Ms. World Will Kill You (Part I)
by Matthew Damascus
I hear that she’s trying to break into the pro-golf circuit in Japan these days.
Yeah, I know. Isn’t life fucking weird?
Nope. Man, you gotta keep some images sacred.
So what then, are you ashamed to admit you know her, just because she likes golf now? Is it too painful to cotemplate?
Fuck no, man of all wrestlers, MALE AND FEMALE, Bull Nakano has earned the right to do whatever she wants. Even if it means washing out the blue hair dye and hitting the links. Bull Nakano has earned a rest. Besides isn’t the real essence of teenage kicks rock n’ roll/punk rock in knowing when to quit before you become a parody, a Keith Richards-esque dad swaggering around and melting under the stage lights. Let’s face it, walking away while you’ve still got it is the new rock and roll.
Wait, wait. Are you gonna try and mythologize her now?
Everyone’s talking about the rebirth of Women’s wrestling, ever since Lita won the WWF Women’s Title a few weeks back in a *gulp* straightforward (if sloppy) wrestling match. Mona this and Lita that, man I ain’t even hearing ya. Yer just makin’ a bunch of noise. If you’d turn off the WWF for one second, you’d realize that Women’s Wrestling never died, shit, it never even had a hot flash. This “rebirth” is just some more WWF-centric revisionist history so we can feel all special and fuzzy every Monday night. Interestingly enough, this WWF revisionism conveniently chooses to ignore the fact that Bull Nakano held their Women’s Title for awhile. Aja Kong was even slated to make a few appearances, and who are we supposed to swoon to now? Chyna? Blech. A female friend of mine shows me a video of Akira Hokuto executing three merciless piledrivers (with full impact to the head) on an opponent, and I’m supposed to swoon when Lita does a sloppy moonsault that makes the Great Muta lose just a little more hair? Curses.
I’d rather talk about Bull Nakano.
Dontcha remember her in 1996 when she surfaced in WCW one last time to work a series of matches against her old enemy Madusa. Dontcha remember the shit-scared look on Madusa’s face when Bull Nakano came striding out with foot-high blue spiked hair, screaming her own name like every Melt Banana record played at the same time? And dontcha remember Nakano tossing Madusa around like a friggin’ rag doll? Well, forget all that, it wasn’t nearly her best work.
Sadly, or maybe not, I don’t know cold hard facts about the career of Bull Nakano. I know that her real name is Keiko Nakano, but that’s about it. If you’re the objective sort, you can go HERE to find that. I’m more interested in myths and images.
The first image I have of Bull Nakano is blurry taped mid-80’s footage of a very young woman with a metallic-blue mohawk being beaten bloody by her towering former mentor. This younger Nakano is much more slight than her more familiar present image, and the vengeful Dump Matsumoto is striking her again and again. Striking against her youth, striking against her (individual) beauty, and maybe even pummeling a mirror image of herself. After all, it was the outrageously attired Dump who took Bull under her wing once and taught her that it’s brutality that really counts.
Now the sound on the tape is bad, I’ll admit, but why don’t you come on over one day and I’ll show you… I mean let you hear something incredible. It’s the sound of what must be a goddamn legion of young Japanese girls simultaneously chanting and stomping their feet to one particular cadence. NA-KA-NO. NA-KA-NO. Every time I hear it, I get chills. It’s the sound of young women asserting their voices in a culture that isn’t quite ready for them to have one. It’s the sound of girls claiming a hero worthy of their adoration. Fuck Barbie, or even the Japanese equivalent, these girls are gonna grow up to be more assertive and well-adjusted than you or I could ever be. How could they not? They’re spending their formative years cheering on incredible women in scary iconic epic battles, that left both participants and spectactors drained emotionally physically, and mentally. Yep, they had some heroes, all right. And all I had was Iggy Stooge. Damn life’s unfair sometimes.
Too Be Continued Shortly…