In this edition of The Wrestling Dictionary on Atletifo, we’ll go through the origins of the term Crimson Mask in wrestling.
We’ll explain what a Crimson Mask is and look at the origin of the word. We’ll detail who popularized the term in the United States and how the concept affects psychology in wrestling.
Crimson Mask in wrestling means the visual of blood covering the face of one wrestler. This usually occurs during a high-stakes and violent match, which uses blood to increase the tension of the bout.
The idea of a crimson mask is an eternal one in wrestling, ever since blading became a common occurrence. Blading is when a wrestler cuts his or her own forehead with a razor blade, causing blood to flow down their face.
Usually, no ever instance of blood is called a Crimson Mask. That is usually used to refer to when a wrestle makes a huge cut and the blood completely covers their face.
This creates a mask of blood that covers their face. Crimson is a shade of red and is similar to the colour of blood. Therefore, a Crimson Mask is a mask of crimson-coloured blood that covers a wrestler’s face during a match.
The concept has been around for decades. You can find numerous examples of this going back 50 years, or maybe longer.
Ric Flair was famous for bleeding all over the USA, cutting his head regularly in live events around the country.
The Nature Boy would wrestle in 60 minute matches nightly. To make the local hero look good, as he did as the NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion, he would cut his head and create a crimson mask on his face.
The use of the blood would make his opponent look good, as they were made to look like a killer who made him bleed. The blood also sold the exhaustion on his face, with fans worried that he’d pass out in the ring due to loss of blood.
While WWE is famous for not allowing their wrestlers to bleed, they have had some key examples of the Crimson Mask over the years.
Probably the most famous is the Eddie Guerrero vs JBL match Judgement Day 2004. Guerrero was the WWE Champion and that match was for WWE’s biggest prize.
The match was not a hardcore match. In fact, it was a regular match. However, the story called for some blood due to the ferocity of the feud, and Guerrero was happy to oblige.
He wore the crimson mask well in one of the bloodiest matches ever. He lost the match by DQ but was rushed to hospital soon after, nearly dying from the incredible blood loss.
However, the use of blood made it an all-time classic and the image of Eddie Guerrero’s face covered in blood is one that is everlasting.
The term Crimson Mask was made famous in the United States by Jim Ross. The WWE Hall of Famer is most known for yelling out about the Crimson Mask during particularly impressive bouts of blading during the WWE’s Attitude Era.
However, one of the first instances of it being named on WWE TV was during a match between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage for the WWE Championship.
Commentator Gorilla Monsoon proclaimed that Hulk Hogan was wearing “the crimson mask” as he was made to bleed by the Macho Man during their 1986 encounter. When Hogan was busted open by the ring bell, Monsoon said that famous line.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.