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Lucha Tributes: Titán
This week is going to be pretty big for lucha libre, particularly for the old standard CMLL. With a bill recently passed (or almost passed) in the Mexican Senate to declare September 21st the National Day of Lucha Libre, CMLL is poised to do a lot of celebrating this week and looks to be doing just that (it may help that they helped push for the holiday to be made official with the senate). Monday’s show in Puebla is stacked. Friday night’s Super Viernes show is Double Stuffed Oreo stacked. Even the Tuesday show has a lot going for it, including a CMLL World Welterweight Championship match between the great champion Mephisto and the challenger, a man who also happens to be the subject of today’s Lucha Tribute. He’s young, he’s cool, he can fly with the best of him and his taste in music is so cool that Kurt Cobain would nod his head in approval if he was here. But you’ll learn more about that in a moment. Put down your Surge cans and pause that episode of Friends where Chandler goes with the girls to a strip club; this is the Lucha Tribute to lucha libre’s Norse God and the master of the moonsault, Titán!
What You Already Know
For lucha libre fans, Titán has been one of the most consistent members of the CMLL roster since arriving in 2011. He’s also frequently thought of as one of the most underused, having spent the bulk of his time in the midcard and trios scene and only competing at one CMLL Anniversary Show (the 80th). Never the less Titán has become quite popular, known for being a two time Mexican National Welterweight Champion and for having one of the best moonsaults in the history of moonsaults. It’s so pretty that it could probably beat Jennifer Gardner in a most beautiful contest. That’s probably why Paco Alonso is keeping Titán down; well that and Shocker has incriminating photos of him from that one weekend at Blue Demon Jr.’s Miami villa. Fine I’ll stop now!
What You Didn’t Know
This may surprise even the lucha fans but Titán has actually been around CMLL a lot longer than you’d think. The Guadalajara, Jalisco native was trained by CMLL and debuted for the company and 2008, but not under the name Titán. Instead he was known as Palacio Negro, aka The Dark Palace. Not only is that one of the greatest names in the history of the western hemisphere, but it was apparently chosen because it reminded CMLL bookers of the Palacio de Lecumberri (The Black Palace of Lecumberri), one of the most notorious Mexican prison that once held Mexican Revolutionary Pancho Villa (who also was one of the only two men to ever escape the prison). Don’t ask me, I just provide the info. There’s evidence CMLL had plans for the Palacio Negro character after having him unmask Azazel in an Infierno en el Ring match (think massive Hell in a Cell match with a ton of luchadors); naturally it led to nothing and Palacio would spend the next few years teaming with another Guadalajara youngster Metal Blanco. Eventually CMLL would repackage them and thus Titán was born. Or reborn, considering current day Titán is the seventh ever Titán, following in the footsteps of legends like Fishman, Máscara Ano 2000 and former ECW star Jack Victory. Metal Blanco would meanwhile go on to become Tritón, an equally talented and misused luchador who wears inappropriate t-shirts and was last seen sporting a haircut that I thought died after the 2007 Warped Tour. Just like Fall Out Boy it sadly remains alive.
Despite his popularity and midcard status within CMLL, Titán has rarely if ever branched out from the mother ship. He’s never been to the US as far as I can tell (though that should change given the exposure lucha libre is getting these days) and his most high profile indie shows have been with Lucha Libre Elite and the DTU. Not that prolific; until you get to New Japan Pro Wrestling. Thanks to CMLL’s working relationship with the Puroresu power Titán was able to go to Japan for the annual FantasticaMania show back in 2013. He ended up leaving quite an impression on higher ups for both New Japan and his own company, which led to him returning for the Best of the Super Juniors competition later that year and the highest push he had ever gotten in CMLL (which was basically his second reign as Mexican National Welterweight Champion). He has returned to New Japan every year except 2015, and this year was one of the fortunate souls to take part in the revived Super J Cup. Or perhaps he wasn’t considering how disappointing many found that tournament to be, despite the fact that he and Will Ospreay had one of the most exciting matches of the whole tournament.
But beyond all of his in ring ability and accomplishments, my favorite thing about Titán has to be the fact that he’s the only luchador I know associated with Viking death metal. What’s even better is that he may not even know it. As it turns out, Titán’s really cool theme song that you’ve heard is a song called “Under the Northern Star” by the band Amon Amarth. Who is Amon Amarth you may ask? None other than one of the biggest death metal bands from Sweden, as well as crossover stars here in the US scene following the release of their album Twilight of the Thunder God in 2008. “Under the Northern Star” is actually from their previous album With Odin on Our Side and whether you’ve heard it during Titán’s entrance or are listening to it right now you can tell its pretty bad ass. Barring someone else having used another Viking metal song sometime in the past, Titán’s use of this one makes him the first and automatically makes him a badass who is not to be messed with. You don’t want to mess with Viking death metal enthusiasts folks. The only one I’ve met who isn’t a bad ass was an old friend of mine, and that’s because he made Leo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street look like a straight edge kid at a Minor Threat concert.
The Ospreay match almost got into this spot here and it’s definitely something you should check out if you’re willing to brave the seawaters of DailyMotion. In the end though it wasn’t Titán’s 2014 Mexican National Welterweight Title defense against a man who would make Ospreay shit his pants; the legendary Virus. If you’ve ever seen Virus wrestle you’ll know that the man is one of the most skilled technicians to ever walk this mortal coil, and even at his advanced age he was the absolute perfect match for a performer of Titán’s abilities. Thus it’s no surprise their match ended up being a showcase of each man’s great skill, some awesome chain/mat wrestling and a few beautiful Titán dives along the way. And yes he breaks out that gorram moonsault; like I’d give you a match of Titán’s where he didn’t do that! Do I look like a constipated contrarian Englishman who hates everything but Tottenham Hotspur to you? I bet you only three people get that joke there.
In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, this Titán guy is really, REALLY good. Of course that just makes it even more mind-blowing that CMLL hasn’t used him higher on the card. Yes the roster is stacked with a ton of great talent, but when guys like Pierroth and Shocker are allowed to roam the main event scene because of nepotism and whatever information Shocker’s got on Paco Alonso it’s difficult to get why someone like Titán can’t get the shot. The only solace is that Titán is young enough (26 years old) and so very talented that you have to imagine he’s going to get a break soon. It’s also worth pointing out that while Titán has had good to great matches over the years he’s yet to have that one amazing program with someone to get him noticed. Hell he hasn’t even had a Guerrero Maya Jr./Dragon Rojo Jr. like feud! I have to imagine that one day he’ll get it and that sooner or later Titán will become far more of a commodity than he is now. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him eventually get a year long run in New Japan that leads to bigger things in Mexico, and frankly it wouldn’t shock me to see him in next year’s WWE CWC (provided they’re doing it again). By the way Titán, if you’re reading this, DON’T DO THE CWC! They will just take you away from us and do what they did to Sombra (before the *spoiler* heel turn that’s coming up). And I’m pretty sure Titán the salsa stripper is even worse than Sombra the salsa stripper.
That is the end (beautiful friends). I’ll be back tomorrow with a preview of the CMLL Puebla Show on Monday. This week is gonna be good folks! Till then, in honor of emo Triton I give you emo Spider-Man. And I'm not talking about that loser from the Shakespearean travesty known as Spider-Man 3.