Nagayo in December 2016
December 8, 1964|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Billed weight||87 kg (192 lb)|
|Trained by||All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling|
|Debut||August 8, 1980|
Chigusa Nagayo (長与千種 Nagayo Chigusa) is a 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. Nagayo has been called "the most popular woman wrestler of all-time".
Professional wrestling career
All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (1980-1989)
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 Single 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.
Gaea Japan (1995-2005)
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 would 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. Nagayo began signing wrestlers for Marvelous in early 2015. In May 2015, Nagayo revealed that Marvelous was also scheduled to feature male wrestlers, while also announcing that he was returning to the United States to hold tryouts for the promotion, which was scheduled to launch in the spring of 2016. On September 12, Nagayo and Atsushi Onita defeated Dump Matsumoto and Taru to become the inaugural Bakuha-ō ("Blast King") Tag Team Champions. The title was promoted by Onita as part of his Chō Hanabi Puroresu shows. Marvelous held its first event on May 3, 2016.
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 Single 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)
- Cauliflower Alley Club
- Other honoree (1996)
- Chō Hanabi Puroresu
- GAEA Japan
- Tokyo Sports
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Meltzer, Dave (December 22, 2016). "Yumiko Hotta replaces Shinobu Kandori in Rizin fight against Gabi Garcia". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
- "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. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. 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.
- "彩羽スターダム退団 長与新団体マーベラス移籍". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. February 23, 2015. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
- "長与千種が初めて男子レスラーを育成". Daily Sports Online (in Japanese). Kobe Shimbun. May 25, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- "越後超花火9.12新潟大会 初代爆破王タッグ王者決定戦／大仁田＆長与vs.Taru＆ダンプ、NWAライトタッグ戦／菅原＆Yasshivs.新潟プロレス". Battle News (in Japanese). September 13, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- "5･3 Marvelous豊洲PIT大会 里村明衣子vs彩羽匠 渡辺智子vs伊藤薫 Kaoruvsカサンドラ宮城". Battle News (in Japanese). May 4, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
- "All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved October 9, 2007.
- "【超花火】大仁田が長与に激勝 試合後は「電流爆破」の未来託す". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2017-08-13. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
- "【超花火】爆女王・長与"心中爆破"で奈七永に劇勝". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2017-11-03. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
- "【プロレス大賞】最優秀タッグは大仁田＆長与 男女混合タッグは史上初". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-08.