Lucha Tributes: Tritón
I like the underdog. I don’t think that’s a particular secret; my favorite baseball team just went through a 100+ year championship drought, my favorite hockey team doesn’t exist anymore and I’ve spent the last several years of my wrestling fandom trying to build up the under reported, unappreciated, unnoticed corners of professional wrestling. Today’s Lucha Tribute encompasses that and more, as the subject of today’s piece is one of the most talented luchadors I’ve seen in recent memory. He’s also a guy who has gone unnoticed by not just the North American fan base, but several in the lucha libre community and even his own promotion. As talented as that man is, I cannot let that go on without talking him up just a little bit. So crack open a cold one and pause Uncharted 2; this is a Lucha Tribute for one of the most talented luchadors alive today, the most underrated luchador alive today and a dude who really needs to be using Iron Maiden’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” as his theme song instead of “Sweet Child of Mine.” This is the story of Tritón!
What You Already Know
Hardcore lucha libre fans and longtime CMLL viewers will instantly recognize Tritón for one of two things; as the long time partner/friend of luchador Titán and as one of CMLL’s unsung heroes thanks to an awe inspiring high flying style and an ever changing look. Seriously; Tritón will rotate from wearing a mask that makes him look like a fish to sporting a Gerard Way/My Chemical Romance look the next week. Besides CMLL however Tritón has carved out a nice little spot in Illinois GALLI Lucha Libre promotion, where he’s the current GALLI Classic Champion and where he will be spending the majority of his time in 2017 starting next month. After that…well to be honest, Tritón remains a mystery to even many true lucha libre fans that haven’t been following CMLL closely. Man, if only there was someone who was writing a huge column on his entire career so they could know more about him. I should get on that after this column.
What You Didn’t Know
Breaking news; Tritón is a second generation luchador! Coming up next, why water is still wet. Yes I’m sure it’s very shocking to hear that Tritón, like almost every luchador that ever lived, comes from a family of luchadors. What you will be surprised to learn is that Tritón; born March 23rd, 1987 (he just turned 30. Happy Birthday Tritón!) in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, is far more famous than his father. The only info I can find on Tritón’s dad was that he was named Flash, which is unfortunate when there’s been about five Flash’s in the history of lucha libre (including Tritón’s fellow CMLL technico Fuego, who I can assure you isn’t Tritón’s father). Clearly this Flash wasn’t one of the more successful ones, which does give Tritón the appearance of someone who didn’t come from lucha libre royalty, unlike many luchadors we know, love and occasionally hate today. Never the less Tritón was technically born into the business and like many other luchadors debuted before he was 20 years old on November 20th, 2006 under the name Metal Blanco (Spanish for “White Metal.” Great name right?). As is custom with many young luchadors Tritón stuck around his hometown circuit, where he simultaneously trained in CMLL’s Guadalajara school. No sooner did all this happen did Tritón find himself in his first ever group, La Fuerza M (“The Power of M.” I know, not as good as Metal Blanco), a group consisting of Tritón, journeyman luchador Metatrón and this guy!
That’s right sports fans; long before he was famous for his CMLL and CWC exploits, Gran Metalik/Máscara Dorada was a young dude working in Guadalajara himself under the name Metalik. I guess because he, Tritón and Metatrón all had M’s in their names the Guadalajara office decided to pair them up, and so they did for two years before Dorada was brought up to Arena Mexico in 2008. Tritón stayed busy both during and after the La Fuerza M run, taking the hair of Jeque in 2007 and then the hair of Vaquero in 2008. It wasn’t until 2010 however that Tritón really began to catch on, largely thanks to a rivalry where he and fellow rising star Stuka Jr. went against Exterminador and Máscara Magia (coincidentally one of Tritón’s trainers). The feud gained significant traction in the Guadalajara, ultimately culminating in a mask vs. hair match on July 27th. Did Tritón and Stuka win? You’re damn right they did, in a victory that would serve as the biggest moment of Tritón’s career to that point. Little did he and everyone else know things were about to get more exciting.
