Since the days of Rikidozan, who continuously beat American wrestlers and became a true hero for the postwar/lostwar Japan, the foreign wrestlers were always heels in Japan. Mil Mascaras introduced the high flying moves of lucha libre to Japanese fans and became an idol for kids. Since the first appearance of Mascaras, the idea that foreigners are always heels started dying until the Funk Brothers totally killed it in mid-'70s. Satoru Sayama (the legendary Tiger Mask, who was "the goal" for many lighter-weight wrestlers such as Jushin Thunder Liger, Masakatsu Funaki, Ultimo Dragon, and The Great Sasuke) says, "if it wasn't for Mr. Mascaras, there wouldn't be Liger, Ultimo Dragon, or Sasuke today."
Credits for pictures and images are given to these sites/people.