If the Young Bucks heel turn recently seemed to be potentially another tweener moment, Nick Jackson‘s unmasking of Rey Fenix on Wednesday night’s AEW Dynamite drove home that the Young Bucks have fully embraced their Dark Side, their air of arrogance that made them one of the most hated (yet most successful) tag team of the 2010s. In Mexico, the unmasking of a luchador is one of the gravest insults in Lucha libre culture, and the bravado of Nick Jackson in his casual unmasking of Death Triangle‘s Rey Fenix was a declaration of war. So much so, that on Thursday, Rey Fenix responded on his Instagram that he no longer is interested in The Young Bucks’ AEW World Tag Team Championships – now they want their hair.
In Mexican Lucha libre, luchas de apuestas (matches with wagers) has been a tradition since 1940, when the masked Murciélago would routinely put his mask on the line against the hair of other stars. While the act of putting masks on the line originated in the US in 1926, when Jim Londos defeated The Masked Marvel to reveal the identity of Ray Steele, it would take until 1940 for the stipulation to reach Mexico (thanks to the rise of masked wrestlers in Mexico around that time). Murciélago himself would lose his mask to Octavio that July, and suddenly máscara contra cabellera (mask vs. hair) matches became a popular tradition, alongside the equally popular máscara contra máscara (mask vs. mask). Unmasking in lucha libre is no small event – luchador’s identities remain classified information to the general public (even to most wrestlers and promoters), and unmasking means they have to reveal their identity and families to the world. These are matches that are not taken lightly, by wrestlers or by fans.
— All Elite Wrestling on TNT (@AEWonTNT) April 15, 2021
With that in mind, it shows just how high the stakes have become in the Death Triangle’s feud with The Young Bucks. With the apparent mask vs. hair stipulation being proposed by Rey Fenix, one would assume that Fenix would be pairing with his masked brother, Penta El Zero Meido, over the unmasked PAC, as they challenge the Jackson brothers, who have sported long hair for the entirety of their 17-year career. The majesty of this match is huge – if it comes to fruition, either Fenix and Penta will have to reveal their faces and identities by the end of the match, or Matt and Nick Jackson will be forced to shave their heads.
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