AEW is the land of masked men who have become bigger stars since donning masks.
Remember that scene from The Dark Knight Rises when Bane says the line, "No one cared who I was until I put on the mask." While that is not necessarily true of all the AEW stars, several of them have definitely become more popular as masked wrestlers.
Heck, even the commentators have masks in AEW.
With that said, part of the intrigue of masked stars is their look underneath the mask and so, here are six masked AEW stars without their masks.
#6. AEW's Luchasaurus
Jurassic Express' muscle has been a part of AEW since the very beginning. His size and look set him apart from the rest, and his pairing with Jungle Boy has been a master stroke.
But before Luchasaurus made it to AEW, he wrestled in WWE Developmental under the ring name Judas Devlin when it was FCW and was part of its transition into NXT.
I started wrestling while I was finishing my masters program. I wanted to finish that before I totally committed to wrestling. It is funny because as soon as I was done with the degree, I got swept up by WWE. I never really got to do the indies like I wanted to. So, I went right from college to being in WWE. It was very dramatic life change there.
In AEW, Luchasaurus has been at the center of storylines assisting the likes of Bryan Danielson and Christian Cage in their feud with The Elite. While Luchasaurus has not captured any AEW titles yet that could change sooner than later.
#5. Preston Vance aka 10 in AEW's Dark Order
Preston Vance is probably one of the 'biggest' stars inside AEW's Dark Order. The faction was originally formed between Uno and Grayson, but Brodie Lee's Exalted One took the group to another level.
Most of The Dark Order members are masked but Vance was hesitant in donning his and becoming 10.
“Now I absolutely love it. Instead of being the ‘pretty boy meathead’ like a lot of wrestlers, it’s different. Wrestling fans are so into that comic book world and superheroes, and it gives me a whole new look. Now I absolutely love the 10 character. It’s the best thing that’s happened in my career. said Preston Vance”
On a recent episode of AEW Dynamite, Vance donned a mask that seemed reminiscent of DC villain Deathstroke. But Vance confessed that he had no idea and had to Google it to know who or what the character was.
The Dark Order has risen in status as an AEW stable and it's in part due to the organic relationship the group has.
“So, what we have right now–we’re all really good friends. I know if you go back and watch old groups and factions, these guys weren’t even friends. It’s all so organic because our relationship with each other is very real.”
It'll be interesting to see how Vance's career improves in AEW.
#4 AEW's Serpentico aka Jon Cruz
Serpentico stood out from the rest of the AEW Roster with his unique look and paring with Luthor in Chaos Project. He initially debuted as Jon Cruz but was eventually signed as Serpentico last year
It wasn't clear that Cruz was going to get signed by AEW, but things got better after he kept getting called back to wrestle. Moreover, his pairing with Luther has proven to be a success.
“I am very fortunate, and I told Lenny this in private, if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know where I’d be,” Serpentico admitted. “Tony put us together, and he was all for it. He could have said no. He’s been wrestling for 30 plus years. He could have said, ‘Well, it’s not for me. Who is this guy?’ And he welcomed me with open arms, and he trusts literally any idea I have.
Serpentico also revealed that it was Christopher Daniels who let him know that AEW had signed him. From the looks of it Chaos Project is what Cruz will be involved in for the majority of his time in AEW.
#3. Alan Angels aka 5 in AEW's Dark Order
Alan Angels wrestled without his mask in AEW during the height of the Pandemic against Lance Archer on an episode of AEW Dynamite. But in 2020, he was drafted into The Dark Order and given the moniker of 5.
What got him noticed was a match with Kenny Omega, where he kicked out of the 'V-trigger.' This shocked many, as most thought he was a jobber, but it got him on the map.
“Man. I wouldn’t say I thought that, but I definitely thought there would be some criticism for it or whatever. It wasn’t like the first thing people were talking about on the internet either after the match. It was like two 3 days after everybody was like flipping out over me kicking out at 2. The kickout heard around the world or whatever. It’s just, like, I don’t really have an opinion on it." said Alan Angels.
Like most of The Dark Order members, as 5, he was expected to wear a mask and has been part of the group ever since. His recent unmasking in AEW has been woven into the storyline of the potential break-up of the Dark Order. Now, it seems Angels/5 won't be wearing the mask in his matches from now on.
#2. AEW star Fuego Del Sol
AEW's most recent signing has made quite the splash. He was booked into a major feud with Miro and impressed many in the back with his skill and agility. While still relatively young, Fuego was very active on the independent circuit.
This eventually led to an opportunity on an episode of WWE RAW as KJ Orso, where Erick Rowan squashed him.
At the height of the pandemic, Fuego became a regular on AEW Dark, where he practically lost every match, but his win-loss record has improved and now currently stands at 3-45.
When he was signed after his friend Sammy Guevara gave him a contract it was a great moment. For Fuego it meant a lot that AEW was taking care of him, as opposed to previous companies.
“I got part of his money that night. It wasn’t that great. I remember getting my first AEW Dark cheque and thinking, oh man, AEW is taking care of me much better than that night was. So, I’ll tell you that right now,” Fuego Del Sol admitted.
With Fuego set to become more of a character on AEW TV, it'll be interesting to see how the company books him in the months to come.
#1. AEW Commentator Excalibur
AEW's Excalibur has been part of pro wrestling for several years.
He was an active in-ring performer and was one of the six owners/founders of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG). But after retiring from in-ring competition, Excalibur found his true calling as a color commentator and was part of the original broadcast team for All In.
Excalibur was one of the first commentators to be recruited by AEW and did the company's first official PPV, Double or Nothing. Of course, Excalibur does wear his mask during commentary, which has surprised some and bewildered others. Excalibur explains it as a way to separate his personal life from his wrestling life
“Yeah, I mean Excalibur is the only thing I’ve ever been in professional wrestling, even though it was on a very very low level. To this day, people still don’t understand why I wear the mask,” Excalibur said. “It’s the only is the only persona I’ve ever done in professional wrestling, and for me, there is kind of that separation. When I put on the mask, this is wrestling. When I take off the mask this is everything else in my life.”
It should be noted that Excalibur was 'unmasked' by Sandman.
Fans enjoy the banter between Ross and Excalibur, and with Tony Schivone in the mix it has helped them establish a rapport on AEW Dynamite.