The Meaning of the Mask: Dragon Lee

The Meaning of the Mask: Dragon Lee

Dragon Lee is the younger brother of Rush and Místico, former IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, and current ROH television champion. For someone so young, his international star power is incredibly remarkable. I have no doubts that his influence will only grow in the years to come. 

So, what can we tell about Dragon Lee, just by looking at his masks? 

The Temple

In the center of Dragon Lee’s forehead is an image of a Chinese temple. This is most likely Shaolin Temple, where some scenes of Bruce Lee’s movie “Enter the Dragon” were filmed. In addition to being renowned as one of the best martial arts movies of all time, the film is a strong influence over Dragon Lee’s persona, much like the Chuck Norris film “The Octagon” was an inspiration for Octagón the luchador. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Dragon Lee’s name is a combination of “Enter the Dragon” and Bruce Lee. 

Side Details

On each side of the mask are two ornate dragons whose heads extend off the base of the mask, giving the luchador the appearance of having horns. Below each dragon is “Dragon Lee,” written in Chinese on one side and Japanese on the other. Chinese (I’d assume) is included as another nod to Bruce Lee. The Japanese could be a nod to Dragon Lee’s large fan base in Japan and his extensive history with Japanese luchadors, the most notable of these being Hiromu Takahashi. 

Variations 

It’s far from uncommon for luchadores to make special masks for momentous occasions. Dragon Lee, though, has a lot of fun with his variant designs. Some of his most meaningful mask designs pay tribute to role models or rivals Dragon Lee has had. This entrance mask, for example, is a combination of Dragon Lee’s own mask and the mask of his long term rival Kamaitachi, also known as Hiromu Takahashi. An added layer of significance to this mask design is that Dragon Lee defeated Kamaitachi in a mask vs mask match. This allows the design to be a little cocky, as if Dragon Lee feels entitled to both claim and don Takahashi’s mask now that he’s won it off of him. 

Another personal favorite design of mine is the mask Dragon Lee wore during his match at Wrestle Kingdom 14, night two. Dragon Lee had the honor of taking part in the final match of the legendary Jushin Thunder Liger’s career, a tag match between Dragon Lee and Hiromu Takahashi, and Liger and Naoki Sano. It only makes sense that Dragon Lee would create a mask to commemorate such a momentous occasion. 

Some of Dragon Lee’s masks are more fun, and not so closely related to wrestling. One in particular was not even made to be worn inside a wrestling ring. The  mask below is one that Dragon Lee has specifically for his trips to Disneyland. His fans have dubbed it Mickey Lee, and the luchador seems more than content with the mask’s nickname. 

Sources

  • https://youtu.be/JEWbY5ZTPjQ
  • Pictures from Dragon Lee’s Instagram
  • featured image from: https://prowrestling-allstar.com/dragon-lee-sugao-mask-lover-3117

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