In Mexico, home of Lucha Libre, Luchadores are considered to be “superheroes”, and are given similar status as other famous sport stars around the world.
Other countries where wrestling is big like Japan or the USA, have the same influence with masked luchadores, for all of them, the mask is the most important thing or symbol in their career, therefore, they do not remove the mask at all.
One of the most important matches someone can experience (as an spectator and also as a professional wrestler) is actually the "lucha de apuestas" (betting match, which is the literal translation from Spanish language).
A 'betting match' consists on two luchadores betting against each other, they are betting either their masks or their "cabelleras" (hair), meaning that the loser will have to remove their mask completely and therefore show his or her real identity to the general public and on the other hand, if you do not have a mask and are betting your "cabellera", then it means you will have to shave your hair completely. For many wrestlers, this is a huge change and it can either push or destroy a luchador professional career.
The maximum record of masks and "cabelleras" belongs to one of the most important Mexican Luchadores ever, none on other than Santo Enmascarado de Plata, during his career he was able to collect: 17 masks and 20 cabelleras (20 shaved heads) all from betting matches which he won. He never lost his mask and this amazing legend only showed his real identity to the general public one week before he died. We will talk about him in another blog very soon amigos!