Oi! No real names!
Let's look at it like this: Asashoryu was never the Good Guy. While I don't know if he is -- outside his public persona past and present -- the gentlest soul or an asshole from hell, I can say for myself -- as a big fan -- that I understand why they eventually axed him. Around or on dohjo he had, well, character. He broke only a few mirrors I guess, but also lots of unwritten rules. Or if he didn't, he still projected to the outside that he could and wouldn't give a damn about it.
Only yesterday I went through some Asa vids nostalgia frenzy. There were several occasions when -- after winning an important bout -- he would pump a fist, make the guts pose, grin like a village idiot etc. Always, always the Japanese commentators went into some hushed o-oh tone. They thought it was not what a man of his rank should do. And they are right. He was far from being a model Yokozuna. At the same time, his style, aggression and dominance was so unique, that I think they should have cherished that part of his presence and look away a bit more with the other stuff. And of course that's when the xenophobia arguments start and I won't indulge that just here right now.
The WWF part of your statement is more painful for me. I truly believe that the bunch of Japanese top rankers was dragged kicking and screaming to where they are now. And there were a lot of ugly bouts on the way. Don't get me wrong. I understand that the Oldzeki of a few years ago also had their deals (Chiyotaikai's Jedi move against Baruto, anyone?), but they had at least achieved something before. In stark contrast to the current bunch. I mean, come on! A Yokozuna who wouldn't know a solid tachi-ai if it fell on his toes. Right.
Anyway, don't give up. I had a MAJOR break from watching sumo. Now I started to view a couple of ●●●●'s vids. A saw many bouts that seemd legit and fascinating, even compelling. I'm officially an Onosho fan now.
Then again: If not cynicism, at least sarcasm ALWAYS is the way.