In most popular media, the question “Who is the man behind the mask?” is tossed about to create an air of intrigue and mystique. However, in the wild world of pro wrestling, the reply is often, “Who cares!? That mask is frickin’ awesome!”

Whether it is due to honoring the traditions of lucha libre, creating a monstrous persona, or fulfilling a wrestling company’s partnership with an anime, the world of pro wrestling has thousands of masked performers. Much like in superhero media, noir, and other genres, the mask helps create mystery, intrigue, and can occasionally act as a symbol. It also helps that masks and their designs are a great marketing and merchandising tool to sell replicas, t-shirts, and toys, too.

Over time, many of these masks have become more intricate, legendary, badass, and just plain fun. Let’s go over some of the most iconic, detailed, and awesome masks throughout theatrical grappling history!

Big Van Vader

Awesome Wrestling Masks Big Van Vader While Vader is also known for his facial jockstrap, his most awesome mask is his smoke-spewing entrance mask, which looks like a Xenomorph mixed with a wooly mammoth. This makes him more terrifying than Darth Vader ever was. CRACKED.COM

WWE

Kane

Awesome Wrestling Masks Kane Kane's original mask, which appears to be a mix of Jason Voorhees' hockey mask and The Man in the Iron Mask, fits every bit of the character's tone right down to the fiery red clashing with the deep blackness. CRACKED.COM

WWE

Jushin "Thunder" Liger

Awesome Wrestling Ma 5 Jushin Thunder Liger The now-iconic mask that was first used to promote an anime is the face of excellence in junior heavyweight wrestling. Fangs, horns, lightning bolts, this mask has it all. CRACKED.COM

WWE

Black Taurus

Awesome Wrestling Masks Black Taurus If anything can turn you vegan, it's a man who looks like a goth minotaur. Taurus' impressive mask looks like something out of Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop. CRACKED.COM

IMPACT Wiki

La Parka

Awesome Wrestling Masks La Parka La Parka looks like a walking skeleton, but the hood helps make it less like a bag of bones wrestling you and more like the Grim Reaper dancing on your grave. CRACKED.COM

WWE

Mankind

Awesome Wrestling Masks Mankind The unique, almost medieval look of Mankind's leather mask does an amazing job of making him look gruesome but also garner sympathy, in a Phantom of the Opera kind of way. That is, if the Phantom of the Opera didn't sing but mutilated himself with thumbtacks instead. CRACKED.COM

Metro News

Último Dragón

Awesome Wrestli sks Último Dragón The sleek look and scaly fringe of Dragón's mask just helped add mystique and marketable intrigue to his impressive in-ring skills. CRACKED.COM

WWE

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