Yokozuna Hakuho showed no mercy with a demolition of Tochiozan on the opening day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.
Newly promoted Estonian ozeki Baruto, meanwhile, got rid of his first-day jitters with a righteous smackdown of Tochinoshin in his first match at sumo’s second-highest rank.
In the day’s final at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Hakuho was quick off his feet and swiftly deposited Tochiozan over the edge before the komusubi knew what had hit him.
The odds-on favorite, Hakuho is making a bid for his 13th career Emperor’s Cup at the 15-day Tokyo meet.
Baruto fired off a series of stiff shoves to the throat of Tochinoshin before sending the No. 2 maegashira sprawling with a stab to the head.
Baruto is aiming to become the second European after ozeki Kotooshu to win a title.
Veteran Kaio was not fooled for a second by Homasho’s sneaky sidestep “henka” maneuver after the faceoff and quickly moved inside to swat the second-ranked wrestler to the sandy surface.
But Kotomitsuki paid for an overzealous charge against Miyabiyama when he was dumped on the edge by the former ozeki at the last moment.
Bulgarian Kotooshu conquered one of his more sticky opponents, the diminutive Toyonoshima, getting his hands precisely placed for a well-worked overarm throw.
Mongolian Harumafuji, who is nursing a left knee injury, was the second ozeki to fall when he was practically lifted over the edge like featherweight by komusubi Kotoshogiku.