The masked wrestler rights movement was dealt a blow on 11 March as wrestler turned municipal legislator, Skull Reaper A-ji, was refused entry to a scheduled city council session as long as he was wearing his mask.
When interviewed by reporters、 Councilman Skull Reaper, who was elected last month, expressed regret over the matter saying, “Frustrating. If I take my mask off, I’m an entirely different person. I will not take it off.”
The move to bar the wrestling mask – a traditional feature of Mexican lucha libre wrestling embraced by many pro-wrestlers in Japan – was taken on 6 March as the council overwhelmingly voted that it violates a rule that “a person entering the floor shall not wear articles such as a hat or cane.”
Afterwards they continuously tried to persuade Councilman Skull Reaper not to wear the mask right up until the session on the 11th. However, he had no intention of doing so and when he entered the floor with his mask he was restrained. By a camel clutch in my imagination.
Still, the 44-year-old Skull Reaper shows no signs of tapping out on the issue and will continue to challenge the decision.
This move may be seen as a step backwards for masked wrestlers serving in office.
In Super Delfin’s election to Osaka city council a few months ago, he was granted the right to wear his mask while serving the public, and the true pioneer of masked wrestler politicians, The Great Sasuke, was also allowed to wear his mask in 2003.
We at RocketNews24 support Councilman Skull Reaper and his fight against maskism, for a person should not be judged on the mask over their head but by the contents of their character.
Source: Nikkan Sports (Japanese)
Images: Skull Reaper A-ji webpage
▼From his official webpage we can that when he’s not administering swinging neck-breakers, Councilman Skull Reaper is a hardworking and valued member of the community.