Mask Studies: Rey Fenix
There’s a trope in pro wrestling that luchadores wear a mask because their face is ugly and should be covered up. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Masks bring out a luchador’s personality and allow them to take on a persona that’s larger than life.
So, here’s a look at the mask of Rey Fenix and what his mask says about him.
Rey Fenix’s mask is very extravagant. It’s most definitely part of the new generations of luchador masks; it has very elaborate, oftentimes shimmery designs. It’s a long shot from the basic matte coloured masks of the past, such as the masks of Santo and Blue Demon.
One of the most unique characteristics of Rey Fenix’s mask is the pattern around his eyes that extend off of his head. These represent a phoenix’s wings, as Rey Fenix literally translates to “king Phoenix.”
Continuing from the Phoenix theme, oftentimes the sides of Rey Fenix’s mask will feature an image of a Phoenix, as shown below.
The phoenix is a powerful, mythological bird that represents the cycle of life and death, as well as the idea of resurrection. A phoenix comes to life from the ashes of its predecessor. It’s a very powerful creature for a luchador to align himself with. Fenix, like the mythical bird, comes to life in the most grim of times, and like the fire of the phoenix, he shines brightest in the dark.
The symbolism of the phoenix also gives the younger Lucha Brother a fascinating contrast to Pentagon, who symbolizes darkness. This makes sense, as the Lucha Bros are parejas increíbles (a tag team consisting of a heel and a face). The imagery associated with them not only distinguishes their personalities but is also very artistic in its own right.
The cross is a relatively recent, notable upgrade of Rey Fenix’s mask. Before he was called Rey Fenix, the younger Lucha Brother was known simply as “Fenix.” Below is an image of Fenix’s mask, before he donned the title Rey Fenix:
The most obvious difference between the old and new design is that the cross was previously a flame, another allusion to the phoenix. Due to copyright issues, Fenix had to change his name, and decided to ask another luchador if it would be alright to take inspiration from him.
The title Rey (king) was a gift from the legendary luchador, and friend of the Lucha Brothers, Rey Mysterio. The cross on Rey Fenix’s forehead serves as a tribute to his friend.
So, what does Rey Fenix’s mask say about him? The wings of the phoenix, as well as the image of the mythical bird, show that Rey Fenix rises from the ashes to achieve greatness, which I believe to be a powerful image for a tecnico to hold themselves to. It’s very inspirational.
The cross on his head is a more recent addition; it’s a tribute to Rey Mysterio, who allowed Fenix to take on the title, Rey.