|Ring name(s)||Chigusa Nagayo
|Billed height||1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Billed weight||87 kg (192 lb)|
December 8, 1964 |
|Trained by||All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW)|
|Debut||August 8, 1980|
|Retired||April 10, 2005|
Chigusa Nagayo (長与千種 Nagayo Chigusa?) is a retired Japanese female professional wrestler best known for her mainstream popularity in the 1980s as a member of the tag team The Crush Gals with long-time partner Lioness Asuka. She was the founder of the GAEA Women's Professional Wrestling organization (known simply as GAEA). She briefly competed as alter-ego Lady Zero in GAEA. Nagayo appears in the 2000 documentary Gaea Girls made for the BBC by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams.
Formed in the early 1980s, the Crush Gals were possibly the most famous and beloved women's tag team of all time. During the mid-'80s they had four runs as WWWA World Tag Team Champions at All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW), and were pop culture sensations. They had several top 10 pop singles, and their main event feud against Dump Matsumoto's heel stable, Gokuaku Domei ("Atrocious Alliance"), drew consistent ratings over 12.0 for AJW's weekly television program on Fuji TV. The feud was highlighted by events such as the first women's hair vs. hair match in Japan between Nagayo and Matsumoto on August 28, 1985, and a vicious run-in on September 10, 1986, when Matsumoto and her gang interrupted as the Crush Gals performed a concert in the ring, and proceeded to cut up Nagayo's clothes, leading to a second hair vs. hair match. The success and popularity of the Crush Gals inspired many young Japanese women to enter professional wrestling. Later in the decade, Nagayo achieved the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship, finishing Yukari Omori with a moonsault, on August 22, 1988. Nagayo lost the belt to her best friend and Crush Gals partner, Lioness Asuka, on January 22, 1989, after a historic and emotional feud.
In 1989, Nagayo reached age 26, the mandatory retirement age for female wrestlers in AJW at the time; however, she came out of retirement in 1995 to form GAEA Japan.
World Championship Wrestling (1996-1997)
Nagayo appeared for the promotion competing in the tournament for the WCW Women's Championship as she would be defeated by Madusa on the December 14th edition of Nitro though after the departure of then champion Akira Hokuto, she would appear on the September 20, 1997 edition of WCW Japan competing for the vacant title though would be defeated by Devil Masami.
She wrestled as one of GAEA's main eventers and top faces. In December 1998, Asuka debuted in GAEA and played a heel, allying with Nagayo's rivals and winning the presidency of GAEA from Nagayo in their first match together in ten years, on April 4, 1999. Eventually, however, on December 27, 1999, the Crush Gals were re-united, and went on to win their fourth tag team championship together in spring 2004.
On April 3, 2005, Nagayo and Asuka teamed up for the last time, defeating Chikayo Nagashima and Sugar Sato on GAEA's 10th Anniversary Show; Asuka retired afterwards because of neck injuries. Nagayo retired a week later after losing to her protégée, Meiko Satomura in the main event of GAEA's Eternal Last Gong Show, the promotion's farewell card.
Following her retirement, Nagayo began producing her own independent events. She wrestled her return match at the second event on April 15, 2006, where she, Ryuji Ito and Takashi Sasaki were defeated by Kaoru, Abdullah Kobayashi and Daisuke Sekimoto in a Fluorescent Lighttubes & Barbed Wire Alpha Death match. She also produced and wrestled at Devil Masami's retirement event in December 2008. For the next five years, Nagayo did not produce another event and remained outside of professional wrestling circles, before returning in late 2013 to take part in a storyline at Sendai Girls' Pro Wrestling, where she took Meiko Satomura trainee Kagetsu under her wing. On December 11, 2013, Nagayo announced that she would return to the ring at her self-produced event on March 22, 2014, when she will face Dump Matsumoto in a six-woman tag team match. In the match, Nagayo, Kagetsu and Takumi Iroha defeated Matsumoto, Kaoru and Yoshiko with Nagayo pinning Matsumoto for the win. At the end of the event, Nagayo announced she was planning on starting her own promotion named Marvelous.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
Championships and accomplishments
- All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling
- AJW Junior Championship (2 times)
- All Pacific Championship (2 times)
- IWA World Women's Championship (2 times)
- WWWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- WWWA World Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Lioness Asuka
- Japan Grand Prix (1987)
- Tag League the Best (1986) – with Yumiko Hotta
- Tag League the Best (1987) – with Lioness Asuka
- AJW Hall of Fame (Class of 1998)
- GAEA Japan
- "Profile". Marvel Company (in Japanese). Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "Chigusa Nagoya Entertainment Marvelous Night 2nd". Cagematch. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "長与が来年３月ダンプ戦で復帰". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). December 12, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "里村決意！長与と決着戦". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). October 19, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "長与千種が来年3月『That's 女子プロレス』でリング復帰". Tokyo Headline (in Japanese). December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- "【That′s女子プロレス】長与千種一夜限りの復活、Kaoru復帰戦". Battle News (in Japanese). March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- "All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved October 9, 2007.