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Wrestling / Bull Nakano

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It's too late to run now; she's seen you.

Keiko Nakano (born January 8, 1968), better known as Bull Nakano, is a former professional wrestler. She began competing in 1983 under the Bull Nakano ring name as a teenager in All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling as a heel, went on to hold several of AJW's singles and tag team championships and briefly entered the WWF's Women's Tag Team division with Dump Matsumoto. AJW began to phase her out in 1992 as she returned to North America to compete in Mexico's CMLL, becoming its first World Women's Champion, though Nakano made return trips to AJW with her new belt, including two successful defenses against Akira Hokuto and Yumiko Hotta. In 1994, she made her way back to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where she feuded with Alundra Blayze over their Women's Championship belt. After reigning as champion once following another return trip to Zenjo, she switched to competing in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where she continued her feud with Blayze, who had returned to her older ring name, Madusa.

She's also had memorable appearances in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, LLPW, JWP, Jd' Star and New Japan. Nakano unofficially retired from professional wrestling in 1997 to pursue a career in golf, though continued to take the occasional booking until her official retirement in 2012.

Tropes related to Bull Nakano:

  • Acrofatic: She was initially kinda big when she first showed up as one half of the Japanese Devils in the WWF, but was always agile and the more mobile of the two. She had slimmed down a bit by the time of her official debut as a singles wrestler.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Atrocious Alliance's feud against The Crush Gals is legendary, though Chigusa Nagayo is Bull Nakano's arch-enemy specifically. Nakano was able to come to a few short term agreements with Lioness Asuka.
  • Brawn Hilda: Heel, when facing The Crush Gals and Tokyo Sweethearts anyway. It's hard to beat Aja Kong in this regard, whether she's your Gokumon-to stablemate or the face challenger looking to end your reign as WWWA Singles Champion.
  • The Bus Came Back: She and Dump Matsumoto were sent back to Japan almost as soon as they arrived in the WWF, only having three matches. Once they put an end to both of their women's divisions two years later it was assumed she would never return but then WWF decided it wanted to promote the singles title belt again and saw Nakano was south of the border.
  • By the Hair: A frequent offender, even amongst female wrestlers, who traditionally do this to each other more than men by natural reasons. She rarely did not do a Moolah Whip or hair mare.
  • The Cameo: In 2012 Bull Nakano was one of Kyoko Inoue's opponents for the 25th Anniversary Gauntlet match Inoue went through in the Diana promotion.
  • Combat Commentator: Nakano frequently does commentary for shows on Samurai TV, such as those done by World Wonder Ring ST★RDOM.
  • Commuting on a Bus
    • Between Zenjo and CMLL 1992 through 93. Between Zenjo and the WWF 1994 through 95. Then between Zenjo and WCW 1995 through 96.
    • Gave up pro wrestling full time in 1997 but occasionally returned to team up with Dump Matsumoto until officially retiring in 2012.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Face, especially during the 2000s when she found it hard to keep weight on, making her look cute even with the scary makeup.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Dropped the "Bull" from her name and simply went by Keiko after winning her first championship belt, the AJW Junior title. After she dropped it she went back to "Bull" and stayed.
  • Facial Markings: Commonly wore lines made with blue paint on her face.
  • Fighting Your Friend: When she had to defend the WWF Women's Championship against Kyoko Inoue.
  • Finishing Move: A top rope leg drop. At Bull Nakano Produce: Empress she booked a gimmick match between four different wrestlers using it as their finishing move in four different promotions.note 
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel
