Wrestling masks tell a story. Everything about them is important. From the color to the sticks, the design of a wrestling mask makes a statement about the wrestler’s character. In wrestling, the wrestler’s character is the key to everything that defines them. The creation of a wrestler’s character is not simply a costume, it is a piece of art. It is well planned with sincere intentions.
Everything matters, the color, the material, the thread, and most important is the design. The Creation of Wrestling Masks is a large industry. However, there are only a few designers that are considered. However, like masked wrestlers the designers to keep their identities hidden as to not be overwhelmed with potential clients. Therefore, the best designers seek out their clients, the clients only hope to be approached by a true artist.
Wrestling Masks are popular because of the Mexican culture’s Lucha Libre heroes. Lucha Libre translates as literally as “free fight” it basically means freestyle wrestling. Lucha Libre is much different from the WWF or World Wrestling Federation as it’s known in the United States. While both are entertainment and have characters who wrestle they have many differences. One of the biggest differences is the wrestling masks.
The colorful masks worn by the Lucha libre characters are a key part of the wrestler’s character. The design, specifically, the colors, are very important. First, the colors need to be bright, bold and speak a meaning of the character. Second, the history of lucha libre mask dates back to the time of the Aztec culture. Third, the mask portrays an animal spirit, a type of god, or an ancestral hero. The mask helps to tell the story of the wrestler.
Every wrestler is a character with an archetype, an identity. They have backstory and drama. It’s important that the character is designed with a particular set of values and a particular set of triggers. Often, these are worked into the costume and mask. The mask is a vital part of a wrestler’s identity, it is much more than a costume.
Like a member of a motorcycle club protects their vest, the lucha libre wrestler protects his mask. Should an opponent take off the mask of another it is considered the gravest of sins? The insult is so dramatic that a feud is sure to ensue. One way feuds are handled in lucha libre is through the tradition called lucas de apuesta. It means, matches with a wager, and the wager is key to the match.
In a lucha libre match titled lucas de apusta the mask is key. Translated as a match with a wager, the wager is either their mask or their hair. There are several different versions of this type of match. Some are a mask versus mask wager where the winner will take off the loser’s mask to reveal his identity as humiliation. Other’s choose the ‘Calbrella contra cabellera’ or ‘hair versus hair’ match; in this match, the loser has his head shaved by the winner.
Wrestling Masks are important and the protection of wrestlers mask is the protection of their identity and dignity.