Re: Who is the greatest American masked wrestler of all time?
Rey and it's not even close. He is Triple Crown status, was WWE champion, World Heavyweight Champion multiple times, a 2 time IC champion, 4 time Tag Team champion, etc. He's still the most well known American masked wrestler in the world today.
I put Vader for second, though there were plenty of times he wrestled with his mask off. He has more international creds than Kane/Mankind though. With Kane and Mankind, it's somewhat the same since most of their more memorable moments came after the mask removal.
80s masked guys like Superstar, Mr. Wrestling I (Tim Woods) & II (Johnny Walker) and Spoiler have their place as greats in history, but not the greatest.
As far as historical contributions, The Destroyer and The Assassins (not the Memphis ones, btw) rank high. Destroyer was one of the first to bring American wrestling styles to Japan. The Assassin had been wrestling since the '50s, and he alone is so legendary you could write a thousand page book on him. But he never won any really notable titles (he almost beat Dusty for the NWA belt though) and played a lurker the latter half his career. So I can't place him or Destroyer as the greatest, but they're definitely up there.
Die Matte Ist Heilig.