    • The Devils of Japan, though subverted as they kept the name when they teamed up to win the WWWA Tag Team Titles from The Crush Gals in Japan.
    • Milked it for all its worth with Sonny Onoo in WCW. Not when the show was in Japan, then she was the hometown shero (heroine).
  • Humiliating Wager: Bull Nakano and Kyoko Inoue beat the Bison Kimura incarnation of Jungle Jack in a hair vs hair match, resulting in a shave for her and Aja Kong.
  • I Know Karate: She was a Judo champion in highschool.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Long before the likes of Scotty 2 Hotty and Paul Phoenix. Bobby Heenan in WCW compared it to a porcupine.
  • Lean and Mean: Her pro wrestling appearances in the 2010s. Nakano at one point tried to get her competition weight back on, but failed.
  • Leitmotif: "Boss of the World"
  • Made of Iron: She once no-sold being dropped on her head. Maybe it was the hair that cushioned it?
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Madusa didn't decide to do anything about the new Gokumon-to until Nakano became personally involved in the attack on Shotzi Blackheart.
  • Power Stable
    • The Atrocious Alliance with Condor Saito, Crane Yuu, Drill Nakamae, Kaoru Kage, Yasuko Ishiguro and of course Dump Matsumoto, then Gokumon-to with Bat Yoshinaga, Grizzly Iwamoto, Kumiko Maekawa, Kyoko Inoue, Sachiko Nakamura and Tomoko Watanabe in Zenjo. Aja Kong and Bison Kimura were part of both groups at points when Jungle Jack wasn't acting as a rival stable.
    • She started a second version of Gokumon-to with Kris Wolf, Kikyo Nakamura and Didi Cruz in RISE.
  • The Quincy Punk: Bull Nakano gimmick in a nutshell, especially when she represented Gokumon-to with Grizzly Iwamoto, who even had multicolored hair and a leather jacket.
  • The Rival
    • Nakano's most regularly encountered opponent in her home promotion, Zenjo, was Manami Toyota. Even though they won, the 21st day of The Best Tag Team League 1993 was the only time they teamed together. Naturally Nakano also encountered Toyoda's three main Zenjo tag team partners, Toshiyo Yamada, Etsuko Mita and Mima Shimoda quite frequently, though Nakano was slightly more willing to team up with them.
    • As noted, Bison Kimura and Aja Kong weren't always on board with Nakano's stables.
    • Madusa is her most encountered opponent outside of Zenjo, the two of them becoming friends at the 5*Star Grand Prix when Nakano made a surprise appearance. But then in RISE the two of them formed two rival groups with two STARDOM associated wrestlers (Kris Wolf and Cheerleader Melissa)
    • Semi regularly teamed with Yumiko Hotta, so long as title belts weren't part of the discussion they seemed to get along fine but preferred teaming with others over the WWWA and UWA Women's tag titles.
    • Kyoko Inoue may have been her stablemate in Gokumon-to but her Double Inoue tag team partner Takako wasn't and Kyoko sometimes chose her over Nakano.
    • With Mita and Shimoda listed it shouldn't come as a surprise that another member of Las Cachorras Orientales, Akira Hokuto, frequently butted heads with the bull. Hokuto and Nakano did represent Zenjo together while in FMW and CMLL, though given it's association with GAEA they may have just been put together by WCW due to both being Japanese.
  • Signature Move: A Scorpion crosslock (elevated inverted scorpion deathlock combined with a surfboard), described by the commentators as "something oriental" (based on such but it's actually a lucha lock, which is why she herself calls it Bull's Angelito). Also an axe guillotine driver (back to belly piledriver) called Bull's Poseidon which was usually done to counter Blayze's powerbomb attempts.
  • Tag Team: Besides with Matsumoto, Nakano held the WWWA Tag Team titles for The Atrocious Alliance with Condor Saito and for Gokumon-to with Grizzly Iwamoto
  • Terrible Trio: With Shinja and Hakushi in the WWF as the unwitting pawns of Jerry Lawler, who had convinced them Bret Hart was racist against Japanese people.
  • Tournament Arc: Of a sort. She and Lola González were the last two women of their respective sides not eliminated during a Torneo Cibernético on Súper Viernes. This lead to them facing each other one on one to decide who would be CMLL's first World Women's champion. González lost.
  • Wrestling Monster: A female example in most promotions.