Masked wrestlers are almost as old as sports entertainment itself, and WWE has never shied away from the potential merchandise opportunities that come with superstars who hide their faces. Whether its a luchador or a wrestler looking for some privacy, WWE has been home to some of the most iconic masked wrestlers of all time.
We love a good masked superstar, and because of that, we want to look at the most iconic stars that have walked through the WWE curtain. So, with that in mind, we've ranked the 10 most iconic superstars to wear a mask. Let's dig into this.
The Conquistadores were known for their solid gold attire, and having a memorable run in the 10-team elimination match at Survivor Series 1988. Unfortunately, despite putting on a great showing and really getting fans behind them as an underdog team, they didn't do much else following that run. What makes them so legendary, however, is how often their masks return to WWE. In 2000, 10 years after the Conquistadores left WWE, Edge and Christian donned the attire to get a shot at The Hardy Boyz at No Mercy. Interestingly enough, they actually captured the titles under that name — though now, the books say Edge and Christian won the match. Rob Conway and Nick Dinsmore took the name but altered the colors in 2003 as well. But they weren't nearly as successful as E&C.
If that wasn't weird enough, the Conquistador mask returned yet again in 2018, when Kurt Angle donned the disguise to be entered in a World Cup qualifying match. He eliminated Baron Corbin.
9 Sin Cara
While Sin Cara's run in WWE may not have been what Vince McMahon expected, he should go down in the history books, regardless. Hailed as one of the biggest names in Mexican wrestling, Mystico signed with WWE, in the hopes of becoming the next Rey Mysterio. Changing his name to Sin Cara (no face) he donned a mask that covered his entire face and wrestled under darker lights. His biggest singles feud came against, well, another version of himself, in which the original Sin Cara won.
Unfortunately, the original wrestler doesn't portray the masked superstar these days, instead, Hunico has taken over, and since the transition, things haven't changed much. For a brief period of time, Sin Cara tagged with Kalisto as the Lucha Dragons, and they were a pretty big hit in NXT. When the duo finally made their way to the main roster, however, they didn't do much of note.
Believe it or not, Kalisto was atop Triple H's short-list of wrestlers he wanted in NXT when the developmental system was originally created. While he hasn't gone on to be as big as WWE originally hopped, he's proved to be very popular alongside Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik as the Lucha House Party.
The trio, which started as a group on 205 Live, managed to break through their weight class and began wrestling larger wrestlers. As a former 205 Live champion and NXT Champion, Kalisto brings credibility to the group, but they're just looking to have fun whenever they come out.
7 Blue Blazer
Own Hart may go down as the best wrestler in WWE history to never win a World Championship, and the Blue Blazer was a perfect example that he could do it all. While this gimmick is sort of tainted following the tragedy at Over The Edge, the Blue Blazer was an entertaining part of WWE in the late-1990s.
Sure, The Blue Blazer is a bit of a goofy character, but and his pairing with Jeff Jarrett was a fantastic pairing of wrestlers who viewed the edgy Attitude Era as something less than ideal. The two even captured a title together!
6 The Hurricane
The Hurricane has and always will be WWE's resident superhero. Beating The Rock in his debut, The Hurricane was instantly put on the map. Following that time, he quickly became a fan favorite, eventually teaming with Rosie (his superhero in training) and Stacy Keibler and creating a fun trio.
All good things eventually come to an end, however, and eventually, The Hurricane gimmick was dropped. Eventually, he returned, and it felt like a hole on TV was finally filled. The legacy of the character can still be felt today as he appeared in the 2018 Royal Rumble, getting some of the loudest reactions of the night.
5 Ultimo Dragon
Ultimo Dragon came to WWE decades after his debut in the 1980s, and in his late 30s, he wasn't exactly the star he used to be. Regardless of that, there aren't many wrestlers with the clout Ultimo Dragon carries, and that should be enough reason to put him on this list.
As an absolute megastar in Japan, Vince McMahon brought him on board in the hopes he could make a similar splash as Rey Mysterio. As a fellow masked wrestler, that should have been the case, and while he never reached the heights of the luchador, Dragon was a cornerstone of the cruiserweight division for the year he was in WWE.
Big Van Vader came to WWE with a lot of fanfare in 1996 after an amazing run in WCW and NJPW. In fact, when Jim Cornette first uttered his catchphrase "It's time, it's time, it's Vader time", the crowd chanted along with glee as one of the best big man wrestlers of all time was about to step through a WWE curtain.
Upon his debut at the Royal Rumble, Vader proved to be an unstoppable monster before being eliminated by Shawn Michaels. The next night on Raw, the masked superstar obliterated Gorilla Monsoon and was promptly suspended. While his hyped died down the longer he was in WWE, the fact he was even there is pretty incredible.
Mick Foley is a man of many personalities. Whether he's himself, the brutal Cactus Jack, the fun-loving Dude Love, or the iconic Mankind, he always captivated fans with his intense matches. Of all the characters he's portrayed, however, Mankind will stand as the most iconic. As a twisted and tormented soul, Mankind was one of the darkest characters to ever step foot in a WWE ring. His screams while wrestling were always unsettling, and his lack of care regarding pain set him apart from other names.
Eventually, this somehow became a comedy act, and fans fell in love with him even more as he consistently vied for attention from Vince McMahon and The Rock. All of this culminated on an episode of Raw where he unexpectedly beat The Great One for the WWE Championship.
When looking back at the most destructive forces in WWE history, Kane has to rank as the number one. The masked brother of The Undertaker debuted at Badd Blood: In Your House, Kane ripped the door off a Hell In A Cell cage and set his sights on his sibling. The two went on to take part in one of the longest-running stories in company history.
Outside of Undertaker, however, Kane has been a catalyst for chaos throughout his entire career, setting JR on fire, destroying sets, and holding the record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble, which stood until 2014.
1 Rey Mysterio
Of all the masked wrestlers in WWE history, it's hard to suggest anyone is more iconic than Rey Mysterio. The former Cruiserweight Champion, United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, and Royal Rumble winner has done it all in WWE, and well int0 his 40s he's showing no signs of slowing down.
With bright, colorful masks, Mysterio captivated a younger audience, making many kids fall in love with wrestling. His in-ring ability mixed with some insane agility kept older fans interested in him anytime he had a match. He can really do it all, and will surely be a first-ballot Hall-Of Famer when he decides to retire.