If you think that wrestling does not pay, then you might want to think again. Combine golf with wrestling and the potential for massive wealth evidently goes through the roof. You can see that with Bull Nakano. Her Japanese name is Keiko Nakano, and she was born back in 1968. During her run to fame, she has been a professional golfer in Japan, in addition to entering the ranks as a professional wrestler. Interestingly enough, she started it all in the All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling league. That is a big deal in Japan, and it started her path to fame and fortune. She would begin as a teenager and has never really looked back. Let’s dive a bit further into her life now and learn just how she was able to achieve a net worth in excess of a staggering $12 million.
How It All Started
Bull Nakano actually started out as a professional wrestler. In fact, this is how many people in Japan and around the world may still remember her. She was known for colorful costumes as she wrestled, and she has one of those electric personalities that just made people want to follow her. Since then, she has retired from the sport that first made her famous and has taken up the sport of golfing. As a wrestler, she was known a villain. This was a character that she took great pride in perfecting. As she advanced through the ranks, should become a part of Team Matsumoto, who also happened to be her mentor.
The Early Years
If you want to know how Bull Nakano has accumulated so much wealth as a wrestler and golfer, you have to go back to the beginning. She was born in 1968 but did not get married until 2011. So, you can say with assurance that it was not her husband that made her a fortune. Going back to the age of 15, Nakano was making money as a member of the All Japan Wrestling league. It was there that she would become known as a villain of the sport. As she would continue to perfect her trade, she became the first woman that would become a champion of the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre. That would get her some recognition. She decided to hang up her wrestling career and pursue a career as a professional golfer on the LPGA. It was a major thing to become qualified on the tour, so she has invested a great deal of time in this pursuit. That has added to her wealth, as she has done quite well.
The Wrestling Career
This is where it would all begin. From 1983 to 1992, she was in the All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling league. She was actually the Junior Champion in that league at the tender age of 16. It was at that time that Keiko Nakano would become known by her stage name, Bull Nakano. It was in 1985 that she would go on to win the AJW Championship. This would be the start of a three year run for her, and this would solidify her place at the top of Japanese wrestling history.
Teaming up with Dump Matsumoto was also a brilliant move for her career. They would become a pair of villains, which Nakano would perfect through the years. It was with her partner as well that Nakano ended up winning the WWWA World Tag Team Championship. This was back in August of 1988. Both of them would go on and wrestle for the World Wrestling Federation in 1986. They would go against the team that consists of Velvet McIntyre and Dawn Marie Johnson. This was during a time when wrestling was extremely popular, increasing her visibility and her ability to win money.
By the time Nakano required, Nakano would win the World Tag Team Championship three times. The second time was with Condo Saito back in 1987 and Grizzly Iwamoto in 1988. As a solo wrestler, she would win the Japan Grand Prix Tournament in 1988. In 1989 she would defeat Mitsuko Nishiwaki in order to win the All-Pacific Championship in the AJW. She also held the WWWA World Single Championship for three years, starting in 1990. This would catapult into the world of North American wrestling (Source: https://livebiography.com/biography/bull-nakano/).
Bull Nakano would stop working officially for All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1992. It was in June of that same year that she would go to Mexico to continue her craft. She ended up becoming a finalist in the 12-woman Battle Royal. It was there that she would defeat Lola Gonzalez. That was in 1992, and it would make her the first Work Women’s Champion of Consejo Mundial de Luncha Libre. It would also net her quite a bit of money, even though she would go on to lose the title in 1993.
It was not long after that she would go to the United States and begin her time with the World Wrestling Federation. To begin, she would partner with Luna Vachon. She would compete against the former Women’s Champion of the WWF, but never did with the title. She would begin to move through the ranks of the WWF until she was found to be in possession of cocaine. That would end her time with the organization.
The End of Wrestling
Bull Nakano officially retired from professional wrestling in 1997 due to a variety of injuries She would begin golfing, eventually becoming a pro in 1998. In 2004, she played in Florida at the Futures Tour Qualifying Tournament in Florida. It did not go well for her, as she finished nearly dead last. Eventually, however, she did qualify for the LPGA. It was in 2006 that she joined the Duramed Futures Tour.
To say that Nakano earned the bulk of her fortune in Wrestling would be correct. She also continues to make money in that genre. In 2012, she actually produced her own professional wrestling event. It would be called Empress. It was here that she would recreate some of her greatest bouts with opponents throughout the years. That has kept her in the limelight and helps explain how she has been able to amass wealth in the range of $12 million.