What’s up there wrestling fans, welcome one and all to the most controversial countdown all around the internet. This is Pounding 7’s. This week we countdown the top 7 wrestlers to wear a mask. Masked wrestlers have always been interesting to me, as they hid there face whether it was a tradition to wear it, a family thing, or just to hide there face. I never knew. What I do know are my favorite masked wrestlers, and I am going to count them down for you…right now.
Jackson has a question for me this week, as he obviously reads this weekly
You mentioned World War 3, the WCW Pay Per View in the late 90’s last week. Was this simply supposed to be a rip off of the Royal Rumble?
World War 3 was debuted in 1995, shortly after WCW made the decision to go head to head with the WWE and Raw with Nitro. Of course it was supposed to be a rip off of the Royal Rumble. Eric Bischoff’s mentality was bigger and better from that of the WWE. Instead of a 30 man Battle Royal where you have numbers drawn to enter. He thought of 60 men, 3 rings, 20 in each ring, for an all out war to see who can come out on top. In the first one, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship was at stake, which was won by the Macho Man Randy Savage. Over the next few years, it was decided that the winner of World War 3 would get a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Sound familiar? Well in 1992, and again in 2016, the World Championship was on the line at the Royal Rumble, and ever since 1993, the winner of the Royal Rumble got a shot at the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania. So yes, World War 3 was supposed to be a bigger and better “Rumble” than the Royal Rumble. It failed of course, because it was so hard to keep track of, and there were many eliminations that went unnoticed. Even the commentators at times were like “Where is this guy, was he eliminated”? They simply had no idea what was going on until it got down to 1 ring.
One of the most notorious heel turns in the history of wrestling came in January, 1992 during an episode of the Barber Shop. Shawn Michaels, and his partner, Marty Jannetty, both collectively known as the Rockers. The Rockers were one of the most popular tag teams in the WWE at the time, but were having some problems with Shawn wanting to go out on his own, and wanted to prove that he was the better wrestler. The two appeared on the Barber Shop, where Brutus Beefcake asked the two what the situation was between them. After the interview, it appeared that all was well as they shook hands and embraced. Then, out of nowhere, Shawn superkicks Jannetty and throws him through the Barber Shop window. This was the end of the Rockers, and start of Shawn Michaels long and successful career. Shawn went on to win the Intercontinental Championship later that year against the British Bulldog, and was a consistent main eventer all the way to the WWF Championship, while Jannetty’s career highlight was a three week reign as the Intercontinental Champion, and a tag team champion with the 123 Kid. This heel turn is still talked about to this day all over professional wrestling.
Before we go into the countdown, let’s start off with a few honorable mentions.
Shark Boy- Okay so this is more just sarcasm and a jab at Eric, as he had an epic showdown against Shark Boy for much of 2015 and early 2016. Shark Boy eventually blocked him from Twitter. I guess he was scared.
The Assassins- Called the greatest tag team he ever saw by Jim Ross, the team won 25 tag team titles over two decades in wrestling. There have been a revolving door of Assassins throughout the years. The Assassin #1 known as Jody Hamilton was briefly in WCW in 1993.
Ultimo Dragon- A global legend, especially in Japan and Mexico, The Ultimo Dragon held 10 championships simultaniously, a record that is still held today, and likely will never be topped. He also had a nice run in WCW as the Cruiserweight and Television Champion.
Jushin Thunder Liger- Man I wanted to put Liger on the main list, but because of all the other great masked stars, he was the first one off the list. Liger was a mainstay in Japan, and also competed in WCW, winning the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship against Brian Pillman. His mask is one of the coolest masks I have ever seen, and is notorious to his character.
