Do you remember the superstars behind these masks?

5 WWE Superstars you may not know performed under a mask

The WWE industry has seen a number of masked superstars. From Mil Máscaras in 1972 to Rey Mysterio in 2022, the tradition of wearing a mask has moved on from generation to generation.

While it is considered sacred for the Luchadors to wear a mask, other superstars do so to portray an iconic gimmick, aiming to be memorable to fans. Among them are the visages of Hurricane, Sin Cara, Kane, and even The Fiend.

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However, a few big names had lesser-known stints under the mask. Some superstars used it for personal safety, while others only had it on for a short period of time.

Take a look at five WWE Superstars you may not know performed under a mask.


#5. The Sultan - Rikishi

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Rikishi has had multiple gimmicks in his entire WWE career. In fact, Baron 'Happy’ Corbin might be his modern-day counterpart. Rikishi is mostly known for his "Too Cool" role. However, not everyone remembers the time he was The Sultan.

In 1996, the Anoa’i family member started wearing a red-colored mask that covered his mouth and nose, leaving room only for his menacing eyes. The idea behind The Sultan wearing a mask that covered his mouth was quite grim, hinting at his tongue being cut off because he never uttered a word.

Sultan was managed by superstars like Bob Backlund and Iron Shiekh. However, the gimmick failed to stick with the crowd as they were barely impressed.

Rikishi, as Sultan, unsuccessfully challenged Rocky Maivia at WrestleMania 13 for the Intercontinental Championship. That was the only mark the gimmick left in WWE, as it was dropped two years later as better days followed.


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#4. The Giant Machine - Andre The Giant

The Machines stable led by Lou Albano

The memory of Andre The Giant still lives on with WWE’s annual battle royal during WrestleMania weekend. His unforgettable legacy has been renowned for pulverizing his opponents since his WWWF debut in 1973.

Suffering from acromegaly, The Giant decided to take a break from wrestling to recuperate in 1986. He was also cast in the film The Princess Bride. The company needed a storyline to explain his absence, eventually leading to the formation of the masked Giant Machine.

Bobby “The Brain” Heenan challenged Andre to wrestle Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy. When he failed to show up, president Jack Tunney indefinitely suspended him. Andre The Giant returned later that year but couldn’t show his face to the fans as he was banned. He then started wearing a black, full-face mask to hide his visage.

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Conspiracy theorists allege Giant Machine was actually Andre the Giant: kayfabenews.com/debate-continu… #RIPAndreTheGiant

The Giant Machine was part of a stable named the Machines. It was managed by Lou Albano. The original members included The Giant Machine, Big Machine (Blackjack Mulligan) and Super Machine (Bill Eadie).

Hulk Machine (Hulk Hogan), Piper Machine (Roddy Piper), Animal Machine (George Steele) and Crusher Machine (Reginald Lisowski) occasionally joined them. The gimmick lasted until the end of October 1986.


#3. WWE Straight Edge Society leader - CM Punk

CM Punk after his humiliation by Rey Mysterio

Back in 2009, CM Punk formed a group called The Straight Edge Society, which focused on a disciplined life. So much so that interested members were required to shave their heads before joining. Luke Gallows and Serena were the fortunate ones.

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The leader of the group got into a feud with Rey Mysterio. Starting on the road to WrestleMania 26, it mostly revolved around forcing Rey to join the Straight Edge Society. Punk made various stipulations to make The Master of the 619 a part of his team, but Rey always got the upper hand.

WWE booked the blowoff match at Over The Limit in May 2010. Had Mysterio lost, he would have had to join CM Punk’s faction. Meanwhile, The Second City Saints' hair was on the line. The babyface won and proceeded to shave Punk bald. He started wearing a black mask with a white lining following that match to conceal his baldness.

The masked gimmick ended when The Big Show ripped it out on an episode of SmackDown. Interestingly, CM Punk wore a mask during an appearance on MKE Wrestling. The incident occurred in 2019. The Best in the World delivered a GTS finisher to Daryck St. Holmes before leaving.


#2. El Vagabundo - Elias

Elias in El Vagabundo role before his last fight in NXT

Jeffrey Daniel Sciullo made his debut at NXT under the name Elias Samson in 2014. Three years later, “The Drifter” found himself struggling against Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and Finn Balor. Things took a drastic turn when he lost a “Loser leaves NXT” match against Kassius Ohno.

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Elias did have one shining moment in NXT, however. In his last match on the brand, in April that year, he portrayed an alter-ego named “El-Vagabundo.” It was Spanish for the words “The Vagabond”. Fans loved the new Elias and even supported it throughout, although it was just a one-time deal.

Oney Lorcan unmasked Elias after defeating him in that match. It is unknown why WWE decided to end the role. One reason could be that the company wanted to capitalize on the drifter gimmick. The reason is seemingly sufficient because Elias made his RAW debut, the same month he left NXT.


#1. The Phantom mask - The Undertaker

Undertaker wore a mask during 1995-1996

The Undertaker is known for his iconic attire. It includes a black long-back hat, shoes, a vest and even a coat. Fans couldn't comprehend The Phenom in a mask. But such was the case in Survivor Series 1995.

The Undertaker made his entrance while donning a Phantom of the Opera gray-upper face mask. He did so to hide the legitimate injury on his face. In an episode of WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures, Mark Calaway revealed that the injury was inflicted on the eye socket by the hands of Mabel.

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The impact blew out roughly 90% of his orbital floor. X-rays revealed that his optic nerve was pressed against a jagged bone fragment. Hence, WWE designers created a few new mask concepts to help The Undertaker, which included the Phantom of the Opera mask. It also had a layer of padding to protect his eye in the event of an accidental blow to that area.

The gimmick lasted till Diesel unmasked him at the 1996 Royal Rumble. He interfered in The Phenom’s WWE Championship match against Bret Hart, costing him the title.

Also Watch: Moments that shocked WWE fans when their favorite superstars accidentally got unmasked on live TV.

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Edited by
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