Simple physics tells us that Chiyotaikai did pull Asashoryu's hair
One of our best emailers sent me this picture and said that it hints that Chiyotaikai did not pull the Yokozuna's hair. If you look at Chiyotaikai's fist, you cannot tell whether or not he has a handful of Yokozuna locks. But don't look at Chioytaikai's left fist...look where the two rikishi are standing in the ring. Yes, they are in the center of the ring. You'll remember that Asashoryu was dragged out of the ring and actually thrown off the dohyo, so the question is this: how did Chiyotaikai maneuver the Yokozuna across half the dohyo and out with a simple fist to the back of his head? From the position of the two rikishi in the dohyo, the only way that Asashoryu ends up on the ring floor below is if he was dragged out. There are only two possible explanations. First, Chiyotaikai went professional wrestling on us and smuggled a nylon cord onto the dohyo in his mawashi that he slyly used to wrap around the Yokozuna's neck and drag him out. I think that's a pretty damn good explanation, but the thing that bothers me is that Bobby
"The Brain" Heenan wasn't there in the Ozeki's corner smashing the fallen Yokozuna with a folding chair while the gyoji's back was turned. The second explanation is that the Ozeki had a fist full of hair. You choose. The
Yokozuna didn't stumble across half the ring; he was dragged across and out. The fact is this: Chiyotaikai pulled Asashoryu's hair plain and simple. A mono-ii was correctly called, but no one had the balls to force the head judge, Chiyonofuji (Chiyotaikai's stable master), to disqualify his prodigy, especially after the uproar created by the possibility that Chiyotaikai had just defeated Asashoryu.
No worries. The EIB (Eunuchs In Black) made it up to the Yokozuna on senshuraku after Hakuho at least fought Asashoryu to a draw but no mono-ii was called. Personally, I thought that Asashoryu lost that bout, but I was genuinely glad to see him awarded the victory because he's been robbed so many times previously. Good thing for him his opponent was a fellow foreigner or it would have been two grease jobs in as many days.
And finally, here's an interesting tidbit to consider. You know how when a new foreigner reaches sekitori status the Japanese press always gives the new tally as to total foreign rikishi all time? Taiho, who was half Japanese half Russian (i.e., Caucasian) was not counted as a foreign rikishi, but Sentoryu, who was half Japanese half African American was. Go figure.Home