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WWF and Coliseum Video Presents: The Ken Patera Story
by Scrooge McSuck
- I would like to make one thing clear... I really don't like Ken Patera. Neither as a performer or a person. On top of being a pretty subpar wrestler, he's a criminal who couldn't stand up and say "I fucked up", and chose to hit the denial button over and over again, blaming everyone else but himself for his faults. I'm sorry for going off on this little rant to kick things off, but I really don't like the guy... so why cover the Coliseum Video dedidated to his return to the World Wrestling Federation, following two years in prison? Because it's rare for the WWF to release videos covering angles like this, with Hulkamania 3 being one of the other of the very few to do so. I originally intended to a "What IS He Thinking" on The Return of Ken Patera, but this seems to be a bit more organized of a choice, and just as bad.
- Craig DeGeorge is joined by Johnny Valiant as our hosts for The Ken Patera Story. It's safe to say Johnny Valiant was one of my least favorite managers from the 80's era.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Pat Patterson © vs. Ken Patera:
From the April 21st, 1980 card held at Madison Square Garden, acting as a prelude to the tape, highlighting the "old" Ken Patera instead of the old Ken Patera. We're Joined very much in progress, by the way. Patterson has Patera in the corner. Whip across the ring, and Patera rams himself into the post on a charge. Patterson makes the cover, but only gets a two count, as Patera gets the foot on the ropes. Patterson argues about the count, allowing Patera to catch a quick breather. Patterson beats him back down to the canvas, and grabs a headlock. Whip to the ropes, and the referee gets wiped out. Patera heads to the top rope, and comes down with a knee across the back for the three count at 2:15, despite Patterson's foot being on the ropes. We have a NEW Intercontinental Champion. The crowd is PISSED at that decision, by the way. Trimmed from almost 21-minutes. The crowd was way into it, and it's a cool clip to see the title change.
- From an episode of Tuesday Night Titans, circa April 1985. Bobby Heenan claims Ken Patera is undefeated... okay, not the most wonderful of arguments he's ever made. Speaking of Wonderful, Heenan is putting Paul Orndorff down, which means this was immediately after his face turn. This leads into...
Ken Patera vs Ronnie D:
Squash match pulled from a (then) recent episode of All-Star Wrestling. Patera quickly pounds away on Ronnie D, and throws him across the ring with a slam. Patera with a takedown, followed by choking. Patera drops his opponent throat-first across the top rope, and continously jaws at the referee. Whip to the ropes, and "Kenny" Patera with a clothesline, followed by an elbow drop. That only gets two, thanks to Patera pulling the scrub off the canvas. Shoulder breaker, and another "two" count. Patera takes him over with a suplex, and the swinging full nelson (I gotta admit, that move rules) gets three at 2:07. After the match, Patera reapplies the hold, but lets go a few seconds later. Punk. Just a squash...
- Investigative Reporter Mean Gene Okerlund tells us the REAL Story about what happend to Ken Patera. He was an accomplished athlete, particularly at weight lifting. He won gold medals in the Pan-American games, don'cha know. We cut to a clip from TNT, where Patera is sporting a collection of medals. Clips of him bending a pipe around his neck and holding a truck back with his legs while pressed against the wall. Then one night (thanks to the manipulation of Bobby Heenan's influence), a HUNGRY Ken Patera went to a fast food restaurant and was denied service after closing hours. Patera and a co-defendant (Masa Saito), allegedly, through a rock through the window, and later got into a scuffle with local police. Then, in a sick act of grasping for straws, Gene actually argues that Patera was treated unfairly, compared to rapists, murderers, and kidnappers, who "get off scott free." Yeah, destruction of private property and assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest isn't exactly raping and killing someone, but it's still a crime, and maybe if you weren't an asshole, maybe you could've reduced your time, but you got what you deserved. Loser. Sorry, but how can anyone push Ken Patera as a sympathetic figure here? Were fans THAT fucking stupid in 1987 to buy this crap? Patera promises to rid the world of people like Bobby Heenan, but it seems like we're better off with ridding the world of the Ken Patera's of the world.
- Mene Gene is standing by with Bobby Heenan, discussing the return of Ken Patera. Heenan says Patera should blame himself for what he did. Gene asks Bobby if he's willing to have a "debate" with Ken Patera, and he agrees, which leads us to...