AND HERE IS THE COUNTDOWN
7. The Patriot- The Patriot, Del Wilkes is one of the most notorious professional wrestlers. Known for his Stars and Stripes mask. The Patriot won the WCW World Tag Team Championship with Marcus “Buff” Bagwell in 1994, and gained popularity in 1997 in the WWE as he faced off against WWF Champion, Bret Hart, in a USA vs Canada type ordeal. The Patriot holds a victory over Bret, as he pinned the champion on an episode of Raw. He got himself a WWF Championship match in September 1997 against Hart at Ground Zero, but was not successful in his attempt to win championship gold.
6. Mankind- Okay so was Mankind really a masked wrestler? I would say so, Mankind, portrayed by WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, was able to attract three separate gimmicks at once. Mankind, in which he debuted in the WWE as a psychotic lunatic who was feared by many. He also had his crazy Hardcore Cactus Jack gimmick, and then finally Dude Love, which lets be honest, was just plain ridiculous. Mankind makes this list, because he was one of the few who admitted that he wore a mask to hide his disfigured face.
5. Mr Wrestling II- Mr Wrestling II was an icon of Mid South Wrestling, but he was so popular in the 70’s that he was invited to the White House by then President Jimmy Carter. The Secret Service would not allow him to wear his mask to the White House for security measures, so Mr Wrestling II chose his mask over meeting the President, and met with Jimmy Carter’s mother. He had two words for the Secret Service “STICK IT.” Mr Wrestling II had a very successful career, winning multiple World Championships all over the world.
4. Vader- A world champion on every single continent. There is no way I am leaving Vader off of this list. Known primarily for his WCW World Championship days in 1992 and 1993. Vader has had legendary status in Japan, Mexico, and the United States. Vader also had much success in WWE, main eventing Summerslam 96 against Shawn Michaels, and was given serious consideration on winning the WWE Championship at that time as well. While he never attained WWE Championship gold. Vader goes down as one of the greatest masked wrestlers of all time.
3. Mil Mascaras- Known world wide as the man with a million masks. Mil Mascaras is the uncle of Alberto Del Rio. Mascaras has won world championships all over the world. He was the first masked wrestler to compete in Madison Square Garden, where he competed against then WWF Champion, Superstar Billy Graham. Back in the 70’s Vince McMahon SR and the WWE had a ban on wrestlers wearing masks. He would lift that ban just for Mascaras due to his overwhelming popularity world wide.
2. Kane- How can we leave off the Big Red Machine? Kane debuted in 1997, after a few failed gimmicks in 1994 and 1995 as the Fake Diesel, and Dr Issac Yankem. Kane has been a mainstay in the WWE ever since coming to the WWE as Kane. He immediately made an impact as he cost the Undertaker, his brother, a match in the first ever Hell in a Cell match against Shawn Michaels. Kane came down with Paul Bearer, ripped the cage door off the hinges and attacked his brother. Kane would go on to win the WWE Championship less than a year later, although a short reign, he would again see World Championship gold in 2010, when he defeated Rey Mysterio at Money in the Bank, in which he won the MITB match and cashed in on Mysterio later that night.
1.Rey Mysterio- Who else should be at the top of this list. Rey Mysterio arguably one of the most well known masked wrestlers in the history of wrestling. Known for his tradition for wearing a mask, Mysterio had a great career down in Mexico before arriving in WCW, winning the Crusierweight Championship, as well as the tag team championship. When he arrived in the WWE, he was a Crusierweight Champion, and was probably the top ranked Crusierweight in WWE at the time. He would go on to bigger and better things as right after his best friend Eddie Guerrero passed away, Mysterio won the Royal Rumble after entering at #1, and to this day holds the record for longest amount of time in a Royal Rumble. He went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania, defeating Randy Orton in a triple threat match. He would win the championship again in 2010, and the WWE Championship in 2011, however, his reign only lasted a couple of hours. Still, Mysterio tops the charts as the greatest masked wrestler of all time.
So what did you think of the countdown this week? Did I leave anyone out? What are your rankings? Leave a comment, send me a message on a countdown that you would like to see down the road. Have a great rest of the week!
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