As Bruce reported, Hakuho fell to the Arawashi blitz. Blink and it is over. Taking a page from injured Harumafuji’s playbook, the maegashira executed a perfect half-henka at the tachiai, secured a two-handed belt grip, and spun Hakuho from the dohyo with startling efficiency.
Suffice it to say, Hakuho is now leading the chase group behind Kisenosato, with Takanoiwa and Sokokurai staying on pace.
Kisenosato himself didn’t have an easy path to his eighth win and kachi-koshi record. Okinoumi charged with full-force and looked to have an upset. But the limber ozeki’s retreat was strategic. Okinoumi over-committed and fell out of the dohyo as Kisenosato pivoted on the straw bales, victorious.
My highlight match, though, was Mitakeumi’s ability to overcome a fierce challenge from Takayasu, improving to 5-3. Takayasu appeared to want to rip Mitakeumi’s face off, chin first, but Mitakeumi persevered and ushered the veteran from the ring. Aoiyama had Endo’s kenshokin clearly in his mind, aggressively shoving the popular rikishi into the crowd. Perhaps the new wife wants to start decorating their place? The look on his face when he sees that fat stack of envelopes is nothing short of wonderful.
I never cover Takekaze but that may change. The dude is a solid veteran and has often been a stumbling block on the schedules of my favorite wrestlers. Today, though, he may have become one after his one-arm judo throw of makuuchi lightweight Kaisei.