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Posted (edited)

Osunaarashi will be there.  Rui Aparecido de San Jr. has taken 3rd place at World Championships in 2015 and 2022.

Edited by Yamanashi

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Oh my, Noah Goldman is back for his fifth or sixth attempt at making this work?

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Posted (edited)

Apart from Osunaarashi they also have Wakanoho. His pro career was before my time but he is still only 35.

Anybody know if the Kamiyama twins are busy at the moment?

Edited by Tigerboy1966

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WCS.jpg


As the admittedly decent-looking event poster indicates, this thing's starting today. One of the articles above (now that they're actually in one thread instead of three, my appreciation to the moderators for their extra work) pegged the arena capacity at 800 people. These two events are supposedly some sort of qualification for a bigger "final" event that's scheduled to take place in Newark's Prudential Center on Feb 18, but I'm guessing that's pure bunk and all three dates will feature completely separate exhibition tourneys. Today's event is listed as sold out on the White Eagle Hall website, the one in two weeks isn't (yet), even though a news release posted on wcsumo.com yesterday claims that it is.

Everywhere you look, only five participants were announced for all three events: ex-Osunaarashi, ex-Wakanoho, Rui de Sa Jr (a Brazilian heavyweight regular at IFS events, as alluded to by Yamanashi above), a Bulgarian named Martin Marinkov who apparently used to be a world-level sambo competitor but doesn't seem to have any track record in sumo, and Navneet Bhati from India who has even less of a relevant background (some powerlifting and professional wrestling experience apparently). I'm assuming that more people will be in action, but the only one listed on the official event series website is the enigmatic "Coming Soon". It could be worse, though - the promoting company's website offers no clue that they're even doing events this year.

An unintentionally hilarious promo clip on Youtube (view count 123, at least 3 of which were me) not only uses an Ozumo image as its title card, but also uses footage from way back in 2005/06 when this same promoter already tried his hand at commercial sumo events - see how often you can spot pre-professional Akiseyama in there, who was one of the competitors at the time. (If you're looking for further information, the forum search should bring up several threads via "World Sumo Challenge" and "World Sumo League", but you're really not missing out if you don't go hunting for it.) As I insinuated in an earlier comment, there were several other attempts to restart this business over the last two decades, but I don't think any announced event dates ever came to fruition after 2006.

In any case, the streaming coverage we discussed here last month is apparently also for this venture, not the separate All Star Sumo thing as we had assumed. It's PPV and you can watch the first event for the low, low price of $7.99.

Edited by Asashosakari
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Don't forget, that's tomorrow night (1/24); if your tickets are for 1/25 -- it's musical dance highlights from Bollywood movies, featuring the Jersey Beatz Band.

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1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

In any case, the streaming coverage we discussed here last month is apparently also for this venture, not the separate All Star Sumo thing as we had assumed. It's PPV and you can watch the first event for the low, low price of $7.99.

Oh, apparently it's free (with registration) for North American customers, the PPV pricing only applies outside.

Also:

So 12...we'll see.

Also also, with Osunaarashi:

Former US Open participant and I guess he may have represented Egypt at the World Championship at some point?

Edited by Asashosakari

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Best way for this to work is building up some actual home grown dudes. Bring in local clubs, make it more of a team sport (Dallas fans supporting those from their city, etc) and start building that groundswell of support. 

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You're assuming that the people behind this give a damn about the existing sumo scene in the US, which I'm pretty sure they don't.

Anyway, this attempt at promoting sumo events appears to directly involve the people who operate White Eagle Hall and Prudential Center, so I wouldn't expect this to go anywhere else anytime soon, if it even runs again after this trio of events.

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Gave it a quick look thanks to the wonders of VPN. The three announced guys with sumo experience (Osunaarashi, Wakanoho, Rui Jr) were there, the Bulgarian and the Indian were nowhere to be seen. In addition they had Osunaarashi's Egyptian buddy Kamal Basira from the tweet above, Artur Bagaev from Russia (used to be a regular at IFS events, but almost 40 years old by now), and MMA practitioner Brennen Moorefield who looked like he must have at least trained some sumo lately (I'm not up on the U.S. club scene, maybe he's even doing it regularly).

