Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D, Sebastian, and other friends write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Espectáculos Promociones Panama: The Mystery of Atila Jr.! Exterminador?! Not Satanico! A Halcon! Impacto (not that one)!

Impacto/Halcon Vs Atila Jr./El Satanico - November(?) 1988

MD: A palette cleanser straightforward tag with clear lines that got a lot of time and went back and forth for the most part. It had a pretty solid balance of exchanges, rudo beatdown, tecnico dominance, and sheer shtick. Impacto was pretty clunky at times, especially when he tried to do something particularly complicated. He was fine when he was just splashing someone in the corner, for instance. Halcon on the other hand really stood out; he was very smooth and able to hit some impressive spots with nothing feeling particularly forced.

I'll fully admit that I spent most of the match trying to figure out if Atila, Jr. was in fact our old friend Exterminador. And, I'm not entirely sure. If I was just looking at him selling, feeding, stooging, interacting with his opponent and the crowd, I'd lean towards yes. I was looking for some "signature offense" and didn't quite see it but there were bits in how he chose to double team with Satanico and how they had it backfire which was reminiscent of the Idolo tag. I liked him though, at least for what he was called upon to do in this match. I was disappointed when things didn't break down fully between him and Satanico. I have to admit that instead of feeling like some lightning strike generational rudos, these guys felt more like the Gemelo Infernales' buddies and stand-ins. Competent, down to their matching tights, but you're not going to go look for their entire career collection. I'd sure like to see some more Halcon though.

GB: Let’s get the obvious out of the way; this is not the Satanico we all cherish. Instead, we have a perennial lower carder that is passable enough to continue the match’s narrative forward, even if the gimmick doesn’t quite match the wrestling. Through the few matches we have of him, his offense is a little light and he plays to the crowd in more of a comedic way than you’d hope. Which, all things considered, isn’t necessarily the wrong thing to do in Panama as intention is more important than the realism, for the most part. Stuff like this usually gets over well enough, though it’s not going to elevate you beyond a certain level on the card. Naturally, young Satanico here would find out as his push didn’t last so long and he’d still be wrestling opening matches as late as 2014 while his contemporaries, such as Red Master and Los Gemelos would be headlining.

It’s fitting in a sense that Matt mentioned Gemelos in his appraisal of Satanico and Atila Jr. The only proof I have that this is our buddy Exterminador is a polaroid from a Satanico/Atila vs Gemelos II y III match that happened on December 28th 1988 at el Orlando Winter de San Migelito:

Even though the two Panamanian videos showcasing Atila Jr have him in a slightly different getup, we can notice the familiar skull stitched onto his mask in the picture above. With no doubt I suggest this is him. Much to Matt’s dismay, the central feud here appears to be Satanico/Impact, though I’m also rather clamoring for a little violence between Atila and Halcon to pop up someday. Halcon’s cool. It’s unfortunate that this match doesn’t really play to Atila/Exterminador’s strengths. He’s such a unique case of someone being lost to time that I wish we had just one slam-dunk match as the “Eureka!” moment to get his case over. Alas, he’s saddled with Satanico during his return to Panama.

Equally alas is the placement of Atila on the card. We know from the Kendo/Idolo feud that Atila/Satanico were curtain jerkers, opening the match with freshly debuting talent. We also know the Impacto/Satanico feud lasted at least 9 months as they appeared opposite each other on the Varela/Baby de California cards. However, with two major changes. Firstly, by this time, Atila had gone back to Monterrey and seemingly better things with Septiembre Negro Jr as his partner. Secondly, Satanico/Impacto was headlining above bigger stars and seemingly bigger programmes. I guess we can add another luminary to the list of stars Atila/Exterminador made. Though I’ll go out on a limb and say Satanico’s push was more sustained due to the booker and after-effects of Atila/Exterminador than anything else as he slips down just as fast as he crept up.

Though all of this begs a few questions. If Satanico on top was the end goal, why would they not have him be bumped up the card alongside Atila? It isn’t as if Atila was an unknown entity. Exterminador gimmick aside, Atila Sr (Jr’s uncle) was a massive player in the Panamanian scene in the mid 1970s. And, unlike Septiembre Negro Sr, Atila Sr was very much one of the boys:

Atila Sr and Cesar debuted in early May alongside Montunito, wrestling a bloodbath against the Ursus, Titan and Sergio Galvez that left the Panamanian tecnicos licking their wounds. A week later Cesar/Atila did the same again to Ursus and Titan. They were presented immediately as a strong force to be reckoned with.

Thanks to his violence, Atila Sr was the beater at the top of the card, wrestling against names such as Mano Negra (yes, that one), Ricardo Diaz, Emperador and Chamaco Castro. The Mano Negra programme was quite popular across Panama and the two would jostle between technical title matches and bloody brawls:

Further, with the launch of a new wrestling company in Panama, Atila Sr found himself in hot programme after hot programme. So much so, he was specifically chosen to headline the company in a feud opposite Rayo Chapin in the  Guatemalan legend’s second and penultimate tour of Panama:

This was a feud which lasted but a few months until the company shut its doors due to “mismanagement”. “Too many bosses and not enough wrestlers,” Don Samy de la Guardia commented about them.

Regardless of the corporate side, Atila continued his dominance. Him and Valentin were (and still very much are) seen as the “tag team of the decade” despite their relatively short time spent in Panama. Why was the same not done with Atila Jr and Satanico? What a waste of talent in Atila/Exterminador.

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