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A beginner’s guide to Luchas de Trios

Some of the most recognizable names and factions in the history of wrestling have mastered tag team wrestling. The list of legendary duos includes the Steiners, Hardy Boyz, D-Generation X, The Hart Foundation, and many more. But in Mexico, we like to make things even grander, going with teams of three, known as Luchas de Trios.

Luchas de Trios are the staple in Mexican Lucha Libre. If you go to a show anywhere in the country, half of the card will be made up of trios matches, always putting técnicos (babyfaces) against rudos (heels). And while this format may be familiar to some wrestling fans, we’ve crafted an explainer for all those who want to know a little bit more. 

The rules of Luchas de Trios

The rules of Trios are very similar to other formats of professional wrestling. Without counting some special stipulations, a competitor must pin his opponent while the referee counts 1-2-3 to win. In the case of tag team wrestling, only the “legal” participant can pin the “legal” challenger from the opposing team. The tag has to be made with a clash of hands while the receiving competitor holds a rope tied to the turnbuckle, and a referee observes it.

In Mexican Lucha Libre, however, the rules are looser, with all participants sharing in the action, getting closer to those of “Tornado Tag Team” matches. More often than not, matches are contested under the two-out-of-three falls stipulation, meaning that the first team to obtain two victories wins.

Each trio has a captain. If you pin someone who is not the captain, that person gets eliminated from the match for the duration of that fall. The only way to win the fall is to pin two members of the trio or the captain, whichever happens first.

Some of the most recognizable names who’ve made a career under this format are Los Ingobernables (La Máscara, Rush & La Sombra), Los Villanos (Villano III, IV, and V), Los Brazos (El Brazo, Brazo de Plata and Brazo de Oro), La Peste Negra (Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas and Felino), and many more.

Trios north of the border

The idea of factions made of three members is not new in the U.S. Trios like The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose), The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan), The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods), and Team B.A.D. (Naomi, Sasha Banks & Tamina) have members who rose to the height of their careers while being members of a trio, but they rarely competed in six-man matches. More often than not, they competed in normal tag team matches (2 vs. 2), while the third member acted as an enforcer outside the ring.

Not until recently did the idea of having a trios division take hold in the north. Lucha Underground was one of the first promotions to establish a dedicated trios division. Their Lucha Underground Trios Championship was held by eight different teams during its tenure.

And it’s no longer an underground phenomenon. AEW is leading on this front, having some of the company’s most popular wrestlers like Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks, Pac, Rey Fénix, and Penta El Zero M winning the AEW World Trios Championship.

Luchas de Trios are an exciting form of wrestling. This is one of the most enjoyable events to watch with endless action, no shortage of near-falls, and crazy antics all over the arena. If you enjoy tag-team matches but wish for something extra, Trios are the way to go.