- The Very Special Debate featuring Ken Patera and Bobby Heenan. Heenan gets "opening" comments. He shouldn't have to be in the presence of Patera, and thinks he should still be locked away. Patera responds with the "I've paid my debt to society" crap. Heenan is a few seconds away from playing an imaginary violin. Heenan makes sure to call him "ex-con" as much as possible. Heenan gets bleeped over and over again "for it's heinous nature." Ugh... Heenan ends it by calling Patera a vicious, violent animal, and throws his speech at him. Patera responds with the SAME argument as his opening statement. He's through with Heenan and his "weasel" family, as if there was any doubt. They argue until Heenan rips off his belt and whips Patera with it. Patera quickly wrestles it from him, wraps it around his neck and throws Heenan across the ring, leading to Heenan wearing a neck brace for the next few months. What an animal.
Ken Patera vs. Hercules (w/ Bobby Heenan & Harley Race):
From the May 16th, 1987 episode of Superstars of Wrestling, and it's Ken Patera's return to the ring... kind of. I guess this match was originally taped on April 23rd, but was so atrocious that it was re-done the next day at the Wrestling Challenge tapings. I can't imagine how bad a match can be to need redoing for television. Hercules attacks before the bell, driving a series of knees into the midsection. Patera mounts a brief comeback, until taking another knee. Hercules with rights, and Patera responds with a headbutt to the gut. Patera "hammers away" until Hercules rakes the eyes. Hercules with more clubberin', followed by a back breaker. He slaps on a bearhug, but Patera won't give up, and breaks the hold. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Patera connects with a clothesline. Patera tosses Hercules across the ring with a slam, then does it for a second time. Patera slaps on his own bearhug, bringing Harley Race into the ring drawing a disqualification at 3:13. Race with a knee to the back of the head, a snapmare, and knee across the forhead. Suddenly, Billy Jack Haynes makes the save out of the honor of Oregon. If this was the GOOD version, I really wonder how awful the "bad" one was.
Ken Patera vs. Jimmy Jack Funk:
From the June 6th, 1987 episode of Superstars of Wrestling. I forgot Jimmy Jack was still hanging around as a weekend scrub. He rakes the eyes and plants Patera with a powerslam. Insert promo from Bobby Heenan, promising that Ken Patera will get what's coming to him. Funk with an elbow from the second rope for a one count. Whip to the ropes, and Patera nails him across the face with a clothesline. Patera with clubberin' blows, followed by a reverse atomic drop. Patera with the bees ear smack, followed by a suplex for two. Patera sends Funk to the corner, and traps him in the bearhug. That's enough for the victory at 1:35. I prefer the swinging full nelson, myself. Bearhugs had to be the lamest, most boring submission holds possible.
Ken Patera vs. Frankie Lane:
From the June 27th, 1987 episode of Superstars of Wrestling, and yes, another squash match. This one has some awesome tacked on to it, though. Craig DeGeorge even asures us about the inclusion of this one. The moment the bell rings, we see Bobby Heenan at the top of the entrance aisle. Lockup, and Patera shows he's much stronger than his scrub opponent. Whip to the ropes, and Patera with a pair of arm drags, sending Lane out of the ring to regain his composure. Patera slingshots him back into the ring, and hey, there's Bundy, Race, Orndorff, and Hercules having a meeting with the Brain. Patera with a crappy back breaker and slam, followed by an elbow drop. Patera slaps on the bearhug for the submission at 1:39.
Suddenly the Heenan Family makes its way to the ring, and Patera is SCREWED. They block off all four sides of the ring, and it doesn't take long for the 4-on-1 advantage to sway the way of the Heenan Family. Orndorff lays him out with a clothesline and Bundy drops an elbow, opening the door for all four men to stomp a mudhole in Patera. They strip off the straps of his singlet and hold him across the ropes, taking turns whipping him with Heenan's belt. The crowd chants for "Hogan", but no one is coming to make the save. Ventura: I wonder if maybe today is Patera's birthday. After everyone gets their licks, a gaggle of referees (all three of them) come in to try and break things up, but they continue to punish Patera before casually walking off. Somewhere in the scuffle, someone tied the belt around his neck, too. THAT'S a heel beat down.
