*Firstly, he was a handsome man. Wrestling needs these good looking boys, like Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson. They make sympathetic good guys the crowd likes to get behind.
*With his eyes visible along with facial expressions it’s easier to connect with the audience, build an emotional bond with them.
*Good looking guys attract women to the shows, who drag along their boyfriends, increasing box office takings.
All the above are negated by wearing a mask.
Also, wearing a mask reduces peripheral vision. Ligers mask even worse, with the eye mesh. There’s no way a wrestler can GO 100% with a mask on. Especially a scientific aerial style. (The most effective masked wrestlers are the slow-moving bruisers).
*Masked wrestlers become boring. A real face is more interesting over the the long term. Even the best masked men, Kane, Mysterio, Kendo Nagasaki had to unmask to refresh their characters.
*Blading is more effective without a mask. Blood flowing down a clear face is more dramatic, pulling people closer into the match.
*Yamada had a perfect physique. V-shaped, slim but bulky enough, strong shoulders, huge biceps. A pleasing and inspiring physique that people like to look at. Even pro bodybuilders respect his build. All that was lost with the full body suit.
Thunder Liger was a unique colourful and wonderful character, one of the best ever. I just contend he could have been even better without the Liger gimmick.