Hakuho’s legend grows by the match. His intensity, almost ruthlessness, in the ring is an utmost virtue in American athletics. You do what you need to do win, within the rules, of course…unless you’re the Patriots. He revealed that a nagging injury returned in the third match but he was still able to persevere and go undefeated. The guy is amazing. If Hakuho were an NFL team, he’d be the Montana/Young 49ers + Aikman Cowboys + Favre Packers. In Japan, a senshuraku henka controversy counts as the scandalous equivalent of texting dick pics to a masseuse (bad joke context).
Tochinoshin was awarded the technique prize and Mitakeumi won the Fighting Spirit prize. I can’t help but think that Endo would have won a prize if he’d been able to win today.
In another story line, Kaisei beat an unmotivated Tochiozan easily to get his kachi-koshi and likely promotion to sekiwake for the July tournament. All I have got to say after this one is, Yeesh…. Tochiozan looked like Marcus Davis on a called run. He took today off. Ikioi would have brought it.
At a few points in today’s bout with Kotoyuki, Kaisei looked like he was done. The win, though, staved off makekoshi and even left the door open for a winning record should he beat Tochiozan tomorrow.
I was particularly impressed with today’s win because it came against a tough opponent who really dominated the match until the last seconds. There were several occasions where Kaisei was backed up on the straw bales but he kept pushing and kept pushing. That’s not what I am used to from him, quite frankly.
He’s still a win away but with a win, he’ll be the only kachi-koshi wrestler between Ozeki and M4W, Tochinoshin. Meanwhile, Endo is still in the race for a Jun-Yusho. Takekaze will be fighting for a winning record but Endo will be fighting for so much more. Special Prize?
Hakuho won his 37th yusho when Kisenosato fell to Kakuryu on the last bout of the day. Just before, Hakuho withstood a great challenge from Harumafuji, securing his 28th win in a row. Tomorrow he will aim to keep the streak alive against Kakuryu. Kisenosato’s 10th jun-yusho must feel particularly bitter tasting.
One contender down, two yokozuna to go. Kisenosato put up a valiant effort but Hakuho was as determined as I’ve ever seen. He was energetic, hopping around with the ozeki’s belt in tow. To me, it looked like a matta should have been called as Hakuho burst out of the gates quickly and Kisenosato, caught flat-footed, never quite recovered enough to go on the offensive.
The Endo/Osunaarashi bout was a bit anticlimactic. Everyone on the planet knew the Egyptian would throw the forearm at Endo’s head, most importantly Endo knew it. Surprisingly, there was nothing following it so when Endo parried the blow he pushed Osunaarashi out with apparent ease – to considerable approval from the crowd.
Hakuho will face Kisenosato tomorrow! Thanks to Kintamayama for the video!
Osunaarashi always steps it up notch against Endo. Whether it was the kenshokin, pride, or something else, the Egyptian will come out swinging…even more so with his kachi koshi on the table. For Endo, hopefully he’s motivated to pick up a special prize if he wins these next four. It would be a big task but if he wins tomorrow, I think it’s a distinct possibility.