Mask is an important part of pro-wrestling. In Mexican wrestling, it’s as common as the USA chants are in American wrestling. We’ve let many masked wrestlers captivate us and, given how Chris Jericho, Mickie James, Dean Ambrose and Becky Lynch all used storylines to further storylines, I think we can all agree that masks are here to stay.
In kayfabe, masks hold a lot of signifance as the wrestlers who wear those never dare to take those off. In fact, disrespecting a mask is as big a heel thing as disrespecting the United States of America or its citizens, attacking an opponent’s family or viciously jumping on an opponent with the help of aides. Accordingly, any match in which a mask is on the line instantly becomes an important match on the card. With masks not often put on the line, such masks tell the fans that they should care about the feud.
With the advent of the internet, however, we’ve been able to get a glimpse of the masked wrestler’s faces. As for WWE wrestlers, we have numerous unmasked pictures online. However, ones who have kept themselves away from the WWE machine has had little real-life information about them leaked online, but we’ve managed to procure images of even ones such as El Torito and Ultimo Dragon.
The following article lists 15 most popular masked wrestlers who have had their unmasked pictures leaked online. If you think I’ve failed to mention a wrestler who deserves his place on this list, you may use the comments’ section to let us know.
Mistico was supposed to be what Shinsuke Nakamura is today. WWE hyped up his arrival so much and even held a huge press conference to announce his signing. However, his reluctance to learn English and the WWE wrestling style, frequent botches and being prone to injuries meant that his WWE run didn't pan out the way Vince McMahon and co. want it to.
WWE put in so much effort into the Sin Cara character that they even had lit the arena yellow during his matches; however, his inability to connect with the fans and be half as good as Rey Mysterio meant he couldn't even last as much as most WWE signings do. Unlike his former teammate (who will also be making an appearance in this article), he has numerous unmasked pictures online that sort of takes away the mystique associated with masked wrestlers. It's safe to say he won't be returning to WWE.
16 Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is a character WWE can never replace thanks to his being the first and only luchador to gain mainstream fame as much as the WWE wrestlers did. WWE’s attempt to make Kalisto and Sin Cara fill his shoes has backfired so much that it’s safe to assume that they won’t be trying to push a mask-wearing high-flying masked wrestler to the moon. Given how popular he was during his prime, especially among kids, he ensured he never took his mask off in front of the public. A good number of WWE fans of that time frame had never seen his face, especially since the internet wasn’t as prevalent as it is today.
However, on the back of his WWE release, he has cooled off a little, as numerous pictures of his unmasked face have begun surfacing online. Twitter and Facebook has also played a crucial role in sharing pictures of the unmasked Mexican-American. Since his pictures from today are easy to find, we've decided to include a rare picture of Rey from his WCW days.
15 The Boogeyman
The Boogeyman might have become just another Phantasio, but the advent of the internet and how bizarre and legitimate his character is has ensured he still works for WWE. To think he has a contract similar to that of what WWE has handed Sting, Ric Flair, Superstar Billy Graham and Shawn Michaels. Given how truly unique his character was, it’s safe to say he’s earned his position. As he made his WWE debut only at the age of 41, the wrestling world hadn’t seen his face although the keen observers of Tough Enough managed to get a glimpse of his make-up free face. Even after his retirement, he continues to wear his makeup wherever he performs, as he’s otherwise a washed-up 53-year-old. However, with the wrestlers’ using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as much as they do, we’ve seen him without his makeup more often than we’ve wanted to.
Kalisto has been better than any version of Sin Cara has ever been, but he still is only in Rey Mysterio’s shadow as his only noteworthy achievements are a botched promo and US Championship reign. However, one thing he’s as good as his predecessor is being good at ensuring he’s not pictured without his mask often. We’ve only seen a very few pictures of his unmasked face online, with most of those taken before his signing for WWE. Even an official WWE photo shoot that was described as featuring unmasked pictures of the Mexican-American wrestler only had him facing away from the camera with his mask held high. We likely won’t be seeing a lot of pictures of his unmasked self on the internet as long as he’s relevant, even though we find wrestlers breaking kayfabe on a large scale online.
12 Ultimo Dragon
Ultimo Dragon ought to be as big a name as Rey Mysterio, but his working for and making his name at WCW meant he was relegated to the second tier. WWE didn’t utilize the two-time WCW Cruiserweight Champion never reached the heights he should have with WWE, and has remained an obscure name in American wrestling. However, he ensured the hardcore wrestling fans remembered his name forever as he returned to his homeland Japan to win numerous titles with the biggest Japanese promotion, NJPW, including IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Although he’s now 50, his unmasked pictures are rare, as we have only a handful of pictures in which he can be seen without a mask. As most luchadors continue to wear the mask even after becoming elderly people, we can expect him to wear one forever.
With AJ Styles, TJP, Samoa Joe and Xavier Woods all winning major WWE titles and main-eventing shows, the other TNA originals who have missed out on securing a WWE deal ought to be jealous. However, none should be more jealous of their former colleagues than Abyss as he’s talented enough to wrestle a year or two for WWE, at the very least. He hasn’t toned down his game despite seeing the ship sail as he continues to impress the GFW faithful. His recent program saw him ditch his mask off in order to partner Jeremy Borash to do battle with poor man’s Miz Josh Mathews and Scott Steiner. Unlike most other wrestlers listed in this article, he has numerous pictures of his unmasked self online and isn’t shy to attend wrestling conventions without his mask on.
