's channel is great, as his commentary is useful for a newbie like myself, and I'll try to follow future tournaments through his channel.

    1. Those ESPN digests hooked me on sumo. I really miss them and I wish I would have recorded them as they were very good. They stopped around 2002 after Akebono quit.

      Jason is the man. Hopefully he keeps things up because this is the best coverage since ESPN.

      The next basho begins on the 13th. I still need to figure out the best way to cover them but I'm excited for it!

    2. I didn't realize it had been 10 years since the sumo digests were on. Wow, time flies....

      I looked up Takanoyama and he is fascinating. He is ridiculously light for a sumo wrestler, but seems to do well against the less competition with a combination of superior technique and just taking advantage of impatience (i.e. fat guys whose whole game is an all-out bull rush who end up falling on their face or are easy to take out with a foot sweep).

      The elite guys are too savvy and know what a guy Takanoyama's size has to try to do to win, and therefore don't make the silly mistakes and thereby effectively use their size advantage.

    3. I know, right? It truly was the glory years for Sumo as well since at one point they had 4 different yokozuna (Akebono, Takanohana, Wakanohana and Musashimaru). What is interesting about that time is that all 4 wrestlers debuted and retired within 1-2 years of each other. It might have been better for Sumo's long term health if one of them came a few years later than the rest.

      Takanoyama is indeed pretty interesting. It's a shame that he just can't put on weight because he is talented. This match against Myogiryu is my favorite:

  2. If you or anyone else is interested in sumo stats and records, this site by far seems like the best: