The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents The Ken Patera Story
Oh, this oughtta be a classic. And no, I don’t know why I subject myself to this stuff. I’ve got 118 Coliseum Videos on my Plex server and nothing else to do, I guess. And hey, at least I’ve never watched this one before.
This one was released a little after WM3 and uses the weird rotating cube and saxophone intro for Coliseum Video instead of the roman gladiator intro.
Hosted by Craig DeGeorge & Johnny V.
Intercontinental title: Pat Patterson v. Ken Patera
Back to 1981 at MSG for this, as we’re joined in progress with Patera missing a charge and hitting the post, but Pat only gets two because Patera is in the ropes. So Pat puts the boots to him and slugs away on the mat, but the ref is bumped. Patera goes to the top for a knee to the back, and this time Patterson gets his feet in the ropes, but the ref doesn’t see it, so Patera wins the title at 2:30 shown. The crowd’s horrified reaction here is great. 1 for 1.
Meanwhile, Ken Patera and Bobby Heenan join Vince on TNT in April of 1985, burying Mr. Wonderful for losing at Wrestlemania. And we throw to Patera squashing Ronnie Dee on Prime Time Wrestling, picking him up several times and then finishing with the swinging full nelson at 2:02. 1 for 2
Mean Gene Okerlund SETS US STRAIGHT on the real story behind Patera’s trip to jail, doing some hard journalism and investigative reporting. Apparently his brother Jack coached the Seattle Seahawks at one point. So I did learn that. But after a history of his college accolades and feats of strength, Gene reveals the DARK SIDE OF THE RING, as Bobby Heenan signed Patera and turned him into a twisted and evil monster. Sure, he got money and championships, but it led Ken to JAIL. DAMN YOU BOBBY HEENAN. So here’s the story: Patera was hungry and went to a restaurant, but it was closed and he was denied service, so he and a “co-defendant” threw a rock through the window and got into a fight with the police. HE WAS HUNGRY. It had nothing to do with anything else. The man literally hadn’t eaten in like, three days, I suppose, and just had a grueling match, what did you expect? Then Gene goes on a run about how the judicial system threw the book at Patera when there’s murderers and rapists out there. Leaving out a couple of very important pieces of the story there, Gene. And then Patera does a promo from jail about how he’s getting out and he’s coming for Bobby Heenan! Did someone send that to his parole officer? Sounds like a THREAT to me. And then we get the montage of Patera posing like a middle aged dad while cursing Heenan’s name.
Bobby Heenan joins Mean Gene, denying all fault for Patera’s troubles. When he found Patera he only had a “handful of Olympic medals”, like a chump!
Meanwhile, on Superstars, Bobby Heenan and Ken Patera do a verbal debate, and Bobby opens with Patera needing to be locked up again because he’s an ex-con. Patera claims that he’s paid his debt to society, just like a bleeding heart liberal, and Bobby has a whole list of grievances that sadly get bleeped out by the producers. Cancel culture strikes again. But Bobby closes with letting us know that Patera is a vicious and violent animal and he needs to be locked up again. I mean, Patera literally got out of jail and started threatening Bobby! Obviously he needed more court-appointed therapy or whatever. So Patera whines about how Bobby didn’t call or visit while he was in jail. Obviously he hasn’t seen Goodfellas. Be a man, Patera. Bobby points out that he’s a businessman, not a babysitter, and Patera’s shit isn’t his concern. HE’S NOT WRONG. And then again Patera doubles down on his threats against Heenan, promising to rid the WWF of scum like him. Bobby finishes by saying Ken’s gone from pressing weights to pressing license plates, and he never brought a championship to the Family, so he goes to give Patera his belt. And then Patera chokes him out with it and throws him across the ring by his neck, causing him lifelong neck injury! That really did look like a legitimately horrifying bump taken by Bobby and I don’t doubt that it caused him issues for real. Patera really was a violent animal who obviously wasn’t reformed at all.