The other six guys in the tourney looked like they were grabbed right off the street, quite frankly - four Americans, and one guy each presented as from Russia and Egypt, respectively, but I'm guessing they are U.S. residents.

The tournament was best of 3 bouts in all rounds, but unsurprisingly nearly everything went 2-0 to the favourites. 6 first-round matchups pitting the decent guys against the street bums, then quarterfinals featuring the six winners and two "best" lucky losers - supposed to be selected as those who came closest, either losing 2-1 (which nobody managed), or lasting the longest in their losses...I didn't time the matches to see if the two selections were actually on the up and up, but I doubt anyone in the audience cared.

I don't like to cast aspersions, but Wakanoho's four bouts against the random Russian dude (they got matched up both in the first round and in the quarters, which was hardly ideal) all looked fake as hell, as did at least the first two of the three between Osunaarashi and Basira in their semifinal. The rest ranged from forgettably uncompetitive in the first round to a fairly decent watch at least sometimes in the later rounds. The final was predictably Osunaarashi against Wakanoho - Osunaarashi won the first match, but Wakanoho first pulled even with a four-alarm almost-flying henka (after which he celebrated like he'd just won the Emperor's Cup), then took the overall victory. Rui de Sa Jr prevailed in the third-place playoff against Basira.

The audience seemed to be fairly entertained, although now that I think about it I don't recall seeing many crowd shots during the broadcast (but I did fast-forward a lot, so maybe I just missed them). The promoters were pushing the sports betting angle hard, with frequent cuts to some Las Vegas oddsmaker who gave comments on the action and the odds he was setting. I'm not sure how well that actually worked given the lack of depth in the field, and in addition I saw several viewers asking in the stream comment box about where they could actually place bets (I don't think it was ever announced on the broadcast, perhaps for legal reasons). All a bit odd, no pun intended.

The broadcasting team consisted of Ben "the Bane" Davis, apparently an MMA play-by-play guy in his day job (he didn't really do play-by-play here, but he came prepared enough that he didn't come across as out of place as the host commentator of a sumo event), Madison Guinn from the U.S. women's sumo team (who doubled as post-match interviewer and, bless her heart, came across a bit too cheery for my tastes during the whole thing), and Hans Borg, Norwegian amateur sumo wrestler from almost two decades ago (he's the crazy-looking bleached blonde guy at 0:17 in the 2005 footage of the Youtube promo I linked earlier) - I understood next to nothing of his mumbled comments, so I have no idea how much his presence actually contributed here. Rounding things out was a boxing-style ring announcer whose name I didn't catch, though the voice sounded vaguely familiar so probably some regular from boxing or MMA events (non-Buffer division...I don't watch enough of either sport to recognize anyone besides the two brothers).

Oh, yeah, they actually announced a ranking points structure for the two "Club" events at the top of the broadcast (I won't bother you with the details), so they're at least acting like these fights have some additional meaning for what's going to take place in the final third event. And at some point in the broadcast they had a brief interview with main promoter Noah Goldman who, despite this being a commercial event, came across as slightly addled like every aging amateur sport executive I've ever seen ("it's almost like a sumo family here"...blergh, heard that nonsense a thousand times before in other sports I follow).

Overall assessment: The event itself actually didn't work too badly in the cozy setting of a sub-1000 seats arena, and the streamed broadcast was pretty well done. I somehow have my doubts that it's going to scale well to the much bigger Prudential Center, though, unless they're still bringing in some better fighters for the back end of the lineup. Anyway, I went into watching it with zero expectations and at least didn't come away disappointed, but it's not really something I can see myself staying interested with. The broadcast remains available at https://www.fite.tv/watch/club-sumo/2ped4/ - if you've got an hour to kill (it ran two and a half, but you can easily get through in half that time or less) and you enter with the right mindset, it's not the worst thing ever to experience that has "Sumo" written on it.