As all of this had been going on, Tritón had maintained a tag team with another Guadalajara regular named Palacio Negro. The duo had been teaming together since September of 2008 and both men had impressed CMLL officials greatly due to them being absolutely, 100% bat shit crazy. Not long after Tritón’s triumphant moment with Stuka, CMLL made the decision to bring Tritón and Palacio Negro up to Arena Mexico, slotting them into a tournament to determine the number one contenders for the Mexican National Trios Championships. Why #1 contenders and not the titles themselves? Because that story is going to take way too long and, after having read it five times already I’m still not sure I understand how it all worked. In any event, Tritón and Palacio were teamed with Sagrado and in a shocker of all shockers actually made a Cinderella run all the way to the Finals. Was CMLL really ready to strap the rocket to Triton and his best buddy right off the bat? Not quite, as their opponents in the finals were the team of Diamante, budding star Ángel de Oro and this guy named Rush. Never made it anywhere last I heard! The super team would go on to defeat Tritón, Palacio and Sagrado in the finals (in what was a really strong match) and would in fact go on to win the Mexican National Trios Championships a few days later. Somewhere, Negro Casas, Puma and Tiger are wondering why it’s taken them so long to get a shot!
Despite the loss, Tritón (still as Metal Blanco) and Palacio impressed greatly in the tournament and would end up sticking around Arena Mexico from that point on. Best yet it looked like things would continue to go well for Tritón, as he briefly re-formed his old alliance with Máscara Dorada for a run to the finals of the 2011 Gran Alternativa tournament (where they lost to Último Guerrero). After that however it became apparent that Tritón and Palacio were caught in no man’s land; CMLL liked them sure, but they also had nothing for them in this current role. Luckily for both guys a change was coming. At the time CMLL was running a feud between Shocker and Atlantis’ Los Reyes de Atlantida stable (which included Guerrero Maya Jr. and Delta), with Shocker stuck in a three on one situation. So CMLL made two bold decisions; not only would Tritón and Palacio should be Shocker’s partners but they would also be repackaged. And so, after twelve days off, Tritón re-emerged as, well, Tritón, the Metal Blanco gimmick a thing of the past. His buddy Palacio Negro meanwhile became the luchador known as Titán. You may have heard of him.
Now this repackaging was significant in more ways than just giving Tritón and Titán a primetime spot. Both the Titán and Tritón names had been used before in CMLL; former ECW star Jack Victory and 90’s luchador Comando Ruso had wrestled as Titán during the early 90’s, while lucha/CHIKARA legend Pantera worked under the Tritón name briefly in 1993. The gimmicks didn’t catch on in any of those instances, so CMLL decided to put them on ice until the Tritón and Titán’s we know and love today came along. It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened for both guys…eventually. Remember how I told you they were repackaged to be aligned with Shocker against Atlantis, Delta and Guerrero Maya Jr.? Yeah, that lasted all of a couple weeks before Shocker went down with what would be the first of many injuries the CMLL star would suffer over the next few years. With Shocker gone, the Los Reyes de Atlantida feud was also gone, the Shocker, Tritón, Titán stable was gone (and would never return, even after Shocker returned from injury) and Tritón and Titán were back where they started, only with new, shinier gimmicks. In many ways it was the end of an era for the duo; while Titán and Tritón have continued to team in the years since (they have a reign as DTU Nexo Champions to their name), it was less as a tag team and more as two technicos who just happened to be teaming up. And my how that was a double edged sword. Titán would almost immediately take off, winning the Mexican National Welterweight Championship twice within a year, winning the Mexican National Trios Championships with La Máscara and Rush (in what has to be the oddest trios team of all time) and becoming a staple in the upper midcard scene (not to mention scoring several trips to New Japan). As for the hero of our story…none of that exactly happened.