Ken Patera v. Hercules
From Superstars, this is apparently Patera’s return to TV. Herc attacks him in the corner and chokes him out, but Patera clubs him with forearms to come back. Probably didn’t win that many prison yard fights with those weak strikes. Hope he was able to smuggle some smokes into the joint. At least he had Dino Bravo as a contact. Hercules with a backbreaker and he goes to the bearhug, as I’m sure Patera was hugged by a few bears during his time inside, if you know what I mean. Patera comes back with a clothesline and a pair of slams before going to his own bearhug, so Harley Race runs in for the DQ at 3:18. Luckily Billy Jack Haynes makes the save. Quite the epic return for Patera. 1 for 3.
Ken Patera v. Jimmy Jack Funk
Another one from Superstars, as Funk gets a powerslam and goes up with a fistdrop for two. Patera comes back with a clothesline and delayed suplex for two. Bearhug finishes at 1:28, although Vince calls it “kind of a wrenching type of backbreaker.” 1 for 4.
Ken Patera v. Frankie Lane
Another Superstars squash as the tape is really rolling downhill now, building momentum! Patera takes Lane down with armdrags and the jobber bails to the apron, so Patera slingshots him back in while the Heenan Family watches from the back. Apparently they’re watching the match to find his weaknesses. I’ve heard drugs and McDonalds at 2:00AM might be a couple of them. Bearhug finishes at 1:40 and then they all surround the ring and come in for a prison yard beatdown, allowing Bobby to get his revenge and whip him with his belt. The crowd chants for Hogan but he’s smart enough to distance himself from someone with legal troubles like that. Well, back then he was. 1 for 5.
The Snake Pit with special guest Bobby Heenan, who introduces his Heenan Family and lets us know that no one is touching him again. To be fair, Harley Race, Hercules, Mr. Wonderful and King Kong Bundy is a hell of a bodyguard team and if Patera was smart he would have quit while he was ahead. Maybe gone back to Portland to sell insurance and do some semi-competitive weightlifting on the side.
Ken Patera v. The Honky Tonk Man
We’re in MSG from just before Honky won the IC title, 05.18.87. Patera throws Honky around with slams to start and goes to work on the arm before hitting an atomic drop and MESSING UP THE HAIR. How dare he. Honky tries to take a walk and then changes his mind, so Patera beats on him with elbows and slugs away into the corner. Patera misses a charge (SHOCKER!) and Honky works on the shoulder and beats him down with the double axehandles as Patera just lays there selling. Finally Honky misses an elbow and Patera comes back with a monkey flip after doing nothing for the past 5:00. Backbreaker gets two. Slam gets two and he goes to the bearhug, but Jimmy Hart runs in for the DQ at 8:21. Patera was so bad and so lazy just a couple of months into his comeback. Even the squash from 85 they showed earlier had more energy and life than he did here. Also the fact that he had the flexibility of an LJN wrestling figure didn’t help either. 1 for 6. Afterwards Patera manages to grab both Jimmy and Honky in a double bearhug for the one cool spot of the match, at least.
Ken Patera & Hulk Hogan v. Harley Race & Hercules
And we wrap up the tape with the main event from a Philly show, 06.20.87. Hulk busts out the all white gear for this one and the babyfaces clean house at the bell. Well Hogan does and Patera is there. Race hits Hogan with a headbutt right away and the heels double-team him in the corner, but Hulk fights back and clotheslines Race to the floor. Over to Patera, who runs Race and Hercules together and brings Herc back to the corner for some abuse. Elbow gets one. Hulk comes in with a back elbow for two, but the heels double-team Hulk and Herc drops knees on him to take over. Race with a piledriver for two. Herc slugs away and goes to a bearhug, but Hulk somehow fights out of that and puts Herc down with a clothesline. Patera gets the hot tag and does his two moves, but he goes for a bearhug on Herc and Race breaks it up. Race with a belly to belly for two, and a gut wrench for two. Race misses the headbutt and Patera comes back and tags in Hulk to do the work for him. And he runs wild on Race and sends Herc flying before finishing Race with the big boot and legdrop. Even on HIS OWN FEATURED TAPE Patera can’t score the win. What a loser. 1 for 7.
This is probably one of the worst tapes they ever made, as they could have featured some good stuff from his prime years and instead went with a bunch of his garbage comeback matches to barely fill an hour of runtime. The debate is probably the best part of this thing and it’s widely available elsewhere. This one should have its parole revoked.