Throughout WWE history, several great masked athletes have taken part in the company's ring action, with McMahon's most famous masked athlete being undoubtedly Rey Mysterio, a wrestler still under contract with the Stamford-based company and who in the last period he also managed to bring his son Dominik on the rings that count of the number one company in the world of pro-wrestling.
All the other masked athletes, who first and who later in WWE either lost their masks, or lasted only a few years, with some of them refusing to take off the famous headdress that originates from the Mexican Lucha Libre and that for many athletes around the globe mean much more than just a garment.
In his latest interview, Ultimo Dragon, an internationally famous athlete of Japanese origins, also wanted to bring to mind one of the reasons that prompted him to leave WWE, which is that the management wanted him to lose his mask, somehow, in order not to overshadow the only great masked athlete of the federation: Rey Mysterio.
In his last speech at Pearched on the Top Rope, Ultimo Dragon, in fact, brought to mind one of the reasons that led him to return to the independents after the brief juncture that had seen him engaged in the WWE rings, now several years ago.
Ultimo Dragon and the diatribe of the mask
He said, "Rey Mysterio was there, sure. I say 'The way WWE looks at him, we were very similar characters. Both masked, little ones, light weights, but I didn't understand it at the time.
It was true, but I didn't realize at the time, it took me a few years. That's why they asked me to take off my mask. It was one of the reasons why I decided to leave." Since Rey Mysterio was already a well known character, much appreciated by the fans and also a huge pivot for the Mexican market of the company, the McMahons did not want to lose this fundamental piece, nor try to get the Last Dragon and his character to worry the idea that the average fan had of Mysterio.
All this, however, led Ultimo Dragon to move further and further away from the company of the McMahons, until there was the release of the legendary Japanese athlete, who then found his way out of the company of Stamford.
Speaking via his interpreter Sonny Onoo on the Perched on the Top Rope podcast, Ultimo Dragon explained why his WWE run lasted just 12 months. “Rey Mysterio was there, of course. He [Ultimo Dragon] says, ‘The way they [WWE] look at it, they were similar characters.
Both masked guys, smaller, cruiserweights, but I didn’t understand at the time.’ He said, ‘That’s true, but I didn’t realize until afterwards.’ So they asked him if he would take his mask off. He said that’s one of the reasons why he left,” Sonny Onoo said.