Titán is, at the time this is being written, the current CMLL welterweight champion. The present iteration of the character debuted in 2011, and since then has competed internationally in both NJPW and ROH. The most notable international tour Titán competed in was NJPW’s 2019 Best of Super Juniors tournament. Though he was unable to win, he left a big impact on the Japanese scene, and I’d say it’s almost definite that he’ll be back in Japan soon.
The First Titán
The Titán active in 2020 is actually a reiteration of an older character from CMLL. The original debuted in the 1990s, alongside his partner Triton. The duo were a pair of parejas increibles, with Triton acting as the pair’s tecnico.
Triton is the Greek god of the sea, while a titan isn’t a god, but a species of deities that gave birth to the gods in Greek mythology. My guess is that the names just sounded nice together, and mythological consistency wasn’t the top priority. Though, Titan and Triton are also the largest moons of Jupiter and Neptune, respectively, so maybe that’s where their namesakes come from.
The original Titán wore primarily dark colors, mainly black, green, and red. (Unfortunately, not many high-quality pictures of the original Titan are publicly available)
Titán is pictured in the center here. His mask design is pretty rudimentary; it’s composed of solid colors, and the typical “nose hole” used to breathe in older lucha masks. The most notable feature of the original Titán is the “T” in the center of the forehead (guess what it stands for).
Unlike the first competitor to don the mask, the current iteration debuted as a tecnico. Like the initial iteration of the character, today’s Titán debuted alongside a new iteration of the character Triton.
In terms of character design, The base of the “new” Titán’s mask remains essentially the same. The “T” in the center of the forehead is still present (though its shape has been changed), and the eye-shape is more or less the same. The biggest structural difference is that the nose hole has been altered in favor of the wider cut-out to fit the nose, mouth, and chin, which is typical for contemporary lucha masks
While many luchadores think outside the box when it comes to mask design, Titán certainly goes above and beyond; he has arguably the most extravagant masks in the business today.
Titán’s masks are a far evolution from the past masks of the character. While the Titán of the 90s used basic, solid colors, today’s utilizes shimmery fabric, holographic material, sequins, glitter, and sometimes beads.
The two iterations of Titán are another amazing testament to the differences between the old school and the new school of Lucha Libre. While the Titán of the 1990s had a fairly basic mask design, the current iteration of the character is a walking explosion of color. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if more luchadores began follow Titán’s lead and came out with extravagant masks of their own. In fact some luchadores, such as Bandido, already have. No matter how far the color boundaries of lucha masks are pushed, Titán’s remain a vibrant spectacle for lucha libre fans to behold.
This piece was a commission from Parker Klyn (@parkerjklyn on Twitter). I’d like to thank him again for his support!
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