- We join The Snake Pit, hosted by Jake "The Snake" Roberts. His guests are Bobby Heenan and the rest of his Family, and the only point of this is gloating about the ass-whooping they handed to Ken Patera. Short and to the point, right?
Ken Patera vs. The Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart):
From the May 18th, 1987 card held at Madison Square Garden. Patera is making his return to MSG, and filling in for Jake Roberts here, for whatever reasons. I guess that neck injury was acting up, or something. We're joined slightly in progress, but not too much. Either way, it's going to suck, so might as well stick through it, right? This was about two weeks away from Honky's improbable Intercontinental Title victory over Steamboat, so he's just a cowardly heel instead of a cowardly champion, hiding in the corner all the time. Lockup to the ropes, and Patera with a slam. Have they dubbed over new commentary from Degeorge and Valiant here? Quick research reveals yes, as the originally commentary was handled by Monsoon, Heenan, and Lord Alfred. Maybe they talked about something they couldn't use here? Valiant with a very tasteless rendition of Al Jolson's "Mammy" regarding Honkytonk Man, because Al Jolson and Elvis Presley were so much alike? Patera works the arm and follows with an atomic drop. He muffles the hair, forcing Honky to take another breather. Back in the ring, and Patera continues to prove his strength advantage. Whip to the corner, and he slowly meets the post on a charge. Honky controls with the usual crap. I don't think he's done anything more than axehandles and knees for the last 3-minutes. Fans pelt the ring with trash and something splatters off Patera's ass. I have a white flag handy, ready to give up, I'm suffering that much watching this stinker. Patera makes a comeback no one cares about and slaps on the bearhug, but Jimmy Hart runs in to draw the Disqualification at 8:20. The less said about this one, the better. Let's just move on to the finale of the tape.
Hulk Hogan & Ken Patera vs. King Harley Race & Hercules (w/ Bobby Heenan):
Finale of the tape, and pulled from the June 20th, 1987 card held at the Philadelphia Spectrum, with Dick Graham and Craig DeGeorge calling the action (or lack thereof). Hogan is the reigning WWF Champion, for those who lived under a rock. Brawl to start, with Hogan and Patera clearing the ring in short order. I forgot Hogan and Race had been working house shows together around this time.Hogan and Race with the formal start, and Race goes low right away with a headbutt. Hogan counters a suplex with one of his own, and unloads on both Race and Hercules with rights. He comes off the ropes with a clothesline, knocking Race to the floor. Lots of stalling going on. Hercules tags in, sinking the match, and Patera tags in, blowing up the sinking ship altogether. Patera shoves Hercules into the corner, and it's double noggin-knocker time! Hercules plays monkey in the middle and Patera drops an elbow for two. Patera with a takedown for another two count. Hogan tags back in, rakes the back, and connects with a back suplex. Whip to the ropes, and Hogan with an elbow for two. Hogan ends up playing face-in-peril. I find it odd to see Hogan still sporting non-red and yellow attire, this late into 1987. He's got all white on, for you ring attire obsessed fans. Hercules slaps on a bearhug, which means I turn my attention to the Rays/Phillies game. Way to go, Carlos Pena! Sorry, back to the action... still a bearhug. Damn. I'm regretting this tape selection. Patera with the hot tag, and he throws Hercules across the ring with a slam. Weird edit sees Patera in trouble. Race tags in, and take Patera over with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Race with a gutwrench suplex, and again Hogan breaks the pin attempt. Race with a snapmare, but he misses a headbutt. Hogan tags in, and hits a running elbow. Whip to the corner, and he follows in with a clothesline. Hogan with a big boot and leg drop on Race, but things gets out of control. Patera and Hogan with a double clothesline to Race, and Hogan covers for three at 11:06. Okay-ish at times, with a lot of wasted time, stalling. Sadly, this actually ended up being the most watchable match on the tape.
Final Thoughts: So much for "The Ken Patera" story. Seems like they gave up about half-way through, then decided to slap two random arena show matches on here to pad out the rest. I guess Patera's untimely injury during the summer sidelined things and the production of this tape. Once Patera came back, I think he was shuttled into a midcard angle involving Billy Jack Haynes and Demolition, before settling into a JTTS role, and being badmouthed on commentary by babyfaces until his departure at the end of 1988. Other than the main event for it's rarity and the few choice segments from the actual Patera/Heenan feud, a complete waste of time. Don't bother.
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