And to be honest I’m not quite sure why. A quick look at both Titán and Tritón shows that there really isn’t a difference in skill level; both guys are tremendous and electrifying in their own way. For whatever reason though Titán got the rocket strapped and Tritón got stuck in CMLL midcard hell. In fairness it wasn’t all bad; Tritón would once again nearly win the CMLL Gran Alternativa tournament in 2012 (this time with Atlantis) and quickly did develop a reputation as someone CMLL could plug in anywhere and he’d be great. He would also get some notice from New Japan, getting a slot on the CMLL/FantasticaMania tour back in 2015. Those are good things; it also doesn’t change the fact that from 2012 till now Tritón has had approximately one notable singles match; an exceptional CMLL World Welterweight Championship match against Cavernario in September of 2015. That’s it folks; it’s otherwise just Lightning Matches, trios matches, a few early tournament exits and a random spot in an Apuesta cage match or two. Perhaps the most egregious slight of all was CMLL entering Tritón into the Gran Alternativa tournament in 2016…as a rookie! I must’ve missed where having nearly ten plus years experience in lucha libre makes you a rookie (making this slight worse; Tritón’s veteran partner Mistico was both younger and less experienced than Tritón, and yet was still considered the veteran. Wow!).
Considering how talented Tritón is and how badly CMLL bungled the situation with him, you can understand why he started to branch out from the Paco Alonso umbrella. He started making several appearances for indie lucha promotions in 2013 and by 2015 had become a semi-regular with DTU. It wasn’t until last year though that Tritón truly got some leverage against CMLL in the form of GALLI. I don’t know how Tritón discovered them or how GALLI got a hold of him, but before you knew it Tritón had disappeared from CMLL and found himself working the likes of Mr. 450, Skayde and Skayde Jr., Gringo Loco and Lucha Underground star Steve Pain. It hasn’t ended there either; not only has Tritón gotten steady work for GALLI but he’s also gotten bookings from other US Midwestern promotions as well, with brief stops in Pro Wrestling Revolver, Freelance Wrestling and even two shows with budding promotion Absolute Intense Wrestling. I can’t say it’s the same as being on Lucha Underground, PWG or even getting booked for AAW in Chicago but this isn’t something to undersell either; in only a handful of appearances Tritón has established himself nicely with these promotions, been given a title by one of them and feels comfortable enough with them that he’s about to have a nine month run with them as opposed to sticking with CMLL. I think it goes to show you two things; Tritón knows his worth, knows his ability and knows he can be just fine without CMLL if he wants to be. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
Like there could be another choice besides Tritón vs. Cavernario? For one, it’s probably still Tritón’s biggest singles match of his career to this point. Two, it’s excellent. The action isn’t as crisp as it could’ve been but overall this is exactly what you’d expect from two guys the caliber of Tritón and Cavernario, which is to say there’s a shit ton of cool dives in this match. It’s truly a shame that this match remains the only huge singles match Tritón has gotten in his entire career; especially these days where he and Cavernario could do this match and it be 100 times better. And this one is already great; they don’t throw coins into Arena Mexico for scrub matches now! (Author's note: Big ups to the super cool TKD 117 for getting this bad boy up on YouTube years ago. It otherwise would be lost to us!)
I see a shit ton of luchadors every week; right now, I’m not sure there’s anyone out there better than Tritón. That’s a bold thing to say considering how many great luchadors there are right now, but it’s true. Every time I see Tritón’s name on a CMLL card I know he’s not only going to deliver but exceed expectations. No luchador is constantly changing things up, no luchador is more dynamic and no luchador brings it as much every night while getting better than expected results out of his match than Tritón. And lest we forget, he’s not doing it with main eventers like Atlantis, Último Guerrero, Dragón Lee and the works; he’s doing this great work having to carry guys like Skándalo around in the second, third or fourth matches, where the matches are far more restricted. Tritón has long since surpassed the level he’s at on the card and while it’s a shame that I won’t get to see him stealing the show every week starting next month, I can’t blame him at all for ditching CMLL for the US. For too long he’s been one of the best luchadors and for too long has CMLL neglected to give him the shine he deserves. I hope he starts to get it more in the US and, without knowing his contract situation with CMLL, I hope that someone bigger starts to take notice him. Can you imagine Tritón in Lucha Underground, where he’d not only get to show off his awesome high flying but they’d probably adapt a character based around his aquatic style gimmick? That would be dope. So would The Crash bringing him in, where Tritón could lock horns with the guys of La Rebelion, AR Fox and Flamita. The point is, everyone in lucha libre right now should be doing everything they can to get Tritón are their team. At only 30 years old and at the peak of his ability, there’s no limit to the places he can go.