There have been many wrestlers in WWE over the past few years who still wear a mask, while others, at one point in their career, chose to wrestle under a mask.
In the UK, many wrestlers are not allowed to perform in the ring until they are 16-years-old, so to get around this they allow the wrestler to wear a mask so that the audience are unaware of how young they are. Most wrestlers have tried out wrestling under a mask and even though it doesn’t work for some, there are many that have tried it and decided to retain it throughout their career.
Masks are usually linked to Lucha Libre style when it comes to the likes of Rey Mysterio and Kalisto, but there are many other wrestlers who wear a mask, like Kane, who don’t have to flip and do high octane moves, because he is known as a monster and not being able to see his face was much scarier than knowing what he looked like.
Sometimes masks add character and sometimes they allow a character to grow while being underneath them. Here is a list of 15 Superstars who have worn at mask at least once in their wrestling careers.
15. Jushin Thunder Liger
Justin Thunder Liger was a WCW legend. He became known for his incredible pace and fantastic skills that were definitely ahead of his time. Liger went off the radar for a while after WCW was eventually bought out by WWE and never made his way across to the company, until recently.
Liger made a one-off appearance for WWE as part of their NXT Takeover show in Brooklyn back in 2015 and faced off against NXT main stay Tyler Breeze. Liger put on a fantastic show despite his age and proved that sometimes you really can turn back the clock. He hasn’t been seen in WWE since, but it seems he made the impression he wanted and decided to head back over to Japan and continue to ply his trade.
14. Mankind/Mick Foley
Mick Foley is the only WWE superstar who was able to get away with being four different personalities, on the same show. Foley was known as Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mick Foley throughout his wrestling career, but Mankind was the only face that Foley created that used to wear a mask.
He was a sick individual and he wore a half-leather face mask similar to the ones worn by Leatherface in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. Obviously, this was just a phase with Foley and he ended up deciding to change back to Foley, a character that the WWE Universe attached themselves to for many years. But he will always be remembered for that disturbing portrayal of that Mankind character as well.
13. Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is perhaps the best-known wrestler in the world to have found fame under a mask. Mysterio began his career as Rey Mysterio Jr. in WCW before slowly making his way over to WWE where he had some of the best feuds in WWE history with the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Randy Orton, and Batista.
Mysterio then made the decision to move on from the company that had been his home for more than a decade and is now part of AAA. Mysterio has changed up his style a lot since leaving WWE and now he has an incredible physique, one that is much bigger and much better than the one he had while he wrestled as a Cruiserweight.
12. Hulk Hogan
The Immortal Hulk Hogan is one of the most recognizable wrestlers in the world, but it seems that while Hogan became famous for wearing yellow and red, and then black and white at one point, he also had a stint under a mask.
Back in 2003, Hogan began portraying Mr. America in WWE ahead of WrestleMania XIX. It wasn’t the first time Hogan wore a mask, but it was a character that really didn’t work for him. Hogan was later released from WWE after this spell as a masked character but has since returned as the Hulk Hogan that the WWE Universe got to know and love for many years.
11. John Cena
John Cena is the face of WWE at the moment, and despite the fact that he is currently on hiatus from WWE, he is still thought of as one of the biggest stars in the company. Cena is a 16-time world champion and has always worn recognizable in-ring attire, but a few years ago, Cena had a stint in WWE where he wore a mask.
When John Cena picked a fight with The Nexus and was fired from WWE, it was then decided that the company would bring him back as Juan Cena, an oversized masked Luchadore that would continue the feud that he had already started. Obviously, this wasn’t the biggest mystery in the world and the WWE Universe knew it was Cena, but it was fun to not to have to see his face when he wrestled, for a while at least.
10. Chris Jericho
Y2J has become a huge star in WWE over the past few decades and holds the accolade of being the first ever Undisputed WWE Champion. That being said, he is another star who has been able to compete under a mask, much earlier in his career.
Jericho was once known in NJPW as Super Liger, very similar to Jushin Thunder Liger in appearance, but sadly not in wrestling ability. Jericho found many problems wrestling under a mask because he couldn’t always see his opponent and he managed to mess up some of the most basic moves. It wasn’t an impressive start for a WWE legend, but it’s a story that Jericho can tell his grandkids one day.
9. 9. The Undertaker
The Phenom known as The Undertaker has become quite well-known as The Deadman over the past few decades, but as well as once having an American Badass gimmick, Undertaker once wrestled in a mask.
