So we've seen these crazy masked wrestlers in cartoons, commercials, movies, shows, music...... where the hell do they come from? Currently the revival in popularity is coming from Mexico and the wrestlers are known as "luchadors" and the wrestling is called Lucha Libre ( Free for all in English).
(At left is El Santo and The Blue Demon)
Of course cool masked wrestling movies!
Even cartoon show hosts such as Strongbad ,which has its own cult following, is a masked wrestler.
So what is the fascination with these luchadors? Short answer is that they are cool and weird, masked hero's and villains have always struck a chord and lucha libra provides this in spades. The big difference outside of other wrestling is lucha libre has lots of wrestlers flying through the air and doing crazy acrobatics, forget the Olympics these guys can beat up those other tights wearing freaks!
(old pic of Mort Henderson as The Masked Marvel)
However masked wrestling apparently goes back to 1915 and in New York no less at Madison Square Gardens. The mask at that time being worn by wrestler Mort Henderson aka The Masked Marvel (which predates that Hollywood hero of 1940's fame). I found this interesting site in English that gives a quick history of the Mexican masked wrestling.
So it would seem that the actual "origins" of masked wrestling belong to the world at large. In short masked wrestling is just weird enough to be interesting and cool enough to be loved by millions.