When you think of the greatest cruiserweight of all time, Rey Mysterio is at the top of the list. The high-flying Mexican superstar has been adored for many years and continues to wow the WWE Universe.
Mysterio is synonymous with wearing a mask throughout his career, but why does Rey Mysterio wear a mask?
Due to Rey's Lucha Libre heritage in Mexico, it is customary for luchadors to wear a mask during matches. It is considered sacred by all luchadors around the world. Despite Rey performing without his mask for a period in WCW, he has never competed in WWE without it.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon requested Rey Mysterio wear his mask in WWE. Rey Mysterio had lost a hair vs. mask match in WCW, which meant he could no longer wear his mask. For Luchador's and sticking to Lucha Libre heritage, after losing in this type of stipulation, the mask could never be put back on.
Rey Mysterio told Out of Character about Vince asking him to wear the mask before his WWE debut:
"Prior to coming to WWE, I was in OVW training, which was a week prior to my debut, and the office wanted to see the gear I wanted to use. When I showed it to them, I had no mask. They were like, ‘Where is the mask?’ ‘Well, I lost the mask.’ In Lucha Libre, if you lose the mask, you never put it back on. They were like, ‘No, Vince wants you to come back with the mask.’
Rey continued to explain about Vince McMahon wanting Mysterio to wear a mask saying:
I had an outfit made with the mask, and that was history. The mask was a very important piece of my career in WWE. If WCW didn’t market the mask the correct way, I knew Vince would," Rey Mysterio said. (h/t Inside The Ropes)
Mysterio also confirmed he had returned to Mexico wearing a mask with WWE and the fans were respectful of his decision:
"In Mexico, when I went for the first time with WWE, they didn’t want me to wrestle with the mask on because I had lost it. I had been wrestling with it since I signed with WWE, but they didn’t care. At the end of the night, they were like, ‘it’s cool,'" Rey Mysterio confirmed.
Aside from Rey Mysterio, who else currently wears a mask in WWE?
Now, aside from Rey Mysterio, a small handful of WWE superstars currently wear masks. Gran Metalik, Katrina Cortez, and Lince Dorado all represent their Lucha Libre heritage. Superstars such as Nikki A.S.H. and Slapjack wear altered masks, a part of their current gimmick.
Dominik Mysterio has said recently that he would like to see a moment where his father, Rey, hands over his mask to him. Dominik wants to continue the Mysterio legacy once Rey's days in the ring are over.
Find out the real reason why Sting came to WWE only to lose his debut match right here.