In the sport of wrestling, wearing a mask or painting the face adds to the mystique of the wrestling character. The paint enhances the wrestler as if they were some type of “larger than life” character. Along with the face paint, a well-built physique and talking ability only adds to the uniqueness of a wrestler’s gimmick.
As with comic books and super hero movies, people wonder what the person under the mask or behind the face paint actually looks like. The same goes with wrestling. Some may wonder if the person is actually handsome or unattractive behind the paint. People tend to connect with their favorite star when they know more about them. Are you curious about how the most famous wrestlers over the past 30 years look without the makeup look like?
5. The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior would not be the Ultimate Warrior without the face paint. Along with what some people would call incoherent promos and maniacal mannerisms, the Ultimate Warrior was one of the biggest stars to ever come along in the WWE in the 80s and 90s.
As with most larger-than-life characters, people wondered what the Ultimate Warrior looked like behind the makeup. He did have the look of a warrior from head-to-toe even without the face paint. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as was expected in 2014 and died as he was going to his car after appearing on the following Raw after WrestleMania XXX.
Before his many gimmick changes, and even before the face paint, The Godfather was once known as The Soultaker. He was once the tag team partner of another “taker” who we all know as The Undertaker. After appearing in the indies, The Godfather would eventually make his way to the WWE because of his buddy The Undertaker.
The Godfather’s first gimmick in the WWE was one of a voodoo loa known as Papa Shango. Before his procurer gimmick, Papa Shango would cast spells on his opponent, which would include causing their feet to burn, intense abdominal pain, and having them ooze what looked like chocolate syrup.
3. Finn Balor
Some wrestlers add to their character using ideas from other sources such as comic books. Although he rarely ever wears his paint now, Finn Balor used his demon gimmick when he wrestled in Japan and in the independents. Balor brought along his demon persona when he made his way to NXT, scaring fans and children alike.
The demon character looks a lot like Venom of Marvel Comics fame. His makeup is more on the extreme end, as he has an extra mouth situated where his neck is for those of you who cannot discern his face paint. Many would agree that he looks a lot better without the bizarre paint job.
The 80s might have been the most prevalent time for wrestlers with painted faces. There were perhaps more wrestlers who wore paint on their faces during this time than any other time in wrestling. This phenomenon might have started with the Road Warriors who would later be called The Legion of Doom.
Several tag teams would go on to follow this trend, in particular The Powers of Pain and Demolition. The Demolition was the answer to the WWE’s version of the Legion of Doom at one time. Demolition dominated the tag team division in the late 80s until 1990 when the Legion of Doom entered the WWE.
When Sting made his debut in 1985, he was paired with the Ultimate Warrior. They were a tag team known as the Blade Runners. They wore face paint and had the shredded physiques when they started out, but their in-ring work needed a lot of improvement in the beginning.
Sting and the Ultimate Warrior would go their separate ways and surprisingly they would become the top stars in WCW and WWE, respectively. Sting started out as a surfer when he arrived in WCW and his gimmick took a very dark turn shortly after Hulk Hogan turned heel and joined the NWO in 1996. His face paint was totally different and he began wearing a singlet and carrying a baseball bat to the ring. Fans caught on with the new Sting and he even used The Crow inspired gimmick when he briefly wrestled in the WWE a few years ago.
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