After spending 11 years as a standout in the Japanese women’s pro wrestling scene, Kana signed to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2015, where she debuted on NXT under the ring name Asuka. From there, she racked up an undefeated streak to rival that of WCW legend Goldberg, never lost the NXT Women’s Championship, and moved on to the main roster, where she pretty much did everything a woman can do in WWE, including capturing both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Titles.
Besides being considered one of the best wrestlers in the world, Asuka is also beloved by fans for looking awesome, utilizing colorful outfits and face paint to distinguish herself from the competition. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best looks she’s sported during her career.
10 Triple Tails
Western fans may not be aware of this, but in Japan circa 2010 Asuka (as Kana) formed a trio with real-life sisters Mio Shirai and future Stardom and NXT champion Io Shirai called Triple Tails. Together, they competed in matches all over the Japanese women’s wrestling scene, particularly in Pro Wrestling WAVE This was an early entry in the history of Asuka’s amazing looks, so it’s more subdued and straightforward than the aesthetic she would go for later in her career, even before becoming a part of WWE.
Even in Japan, Asuka was no stranger to face paint, which is a fact that will be abundantly clear over the course of this list. But not every application of face paint is necessarily an all-timer, with this fairly standard use of clown makeup being a great example. While it’s obviously well-executed, it just does n’t live up to some of her other looks, nor is it as good as Doink. In fact, it’s not even the best clown-inspired look Asuka has ever sported in her career.
8 kabuki warrior
In 2019, Asuka formed a tag team with another Japanese standout, Kairi Sane, becoming the Kabuki Warriors. Initially managed by Paige, the group quickly turned heel and betrayed their manager, adopting a more edgy look as Asuka regularly sprayed their opponents with Poison Mist.
While the Kabuki Warriors were fun, Asuka’s look during this run left something to be desired. The poison mist-inspired face paint was very cool, but she also began to wear T-shirts and other torso coverings that made it feel like someone backstage suddenly objected to Asuka’s lack of defined abs.
7 Emperor Clown
While a version of Asuka’s clown makeup ranked fairly low on this list, this particular iteration is actually an impressive look. The key here is Asuka’s approach to her eyes, utilizing slashes instead of traditional shapes, creating a sinister Crow-like effect, but one distinct from Sting. What’s striking about this look is the tightrope walk of looking like a formidable clown without seeming silly or necessarily creepy. The entrance cape is also a nice touch, but it’s actually got a better application in one of her other looks below.
6 Blue Floral Print Robe
While it’s likely strange for Western fans to see Asuka in a more straightforward look after years of wild colors and face paint, this look makes it clear that it’s possible for Asuka to do this and not look generic. The matching blues are a great choice, while the floral print on the entrance robe is colorful and striking, though it’s obviously not as outrageous as some of the robes that she’ll end up wearing during her WWE run.
5 Batman Incorporated
This look depicts the rare use of an entrance mask, a common trope of many Japanese stars, with TAICHI and Io Shirai immediately coming to mind. It’s clear that the previously featured entrance cape was meant for this outfit. As for the mask — or, more accurately, helmet — itself, it’s tough to not think of some hybrid of Batman and a tokusatsu hero like Kamen Rider or Ultra Man. To be more specific, it’s reminiscent of one of the many international iterations of Batman in the DC Universe.
While Asuka’s use of face paint tends to come with a flair for the theatrical or even camp, this look is one of her more legitimately scary. Ella’s all-white look with her imprecise black on her eyes and around her lips were already great, but the flecked, dripping blood really puts this over the top.
It’s also a look that fans have seen fairly recently in canonically spooky female performers like Su Yung in Impact Wrestling or Abadon in AEW, but it appears that Asuka got there first.
3 2022 Hybrid
In April 2022, after nine months off of WWE television due to injury, Asuka made her on-screen return to challenge Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship, kicking off a rivalry that has continued in the following months. As part of her return de ella, she debuted a “new” look that combined her fashion de ella from her initial main roster WWE run de ella but with the dripping poison mist face paint she donned as part of the Kabuki Warriors. It’s not the most original look she’s sported, but it’s a solid hybrid of the classic and the new.
Asuka’s transition from NXT to the main roster felt so seamless that it’s easy to forget that she actually had a slightly different look on the black and gold brand. Not beholden to wearing face paint, Asuka sometimes performed with an unpainted face. But the star of the show here was her gear from Ella, which not only featured every color and pattern imaginable — no matter how conflicting — but also a liberal amount of tassels. The Ultimate Warrior vibes were strong, but without all the parts of Warrior that make fans wince.
1 Classic WWE Asuka
While all these looks are great, it’s tough to top Asuka’s classic main roster WWE look. With more resources at her disposal than her, Asuka’s outfits got ridiculous as she made her way to the ring sporting huge, ornate entrance robes and a variety of masks. Her gear was a little more subtle than her NXT duds, but one of the most iconic aspects of Asuka’s WWE look remained: the single line of black paint across her face. Despite not being as outrageous as some of her looks from her, that solitary black line did so much with so little.