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I'm not that far from Newark so I might take myself along to the Prudential Center on the 18th. I don't normally follow the amateur scene (not that these events seem to have much connection to anything the USSF are doing) but if there was a chance to see ex-pros like Osunaarashi and Wakanoho I might be tempted.

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Fairly decent article in the North Jersey regional paper The Record today, featuring an interview with Osunaarashi. Apparently he's been living in NJ with his wife and kids since 2021. Noah Goldman is promising more shows, including the Theater at Madison Square Garden on April 13.

 

 

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5 hours ago, ryafuji said:

Fairly decent article in the North Jersey regional paper The Record today, featuring an interview with Osunaarashi. Apparently he's been living in NJ with his wife and kids since 2021. Noah Goldman is promising more shows, including the Theater at Madison Square Garden on April 13.

 

 

ex-Wakanoho won the tourney, with ex-Osunaarashi second.

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On 26/01/2024 at 08:44, Asashosakari said:

The broadcasting team consisted of Ben "the Bane" Davis, apparently an MMA play-by-play guy in his day job (he didn't really do play-by-play here, but he came prepared enough that he didn't come across as out of place as the host commentator of a sumo event), Madison Guinn from the U.S. women's sumo team (who doubled as post-match interviewer and, bless her heart, came across a bit too cheery for my tastes during the whole thing), and Hans Borg, Norwegian amateur sumo wrestler from almost two decades ago (he's the crazy-looking bleached blonde guy at 0:17 in the 2005 footage of the Youtube promo I linked earlier) - I understood next to nothing of his mumbled comments, so I have no idea how much his presence actually contributed here.

I guess they also realized that having a three-person commentary booth was pointless, so no Hans Borg for the second event, and in turn Madison Guinn stayed there with Ben Davis altogether, with the interviewer role shuffled off to former amateur boxer and now minor media personality Cara Castronuova.

Results via an MMA site; Osunaarashi won the final over Abdelrahman Elsafy/Elsefy (the backflip guy from the World Games a couple of years back). Wakanoho defeated Rui Jr. to take third place.

Edited by Asashosakari

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7 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

I guess they also realized that having a three-person commentary booth was pointless, so no Hans Borg for the second event, and in turn Madison Guinn stayed there with Ben Davis altogether, with the interviewer role shuffled off to former amateur boxer and now minor media personality Cara Castronuova.

Results via an MMA site; Osunaarashi won the final over Abdelrahman Elsafy/Elsefy (the backflip guy from the World Games a couple of years back). Wakanoho defeated Rui Jr. to take third place.

From the article:

"In the best-of-three final, Shalan faced Russian Soslan Gagloev. The former pro sumo wrestler in Japan also played on the defensive line for the Webber International University football team in Florida.

In the first bout, Shalan freed up his right arm and flipped Gagloev. In the second, Shalan charged but the Russian stepped aside and allowed his opponent's momentum to carry him out of the dohyo. Gagloev won the decisive third bout by tossing Shalan over the line."

Sorry, I read the article only.

 

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I'm really not sure if you actually read it, because it was a preview for last night's event and included results from the previous event that happened two weeks ago.

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7 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

I'm really not sure if you actually read it, because it was a preview for last night's event and included results from the previous event that happened two weeks ago.

I read and quoted the Fairly decent article provided by @ryafuji, which was entitled

"International Sumo League comes to NJ, led by Clifton's 'Great Sandstorm'"

and pulled a quote from it.  It wasn't easy reading because of all the pop-up ads, but I made it to the end. It seemed to be a feature on Shalan more than anything else, and I learned that he lived with his family in New Jersey.

But yeah, you caught me, I didn't actually read the article.  I will carry that shame on Sumo Forum forever.

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Excellent video news report of World Championship Wrestling 

 

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