A massive thank you, Herouth, for diving into the news sources and cutting to the chase. In short, the Abi saga, and his career, is not over — yet.
The Kyokai is holding onto Abi’s resignation. They have decided to punish him quite severely with a three tournament suspension and 50% cut in pay. He will have to accept the punishment, pledge in writing to not break the rules or cause further trouble, and he will also be required to move back into Shikoroyama-beya so he will be under direct supervision.
Gokushindo has been revealed to be the lower-ranked wrestler who accompanied Abi. He has been suspended for two tournaments. We have also learned that Abi had *many* excursions to the “night business” which contravened the Kyokai’s rules. This was not a couple of times but a pattern of behavior which he then attempted to cover up.
A key question that comes out of this is, will there be any changes to the strict rules the NSK imposed to prevent a COVID outbreak? Abi was joined on his outings by supporters. Despite Abi’s punishment, one would doubt that the supporter’s backing will be turned away. However, he finally may have the “out” that he needed to turn down the supporter as now, his career apparently hangs in the balance.
In a sense, was Abi going out to hostess clubs or was Abi the host? And what happens when you get your favorite host fired? Would the backer continue to be a supporter when Abi’s career is over? Or would he move on to another wrestler? With Abi now grounded, will the supporter need to find a good night out somewhere else?
Fans provide key financial backing to wrestlers, stables, and the Kyokai. We have seen how the end of Jungyo, cancelling and curtailing of tournaments, and severing of contact with the public has impacted the Kyokai. They fought to hold the March and July tournaments. They needed to hold the July tournament as much as we needed to see it. But they had to do it safely. Let’s hope we can all find some sort of balance.
In closing, I apologize, I’m not full of answers today; I’m full of more questions. The question that will be answered first, and likely in the coming days, is “will Abi accept this?” As Leonid reported, at least Shikoroyama-oyakata can celebrate Oki’s rise to the salaried ranks. He may be heyagashira soon.