(Thanksgiving Holiday commentary hiatus)
Yokozuna Hakuho takes sole lead of the Kyushu Basho with a perfect 6-0 record, after the other undefeated wrestlers all lost today. He dominates Shohozan from start to finish, locking up the left-handed overarm grip soon after the tachiai and marching Shohozan to the edge where he deposits him not-so-gently over the straw bales and onto the ground. Winning technique is uwatenage (overarm throw). Shohozan falls to 2-4.
Another day, another win for Yokozuna Hakuho. He makes short work of Tochiozan, pulling off a nice matador move to send his opponent stumbling by. Hakuho stays tied for the tournament lead at 5-0 with Ozeki Goeido and Aminishiki.
No drama here, as Chiyotairyu gives up the morozashi (double under) position to the Yokozuna right at the tachiai, and has absolutely no chance to recover. Hakuho does his job and moves to 4-0, tied for the early tournament lead with Ozeki pair Goeido and Takayasu, M4 Ichinojo, and veteran M13 Aminishiki.
Yokozuna Hakuho will not be denied. He walks through Takakeisho, whose only chance at defense is a left-handed sukuinage (beltless arm throw) attempt halfway through that Hakuho stifles immediately. A few moments later and Hakuho throws Takakeisho down on his butt. 3-0 for the Yokozuna.
Yokozuna Hakuho must have watched the tape of Tamawashi’s great performance against Yokozuna Kisenosato yesterday, and wastes no time completely negating the potential aggression. Leading with a classic left-handed slap to set up a right forearm to the chin, Hakuho pushes Tamawashi back at the tachiai and the two men pause for a moment to consider the next course of action. It happens fast, but Hakuho feints with his right arm before lunging forward and grabbing onto Tamawashi’s belt with his left hand. Tamawashi goes for the throat, but Hakuho yanks hard with his left hand and turns Tamawashi completely around. And just like that, the danger is averted. Hakuho takes a stroll and Tamawashi finds himself on the wrong side of the straw bales.
Yokozuna Hakuho is back after missing all of last tournament due to injury, and it looks already on Day 1 like he’ll be the man to beat. Which, to be honest, is the usual situation in pretty much every tournament. Today he takes on a feisty Kotoshogiku, maneuvering for an early overhand grip on the left side and executing a quick pulling overarm throw (uwatedashinage) that rolls ‘Giku like a bale of hay. No sign of slowing down for the Yokozuna.