9 Jushin Thunder Liger
Given Jushin Thunder Liger’s notoriety and cult following, his unmasked pictures were always going to be leaked. Despite his appearing for minor American wrestling promotions, he has managed to stay off the paparazzi in every wrestling fan as only a few unmasked pictures of the Japanese wrestling legend is found online. Surprisingly, most of those were clicked when he was still young, with the most popular picture seeing him wear old-school sunglasses. Despite being a 52-year-old veteran, who has 33 years of experience under his belt, he holds modern values as he is never shy to break kayfabe or create segments that make Jim Cornette’s blood boil; however, we will likely never see him wrestle or show up at wrestling shows or conventions without his mask.
Rosemary, real name Holly Letkeman, is one beautiful female without all the craziness and weird make-up, but most wrestling fans may not have seen her without her trademark make-up as, after becoming famous, she’s elected to show her makeup-free face as little as possible. She’s easily one of the most active wrestlers on Instagram, as he uploads wrestling posters for her 39,000 fans to see. She also uploads pictures without any make-up every now and then, but she elects to hide her face with her hand or uses bandanas to cover her face. The closest she has come to upload a normal picture is her gym selfies. However, we have numerous pictures from her Shimmer Women Athletes spell in which she can be seen wrestling without any Rosemary make up on.
7 The Great Muta
The Great Muta may be relative unknown to the today’s fans, but he remains one of the very few Japanese wrestlers to actually be considered legitimate talents on the American soil. Working for WCW and NWA in late ‘80s and early ‘90s, he won numerous titles, including NWA World Television Championship and WCW World Tag Team Championship. In Japan, though, he’s a bigger legend, as he has won roughly 21 championships with AJPW and NJPW besides winning numerous tournaments. He’s even won IWGP Heavyweight Championship and Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship with those companies. Even though he has wrestled without his mask, he is most known for wrestling with his mask that looks as though it’s a part of his body. He is one of the few wrestlers in this list to give us the luxury to choose the right picture as he has numerous pictures of his unmasked self on the internet.
Wrestling as Seven and Black Reign (sorry, Goldie!), he has worn some ridiculous make up to the ring, in addition to the ‘gold’ make-up he wears as Goldust. Wrestling fans who only watch WWE may not have had the opportunity to see Goldust without his make up on even though he has appeared in a few backstage segments without his trademark make-up on and in cool suits. Those who don’t follow wrestlers on Twitter and Instagram may not have seen his true face. However, while wrestling for WCW and TNA, making wrestling convention appearances and uploading pictures to social media, he prefers not to wear his make up, and one cannot blame the guy for ditching it some situations as he has already done enough damage to his skin in an attempt to put the food on the table and pay alimony.
5 El Torito
El Torito had a very short run with WWE but, being a wrestler of short stature, he should actually be happy that he managed to savor the now-famous WWE catering. Wrestling as a masked luchador from Mexico named Mascarita Dorada, he always wrestled with his mask on; however, wrestling for the biggest wrestling company on the planet and all the major wrestling promotions in Mexico since 2000 means he has found his unmasked pictures leaked online. He respects his mask so much that he has never agreed to lose in a match in which he has put his mask on the line. The 35-year-old wrestler's most recent mask match saw him defeat Hornswoggle before proceeding to shave the one-time Cruiserweight Champion’s head at Payback in 2014.
Those who have watched only WWE ought to remember Psicosis as the stereotypical Mexican who teamed up with fellow Mexicans, Super Crazy and Juventud Guerrera, to form The Mexicools. WWE has managed to make numerous legit wrestlers look ineffective, but they made a wrestling veteran and two-time WCW Cruiserweight Champion look a joker as they made him make his entrance on a lawn mower. Before and after his WWE career, though, he wrestled as a masked luchador for numerous top promotions, including Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre and Lucha Libre AAA World Wide. Much like most other luchadors, he has put his mask on the line numerous times though he has had his opponents, including Rey Misterio and La Parka rip his mask, after losing.
3 Impostor Kane
Kane himself should have made the list but, given how he’s been able to shuttle between masked and unmasked or corporate versions of himself has already awed enough people that a picture of an unmasked Kane will hardly be a revelation. However, exposing the Impostor Kane, who tortured Kane by playing mind games with him before disappearing for good does deserve a place in this list, as that character hasn’t been discussed much. The summer of 2006 saw Impostor Kane debut, attacking Kane midway through his Intercontinental Championship bout with Shelton Benjamin. The Impostor Kane was none other than the then-23-year-old Luke Gallows. The Imposter Kane wasn’t his first only bad gimmick as he proceeded to portray a mentally challenged person named Festus and CM Punk’s understudy before becoming a Good Brother. To think he’s only 33 now despite now being a wrestling veteran.
It’s only when wrestlers whom you’ve grown up watching call it a day or edge closer toward death that you realize that you realize you’ve become old. When Vader, a super heavyweight who won numerous titles with NJPW and WCW during his prime, revealed that his doctors had told him that he had only a couple more years left to live, the Internet Wrestling Community sighed in unison. Thanks to his wearing a mask throughout his career, even while wrestling bloody matches, a major chunk of wrestling fandom has never seen his face. Even with his using Instagram and Twitter to remain relevant, he has elected to show his face as little as possible as she sticks to posting his old pictures and convention posters. However, his gym pictures and off-ring pictures have surfaced online, and he seems okay with exposing his face as he himself has tweeted a handful. However, here's a rare picture from his pre-wrestling days, back when he was trying to make it as a football player.
1 La Parka
La Parka is easily one of the very few wrestlers to remain a cult figure among American fans despite failing to win titles on the American soil. Despite working for WCW for four years, between 1996 and 2000, his major accomplishments have only come in his home land of Mexico, as he has managed to win eight titles with the two biggest wrestling promotions in the country. Thanks to the orthodox beliefs of luchadors of his generation, he has refrained from taking his mask off in front of his fans, as he hasn’t lost a mask match in over 26 years. In fact, he is now embarking on a winning streak, as he hasn’t lost a mask match in 22 years; he has won all 19 such matches in that time frame.