Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The WWE's Masked Men

In honor of Halloween today, let's check out 10 of the WWF & WWE's best masked men wrestlers. For the most part these are 10 of the best characters in the WWE ever to wear a mask to the squared circle. They range from superheros to monsters to Luchadors to even Hulk Hogan himself! Check out these 10 guys in honor of today's Trick or Treat holiday.

1) Kane

WWE Kane in Mask
The Undertaker's brother has now ditched the mask and comes to the ring as himself. Kane is famous for the black and red mask he used to wear in and out of the ring, which was said to cover up scars on his face. The mask was ordered to be removed on the June 23, 2003 RAW following a stipulation set by Eric Bischoff. Kane faced Triple H the night before and Bischoff told Kane if he lost, the mask would have to be taken off. Afterwards, Kane turned on his then tag team partner Rob Van Dam. Over the years, the mask developed him into one of the scariest forces in the WWE, much like a Big Red Michael Myers. And like Myers, Kane has his own horror film, "See No Evil".

2) Rey Mysterio

WWE Rey Mysterio
The only guy to wear a mask these days in the WWE. Rey has kept with his Luchador tradition over the years, wearing the mask to pay tribute. Rey continues to be famous for wearing his mask and continues to entertain us with his high-flying moves including the 619. His mask has been a stipulation in several of his WCW matches uncluding a hair vs mask tag team match where he and Konan faced The Outsiders. Rey's side lost, forcing Rey to remove his mask outside the ring. During 2001-2002, Rey wrestled without his mask for a wrestling promotion in Mexico for several years prior to his signing with WWE. When Rey came to WWE Vince McMahon asked that he wear his mask again for matches. According to Wikipedia, in Mexico, one could be fined or even have their license suspended in lucha libre by the Box y Lucha Commission for wearing a mask once it has been lost.

3) Mankind

WWE Mankind Mick Foley
Mick Foley has about 1,000 different personalities including Cactus Jack and Dude Love. The Mankind character first appeared in WWE back in 1996, feuding with the Undertaker and enlisting managerial services of Paul Bearer. At King of the Ring 1998, he had a classic showdown with the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match. Mankind wore a sort of Hannibal Lecter style brown mask over his face, and used the finishing move, "The Mandible Claw" aided by the help of "Mr Socko". It was a scary look but made for a great character in and out of the ring with his catch phrase of "Have a Nice Day!"

4) The Hurricane

Gregory Hurricane Helms WWE
Gregory Helms is like Kane as he ditched the mask and now wrestles as himself. Back in the day he had a great superhero gimmick which was born August 27, 2001, when he first started to use the costume. He'd come to the ring after the arena went dark, and you heard "Stand back, there's a hurricane coming through" announcing his entrance. Helms had a look similar to Green Lantern and wore a green mask over his eyes to match his costume and green-dyed hair. He first partnered up with Molly Holly aka "Mighty Molly" as a pair of superheros. Later on after Molly left his side, he added two more heroes to his team, with a superhero in training, Rosey, and Stacy Keibler as their manager, "Super Stacy". On October 17, 2005 Raw, Helms ripped off his mask and hit Rosey, turning on him. Later Helms said he was fed up with trying to be funny and using this gimmick to entertain fans.

5) The Blue Blazer

WWE Owen Hart as Blue Blazer
RIP to Owen Hart. He received his big WWE break back in 1989 when he was put into WWE as "The Blue Blazer" but left WWE around 1990. After Owen had been back in WWE for many years as simply Owen Hart, he had won the IC title and tag title several times. He eventually returned to the Blazer gimmick in 1999. A match was set for Blue Blazer to challenge the Godfather for his IC title at the "Over the Edge" Pay Per View. However as Blue Blazer was lowered from above the ring in a harness, something went terribly wrong. The harness may not have been able to properly support Owen's weight and he fell 70 feet to the ring, with his head hitting the top turnbuckle head first. An unfortunate end to a great career.

6) The Patriot

WWF WWE The Patriot
This guy seemed to have a strange short-lived career in WWE, and was considered to be the good All American wrestler. At one time he was competing with the legendary Bret Hart for his WWE title back in 1997. However, Hart continued to successfully defend his title, and The Patriot seemed to vanish along with his "good values" he was promoting to fans.

7) The Conquistadors

WWF WWE Conquistadors
A tag team similar to Rey Mysterio in the sense of the traditional Luchador's style of wrestling. They wore full gold including gold masks which will remind you of the "Nacho Libre" character. Usually referred to as "Conquistador #1" and "Conquistador #2", these guys were usually the team other tag teams beat on their climb up the tag ranks. They fought and lost to various tag teams including The Rockers, The Killer Bees, and The Young Stallions. Over the span of the Conquistador team's existence (1987-1989), many wrestlers played their part, with the originals being José Luis Rivera and José Estrada (Sr.) two Puerto Rican wrestlers. Their career highlight came as they were part of the 10-team (20 man) elimination match at the Survivor Series 1988.

8) Max Moon

Max Moon WWE
A very short lived character in the WWF/WWE (1992) named Maximillian Moon, first played by wrestler Konnan, it was based on a Japanese cyborg cartoon. The Max Moon costume is said to have cost $1,300 as it included advanced circuitry, a semi-working jetpack and a pyrotechnics gun. Moon would do a bit of a dance in the ring and his costume included flashy lights all around it, as he was said to be a visitor from another planet. Max Moon never saw WWE glory, and Konnan eventually left the company. The character was played briefly by another man, Paul Diamond, before the character disappeared altogether.

9) Mr. America

Hulk Hogan as Mr. America WWE
At one point even the immortal Hulk Hogan wore a mask, as the "Mr. America" character. The spoof superhero character came about in 2003 when Vince McMahon ordered Hogan to sit out rest of his WWE contract and not wrestle. However, Mr. America emerged, coming to the ring to Hogan's same theme music, and using his same moves in the ring. He once saved a wrestling fan Zach Gowen from humiliation in the ring and also did battle with Mr. McMahon, always being careful not to reveal he was really the Hulkster. The character also had some controversy, as it came under fire from Marvel comics for being similar to Captain America in design.

10)The Repo Man

Repo Man WWF WWE
Played by Barry Darsow of Demolition "Smash" fame back in 1991, he was a guy who came to "repossess" wrestler's items. He'd carry a rope with a hook on it as well, which came into play in several of his matches as a foreign object. Wearing a very simple black mask which just covered his eyes, similar to a burglar. He feuded with the likes of Tito Santana, Tatanka and British Bulldog during his two year stint as Repo Man and returned in Wrestlemania X7 in 2001 for a "Gimmick Battle Royal" consisting of the likes of Doink, Kamala, Iron Sheik and Duke the Dumpster Droese.

There's 10 all-time great masked characters from the WWF & WWE. Honorable mention goes out to guys who simply wear face paint such as Doink the Clown, Kamala, Umaga, Boogeyman, Golddust and Papa Shango. is also running a Poll in honor of Halloween. Which WWE Diva would you most like to see as a trick or treater on your doorstep?

Here's how the voting looked this morning:

Jillian 4.54 % 17359 Votes
Beth Phoenix 28.99 % 110798 Votes
Lilian Garcia 14.60 % 55828 Votes
Maria 11.57 % 44225 Votes
Mickie James 30.47 % 116446 Votes
Melina 9.80 % 37469 Votes

May all fans of WWE and wrestling have a happy, safe and fun Halloween and beware of the above masked men...

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