The look of a wrestler standing out is a huge part of getting over as a superstar. Not every wrestler should look the same, so a fun change or variable provides a reason to make them stand out. Face paint is one of the major concepts that have helped wrestlers throughout the years. A cool colorful look on one’s face can make them stand out to the average viewer that starts to make them invest in the performer.
We will look at the wrestlers that most benefited from having their interesting face paint designs. Wrestlers have experimented with face paint throughout the decades with only a select set of names getting to the next level with them. The best ones will be examined here of the wrestlers that had the benefits of an interesting look helping them out. These are the ten most iconic wrestlers to have face paint.
10 Ultimate Warrior
The face paint of Ultimate Warrior helped make him a top star for WWE in the late 80s. Warrior had a look unlike anyone else in the company with the face paint and colorful tassels along with the traditional jacked physique of wrestlers of the time.
WWE benefited from the face paint since it added to the marketability of Warrior. The company still sells masks today that are designed to look like his face paint. WWE uses the colorful tassels and face paint to celebrate Warrior’s career today in their merchandise.
The tag team of Demolition used face paint to help them stand out in the late 80s. WWE would see the combination of Ax and Smash along with Mr. Fuji thrive for quite some time as a top duo for the tag team division.
Crush joined the tag team at the end of the run and also wore face paint to fit him. Demolition was known for being an exciting tag team, and their face paint helped add another layer of fun for their appeal with the unusual look.
8 The Boogeyman
WWE still uses the character of The Boogeyman every now and then with his most recent appearance coming at Raw Reunion. The face paint is meant to make him look spooky in a way that stories about the tale of the boogeyman would scare young children.
Boogeyman often just took place in comedic storylines and feuds where he scared the other wrestlers he worked with. WWE did not keep him as an active wrestler for a long time, but they made sure to sign him to a longer legends contract to remain in the company for the returns.
7 Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy is one of the few wrestlers on the list that doesn’t always wear his face paint. The singles run of Hardy in the main event scene featured him often painting his own face to describe his mood heading into a match. It turned into a fun element of the preparation time for Hardy.
The face painting continued in Impact Wrestling where he started sharing videos on social media about the process of painting before shows. WWE re-signed Jeff and his brother Matt Hardy in 2017. Jeff is currently injured, but he often still had the face paint look for his matches.
Jamal of 3 Minute Warning struggled to find a singles gimmick to get over until he portrayed the role of Umaga. WWE wanted him as a monster heel with the slick talking Armando Alejandro Estrada as his manager and mouthpiece.
Umaga did extremely well in the role and rose to the top of the heel rankings in WWE. John Cena and Umaga had one of the greatest Last Man Standing matches in wrestling history during their WWE Championship feud. Unfortunately, Umaga passed younger than expected, but the wrestling world still remembers his incredible run as the face-painted heel.
5 Finn Balor
The most recent instance of WWE viewing face paint as a strong drawing appeal for someone is Finn Balor’s Demon King alter ego. Unlike most other wrestlers on the list, Balor mostly wrestles without the face or body paint with a generic face character.
An addition of face paint sees him become the Demon King that takes him to another level. Fans love the Demon King with t-shirts and masks selling like hot cakes at the rare shows we see the act. Balor only uses the face paint a handful of times per year for his special matches.
There were many bold things about the Goldust character when Dustin Rhodes agreed to portray this act in the 90s. One of the new elements of the gimmick for Dustin was having to wrestle in the gold face paint every night.
The years would see a few changes to the Goldust color scheme, but the face paint remained part of the act. Rhodes is still using face paint in AEW after leaving WWE since it’s not synonymous with his career. The new look features half of his face painted red to show both sides of his persona as a wrestler and the person behind the paint.
3 Legion of Doom
Animal and Hawk made up the Legion of Doom aka Road Warriors to great success. Both wrestlers would unite to create arguably the best tag team of all time when looking at their track record in various promotions. The Legion of Doom had great looks that helped them stand out positively.
Hawk and Animal each rocked the black and red face paint to match their gear. The spiked shoulder pads also played a role in them coming off as a unique act. Many wrestlers thought negatively of face paint in the 80s, but the Legion of Doom proved it could lead to huge success.
2 The Great Muta
The success of The Great Muta in both WCW and NJPW helped him break out as one of the top international stars of all time. Muta thriving in WCW proved that great talent could get over in new countries even with the language barrier and wrestling style differences.
Fans loved the unique look of Muta with his elaborate face paint designs. One fan favorite design came in the late 90s when Muta joined the New World Order and had a special theme of the nWo letters with black and white paint. Muta’s face paint is legendary since fans view it as part of who they know him as.
Sting is arguably the most successful wrestler to ever wear face paint given he wore it throughout his legendary career. WWE fans fell in love with the surfer Sting era first with the colorful face paint and his blonde hair. Sting made a few changes through the years with different color schemes.
The most iconic look may be the Crow era of Sting with the black and white face paint. Sting even went to red and black to fit into the Wolfpac for another fan favorite. TNA would see Sting experiment even more with the Joker look. Sting’s career can be remembered in different chapters of the face paint looks which all led to him becoming an icon in the industry.