Mia Yim Channeling Bull Nakano for NXT War Games

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On Saturday afternoon, Mia Yim – one of the women in the War Games match that night – revealed a new look for battle, as she donned the makeup of Japanese icon and former WWE Women’s Champion Bull Nakano before stepping into the cage.

Bull Nakano has been a legend for not only WWE’s women’s division of the early 1990s, but for women’s wrestling as a whole. Her battles with Alundra Blayze (aka Madusa) were some of the best matches of the New Generation, but Nakano’s career isn’t defined by her WWE work.

As a 15-year old, she joined All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (AJW), one of the most influential promotions of all time. Many move sets that indie stars utilize today – women or men – began with AJW. In 1985, she captured her first AJW Championship, breaking out as one of Japan’s finest wrestling imports.

In 1992, she headed to North America, working in Mexico with CMLL and then joining the WWF as the business partner of Luna Vachon. When the WWE joined other Japanese promotions at the Tokyo Dome for the multi-promotional event Big Egg Wrestling Universe, she finally toppled Blayze to become the WWF Women’s Champion.

In 1996, she was released by WWE following a scandal that found her in possession of illegal drugs, but she returned to Japan to continue her dominance. Sadly, due to injuries, Nakano had to retire at age 27 in 1997. Nakano continues to appear for seminars around the world, but on Saturday night, Mia Yim will be rocking Nakano’s make-up as she gets ready for the games.

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