The brothers Afa and Sika Anoa'i were born in American Samoa, which may be the world's number one breeding ground for professional wrestlers. They spent most of their careers working as a successful tag team called the Wild Samoans, who on TV were presented as savage, feral lunatics who ate raw fish and tore apart chickens with their bare hands. They would only grunt in a primitive dialect, and their manager, Captain Lou Albano, did all the talking for them.
Obsessed With Wrestling
"Mostly, they want various salted meats."
One night, the Samoans wound up hitching a ride with Hulk Hogan, who, at the time, had a lot less star power and a lot more body hair.
The Ultimate Hollywood Page
It looks like someone dropped an atomic bomb on his dick.
According to Hogan's autobiography, he and the Samoans were pulled over by a state trooper in New Jersey. When Hogan reached into the glove box for his registration, the gun he had just purchased on his way up from Florida tumbled out. In New Jersey, an unregistered handgun carried a mandatory one-year prison sentence at the time, so Hogan and the Samoans were ordered out of the car and handcuffed (by the sturdiest policeman in history).
Hogan begged the Samoans to explain that he didn't know about the firearms law and that this was all a big misunderstanding (because who could resist a pair of adorable Samoans?). Afa and Sika, however, refused to say one word.
Pro Wrestling Wikia
Although we assume they made an assortment of faces appropriate to the situation.
If you listen to this interview, you'll know that Afa and Sika both speak perfect English, but since they had never done so on TV, they remained absolutely mute while being taken into custody. Even though the gun didn't even belong to them and they hadn't actually done anything wrong, they never said one word in their defense or Hogan's. The Wild Samoans figured it was better for the three of them to go to jail than break character.
Back in 1942, Rodolfo Guzman Huerta donned a silver mask and cape and became his alter ego, El Santo, the most famous wrestler in the history of Mexico and the country's biggest pop culture icon. Santo was a folk hero and a symbol of justice for the common man, and his popularity extended to comic books and a cornucopia of terrible movies. Once Santo's appeal started to transcend wrestling, Huerta knew that his silver mask was the key to the character's success. So he made sure to never, ever take it off ... for 42 goddamned years.
Obsessed With Wrestling
We'd rather wear a mask every day than that dude on the right's tie once.
Santo made sure he was never seen in public without the mask on -- not during appearances, not in movies or on television, not even when he went outside to get his newspaper. This made for a bitterly inconvenient half-century.
Santo carried around a separate set of masks for certain occasions. For example, it was impossible for him to eat anything while wearing his traditional mask without it looking like his mouth was having a miscarriage, so he had a special "mealtime" version he could change into with the chin cut away. Whenever he traveled to a film shoot, he'd make sure to take a different flight than the crew, so that none of them could see his face when he was inevitably required to remove his mask to get through customs. Once, Santo was driving from Mexico into Texas with a producer, and he demanded that the man turn his head and look away so he could take his mask off for the border agents.
Find a Grave
"Hey, this face isn't selling any comic books, sir."
Even after retiring from wrestling, Santo still kept his identity a secret for over a year before finally revealing his face for the first and only time in his long career:
He must have sensed that his time was growing short, because Santo died of a heart attack just over a week later, and was buried in his trademark mask.
Robin Warder is the co-owner of a pop culture website called The Back Row.
For more on wrestling, check out 5 Reasons Pro Wrestlers are the Best Actors in the World and The 9 Most Unintentionally Depressing Pro Wrestling Gimmicks.