Santos Escobar Explains Why He Initially Wore The Mask In WWE, Paying Tribute To His Father

Santos Escobar made his NXT debut in the NXT Cruiserweight Title tournament under the name El Hijo del Fantasma.

After running through the tournament and capturing the NXT Cruiserweight Title, he revealed himself as Santos Escobar, taking off the mask and aligning himself with Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde as Legado del Fantasmo.

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Speaking on the Getting Over podcast, Escobar recalled his reason for starting with the mask and wanting to pay tribute to his father El Fantasma.

"I wasn't wearing my mask the last two years in Mexico. [In WWE], I was given the opportunity to re-introduce the lucha libre roots to the WWE Universe. I thought the best way to do it was by wearing the mask again. I didn't tell my dad because he still lives in Mexico. When he saw me, he's like, 'You're wearing the mask again? You can't do that.' I already knew I wasn't going to wear it for too long, but I managed to convince him and he was happy for me. I kept performing, I go to the finals and win, and the next week I reveal myself as Santos Escobar. I get home and get a phone call from my dad, 'What just happened?' I wanted to create a new legacy while honoring my country, culture, tradition, and dad. Creatively, we found a way to do all that by creating the Santos Escobar persona and Legado del Fantasmo. The group is amazing and everyone is helping us shape the product. I didn't know how big or small lucha libre is to the company, but I knew it was big for me. I like to respect the traditions of where I go and I wasn't going to make WWE or NXT a lucha libre place, but I will adapt the lucha libre style and I think we did. Now we have to keep it growing," he said.

Escobar has held one version of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship since winning the belt on the June 3, 2020 episode of NXT. Jordan Devlin was the reigning NXT Cruiserweight Champion at the time but unable to defend the belt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the tournament being held.

Escobar is set to battle Devlin in a ladder match to determine the unified NXT Cruiserweight Champion in a ladder match at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. You can view the current lineup for NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver by clicking here.

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