Chigusa Nagayo, ex-pro wrestler and founder of the GAEA Women’s Professional Wrestling organization and Marvelous women’s pro-wrestling, first achieved mainstream popularity in the ’80s as a member of tag team The Crush Gals, who became pop culture sensations with a number of top ten singles.
Often referred to in Japan as “the most popular woman wrestler of all time“, Nagayo is now becoming even more popular with the public after it was revealed that she stepped in to stop an assault on a woman during a recent visit to Hokkaido.
According to reports, Nagayo, who was in Sapporo for a big match, was making her way back to her hotel in the Susukino district at approximately 3:10 a.m. on Nov 19 when she heard a woman screaming from a multi-story carpark.
Nagayo, who was with 25-year-old pro-wrestling protégée Takumi Iroha at the time, said they first thought the commotion might’ve just been a couple playing around, but when the screams continued in a tone she’d never heard before, with cries of “Stop!”, “Call the police”, and “Please help!”, Nagayo immediately phoned the police.
However, fearing that the woman might be raped or seriously injured by the time law enforcement officers arrived, 53-year-old Nagayo raced up the stairs of the carpark to see if she could help the woman herself.
When she arrived at the scene, Nagayo found a young man pinning a distressed woman on the ground, with his hands on her legs and neck. The woman was barefoot, with grazes on her knees and her belongings strewn around them.
Nagayo says she approached the couple and yelled at the man, warning him to stop what he was doing. At this point, the man appeared to comply, releasing the woman for a moment, but then he grabbed Nagayo’s head and yanked on her hair, pulling some of it out as he pushed her face towards the ground.
While her first instinct was to fight back, Nagayo stopped herself from harming the man, saying later that she knew if she were to lay a hand on the assailant, it would jeopardise the careers of the young female wrestlers in her Marvelous company.
Instead, Nagayo decided to employ a defensive hand technique to keep the man at bay, locking her fingers into his in such a way that he would not be able to escape. During the intense scuffle, Nagayo could feel the bone in one of the fingers on her left hand moving in a bad way, but she refused to loosen her grip as she was determined to not let him escape.
Police arrived at the scene moments later, surrounding the group and taking the man, who was said to be intoxicated, into custody. According to authorities, the couple were actually married, unbeknown to Nagayo, and the 27-year-old husband, who manages a restaurant, was arrested for assault.
After the story got out, local press were keen to hear Nagayo’s account of the late-night incident when she flew out from Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport the following day.
There were more reporters waiting to interview the former wrestler when she arrived at Haneda Airport.
The story became the topic of TV news reports around the country, with the wrestler reenacting the series of events for reporters.
Nagayo was praised by reporters and commenters on social media for her heroism and self-restraint. In one interview, she said “We are professionals so it would’ve been very wrong for us to lay a hand on the man involved.”
Nagayo also went on to say that she was glad to be a professional wrestler, as her training helped to control her feelings during the altercation. Despite being angry, she didn’t want to hurt the man involved because “that would mean I would be just the same as him.”
Both police and the wife involved in the incident have expressed their gratitude to Nagayo, with many more online praising her for her actions and expressing concern over her injury. In response, Nagayo took to Twitter, posting this message to fans on her official account.
“Everyone, I apologize deeply for causing you concern. Today I’m going to the hospital again for another examination. I am okay. Wounds heal. I was unaware that the man and woman were a couple, and I went to them only because I really felt like I had to help the young woman. As they’re a married couple I hope they’re able to resolve their issues. My feelings are that even if you argue, women are vulnerable and need to be treated with respect; there should never be any violence.”
Nagayo went on to say she would like to go and meet the couple when she goes to Hokkaido again, and that she won’t be taking action against the man, who has acknowledged his wrongdoing.
The legendary wrestler then ended the video with another apology for causing people to worry about her. However, fans don’t really need to be too concerned about the ex pro-wrestler. She is a former Crush Gal, after all.
Source: Livedoor News, Yahoo Japan
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