During the mid-1990s while Undertaker was still The Deadman and in a feud with King Mabel, when Mable “kayfabe” smashed his face in with a few leg drops, Undertaker had actually fractured his orbital bone, and this allowed him to wear a mask to help with its recovery and the mask was even made to look like a skull. Undertaker wrestled as himself while wearing it, but somehow it allowed him to seem like a different character and it really worked with his gimmick.
8. Sin Cara
Sin Cara is currently still part of the WWE roster after recently being moved over to SmackDown Live in the Superstar Shake-up. Cara has been portrayed by two different superstars over the past few years, as WWE decided to release a wrestler and then replace the person under the mask.
This Sin Cara has been noted for how much less he botches in the ring, but how aggressive he is backstage. WWE like to have a masked wrestler as part of the company at all times because children like to buy the masks of Luchadores. Sin Cara has been the one who has seemingly taken over Rey Mysterio’s position on the roster, after the two once tagged together before Mysterio departed from the company.
The Big Red Machine that has been known as Kane throughout his WWE career became one of the scariest superstars in WWE for a long time under his famous red mask. Kane became such a huge star that at one point there was an Imposter Kane who attempted to state that he was the real deal.
In recent years, WWE has decided to take the mask away from the Devil’s Favourite Demon and allowed him to instead wrestle as a normal person, which affected the way he was seen by the WWE Universe. Kane isn’t as scary without his mask and it’s his mask that has become legendary. It will be interesting to see which Kane appears in WWE in the future, with retirement rumours looming.
6. Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio is a former World Champion in WWE but it seems that even he had to pay his dues when he first came into wrestling. Because he was a second generation wrestler, he had to earn his way into the business because his father was one of the most famous wrestlers in Mexico.
Del Rio started his career in AAA where he was like a tribute to his father, known as Dos Caras Jr. performing under a mask. Alberto Del Rio recently left WWE after a dispute with the company once again and has since gone on to marry WWE star Paige. Del Rio has begun working on the Independent Circuit after he left WWE and seems to have found a home in Mexico once again.
5. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan has been around the wrestling business for the past 16 years, but before he became known as Daniel Bryan in WWE, he was known as The American Dragon in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Bryan wrestled under a mask for many years, portraying the dragon that he was apparently named after, and actually become quite successful when it came to his gimmick. Many of the Wrestling Universe became aware that it was Bryan under the mask, but he still continued to hide under the same guise, until he was signed to WWE and became known as Daniel Bryan. Bryan was successful in WWE before he was forced to retire because of an on-going neck problem.
Kalisto has become the smallest Luchadore on WWE’s current roster and while many wrestlers would see that as a disadvantage, Kalisto uses his speed to overcome many obstacles in front of him.
Kalisto has also gone up against some huge challengers and been able to come out on top over the past few years. Kalisto also wears a mask similar to Rey Mysterio’s and when he’s wrestling, he has many similarities to the former World Champion. While Kalisto is a former United States Champion, it is thought that the current Biggest Little Man won’t be pushed as high as his predecessor in the coming years, with WWE shaping a new generation instead.
3. TJ Perkins
TJ Perkins has recently undergone a name change to become TJP in WWE, after making the switch from Impact Wrestling as part of the Cruiserweight Classic back in 2016. TJP was once known as Manik in TNA and was one of their best X Division stars.
Since he has made the switch over to WWE, TJ Perkins was the inaugural Cruiserweight Champion and he has since been a main member of the Raw roster. Perkins’ name change shows that WWE has huge plans for him in the coming months, so it seems that taking off his mask was perhaps one of the best decisions that TJ ever made.
2. Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt is the Eater of Worlds and the leader of The Wyatt Family, but before Wyatt made it to the main roster of WWE, he was seen in NXT wearing a white Phantom of the Opera style mask for many weeks.
The WWE Universe didn’t take well the Bray wearing the mask. The former World Champion gained a lot of abuse online telling him to stop wearing it before he explained that it wasn’t so much a character choice, it was a decision he made because he had actually broken his nose. Bray lost the mask as soon as he could and went on to become a star without it instead.
1. Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn has been able to be himself in WWE over the past few years since he became part of the NXT roster where he is a former NXT Champion. Sami was once known as El Generico on the Independent Circuit and in Ring of Honor before he signed with WWE in 2013.
Zayn has since shown that he has all of the ability to be a huge star in WWE after making his way to the main roster and being able to continue his feud with Kevin Owens, something that the duo have been part of for their entire careers. El Generico was one of the biggest stars on the Indy Circuit for a long time, but it seems that Zayn is not ready to put the mask and cape on again anytime soon.
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