Ken Patera

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Ken Patera

Title History

  •  NWA (Texas) American Tag Team titles w/ Tex McKenzie defeating Blackjack Mulligan and Blackjack Lanza (July 22, 1974);
  • NWA (Tri State) United States Tag Team titles w/ Killer Karl Kox defeating Randy Tyler and Bob Sweetan (October 19, 1976);
  • PWI (Pro Wrestling Illustrated) Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (1977).
  • NWA Mid Atlantic Heavyweight title defeating Wahoo McDaniel (April 9, 1978);
  • NWA Mid Atlantic Heavyweight title defeating Tony Atlas (October 21, 1978);
  • NWA Mid Atlantic Tag Team titles w/ John Studd defeating Ricky Steamboat and Paul Jones (January 1979);
  • WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight title defeating Pat Patterson (April 21, 1980);
  • NWA Missouri Heavyweight title defeating Kevin Von Erich (April 25, 1980);
  • SCW Southwest Brass Knuckles title defeating Tank Patton (1981);
  • NWA Georgia Heavyweight title defeating Tommy Rich (June 12, 1981);
  • NWA Missouri Heavyweight title defeating Jack Brisco (October 23, 1981);
  • PWI (Pro Wrestling Illustrated) Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (1981).
  • CWA (Memphis) International Heavyweight title defeating Jerry Lawler (May 16, 1983);
  • AWA World Tag Team titles w/ Jerry Blackwell defeating Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell (June 26, 1983);
  • CWA (Memphis) International Heavyweight title defeating Jerry Lawler (August 15, 1983);
  • AWA World Tag Team titles w/ Brad Rheingans defeating Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond (March 25, 1989);
  • PWA (Pro Wrestling America) Tag Team titles w/ Baron Von Raschke defeating The Punishers (December 29, 1991);

Career Highlights

In The Beginning:

  • Ken Patera grew up in Portland, Oregon and became a world class power-lifter.
  • 1971: Ken Patera won four gold medals in power-lifting at the Pan American games.
  • 1972: Ken Patera represented the United States of American in the Summer Olympics.

Getting into the Business:

  • Ken Patera trained with Verne Gagne in Minneapolis and made his professional wrestling debut in 1973.

World Wrestling Federation + Other Territories:

  • 1977: Ken Patera used his swinging full nelson to injure several wrestlers in the WWWF and was voted PWI’s “Most Hated Wrestler.”
  • 1977: Ken Patera participated in several World’s Strongest Man competitions which are often shown on ESPN or TSN even today.
  • 1977: Ken Patera challenged WWWF World Champion, Bruno Sammartino, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
  • January 25, 1978: Dusty Rhodes defeated Ken Patera in the semi-main event at the Orange Bowl in Florida.
  • 1978: Ken Patera defeated Wahoo McDaniel to capture the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title.
  • Ken Patera dropped and recaptured the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title during a feud with Tony Atlas.
  • 1978: Ken Patera challenged WWWF World Champion, Bob Backlund, on several live events.
  • 1979: Ken Patera teamed with Big John Studd to capture the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team titles.
  • April 1980: Ken Patera defeated Pat Patterson to capture the WWF Intercontinental title.
  • April 1980: Ken Patera defeated Kevin von Erich for the NWA Missouri title four days later.
  • Ken Patera held both titles for six months, splitting his time between the two promotions.
  • 1980: Bob Backlund defeated Ken Patera in a “Texas Death Match” to retain the WWWF World title.
  • 1981: Ken Patera defeated Tommy Rich and Jack Brisco to capture the Georgia and Missouri titles.
  • 1981: Ken Patera won his second Pro Wrestling Illustrated “Most Hated Wrestler” award.

American Wrestling Association:

  • 1982: Ken Patera returned to the American Wrestling Association to be managed by Bobby Heenan.
  • 1983: Ken Patera jumped to Adnan Al-Kaissey’s stable and formed a tag team with Jerry Blackwell called The Sheiks.
  • Ken Patera and Jerry Blackwell defeated The High Flyers (Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell) for the AWA World Tag Team titles.

World Wrestling Federation:

  • Ken Patera soon returned to the WWF and formed an alliance with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Big John Studd.
  • Ken Patera and Big John Studd were involved in the infamous hair-cutting incident with the legendary Andre the Giant.
  • April 6, 1984: Ken Patera and Mr. Saito threw a 30 pound boulder through the window of a McDonald’s in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
  • ~~~Later that night, Ken Patera and Mr. Saito brawled with several police officers who were sent to arrest them.
  • ~~~Sixteen months later, they were found guilty of battery on a police officer and sentenced to 2 years in prison.
  • November 13, 1984: Big John Studd and Ken Patera defeated Andre The Giant and Special Delivery Jones in a tag team match.
  • ~~~After the match, Studd and Patera shocked the wrestling world by cutting off pieces of Andre’s trademark hair!
  • Andre The Giant first disposed of Ken Patera, easily beating him in an epic Madison Square Garden grudge match.
  • 1985: Ken Patera was fired from the WWF after he was sentenced to two years in prison.

World Wrestling Federation:

  • 1987: Ken Patera changed his life for the better and returned to the World Wrestling Federation – as a babyface.
  • Ken Patera began a mid-card feud with The Heenan Family and occasionally teamed with Billy Jack Haynes.
  • Ken Patera suffered an arm injury and was out of action for five months, and returned to very little success.

American Wrestling Association:

  • 1989: Ken Patera returned to the AWA again, to form a tag team with fellow Olympian Brad Rheingans as The Olympians.
  • March 25, 1989: The Olympians defeated Badd Company (Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond) for the AWA World Tag Team titles.
  • Ken Patera and Brad Rheingans vacated the AWA World Tag team titles when Patera was “injured” by the Destruction Crew.

Ken Patera – Retirement:

  • Ken Patera then went into semi-retirement working off and on in various independent promotions across the U.S.A..
  • Ken Patera will be remembered as one of the most effective heels in the history of professional wrestling.
  • 2002: A band called “The Swinging Neckbreakers” claim to have taken then name from watching Ken Patera wrestle when they were growing up.
  • September 15, 2007 – South-Eastern Championship Wrestling: Ken Patera defeated Mr. America in Florence, Alabama ..
  • May 3, 2008 – National Wrestling Superstars: Chris Masters defeated Lamar Braxton Porter (Ken Patera was referee).