If I were to randomly walk up to you on the street and ask you to name a masked WCW wrestler (well, first of all.... that would be pretty creepy), you'd probably come up with Rey Misterio Jr. or Juventud Guerrera. Big Van Vader would also count, even though his mask wasn't all that masking. Or perhaps, if you dug back deep enough, you'd offer up Doom, the team that were eventually unmaked and revealed to be Ron Simmons and Butch Reed.
But there were many folks whose masked run in WCW were either brief or unremarkable (or perhaps both?) where they don't leave a lasting memory. That's where the following article comes in handy.
Oh, and we purposely left out masked jobbers (e.g. The Gambler, Zan Panzer, Mr. JL) for the reason that they were already losers and don't need us to humiliate them any further.
In 1991, Jim Herd was loading WCW with cartoonish gimmicks, including The Great & Powerful Oz (Kevin Nash), Big Josh (Matt Borne) and Black Blood, who was better known as former Oregon and WWF babyface Billy Jack Haynes.
No one knows quite why Haynes, who had a great look and an established character -- he was at WrestleMania III slobbering all over Hercules's back, for pete's sake -- was dressed up in an executioner's mask, billed from "a small town in France" (tm The Coneheads) and carried an axe to the ring with him. It would be akin to bringing in Superfly Jimmy Snuka, putting him under a hockey mask and calling him Purple Postman.
But we do know Black Blood left the company shortly after SuperBrawl '91 in the midst of a feud with the aforementioned Big Josh, and was never featured on a national stage again, until his 2014 induction into the prestigious Canadian Bulldog's World LJN Wrestling Figure Hall of Fame (as Haynes, not Black Blood).
The Colossal Kongs
In 1993, WCW hired a team that had been making waves in the USWA, pretty much on the basis that both guys were really, really fat.
Known as The Colossal Kongs, the two wore generic black and red masks and black singlets (and furry vests that were lifted from The Big Van Vader Collection), booked as a pair of monster heels managed by Harley Race.
Known as Awesome Kong (waiting to be sued by WWE's Kharma -- even though he clearly came first) and King Kong (waiting to be sued by the giant monster gorilla), the two briefly feuded with a reunited Sting and Ric Flair and fought each other in a "randomly selected tag team match" at BattleBowl '93 before fading into Kongscurity.
But brutally-litigious names aside, the two actually looked quite imposing and could have gone somewhere. Possibly to the nearest McDonald's.
There's no denying The Assassin had a tremendous career long before appearing as a character on WCW television. The father of referee Nick Partner, he won tons of regional titles in the 1960s and 1970s along The Assassin 2. Under his real name of Jody Hamilton, he helped train wrestlers in WCW and WWE's Deep South territory, most notably Kevin Nash.
But by the time he debuted in WCW in 1993 as a manager, The Assassin's trademark yellow and black mask would no longer fit comfortably over his head, given the impression that he was now The Fatassassin.
Not sure why anyone would need their manager to be squeezed into a hood ("Who was that masked manager? I forgot to thank him.", but Assassin guided the career of Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma (Pretty Wonderful) for some time.
Many wrestling fans from the 1980s will remember Hercules Hernandez. The guy who (may have) made Hulk Hogan submit on Saturday Night's Main Event. The one who was sold as a slave to Ted DiBiase. The dude who had his back slobbered all over by the aforementioned Billy Jack Haynes at WrestleMania III.
Now picture him as a martial arts expert from Thailand with a red stocking over his head.
WHY DO THIS TO HERCULES?
Granted, WCW couldn't use his name (perhaps The Mighty Sampson could have worked in a pinch?), but his 1992 run as The Super Invader made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Fans recognize his face from working with Hogan and Bobby Heenan and, hell, everyone else.... why hide it under a hood?
The Minnesota Wrecking Crew II
The Minnesota Wrecking Crew (kayfabe relatives Lars, Gene, Ole and Arn Anderson) were one of the most feared institutions in wrestling in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Heck, ask our own Mike Rickard about them - as he's written a ton about the legendary tag team(s).
Yet no one really mentions The Minnesota Wrecking Crew II, a brief 1990 resurrection.
This masked duo was (quite obviously) Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom, who had jumped ship from the sinking AWA, and were put under blue masks as The Minnesota Wrecking Crew II, for whatever reason.
While having Ole Anderson as their manager gave them a tad more credibility than if they were, say, The Midnight Express II, but what was the point? They later unmasked as the WWF's Beverley Brothers.
This last inclusion makes a smidgen of sense.... and at least it's not, say, Hillbilly Jim in a dog mask for a brief WCW run.
Some background is necessary here. In the mid-1980s, Barry Windham was forced to leave the Florida territory and came back under a hood as The Dirty Yellow Dog. So when Windham beat Brian Pillman in 1991 and forced him to leave the company, who showed up but.... The Yellow Dog.
Everyone knew, of course, that Yellow Dog was Pillman in a mask -- he even unmasked himself at house shows -- so it was really just the age-old gimmick of "frustrated heel (Windham) can't prove the suspended babyface is wearing a mask" for a couple of months.
And then when Pillman was reinstated, his good friend Yellow Dog rode off into the sunset....